May 25, 2020

Acts 1:8 – “….you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Should you keep track of the monthly “best seller” lists of books sold in the USA, it’s pretty much a given that each and every May, starting with its original publication thirty years ago in 1990, a short book by Theodore Geisel will once again climb near to, if not to the very top, of the sales charts. Originally written and intended for younger children, this neo-classic has become a “standard” gift for graduating seniors from both high school and college. It was published, as were all of Mr. Geisel’s many children’s books, under the pen name “Dr. Seuss.”

“Oh, The Places You’ll Go” is an obvious choice of gift for anyone embarking upon a new phase of life, and not simply for its title. A couple of short samples therefrom make this self-explanatory: “You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so... get on your way!” and “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Just before, or perhaps actually during, His Ascension from earth into Heaven – which was commemorated in churches yesterday – Jesus much predated Dr. Seuss by challenging His disciples regarding the many places, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that they would go. “….you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Of course, you might say -- but these are extremely challenging times for trying to go anywhere. COVID-19 is forcing us all to hunker down and stay close-to-home as much as possible. This year’s seniors couldn’t even venture to attend their own graduation ceremonies. And Christians can’t get out and gather in their own churches, much less travel the globe to evangelize others.

Oh, really? If you’re reading this, you’re already aware of and participating in one of the greatest technological marvels of our present time – the internet. Via the internet, you can circle – virtually – the entire earth. Christians no longer must travel in order to represent Jesus Christ. While “in person” evangelism may still be preferable, at least for now, we can develop “work around” strategies for reaching those in faraway places with the Gospel. As a personal example, on Sunday, May 17th I preached St. John’s worship services on Facebook and YouTube and, in addition to this church’s expected congregations, was heard by dozens of friends and acquaintances and even a few folks I didn’t previously know (because they sent me comments) – from as far away (really!) as Australia.

If “virtual” isn’t exactly your cup of tea, then send yourself and Jesus, via the Holy Spirit, more tangibly. Make face masks for those who can’t afford them, put together sack lunches for hungry kids in Albuquerque, “adopt” a recently-graduated senior who needs encouragement, write a check to the Roadrunner Food Bank or any of the other numerous charities which can put your contribution to good use during this pandemic.

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Lord, help us to focus not upon limitations, but upon possibilities. Inspire us to find new ways to faithfully represent you in a changed and as yet rapidly-changing world. We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know that, whatever may lie ahead, You are with us. So we are unafraid to go – in Your Name and by Your Spirit. Amen.

--Dr. Dave Ring, Retired Pastor and St. John’s Associate Member
Lots of walks and bike rides, lots of gardening (which we never do) and fun with hair color!
-- Leia Cunningham
Hi there! I love showing you photos of what we are doing at the church, but what I think would be an even more amazing thing to share is a picture of you! Send me pictures and/or videos of you/your family/your pets/your garden/your cooking/etc with a short description, and I will share them here and compile them for a project!
-- Shea Perry, Communications Director
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service Sunday morning at 9:30 am (Contemporary) on the Abide Facebook page and 11:00 am (Traditional) on the homepage of the website . We hope you’ll worship with us! (Pastors Pam and Kelly will lead, along with Shea Perry, Jim Ahrend, and Matt Greer). We hope that you’ll participate by singing and praying at home! Any questions? Email Matt at
Wednesdays at 12:00 pm
Join us for a new series of concerts live-streamed from the St. John's sanctuary! Concerts are a benefit for Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless.

Gabriel Longuinhos
Curtis Storm
Shea Perry
Online Classes
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!

Sundays from 4:00 - 5:15 pm
Students, come join us for games, discussion, community, and faith-building every Sunday from 4:00-5:15 pm! Go to: (case sensitive) with the password: 048658

Mondays from 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Is distance learning with your child harder than you thought? Are the challenges of parenting in close quarters overwhelming at times? Or do you just miss talking with other parents? I know that I certainly do, so join us for Parents Club on Zoom Monday evenings from 7:30-8:30 pm! Email

Wednesdays at 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE. Wednesdays at 1:30 pm.
Wednesdays from 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Wednesday Night Bible Club is still on! Grade school friends join us on Zoom to get your weekly Bible lesson, watch the So & So Show, and pray with your friends. Email for more information!

Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Join Pastor Pam for a 30-minute spiritual exercise. Space is limited, and the Zoom link will be provided to the first 15 people to sign up! Sign-up is HERE. Thursdays at 1:30 pm.

ST. JOHN'S EMAIL BIBLE STUDY: Theology in Popular Music - Mostly the Good
Last year’s study, “The Songs of Summer” seemed to be a hit, so we’re going to do it again. This summer we’ll listen to some popular music that sings about prayer and healing, some international music, some bluegrass and country, some great young singers who are the future of the Church, and some show tunes.  Download the study guide, or sign up for daily study tips by email by writing or calling Regina Hunter at or 294-2877.

The St. John's staff includes a licensed mental health counselor who is available to meet virtually (using a smartphone or computer) in a secure online platform during these anxious times. If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, counseling is available. Click here or contact Susan Brumbaugh at 505-506-6717 or for more details about session and cost information.

Susan has created a Youtube channel to share videos on mindfulness. Click here to check it out!
There is a distinction between talking about God and talking with God.

When we talk about God and know all the stories of the people dealing with God in the Old Testament as well as the words of Jesus from the New Testament, we can believe God exists and decide to accept Jesus as savior. We can decide to follow Jesus.

Talking with God in prayer, through spiritual disciplines, or when standing beside the wonders of nature, or in the quiet of a beautiful church are ways to develop an intimate and personal relationship with God. This relationship where we share our thoughts, feelings and needs and God shares insight and guidance is essential for spiritual growth. If we only learn about God and don't learn this direct experience of God, then we are not equipped for the long haul. The first big event in our lives may pull us away from God because we only know about God, we don’t know firsthand our divine parent. This experiential knowing God is the goal of spiritual formation and direction.

A session of spiritual direction lasts an hour and happens usually once per month. When you leave your session, you might often have an assignment such as a psalm to read and reread, or a type of praying to try out, or a part of your upset to take to God (you know the part you never pray about). Maybe you will be encouraged to journal or to invent a new discipline that works for you. You will always be supported.

What happens during the session is that the spiritual director facilitates what is really happening: the Holy Spirit is working in your life, working to teach, guide and help you. There will be prayer during your session and maybe some quiet time.

Written by Donna Berry, Spiritual Director certified by the United Methodist Church, educated through Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

A coach holds the space for you to examine where you are going in life. We often just spend our time going, never really stopping and examining that action driven life. Holding the space for you allows you, the coachee, to reflect and find obstacles in your way. The whole process will go easier and faster through the listening and asking done by the coach. Together you and the coach find clarity and new ways to look at what you are doing and thinking.

A coaching session will last 30-45 minutes. You as the coachee are the expert on your life. You will define what you are seeking and what you want to work on during that session. The coach will help you do that and will listen deeply and ask open-ended questions. The coach will support you, affirm you, and always be on your side. You will be empowered to do whatever you want to do or to be or to have.

This process is completely confidential.

Donna Berry, ACC, MBA, credentialled by the International Coaching Federation, educated by Coaching4Clergy
Congregational Care Corner

How we support you and your family in prayer during this difficult time? Prayers for health, employment, peace? Please send your prayer requests to the Prayer Team:

It is hard to get out and many people shouldn’t. Is there something you need delivered from the store? If we are able to help, we have a few volunteers who would like to serve as Go-fers for people who need something but cannot get it on their own. Please pass any requests on to Jarrod at
In addition to the suffering, COVID-19 patients are not allowed any visitors. The health care workers at UNM Hospital are asking for cards. An article by KOB states, "the health care workers want to flood the COVID-19 units with love, support and inspiration." All cards can be sent to UNM Hospital - Attention: Barbara Temer; 2211 Lomas Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106.
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed until further notice. A re-open date is to be determined! We will keep you apprised as things develop.

Your St. John's pastors and staff are still very much on the job, and are available to you during this time. Please reach out to us if we can help you in any way!
Please come to pray in the labyrinth any time of day. Park in the east parking lot near the front doors of the sanctuary/narthex doors. Our prayer labyrinth is directly to the south of the front doors. It is advisable to have one person on the labyrinth at a time. Enter the prayer labyrinth with a personal prayer and then quietly and contemplatively experience what God has to share with you during this time.
Office Administrator, Debbie Brown, will be answering the phone at St. John’s every weekday from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Please call the office if you have any concerns or pastoral care needs. Debbie will get messages to Pastor Pam and Pastor Kelly. The office number is 505-883-9717.
Contact Us
(505) 883-9717
2626 Arizona St NE | Albuquerque, NM 87110
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at