Monday
May 4, 2020
UNQUENCHABLE OPTIMISM

Philippians 3:12-14

Picture this: It’s midnight in Philippi, Paul and Silas have been thrown into a dingy dungeon jail cell, their bodies bruised and bloody from the terrible beating they received at the hands of the Roman officials. Facing dire circumstances and a grim future, what do they decide to do? Burst into songs of praise and thanksgiving

. . . of course! They had no notion of the impending earthquake that would shake loose their chains, break the walls of the prison, and eventually set them free. They were simply “in the moment”, praising God with real, genuine thanksgiving that they had been counted worthy to suffer for Christ.

During this pandemic season, I’ve been reading and re-reading Ray Stedman’s book, Authentic Christianity. He names five unmistakable qualities of Christianity, one of which is “unquenchable optimism in the face of trial and difficulty”. Does the Apostle Paul come to mind as you read that phrase? We know that Paul, as a Christian, had a radically different view of suffering. His behavior, motives, and approach were puzzling and strange to many people. People would ask: ‘why is he so extremely zealous?’ . . . ‘what compels him so?’ . . . ‘what drives him so forcefully?’. Stedman says, Paul’s behavior is not so strange if we understand that his deep-down “love of Christ urged him on . . . pressed him into action. His actions were the actions of love and compassion, directed to the glory of God and the service of men, (and) never for the advancement of self.” Paul was consumed with the glory of God.

Stedman explains, “authentic Christians operate by a trust in God’s grace, love, and ultimate control”. It’s as simple as that. So, are we seeing a wave of unquenchable optimism within this current pandemic season? In the midst of sadness, uncertainty and desperation, there’s definitely an ever-growing outpouring of compassion, giving, sharing, praying, and counseling --- a revival of goodness, so to speak. Stedman continues to say, “Authentic Christianity is rooted in reality. It feels the hurt and pain of adverse circumstances. But, authentic Christianity also sees the result being produced --- not only in heaven someday, but right now, here on earth . . . and that result is so desirable and glorious” . . . that it urges us on, presses us into action.

Lately, we’re wondering, ‘What will our new normal look like?’ Will it be filled with unquenchable optimism, thankfulness, and selflessness? Will the wave of compassion continue long after Covid-19 has been recorded in history books? With God at the center of all that we do --- urging and pressing us on --- just imagine the possibilities for action and service that lie before us! I’m a work in progress, but I’m aiming for unquenchable optimism.

Spiritual Practice:
Take some time to plan ahead for your post-pandemic comeback: Ask yourself, what do I want my comeback to look like? Will I be stuck in a same-old, same-old pattern of attitudes and behavior, or will my comeback be praise-filled, laced with a heavy dose of thankfulness and praise to God?

-- Mary Beth Spletzer, Missions Team member
#photosfromhome
Me & Willie, in memory of Linda, who loved flowers, puppy dogs and caring for others.
-- Ed Hughes
#PHOTOSFROMHOME
A CALL FOR SELFIES AND AT-HOME PICTURES
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! communicate@stjohns-abq.org

-- Shea Perry, Communications Director
Online Classes
ZOOM TUTORIAL
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!

ZOOM YOUTH GROUP
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: bit.ly/UMYFSolidGround (case sensitive) with the password: 048658

PARENTS CLUB
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 tmacali@stjohns-abq.org.

"COFFEE BREAK" WITH PASTORS PAM & KELLY
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.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE CLUB
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 tmacali@stjohns-abq.org for more information!

"SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT" CLASS WITH PASTOR PAM
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.
MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU NETFLIX PARTY
Let’s celebrate Star Wars together! Watch and Chat together in real time. You need to: 1.Have Google Chrome installed on a laptop or desktop, 2.Download Netflix Party extension, & 3.Sign in to your Netflix account.
JOIN US FOR WORSHIP LIVE-STREAMED FROM THE SANCTUARY
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 mgreer@stjohns-abq.org.
FROM THE DESK OF THERESE MACALI, DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN & FAMILY MINISTRIES
Families, thank you for all you are doing to keep your families healthy and happy. We have started a group for parents and families to relax, hang out, and have conversations with other adults. Invite friends or make new ones! Join us for Parents Club on Zoom Monday evenings from 7:30-8:30 pm! Email tmacali@stjohns-abq.org 
GET WELL CARDS
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.
ONLINE BIBLE STUDY
While many of us are in a stay-at-home mode we can find both our emotions and faith challenged. Max Lucado has written a book "You'll Get Through This" based on the story of Joseph. He has opened up the video presentation online for no cost. I will be facilitating a Zoom discussion of this material and incorporating material from his book and study guide. If you would like to join me each week for the next 7 weeks starting Tuesday May 7th from 10 - 11 then email me for details (ktidler@comcast.net). If you would just like to watch the online video go to Online Bible Study to sign up for the free videos.
MUSIC FROM ST. JOHN'S
As part of our outreach during this unsettling time, the Music Ministry has launched “Music From St. John’s,” a series of video performances by local musicians. This is an effort to continue to provide beautiful music to our congregation and community, and also to provide work to local musicians who have been severely affected by cancelations. New videos will appear daily for the foreseeable future, and they are being created by Shea Perry. We hope you’ll enjoy and share the videos, and also consider making a donation to the New Mexico Musicians Relief Fund . The easiest way to view the videos is to go to the St. John’s Music Ministries Facebook page. Check back daily!
MUSIC FROM ST. JOHN'S LIVE-STREAM CONCERTS
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. musicatstjohns.org

May 6 - 12:00 pm
Joel Becktell and Amy Greer

May 13 - 12:00 pm
The St. John's Music Staff
Therese Macali
Shea Perry
Curtis Storm
Natalie Bonelli
Jim Ahrend
MENTAL
HEALTH
MOMENT
WITH
SUSAN BRUMBAUGH,
LMHC
VIRTUAL
TAI CHI
WITH
KATHY
ST. JOHN'S FACILITY IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
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!
MAY SPECIAL OFFERING - LANDSUN HOMES
Established in Carlsbad in 1965, Landsun Homes (www.landsunhomes.com) is a continuing care retirement community owned and operated by the churches of the New Mexico Annual Conference. It includes independent living options, assisted living, long-term care, and memory care options to respond to the changing needs of the residents.

Early in its history, the leadership at Landsun realized some residents might outlive available resources. The Caring Hands Fund evolved to assist those unable to pay the full cost of care. So, during the month of May, as we celebrate Mother's Day and Pentecost, we at St. John’s, along with other United Methodists, have the opportunity to celebrate the mission of Landsun Homes. Our May Communion Offering will go to Landsun’s Caring Hands Fund. Please give generously.
ST. JOHN'S PRAYER LABYRINTH IS OPEN
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.
CONTACT US
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.

ONLINE COUNSELING SERVICE AVAILABLE
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 counselor@stjohns-abq.org for more details about session and cost information.
Congregational Care Corner

PRAYER SUPPORT
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: mapalook@comcast.net

GO-FER 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 c.care@stjohns-abq.org
Contact Us
www.stjohns-abq.org
(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 communicate@stjohns-abq.org