December 26, 2020

Scripture: Luke 2:8-20

I’m going to take you back in time, to a very special Christmastime at our little church in rural Illinois. We gathered around a fire outside in the churchyard, carrying candle lanterns, to listen to an old man tell a story – a story of how when he was young the most amazing thing happened. His eyes lit up and his voice rose in excitement as he recounted his incredible story:
how when he and his friends were in the fields at night watching their sheep, an angel appeared and spoke to them:
“Don’t be afraid. I’m bringing you the most joyful news ever announced! The long awaited Messiah has been born tonight in Bethlehem. And this is how you will recognize him – he is the only baby in Bethlehem sleeping in a manger!”
And then he told us that hundreds of angels were suddenly all around them singing and praising God.
And then, just as suddenly, they were gone - and it was dark once more. Dark, so dark – except, except, except - for the star!
The old man beckoned to us and we followed him as he followed the star, singing together:

“There’s a star in the East on Christmas morn,
Rise up, shepherd and follow;
It will lead to the place where the Savior’s born,
Rise up, shepherd and follow.” (Traditional)

And so we followed the old man and the star on a path through the meadow, by some trees, down a dirt road to a little shed. And there, in that rough little place, we saw a man and beside him, a woman, sitting near an old hay manger, tending to a baby! We entered quietly, circling the scene, looking in awe – the promised One was here! And then the shepherd started to sing, and we joined in:

“What Child is this Who laid to rest On Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing Haste, haste, to bring Him laud, The Babe, the Son of Mary.” (Traditional)

And then the shepherd softly asked us, “And what is the child’s name?” and we joined him singing:

“His name is wonderful, His name is wonderful,
His name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord.
He is the mighty King, Master of everything,
His name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord.
He’s the Great Shepherd, the Rock of all ages,
Almighty God is He.
Bow down before Him, Love and adore Him,
His name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord.” (Audrey Mieir)

And we all knelt down, there in that dirty little shed, and sang it again.
We stayed kneeling and in silence and awe for a holy moment – and then the old man suddenly lept up and excitedly beckoned to us to follow him outside. And he quickly started to sing, and we all loudly joined in:

“Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere,
“Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.” (traditional)

And so we sang and ran and some of us even danced our way back to the church, back to the present.

Back to the present – no angels, no star, no shepherd, no baby – but something more: a burning desire in my heart to do as the shepherds did that long-ago night and recklessly follow, not the star, but He whose name is wonderful.
Prayer: All my days, Lord, keep me following in your Way.

-- Lyn Fitz
Sundays | 9:30 & 11:00 am
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service on Sunday morning at 9:30 am (Contemporary) on the Abide Facebook page and 11:00 am (Traditional) on our Youtube Channel. 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

Sunday Community Activities: Click HERE to view all Sunday School Classes & groups! Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship with church Leadership Team members hosting. Zoom registration is HERE
TOMORROW Sunday, December 27 | 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Canned and non perishable food drive, drop off event, next week on Sunday, December 27, 2020 from 12 noon to 4 pm at St. John's UMC. Drop off items outside in a church parking lot, in a no contact manner. Help one of our Youth group members earn her Silver Award in Girls Scouts, by supporting her food donation drive. The donations will go to Roadrunner Food Bank.
As. St. John’s brings 2020 to a close, we would like to Thank You for your faithfulness and giving during this year of the pandemic. We appreciate your generosity and love for St. John’s United Methodist Church. You have enabled the church to “switch” programming and to continue the good work of the church.

 In order to be included in your 2020 Giving Statement, mailed contributions MUST be POSTMARKED by DECEMBER 31, 2020, and credit card transactions MUST be before DECEMBER 31, 2020. If you would like to drop off your contribution, the Church office will be closed on Thursday, December 24, Christmas Eve at noon; Friday, December 25; Monday, December 28; and Friday, January 1, 2021. Debbie Brown is in the office from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm on normal business days.
Tuesdays, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, via Zoom | January 12 - February 16
Registration deadline: December 29
Romans, good news that changes everything, by Melissa Spoelstra
Facilitator: Karen Tidler
Bad news surrounds us. It comes through our phone, computer, and television screens. We encounter it in doctors' office, the workplace, and our own homes. If we're not careful, we can drift toward cynicism, fear or despair. As followers of Jesus, we must not lose sight of the fact that God has given us good news. We call it the gospel; it reminds us that God loves us and longs to redeem our suffering. The gospel truths shared with the early church at Rome echo into our day, reminding us that we still have good news to embrace personally and to share with others. In this study of Romans, we will take a posture of listening and learning as we approach this powerful book packed with good news that will encourage, inspire, and transform us.
Church Staff Celebrating Pastor Kelly:
Youth News
Sundays beginning January 3 | 4:00 - 5:15 pm
Due to Christmas and New Years, there will be no Sunday youth activities Dec 27th and Jan 3rd Solid Ground will return on Sunday, January 10th 4:00-5:15PM at the new Zoom link HERE.

Sunday, January 10 | 3:00 - 3:30 pm
Youth Parent Meeting Jan 10th. Parents, come join on Zoom early on Sunday afternoon January 10th from 3:00PM-3:30PM for our Spring Semester Parents Meeting. Let’s check in and chart a course for the semester head. Zoom link HERE.
Thursday, December 31 | 5:30 pm
This has been a difficult year and we have the opportunity to begin the new year with a service of healing and wholeness, bringing our weariness, aches, sadness and concern before the Christ Child laid in a manger bed. There will be a time of “anointing”, so please have a little bowl of oil ready. We will sing songs of the Taize community and have times of silent reflection during our worship experience. Please look for the worship guide and the link to the live-stream on December 31st at 5:30.
January 30 | 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Most Requested Non-Food Items needed:
  • Walmart or gas station gift cards
  • Knit caps, gloves
  • Lap blankets, warm shawls
  • Socks with gripper pads on soles
  • Magnifiers, flashlights
  • Basic hygiene/toiletry items
  • Most Requested Food Items needed:
  • Dry pasta (any type), Rice (any type)
  • Dry beans (any type)
  • Hot and cold cereals
  • Toilet tissue, facial tissue
  • Nutritional drinks (like Ensure)
  • Baking items (cake mixes with frosting, cookies mixes, flour, sugar, etc.)
  • Dry cat food
  • ANY Non-perishable food items
  • Monetary donations welcomed: bring to drive-in, drop-off event; mail to the church; online giving

Please write "SILVER HORIZONS" in the memo field of your check
Contact: Kathy Dieruf ( with questions
The Gruen family in the passing into glory of Marge

Ann Boland and family in the passing into glory of Bob

Roger and Donna Eaton in the passing of sister Virginia Davis

Donna Bruce in the passing of her brother

Karen and Hal Tidler in the passing of their brother-in-law
Jamie Arrington is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for December 21 - January 4.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Jamie: “Heavenly Father, we pray for health and healing as Jamie recovers from surgery. Amen."
 DECEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: Two Ministries for Children
This month, we have the opportunity to support two wonderful ministries dealing with children. The Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, Texas, has helped troubled children (ages 12-18) find a place to heal and grow in a loving Christian environment for over 125 years. Younger children thrive in homes of loving foster parents. “They (MCH) are here for me when no one else is.” “They never give up on us.” “I now know that God’s going to be there for me.
      A second Methodist-supported haven for children is Providence Place in San Antonio, Texas. Its motto says it all: “Giving God’s Children a Faith, a Family, a Future.” “Providence Place loved me and helped me make the best decision for my child without any pressure,” said one birth mother in the open adoption program. And, as an adoptive couple puts it, “It is indescribable the joy that Abby has brought into our lives.” Providence Place also helps young adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities develop their full potential and learn to live on their own with minimal assistance.  Both of these fine ministries rely on our generous donations.
Contact Us
(505) 883-9717
2626 Arizona St NE | Albuquerque, NM 87110
Office Hours (call only): Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at