November 7, 2020

In our zoom coffee-time with the pastors we were talking about mentors we had had and valued. I kept trying to think of someone who played that role in my life – teachers, pastors, co-workers – and I kept drawing a blank. I just hadn’t had someone in that formal role for any length of time. And what was a mentor anyway? One dictionary defined it as a hierarchical relationship, where one who has knowledge or experience passes it on to another, often as a formal relationship. Well, I could relate to that. I had been a mentor many times – teaching non-English speakers English as well as the nuances of American life; guiding a young man (whom we invited to live with us) on the road to true independence; and having the adopted son of a friend who was developmentally delayed at my house bi-weekly to help with specific skills. But who were my mentors? And that got me asking a basic question: Is a mentoring relationship always formal – or even hierarchical? And then I found my answer.

So let me tell you about Christina. She was a legal refugee from Burundi, a tiny country in East Africa. She and her family were caught up in the genocide which spilled over from neighboring Rwanda and were forced to flee for their lives numerous times. She told of traveling on foot between countries in the area, often with a baby in her belly and another on her back. She was married to a pastor, who had had schooling and spoke and wrote in French as well as his native Kurundi. She herself was unschooled and could neither read or write. They had ten children, some of whom died young. But they also adopted at least two orphans. They ended up spending many years in a UN refugee camp and when the UN closed the camp, they came to Chicago. I met Christina along with her three sons still at home when they started attending our church (which had a large group of East Africans). Her husband had died shortly after moving to the US.

I decided to teach her English, which she needed to get her citizenship. I went to her house several times a week for almost two years. During that time, I was often immersed in Burundi culture and learned so many things that did not come naturally to me. One example: My middle class white American culture says you never go to someone’s house without calling ahead. Her culture was the opposite – no invitation was ever needed to drop by! In fact, one time when we had invited Christina and children for a meal, they showed up with two other people who had been visiting them – and I didn’t know they were coming until I opened the door! I was supposed to be teaching Christina – but equally she taught me – about a kind of perseverance and generosity and flexibility that didn’t at all come naturally to me.

And she also taught me about faith. I had tried teaching her English so she could get her citizenship. But when, after two years, she couldn’t learn to read English (often people over 60 who are illiterate in their native language have a terrible or even impossible time learning first to read in another language), I gave up on the dream of her ever getting her citizenship. But she didn’t. Shortly afterward, I moved to a town north of Chicago and had only sporadic contact with her for three years. But when I went to see her just before I moved to Albuquerque, she had amazing news! She told me that the next day she was going downtown to take the oath of citizenship! I was amazed! “How had this happened?” I asked. And she quickly answered, “God!”

When I pressed for details, her son told me the full story. Somehow she had gotten permission to have someone translate the questions verbally so she didn’t have to read them. And the person who translated them was her son! When the questions were over, the son asked how she did and the test-giver replied, “Well, she got some of them right.” and granted her application for citizenship! Now the questions on the citizenship exam are all about government- nothing she was concerned with. But perhaps the examiner saw her real strength – raising children who became good citizens, who loved God and their adopted country. And Christina was right – God was at the center of this happening!

You see, I was her formal mentor – but she was really mine too. I used the formal way of mentoring - skill teaching. But she taught me by just living her life and her faith. And that helped me realize how rich my life has been with these kind of mentors – people who were not just examples, but who were embedded in my life, who taught me by their word and deed as our lives inter-twined together as we followed Jesus.

Thank you, Lord, for all those brothers and sisters you have given me who have taught me so much and who have really helped me not only to be a better person, but to follow you more wholly. And help me to be to others what others have been to me.

-- Lyn Fitz
November 7, 2020
Mt. Taylor, north of Grants

This is one of the four sacred mountains in the Navajo tradition marking the cardinal directions, and is also considered sacred by the Acoma, Hopi, Laguna and Zuni tribes. We are guests, and should tread gently. In what other parts of our lives should we tread with care? The views from this mountain are amazing. The hike is strenuous (2,000 foot climb). Masks are required as we meet at St. John's and should be used any time we gather on the trail. Restrooms will be available at St. John's. If anyone would like to meet us on the way to the hike, please contact us.

Difficulty: Strenuous (2,000 foot climb to 11,300 foot elevation, then return; 6 miles)

Meet in east parking lot at St John’s UMC at 7:30 AM. Plan to return by 5 PM..
November 21, 2020
Canada del Ojo (~ 15 miles NW of Rt. 66 Casino; 47.5 miles from the church), Saturday, Nov. 21

Hidden in the desert and gentle mesas here are picturesque sandstone hoodoos and homesteads with interesting histories. This is set in the watershed of the Rio Puerco, an area with many stories of tribal conflicts and growth, histories of violent and gentle geologic events, and a stunning variety of living things. In this time of social distancing and stay-at-home, it is worth contemplating the many wonders that we share. (photos from this trip)

Difficulty: Moderate (5 miles, a few hundred feet of vertical; some rocky walking)

Meet in the east parking lot at St John’s UMC at 8:00 AM. Plan to return by 3 PM.

Contacts: Mike Furnish, CLM (884-6626; or Rev. Kelly Giese (
Saturday, November 7 | 8:00 pm
Please tune in Saturday evening at 8pm MST to hear St. John’s Music Ministry Intern Natalie Bonelli give her senior voice recital! Accompanied by pianist Martha Dalager, Natalie will perform music of Fauré, Schubert, Chaminade, and others (as well as selections from Hamilton and Aida). Join the livestream and support one of our talented young musicians!
ASBURY PIE CAFE | Pie Auction Results
A big thanks to all those who participated in the pie auction. Many bidding wars happened on Sunday, and it was all in good fun! Thanks to many people we raised over $1400.00 and sold 27 pies. A huge thanks to Gil, Tim, Eric, Jenn, and especially Steve Stucker for keeping the auction fun and entertaining. 
If only we could capture and share the scent of Albuquerque in the fall. Let’s do the next best thing and share our fall photos with each other here in the E-Disciple Newsletter! Photos can be of any fall-time activity/project (hiking photos, please!!), or nature photos! Email your photos and a short description to Shea at
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
Missing getting together with your St John’s family after church? Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship. Church Leadership Team members starting with Jim Hickman will be hosting with the Pastors Pam and Kelly joining if they are available. Zoom registration is HERE.
Sunday School Classes &
Bible Study Groups
Sundays | 9:30 - 10:30 am
The class always welcomes new faces, whether they wish to become permanent members, are interested in a particular study, or need a Sunday School family while on temporary assignment in Albuquerque. We typically alternate between modern books and books of the Bible. We are currently nearing the end of I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me, by John Ortberg. Contact Regina Hunter,, to be added to the invitation list on Sundays and to learn of the next book.
Sundays | 9:30 - 10:30 am
Family Spirit Class meets by zoom on Sunday mornings, 9:30 to 10:30. They are studying John Ortberg’s book The Life You've Always Wanted. Brian Eagan and Doug Sweet lead this study. Please contact Anita Hallstrom at if you would like to join this zoom class.
Sundays | 10:00 - 10:45 am
Bereans Class meets Sundays from 10:00 to 10:45. Some time ago the class adopted a long-term project to go through all of Paul’s letters in chronological order. August 30th started a new study on 1 Corinthians. To receive the weekly zoom link contact Daryl Lee,
Sundays | 3:30 pm
Christian Classics Sunday School Class is meeting by Zoom at 3:30 PM on Sundays. We are studying The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault. Contact Jack Nuzum at to join in.
Mondays | 10:00 am & 7:00 pm
Men’s Bible Study for the fall, Mondays at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm, October-November. This study will be focusing on the book of Job. Watch for upcoming dates or contact Jack Nuzum at
First & Third Wednesdays of the Month | 12:00 pm
Wednesday Men’s Brown Baggers meet for virtual lunch, fellowship, and discussion from noon to 1:00 on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. They will soon begin reading A Gentle Answer by Scott Sauls, available on Amazon. The Brown Baggers are currently meeting by Zoom; contact to be added to the group.
Thursdays | 7:00 pm
NEW STUDY, a 7-week study on Peter’s Journey, beginning on October 1st. This class will be led by CLM Joe Marshall, via Zoom, Thursday evenings at 7pm for about an hour. One does not need to be a theologian to enjoy this study and is open to Men/Women and any age. Email Joe to register and receive Zoom Link,
Please click HERE to let us know the results of your Spiritual Type Quiz, anonymously. We’d love to know what percentage of our congregation are Sages, Lovers, Prophets, or Mystics! Click HERE to take the quiz if you haven't yet!
Would you be interested in submitting a daily devotional for the Newsletter? If so, send an email to Pastor Pam at!

Please include the following items when writing a devotion:
A Focus Word or Phrase
A Scripture (it can simply be referenced)
The Body of the Devotion (one page is a good guideline)
A Prayer or a Spiritual Practice
Wednesdays | 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.

Aspen Quintet
David Felberg, violin
Nicolle Maniaci, violin
Kim Fredenburgh, viola
Melinda Mack, cello
Toby Vigneau, bass

Oscar Butler, singer/songwriter
Because of Bethlehem, Love is Born, Hope is Here, an Advent Study by Max Lucado, led by Karen Tidler
  • December 1 - December 22 (4 weeks), Tuesdays, 9:15 - 11:15 a.m.
  • Deadline for registration: November 19
  • Maximum number for class is 11
Max Lucado loves Christmas. The carols and cookies, the decorations and favorite films, the warmth and generosity of the season. But most of all, he loves it because it's during this time of year that people will wonder and inquire about the baby born in the manger. This little baby became the King on the cross. Christmas proclaims the truth of Easter to come. Join with Max in this lively, heartwarming celebration of all things Christmas. Because of Bethlehem features stories both insightful and whimsical. On every page, Max's words will encourage, captivate and inspire you, but most importantly, they'll point you towards the One worth celebrating.
Saturday, November 21 | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

back by Popular Demand!
St. John's Missions Team is answering an urgent call from COMMUNITY OF HOPE, a new church development of the NM Conference, to help provide non-food needs. As the winter months approach, many of the people who receive meals from Community of Hope are also in need of warm items to battle the cold weather. So, on Saturday, November 21, from 10 am - 12 noon, we will host another drive-in, drop-off at St. John's east parking lot and collect any of the following items:
Men's XL Coats or Jackets (new or gently used)
Men's XXL Coats or Jackets (new or gently used)

If you have any of the above items (gently used) that you are no longer needing, or go shopping this month, or have products delivered to you, or just want to order some of these items on-line, think about the Community of Hope needs. We’ll collect all these items on November 21st!

If you’d rather give $$ instead of buying the products yourself, you can bring it that night, mail it to the church, or go to the St. John’s online giving. Be sure to write "COATS" in the memo field of your check.

The Missions’ Team thanks you so much for your generosity!!!
Angel Tree, the ministry where children of those incarcerated are given gifts at Christmas in the name of their parent(s), has been supported by St. John's for many years. Once again, it's that time of year, but in 2020, nothing is quite the same. We'll be having a “drive through” Angel Tree this year! You'll have two opportunities to pick your Angels, between 10 am and noon on Saturday, November 14th, and the same time again on Saturday, November 21st,. Volunteers will be in the east parking lot of the church in front of the entrance to the Family Life Center. There, in the comfort of your car, we'll provide you with information about the children, and suggestions for the gifts you so generously provide, year after year. A gift of clothing, and a gift for fun, with the suggested amount to be spent on each remaining at $20. You'll pick your Angel, (although not from the tree) and go off to do your shopping!

The individually wrapped gifts, with the “Angels” attached, will be returned via another “drive through” event at the same location, on Saturday, December 5th, once again between 10 am and noon.

If you are not comfortable doing the shopping during these covid-19 days, but still want to support the program, you can pick your Angel, and give us the $40 at that time. Volunteers will do the shopping and gift wrapping for you.

Should you be interested in volunteering in some way to help with this ministry, please call Kathy Scherlacher at 505-823-6692.

Each year this Christmas-time ministry brings great joy to the children and the love of Christ to their parents, and this year, perhaps even more, as we all deal with the pandemic. Thank you St. John's for your time, your gifts, and your support of Angel Tree.
Sunday, November 22 | 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Unplug, get outside, and connect with God. St John’s is hosting a quiet afternoon retreat on Sunday November 22 at Elena Gallegos. Pastor Kelly, Susan Brumbaugh, and Jarrod Conyers will be leading us through a series of contemplative spiritual practices in the glory of the foothills. We will meet in person and 6-feet apart from 1:00PM-4:00PM. Learn more and sign up HERE.
Youth News
To better streamline all the ways we communicate, the Youth Group has adopted the Slack app to merge and integrate the our direct messaging, digital calendar, Zoom account, and all our online documents. It is easy to join the threads that apply just to you. Join in here:

Summer is past, and as we get back to school? Our Solid Ground youth group will resume meeting every Sunday at 4:00-5:15PM with new games, discussions, and faith-building activities plus new features of the student led Soap Box and Top 5s. Log-in. at: (case sensitive).

While we are not yet allowed to sing together, stay informed about the activities of the Sonrise Youth Choir, including weekly Zooms on Thursdays at 4:00 pm (Jackbox games!!), and musical workshops in the Fall! Email Shea at!
Online Groups
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!
Mondays | 9:00 am
Join St. John’s Music Director Matthew Greer as he talks about what’s going on in the music ministry, and talks about music he loves. This Monday he’ll welcome a special guest, composer and conductor Bradley Ellingboe.
MEN'S BIBLE STUDY: The Book of Job (and Esther and Ruth)
Mondays | 10:00 am & 7:00 pm
There are few more perplexing issues for people of faith than that of unmerited suffering. We understand when good people prosper and evil people suffer. But what about when good people suffer for nothing that they did? That is Job's situation and the book that bares his name is a complex examination of the issue.
Join us for a Zoom study of this book (for four weeks) and then the delightful Old Testament stories of Ruth and Esther the final two weeks. The Bible study will take place on Mondays, October 19-Nov. 23, 2020, at either 10 AM or 7 PM. You may join either class or jump between them. If interested, or if you have questions, contact Jack Nuzum at or 505-265-5241. Jack will be leading the discussion and will send out a Zoom invitation before each meeting.
Tuesdays | 7:30 pm
Wednesdays | 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE.
Wednesdays | 6:00 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. This summer we are taking a Focus on Faith! Don’t miss it! Email for more information!
Thursdays | 1:30 pm
Meet by zoom with Pastor Pam for a 30 minute spiritual practice every Thursday afternoon. We will explore different ways to pray, to commune with God, to nurture our spiritual lives with Christ through the Indwelling Holy Spirit. Space is limited, join the class HERE.
Fridays | 9:30 - 10:00 am
Susan Brumbaugh, staff mental health counselor at St. John's, is offering a FREE weekly gathering on FRIDAYS at 9:30 am to practice mindfulness meditation. Each 30-minute session begins with a brief welcome, a description of the focus (e.g., breath, body, senses, emotions, thoughts), a 15-20 minute guided practice, and an opportunity to debrief and share experiences.
Anyone is welcome--no experience is necessary. (And, yes! It's okay for Christians to meditate.) If you want to learn more prior to starting, the sessions will be similar to ones she leads and records on YouTube. Each session will be hosted on Zoom. HERE is the zoom link. Please contact Susan Brumbaugh,, or 505-506-6716, if you have questions.
A CALL TO HOME GARDENERS: The Food Ministry Wants Your Fresh Produce From Your Garden
St John’s Food Ministry continues to serve the people of Albuquerque--approximately 500 people per month!--with hot meals prepared in our kitchen,  Do you have a surplus of fresh produce from your garden that you would like to donate to St. John's to feed the hungry? If so, please contact Chef Tim at
Congregational Care Corner
Ted Shogry is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for October 26 - November 8.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Ted: “Father, we ask that you shower Ted with blessings and health for a speedy recovery from surgery."
With the Church currently closed, the prayer shawls have taken up residence with Hunt and Ann. They are actually quite comfortable in the coolness of their new home but they would love to be of comfort to someone in need of God’s love. Please contact Ann at or 768-7013 if you would like a shawl. If you call, the basket will await your visit in their courtyard. Blessings -
It seems like a very long time since we have been able to be together as a church family. Our staff has worked hard to keep us connected through virtual worship services, drive-in or small in-person services, and some Sunday School classes and other groups have been able to continue via Zoom, meeting safely at the church, in homes or even in parks. The Leadership Team wants to make sure everyone in our church family is being contacted in some way, especially those of our members and friends who might not have regular contact with people. We are looking for volunteers to help us call a small number of members to find out how they are, to let them know we are thinking of them and to find out how the church can help them. If that sounds like something you would enjoy doing and sending information back to the church about these members, please contact Barbara Stanfield, Thank you for considering helping in this important ministry of reaching out to our St. John’s family.
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: or submit them on our website HERE.

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

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 also has a Youtube Channel with mindfulness tips HERE.

Stephen Ministers are members of St. John’s who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high quality, confidential Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or life challenge such as divorce, grief, job loss, hospitalization, relocation, or loneliness.

How does someone get a Stephen Minister?
If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, please call the office 505-883-9717 or email
NOVEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: United Methodist Committee on Relief ( UMCOR)
   This month by giving to UMCOR we have a way of helping people and communities devastated by disasters. This year UMCOR is helping Louisiana communities recovering from not one but two hurricanes, Laura and Delta! And UMCOR is known for sticking around for the long haul after the headlines are gone and the world has moved on.
      This year, of course, we are also faced with the world wide disaster of Covid 19. Through the Sheltering in Love Campaign, UMCOR and Global Ministries have collaborated with health care professionals, missionaries, disaster management coordinators and faith leaders to help folks from the Philippines to Pennsylvania. UMCOR has helped isolate communities of Brazil who may receive no other help as well as the unemployed and hungry in the big cities of the US.
  St. John's people have been so very generous in helping those in need in New Mexico. Through UMCOR we can broaden our reach. Please give generously any time in November.
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed until further notice. 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!
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 (call only): Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at