December 10, 2020

As Joseph traveled the dusty road with Mary toward Bethlehem, I've often wondered what he was thinking. He was making the journey only because Caesar had ordered people to return to their place of origin to be counted in a census. The Bible records so little about Joseph yet it does say he was of the House of David; so he was headed for his hometown. I wonder if he recognized any familiar buildings or marketplace, or places he might have played with his brothers as a child. He apparently had no relatives or friends left in Bethlehem, for the Bible says he tried to get a room at the inn. And later when he fled Herod's wrath with his family, he eventually returned to Nazareth, not Bethlehem.

In 1940, Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel entitled "You Can't Go Home Again." In it he claimed that you really cannot go back to the home of your your childhood where you dreamed of glory and fame, back home to things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time. In that sense, I agree. I left my childhood home in Oklahoma for college and never returned to live there, although I visited my parents often. Every business store on Main Street is different now than it was when I grew up there in the 1940s. Life changes, doesn't it?

So, what and where is home? Christmas supplies the best answer. It is when and where we experience the love of God.

The season of Advent leads us to experience the greatest gift the world ever received when God bundled all of that heavenly love into a baby born in the tiny town of Bethlehem. That means whenever and wherever we know genuine love--whether giving or receiving--we are embracing the presence of God. For God is love, says 1 John 4:8.

So, perhaps, we can go home again. The Roman sage, Pliny the Elder, said: Home is where the heart is. This season, and always, may you find your heart full of God's love; for when you do, you will be home.

May it be so, dear Lord. Amen.

-- Clyde Chesnutt
Thursdays starting December 3 | 1:30 pm
You are invited to join Pastor Pam for Meditations on the Birth of Jesus, a thirty minute class employing Lectio Divina (Divine reading of scripture) and Visio Divina (Divine “seeing” of scripture) as we explore the birth narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The meditations will include works of art as we “gaze” upon the Christ Child. Classes will be held on Thursdays, December 3, 10, and 17 by Zoom at 1:30 pm No registration is needed. Zoom link HERE.
Ava - “Silent Night”
During Advent you are invited to participate in personal Advent Evening Prayer and Worship in the comfort of your home at the close of each day. Download this guide HERE.
The Abide Fellowship and the altar space at our home.
-- Melanie Amend
Let’s share the spirit of Advent and Christmas by sharing photos of our at-home altar spaces, the lighting of Advent candles, and our holiday decorations! Please also consider sharing a favorite Advent & Christmas activity or memory! Email your photos and a description to Shea at
Saturday, December 12 | 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers is a unique, meditative worship service that features some of New Mexico’s best professional jazz musicians. Jazz Vespers occurs on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 5:00 pm in the St. John’s United Methodist Church sanctuary.
Sunday, December 13 | 5:00 - 7:00 pm
The Youth and Children’s Ministries are hosting the movie “Elf” on a jumbotron in the large East St. John’s Parking lot on Sunday, December 13th 5:00-7:00PM. The HD 13’x23’ screen, courtesy of “db Production Services,” will be a perfect Drive-in movie set up for all of us socially distant in our cars. We will give away 1 Free Pizza to each family registered. We will also be hosting the first ever “Tacky Christmas Mask Contest” which could win you a $30 Amazon Gift Card. The event is free, and we are doing a Sock Drive to benefit ABQ Healthcare for the Homeless, so please bring a pack if you can. The current RED COVID LEVEL restricts the event for 10 cars, so RSVP soon HERE and let us know if your plans change.
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)
  • One page of a Devotion
  • A Prayer or a Spiritual Practice
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.
Prayer Requests:
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
Kelly Giese is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for December 7 - December 20.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Kelly: “Loving Lord, we ask that as Kelly moves forward to a new location and a new ministry, may your Holy Spirit lead and guide her and keep her steadfast, always abounding in your work and in your love. 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