July 30, 2020

John Lewis’s funeral was today. I already miss him. Not the Representative John Lewis that he became, stewarding powerful legislation through congress despite the odds, raising his voice with determination that one day we shall overcome this obstacle, just like he had overcome so much in his life. No, I miss the John who was only four years older than me, but empowered us teenagers to believe that good would triumph over evil, just maybe not today. John had a passion and unshakable belief that we teenagers could show the world that peace could overcome hatred, that hearts could be changed.

Martin Luther King was the outward face of the Civil Rights movement to the establishment. He had just graduated from Morehouse College as a minister and spoke in measured, reassuring tones. He was called by God to perform in this role and he did it well. John was an organizer who got out the word that an action was occurring on this or that weekend; it was always weekends and usually summers when kids were able to get there. Ever wonder why those old black and white videos show marchers in white shirts and dress pants or skirts? John told us to dress like we were going to church, so the townspeople would know that “God was on our side, and you don’t dress like slobs for God.” No pants for the girls. We had to look like ladies, so we would get beat up less. I doubt that would work today, but then there were rules about not hitting women in public. So, I usually just got spit on, knocked over, bitten by dogs and dragged through the street. John told us to buy our clothes at the thrift store, since he knew they would get ripped. Martin had studied nonviolent resistance under Gandhi and was the one who taught us how to fall and curl up into a ball, protecting our head and chest. No matter how far we were dragged, we were NEVER to unclasp our hands and uncurl, so we practiced that skill. These days, if I start to trip, I instinctively roll and curl into a ball. Probably prevents hip fractures as well.

John Lewis organized the bus trips into the south to integrate bus terminals. The buses started in New York; I got on in Philadelphia. There were other stops in Delaware and Maryland, then it was on to Montgomery. I was on the third bus; The first got through ok, but the second, a day later, got firebombed. I was on the third bus, which had already gotten through Virginia when we heard about the second bus. Our bus driver quit, but a bus driver friend of John’s took us to Montgomery, and we arrived ok. John paused the buses after that; too much violence. I was with John and others when we desegregated lunch counters in

Alabama and Georgia. I got beat up a lot by men in the town who forgot about the “no hitting women in public rule”. My cousin James and my cousin Dolores and I did everything together during the movement until James, who was older and a black man, was beaten so badly he died of peritonitis. After that, it was just me and Dolores, carrying on for James.

John was one of us, poor but scrappy and ready to fight for justice nonviolently. The Civil Rights movement was a young people’s movement, people who had nothing to lose. The adults had to hold on to their jobs, knowing that if they got fired for protesting, they would never get another job and there were families to feed, bills to pay. The elders supported us by feeding us and sheltering us when no hotels or rentals would let us in. The women who walked for justice by refusing to ride the segregated city buses and had to walk to work, often miles, to support Rosa Parks, never mentioned to their employers that they were part of the movement. As it got organized, people with cars would secretly carpool the women to work and drop them off 2 blocks away so they wouldn’t be seen. Fighting for Civil Rights for black folks to be able to vote or have a job or eat a hamburger at fast food was messy and not pretty. Still we persisted, nonviolently. Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” John Lewis did that. He was a good soldier for what was right and decent. I will miss him terribly.

-- Dee Billops
Some mornings this is our wake up call.
-- Bob McKeown
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
Would you be interested in submitting a daily devotional for the Newsletter? If so, send an email to Reverend Dr. Pam Rowley at!
It’s summer and if you are gardening, it is quite possible that you have excess squash or other vegetables and fruits. We’ve got a plan for that!

St John’s UMC and the Food Ministry Team want to invite you to a zoom meeting with Bernalillo County Extension Agent John Garlisch. John will share information with us about how we can safely share our produce with Chef Tim in the kitchen and help feed people all across Albuquerque. The attached link will help you access the zoom meeting. The date: July 29th 2020 from 4-5 pm.

Please join us as we continue to gather, share food, and offer Christ to those around us! Questions? Contact Pastor Kelly at or Chef Tim at Zoom link HERE.
Wednesdays | 8:00 am & 7:00 pm
Please join us on Wednesday mornings & evenings for a worship service of praise and prayer. This service will take place in the Memorial Garden of St. John’s on the west side of the building. This services is designed to be thirty minutes and will be led by Certified Lay Minister Larry Luna. Please bring your own lawn chairs and sit six feet from your neighbor. In an effort to keep all of us safe and healthy, masks are required.
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 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
Wednesday, August 5 | 7:00 pm
Come receive communion in your car on Wednesday, July 1 and gather in safe community to worship and praise God. We encourage you to bring your own elements (bread & juice). If you do not have your own elements, we will provide individually-packaged elements. We will gather in the east parking lot of St. John's (2626 Arizona Street NE).
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!

Sundays | 4:00 - 5:15 pm
IT IS SUMMER, and we have a new series for students exploring new games, discussions, and faith-building activities every Sunday from 4:00-5:15PM! Go to: (case sensitive) password if needed is 233374. NEW SUMMER URL
Wednesdays | 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE.
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 -- Starting August 6th
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.
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? Point 3b: God wants to give you abundant life.
St. John’s email Bible study returns to our study of salvation, and in particular to the idea that God’s plan for your salvation is broader than you think. Although there’s nothing in the Bible about “prosperity gospel,” scripture does say that God’s plan for your salvation includes a desire that you be healthy, safe, and comfortable and that you enjoy life in constant relationship with him.  Download the study guide, or sign up for daily study tips by email by writing or calling Regina Hunter at or 294-2877.
Congregational Care Corner
Prayers for the Passing of a Beloved Congregation Member
Harold Gruen passed away Saturday, July 25. He was with Marge and several of their sons. The Gruens joined St. John’s in 1970. If you would like to reach out to Marge, her address is: Shady Pines, 6809 Kentucky, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110.
Jean Jorgensen is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for July 20th – August 2nd.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer): “Father, please hold Jean tight in your embrace so that she can be stronger than the challenges in her life.”

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.


What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministers are members of St. John’s who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high quality 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 
For many years St. John's has had a special relationship with our neighbor, Zuni Elementary School. For example, over the years, we have provided school supplies, backpacks, after school programs, and a Back to School Luncheon for the staff.

This year, as you can imagine, Zuni's needs are a bit different. Hand Sanitizers and wipes, kleenex and pump soap top the list! You can donate in kind on Saturday nights. (See separate article for details) Or, of course, you may send monetary donations to the church any time.

Finally, please keep the students and staff of Zuni ( and all the schools in town) in your prayers. Starting up again will be different and stressful for everyone.
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