November 26, 2020

Scripture: Hebrews 13: 1-2; Matthew 25: 34-40; Luke 14: 12-14;

Even though Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday (Think all the food preparation, all the guests, all the clean-up!), I have never-the-less had some memorable ones, even with all the food, guests and clean-up!

I think way back to my childhood in Minnesota and going to my beloved Grammy’s on the farm and eating her meal cooked entirely on the wood burning stove. And more importantly than the food was just being there – warming up by the stove in the morning (after sleeping the night in an unheated bedroom); feeding – and then catching – the cats in the barn; my Grammy’s frequent hugs; and even the adventure of using the outhouse. Good memories!!

Another memorable Thanksgiving occurred in 1973 in West Virginia. I had moved to West Virginia, along with many other back-to-the-landers, wanting to live simply on small acreage. A vibrant community developed where we helped each other out and celebrated the good times together. One Thanksgiving, when my twins were 8 mo old, we were invited to friends two hours away. So off we drove – two adults and two babies – in our VW bug. But not too far from our destination we stopped and added 3 more adults and 3 more children to the car, plus all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner! And then we proceeded up a VERY bumpy back holler road for a mile to our final destination. Good times!!

But the most memorable Thanksgiving I ever experienced was one I was not present at. I guess I’d better explain! Our family had been invited to our pastor’s house for Thanksgiving, along with some others – about eleven people altogether. I was working Thanksgiving Day – and secretly glad to be missing all the commotion plus earning double-time holiday pay. But it was not to be an ordinary meal that I missed! My husband spent the morning in town looking up Hispanic friends from Mexico who were working in a Chinese restaurant. And when he found out they had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving, he asked our pastor (who asked his wife) if these seven, barely English speaking men could come to their house for dinner. And his wife immediately said “Of course!” So they moved things around and set up extra card tables to make one long table extending into their living room.

Now when I first heard about this, I was relieved that I wasn’t the person who had to decide. Not being exactly the “hostess-with-the-most-est”, saying either yes or no would have left me with feelings of anger and resentment at my husband for putting me in an impossible situation. So at first, I was glad I was not there.

But as I heard the stories of that day, and the joy and fun that people had had and of all the sharing that had gone on despite language differences, I realized that I had missed something very special and began to wish I had been there.

Just perhaps – that day – people were entertaining angels unaware. Or maybe – by reaching out to some “of the least of these” - Jesus was really present. And I had missed out.

Lord, help me to more easily say “yes” to things that sound too messy or too hard. Help me open my heart to people that may feel too messy or too hard. And help me to always remember: “...freely you have received; so freely give.” (Matthew 10:8b)

-- Lyn Fitz
Thanksgiving Message from the St. John's Staff
video by Natalie Bonelli :)
video by Therese Macali and Family
This little fellow came to visit. He spent a long time sitting on the wall in my courtyard. I didn't bother him one bit.
-- Nancy Adams
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
Irene Garvin, a long time member, is celebrating her 100th BIRTHDAY on December 2nd!!! Let’s shower her with some old fashion birthday cards. She loves getting mail. Cards should be mailed to her address posted in the Church directory. Please write out a special memory of some church activity you shared with Irene. She will surely treasure the warmth and kindness through this simple gesture of recognition of her milestone Birthday!
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
Thursday, December 3 | 10:00 am
Join us for our festive get-together on Zoom!
United Methodist Women will celebrate Christmas, via Zoom, on Thursday, December 3rd, at 10:00 am. We'll enjoy a Christmas music video by Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus of Sweet Adelines, as well as a special reading of the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke. We'll also participate in a special Christmas activity in which we're asked to have five Christmas items (such as a bow, tinsel, a candle, etc.) near our computers during the meeting; one of the items needs to be an ornament or something that has a special Christmas memory for us. You need not be a member of UMW to join the meeting; we gladly welcome all ladies! If you aren't a member of a circle, and would like to receive the Zoom meeting invitation, please contact Regina Hampton 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.
Elaine Montague is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for November 23 - December 7.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Elaine: “Father, we ask that Elaine will know that you are by her side and that she will feel your deep tender love every moment of every day."
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.
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