April 16, 2020

“I tell you, just as you did to one of these who are members of my family, you did it to me”. 
Matthew 25:40 NRSV

I founded Wings For LIFE International 25 years ago. We minister to families of prisoners, current prisoners, and many of the “least of these”. This COVID-19 time is an especially difficult time for people behind bars. They are crammed together and only wish they could do “social distancing”. A few now are getting masks, and some prisons provide masks for officers. If they are lucky, they get one hour of exercise a day, are now given only two meals a day, and worry about themselves as well as loved ones on the outside.
Prisoners in most states are now getting free weekly calls to their loved ones. I have received quite a few calls from prisons in NM and other states as well. I gladly accept their calls, but realize how lonely they truly must be, if their one free call is to me. Obviously, they have no family members to call. Imagine that – isolated and all alone in prison, and no one really on the outside to look forward to going home to. I am thankful they feel they have a Wings Family to turn to when they are lonely and depressed.

Wings For L.I.F.E. (WFL) typically meets four times a month on Monday evenings. All our meetings are cancelled. WFL is what I call our “secular ministry”, where we bring in experts who talk about jobs, finances, parenting/communication and issues unique to incarceration. It is not a Bible study – in fact I call it a “living Bible study”, where we live out our faith, and treat everyone as a Child of God. At the end of every meeting, I always close with a “positive story”. Jesus told parables – he didn’t quote Leviticus. So, I try to close with something that I think Jesus may share today.

When we all were asked to stay home and all our meetings were cancelled, I decided that the one thing I could do was share a positive story each day to those on our email list. WOW – what a gift that has been to me! I’ve heard from people all over the world and people I literally haven’t talked to in 30 years. (I didn’t even know I still had them on my email lists.) Chaplains in various prisons are emailing me and sharing that they are printing out the stories or reading them to inmates to encourage them.

Just today I was able to wire-transfer money to our Wings leader in Monrovia, Liberia. Raymond and his family, his Board members, and his 18 key volunteers are all going hungry (with the rest of the entire country!) They typically eat 3 meals of rice a day – and for the past two days they have had no rice to eat – not even on Easter Sunday. 
I know a lot of lonely, hungry, hurting people. And yet Jesus said that “just as you did to one of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” I am thankful that I can do such simple things like answering an email or a phone call, sending a few dollars to buy some rice, and trying to be encouraging to those I talk to or write to. I invite you to think of those you know. How are they dealing with COVID-19? Can you simply help them by calling or emailing them, sending a quick text, and telling them how much you miss them and love them? Isn’t this what Jesus would have us do?

Loving God, help us to see Jesus in everyone we know and meet. Open our hearts to be kind and compassionate, and to see everyone as one of your precious children. Amen

-- Ann Edenfield Sweet
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service 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
Online Classes
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!

Wednesdays at 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE. Wednesdays at 1:30 pm.

Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Join Pastor Pam for a 30-minute spiritual exercise. Space is limited, and the Zoom link will be provided to the first 15 people to sign up! Sign-up is HERE. Thursdays at 1:30 pm.
As part of our outreach during this unsettling time, the Music Ministry has launched “Music From St. John’s,” a series of video performances by local musicians. This is an effort to continue to provide beautiful music to our congregation and community, and also to provide work to local musicians who have been severely affected by cancelations. New videos will appear daily for the foreseeable future, and they are being created by Shea Perry. We hope you’ll enjoy and share the videos, and also consider making a donation to the New Mexico Musicians Relief Fund. The easiest way to view the videos is to go to the St. John’s Music Ministries Facebook page. Check back daily!
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed through April 30. 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!
Casa Esperanza has suspended volunteer dinners. Instead, they have asked for monetary donations. St. John's has a Casa Esperanza fund, please note "Casa Esperanza" on your check or on your online donation. For each $150.00 donation, Casa Esperanza will purchase dinner for the residents. Casa Esperanza is working with St. John's and local businesses, to provide meals. Questions?? Please contact Jenn Shields at or 505-450-9978.

Family Promise has decided to keep the families at Church of the Good Shepherd until May. Since we are not hosting in April, Family Promise is asking for money to help off set the costs. Checks sent to St. John's can be noted "Family Promise" or you can donate online directly to Family Promise here. If you are willing to donate games, gift cards, lawn chairs, mini refrigerator, microwave, the use of an RV or rental home for housing families, please contact Jenn Shields. If you have other questions, please contact either Linn Furnish at - 505-884-6626 OR Jenn Shields at - 505-450-9978.

Each year the funds we raise during the Lenten/Easter season go to many local ministries. A sample of those includes the following: Family Promise, Grace Meal, Asbury Pie Cafe, Wesley House, McCurdy Ministries, NM Ramp Project, Mobile Food Pantry, lunch bags for the homeless, Breaking Bread Meals, Silver Horizons and many more. In these difficult times these ministries need our help more than ever. Please give generously.
Please come to pray in the labyrinth any time of day. Park in the east parking lot near the front doors of the sanctuary/narthex doors. Our prayer labyrinth is directly to the south of the front doors. It is advisable to have one person on the labyrinth at a time. Enter the prayer labyrinth with a personal prayer and then quietly and contemplatively experience what God has to share with you during this time.
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.

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.
Congregational Care Corner

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:

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
Contact Us
(505) 883-9717
2626 Arizona St NE | Albuquerque, NM 87110
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at