May 28, 2020

Colossians 3: 16-17

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

This Covid thing had me blue. Jim was working long hours and was kind to listen to my mundane problems. Alone and out of things I could do on my own, bored and a bit depressed I called to God for help. Then we got a call… "We need a safe place to live dad. Can we stay with you?"

My mind races back to my early 20’s. Newly married and starting my new life in a new town. I was raised in the Methodist Church, and I faithfully went to church through college and continued when it wasn’t a popular thing with my new husband. It was then I met Clayton. Clayton was married to Glenda and we became fast friends. They had a baby girl who was the sweetest and happiest baby. Glenda confided in me she wanted to attend church but could not get Clayton interested in going. She asked for me to help by inviting him to my church. I did so and Clayton and I got into a deep, life changing conversation rather quickly.

“My Church is having a pot luck this week, would you like to come to service and stay for the food?” I asked, knowing he liked to eat.

“No, food sounds good but I’m not ready to go to church.” He replied.

Not ready to go to church? Did he need clothes or a bible? Was service too early? I pondered many possibilities in my head with no reasonable answers so I asked “What do you mean?

Clayton countered “I like beer, and I cuss and I am not ready to give those things up. God does not want me to behave like I do. He wants me to be an example for others. I want to have a beer after our ballgame with the guys, and surely it would be a bad example for children and others if I got angry and let a few choice words fly out of my mouth. So until I am ready to give these things up, I’m not ready to go to church”

I listened intently and deliberated how backward his reasoning was. I knew what he was saying was not what God requires of us. However, Clayton’s different philosophy, spoken so succinctly, threw me off guard and I was embarrassed and ashamed I had no bible verse or words to tell him how much God loved him. The only thought running through my mind was… “That is wrong, so wrong, completely and utterly wrong!” Needless to say Clayton, Glenda and that sweet baby did not attend church and potluck with me that weekend. However, in God’s amazing style, this short conversation changed my life. I knew I had failed not only my friend Clayton and his wife, but God too. I realized I had a strong faith but could not eloquently, or knowledgeably express my love for Him, let alone back it up with scriptures. It began a lifelong thirst to delve into the scriptures, explore and tell my faith, and to know my covenant with God through Christ is solid, stable, and backed by the word of God.

This past week, through some really bad circumstances, God has given me the time to witness to my son, his wife and their sweet baby boy. They are hungry for scripture and they have so many questions about God, the trinity, spiritual gifts, fruits of the spirit, the Christian calendar, becoming a church member, and finding a bible study. They have questions about baptism, confirmation, communion, marriage and covenants. I am thankful I have had answers for their questions and scriptures to back my answers. I pray they both can see Christ’s love in our home through our actions. I pray God continues to place loving, caring people in their path. I hope you will welcome them with loving arms when we all can meet together again.

Spiritual Practice:
Meditate on God’s word each day. Ponder it, dwell on it, chew on it and roll it over in your mind in order to apply it to your life. Charles Spurgeon put it this way:

“Some people like to read so many chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of scripture and to let it be sucked up into your very soul, until it saturates your heart! Set your heart upon God’s word let your whole nature be plunged into it as cloth into a dye.”

Let the Word of Christ Dwell in you richly!

On a side note, I met up with Clayton and Glenda a while back, they have four lovely children which Glenda has home schooled. Clayton was coaching little league and praying with the kids before every practice and game. They are strong Christians and have a lovely life in Christ. Truly God was at work in their lives as well as my own.

-- Melanie Amend
Wednesdays at 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.

Fred Sturm, piano
On Saturday the Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus of Sweet Adeline Intl did a drive by birthday parade for Carol Wiggins - 11 cars and 1 motorcycle.
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
Church member Ardyce Kirk will be 98 years old on Saturday May 30. If you would like to send a card

The address is:
Ardyce Kirk
Brookdale @ Juan Tabo Pl.
3921 Juan Tabo Room 112
Albuquerque NM 87111
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!

Sundays from 4:00 - 5:15 pm
Students, come join us for games, discussion, community, and faith-building every Sunday from 4:00-5:15 pm! Go to: (case sensitive) with the password: 048658

Mondays from 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Is distance learning with your child harder than you thought? Are the challenges of parenting in close quarters overwhelming at times? Or do you just miss talking with other parents? I know that I certainly do, so join us for Parents Club on Zoom Monday evenings from 7:30-8:30 pm! Email

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.
Wednesdays from 6:00 - 7:00 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. Email for more information!

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.

ST. JOHN'S EMAIL BIBLE STUDY: Theology in Popular Music - Mostly the Good
Last year’s study, “The Songs of Summer” seemed to be a hit, so we’re going to do it again. This summer we’ll listen to some popular music that sings about prayer and healing, some international music, some bluegrass and country, some great young singers who are the future of the Church, and some show tunes.  Download the study guide, or sign up for daily study tips by email by writing or calling Regina Hunter at or 294-2877.

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 has created a Youtube channel to share videos on mindfulness. Click here to check it out!
There is a distinction between talking about God and talking with God.

When we talk about God and know all the stories of the people dealing with God in the Old Testament as well as the words of Jesus from the New Testament, we can believe God exists and decide to accept Jesus as savior. We can decide to follow Jesus.

Talking with God in prayer, through spiritual disciplines, or when standing beside the wonders of nature, or in the quiet of a beautiful church are ways to develop an intimate and personal relationship with God. This relationship where we share our thoughts, feelings and needs and God shares insight and guidance is essential for spiritual growth. If we only learn about God and don't learn this direct experience of God, then we are not equipped for the long haul. The first big event in our lives may pull us away from God because we only know about God, we don’t know firsthand our divine parent. This experiential knowing God is the goal of spiritual formation and direction.

A session of spiritual direction lasts an hour and happens usually once per month. When you leave your session, you might often have an assignment such as a psalm to read and reread, or a type of praying to try out, or a part of your upset to take to God (you know the part you never pray about). Maybe you will be encouraged to journal or to invent a new discipline that works for you. You will always be supported.

What happens during the session is that the spiritual director facilitates what is really happening: the Holy Spirit is working in your life, working to teach, guide and help you. There will be prayer during your session and maybe some quiet time.

Written by Donna Berry, Spiritual Director certified by the United Methodist Church, educated through Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

A coach holds the space for you to examine where you are going in life. We often just spend our time going, never really stopping and examining that action driven life. Holding the space for you allows you, the coachee, to reflect and find obstacles in your way. The whole process will go easier and faster through the listening and asking done by the coach. Together you and the coach find clarity and new ways to look at what you are doing and thinking.

A coaching session will last 30-45 minutes. You as the coachee are the expert on your life. You will define what you are seeking and what you want to work on during that session. The coach will help you do that and will listen deeply and ask open-ended questions. The coach will support you, affirm you, and always be on your side. You will be empowered to do whatever you want to do or to be or to have.

This process is completely confidential.

Donna Berry, ACC, MBA, credentialled by the International Coaching Federation, educated by Coaching4Clergy
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
In addition to the suffering, COVID-19 patients are not allowed any visitors. The health care workers at UNM Hospital are asking for cards. An article by KOB states, "the health care workers want to flood the COVID-19 units with love, support and inspiration." All cards can be sent to UNM Hospital - Attention: Barbara Temer; 2211 Lomas Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106.
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed until further notice. A re-open date is to be determined! 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!
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.
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