December 1, 2020

We come to the time of year when our mailboxes are fuller than usual with requests for money – mostly for good causes. What to do; what to do? John Wesley tells us in his Sermon 50, The Use of Money, that the first thing we should do is provide for the needs (not “wants”!) of ourselves, our families, and those “of the household of faith.” If we have a surplus after that, we should do as much good for as many people as we have the opportunity to do. Certainly our phones and mailboxes give us the opportunity to do a lot of good.

The foremost thing to remember in deciding what to do with our goods is that everything we have is already a gift: from God. Deuteronomy 10:14, 18 tells us, “Look, everything from the highest heavens to the earth and all that’s in it belongs to the LORD your God. ... He defends widows and orphans and gives food and clothing to foreigners.” James 1:17 remind s us that every good gift comes down from the Father of Lights. I like getting presents, so I like these scriptures.

The catch is that not everything God gives me is mine to keep. Leviticus 19:9-10 forbids me to reap my fields right up to the edge, gather the gleanings, or strip the vineyards bare. No problem: I’m not a farmer! Wait a minute ... does that mean I can’t spend my whole paycheck on myself and my family? I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what it means.

In 2 Corinthians 9:8-9, Paul says that God gives us more than we need so we’ll have what we need to do good works. He quotes Psalms 112:9, saying that the righteous person “has dealt generously and given to the poor.”

William Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army along with his wife, Catherine, described the approach of their ministry as “first, soup; second, soap; and finally, salvation.” We see that the Bible takes a very similar position. Everything we have is a gift from God, but not all that God has given us is ours to keep. Some of it must be passed along to the poor and homeless. One way to do this is to donate to one of the rock-solid organizations like the Salvation Army or UMCOR. Especially this year, when so many people are helpless, homeless, and hungry, those of us who are still receiving the gifts of God should give thanks for our blessings and ask how best to share them with his other children.

An Advent Prayer:
Dear Lord, as we approach the celebration of the greatest of all your gifts, help us to remember that you didn’t have to give us anything, but you did. Whenever we feel tired of giving, bring your own example to our memory. Instill us with gladness that we have the means to bring a little of your own joy to those who need it. Amen.

-- Regina Hunter
 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.
Andrew plays "Amazing Grace"
Lighting the candle of Hope.
-- Gina Rivera
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 memory! Email your photos and a description to Shea at communicate@stjohns-abq.org.
Wednesdays | 12:00 pm
Join us for a series of concerts live-streamed from the St. John's sanctuary! Concerts are a benefit for Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless. Musicatstjohns.org

Join vocalist Michael Herndon and pianist Jim Ahrend for an hour of Christmas jazz!
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 prowley@stjohns-abq.org! 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
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 hamptonmason1@msn.com.
Saturday, December 12 | 12:00 - 4:00 pm
This is a difficult season for many, and this year our grief is even more tender and apparent. You are invited to join Pastor Pam in a Holiday Grief Workshop on December 12th, 12:00-4:00 pm by Zoom as we go through some helpful tools to acknowledge our grief, to help us better understand our feelings and emotions, and as we take sweet care of ourselves during this “unusual” holiday season. Please make a reservation by emailing Debbie at reception@stjohns-abq.org so that some materials may be sent to you. A Zoom invite will then be emailed to you.
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 mgreer@stjohns-abq.org.
Click HERE to view all Sunday School Classes & groups! 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 with church Leadership Team members hosting. 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."
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 communicate@stjohns-abq.org