Tuesday
February 2, 2021
MAGNIFICENT METAPHORS: THE KINGDOM OF GOD: NEW TESTAMENT
(Note: These two devotions are largely based on ideas from the book The Kingdom of God by John Bright.)

“Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’” (Mark 1:14-15)

As presented in the previous devotion, the biblical concept of the Kingdom of God can be seen as slowly coming into a more and more specific focus: from covenant people to political kingdom, to law community, to remnant, to Messiah. With the coming of Jesus, the focus is now clear: Jesus himself, the incarnated Son of God, is the bearer of the good news of the Kingdom because his coming to earth shows that God, in this incredible act of coming to earth as a human, has demonstrated the reality of the reign of God. God is indeed with us, Immanuel, and Jesus’ path is our path to the holy community visualized throughout scripture.

Jesus over and over tells us what the Kingdom is like (as valuable as a costly pearl, with the potential power of a seed or of yeast) and how to enter (sell all you have and give to the poor; become like a child.) He never really defines the Kingdom because he assumes his audience knows something of what he is talking about (see previous devotion.) It is a community based on a covenant promise, but the new covenant is based on obedience to the law of love of God and neighbor more than ceremonial observances. He shows the power and presence of the Kingdom by performing miracles. He doesn’t identify with the political parties or national agendas of his time, avoiding the idolatrous confluence of politics and religion that plagued ancient Israel. He preaches the message of the prophets about including the lost and the least, humbling oneself, not being judgmental, and not worrying about worldly treasures. He cultivates a remnant of followers willing to give up normal life to follow him. He assures these followers that the Spirit of God will be among them: inspiring, comforting, and instructing them. And, finally, he promises that he will come again in glory to fully establish the reign of God.

Most significantly, Jesus incorporates the message of the Suffering Servant from Isaiah, largely ignored in the past in favor of the Messiah as political king. He conquers by accepting unjust suffering, transforming the pain of living and dying rather than transmitting the pain to others as the world so often does. In his path of death and resurrection, Jesus revealed the pattern of the Kingdom: the inner crucifixion of ego, or as Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ who lives in me. And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20.)

As scripture narrows the focus of the Kingdom of God to Jesus, from Jesus on, the focus broadens again to the community of the called by Christ, which is the church. As with all forms of the Kingdom, the tension is still there of both a visible and invisible reality, a sense of here, but not yet. The visible church is imperfect and full of division, but the goal of unity in Christ is always before us. The reign of God has broken upon the earth, yet we struggle towards its fulfillment, which, finally, waits upon God’s timing, when the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth and God will dwell with His people (Rev. 21:1-5.) But we are not just to wait with hope; we are to act with confidence as we pray constantly: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Reflections:
Does this review of scripture about the Kingdom of God not give us confidence in the power of God to work through His people to achieve the reign of love in all its complexities throughout the earth? What can we do, both as individuals and as the community of St. John’s, to build our corner of the Kingdom of God right here and now?

-- Jack Nuzum
WORKSHOP ON VACCINATIONS
Wednesday, February 3 | 3:00 pm
You are invited to a workshop with Linn Furnish, RN, Parish Nurse and Carol Dolan, RN focused on COVID-19 and the vaccines that now are becoming available. We will discuss how this virus causes disease, mutations that are occurring, how the virus spreads and preventive measures to protect us. We will also share important information about the vaccines— how they work, their development and approval, side effects, registration information, and Pros and Cons. Our hope is that by offering this workshop, you will be to make informed decisions about healthy practices in dealing with COVID-19 and getting the vaccine.

The Workshop will be held on the following days (choose one) by Zoom:
Monday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, February 3 at 3:00 p.m.

To register for a workshop, please contact Linn Furnish by email:
swimsew@comcast.net
UNDERSTANDING MEDICARE
Thursday, February 4 | 10:00 am
"Understanding Medicare", presented by Karen Cooper, will be the focus of our upcoming meeting of United Methodist Women. We'll meet, via Zoom, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 4th, and we invite you to join us! Our meetings are open to all, including men, and we always welcome guests. If you'd like to receive the Zoom invitation, please send an email request to Regina Hampton at hamptonmason@msn.com. We look forward to seeing you on Zoom!
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! (Pastor Pam 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.

Sunday Community Activities: Click HERE to view all Sunday School Classes & groups! Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship with church Leadership Team members hosting. Zoom link is HERE
SHARE THE LOVE
This Valentines Day, St. John's would like to share a little love to some of our seniors who are shut in, off-line, or greatly limited in their ability to connect with the life of our church. We are looking for 10 volunteers who can deliver some special valentine cookies the Food Ministry is preparing to remind them how much they are loved. The plan would be to pick up the goods and deliver them after worship on Sunday, Feb 14th. COVID safe practices of masks, gloves, and social distance will be kept throughout. If you can help share the love, please email Jarrod: c.care@stjohns-abq.org by February 10th.
FOUNDATION UPDATE
The Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce the following distributions for calendar year 2021:

CAPITAL ENDOWMENT…$24,500.00

PROGRAM ENDOWMENT…$25,000.00

PARSONAGE ENDOWMENT…$15,000.00

These monies will be available to support our program ministries, our building and equipment needs, and defray the housing allowance. These distributions are not intended to be used as part of our regular operating budget, but rather for needs that could not be met any other way.

With your continued support, the foundation will be able to provide this supplemental income for years to come.
HOOP HOUSES FOR ST. JOHN'S COMMUNITY GARDEN
We’re now ready to take the next step with the St. John’s Community Garden – building two hoop houses (similar to greenhouses but not so elaborate) in the lower section of the garden in which we can start seedlings and produce plants for the garden plus share plants with others. Trustees have given us the nod to proceed. Del Jimenez, NMSU Horticulture Department, will be overseeing the construction of the hoop houses.

We have funding for one hoop house but need to raise $1500 for the 2nd one. The New Mexico Ramp Project has generously volunteered to provide the materials and labor for building the growing boxes that will be placed in the hoop houses.

Do you think this is a worthwhile cause? If so, we appreciate any help you can give us to make it happen. Please put “hoop house” in the memo of your check or online giving.
FREE GROCERIES TO LOW-INCOME SENIORS
Bernalillo County and Silver Horizons will offer free groceries to low-income senior citizens (60+) at a drive-thru grocery pickup event in the South Valley on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. The drive-thru will be open from 11:00AM-12:30PM in the parking lot at the Rio Bravo Senior Center, 3910 Isleta Blvd SW (map). Organizers are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID; food will be pre-packed and volunteers will be wearing masks and maintaining social distance. Low income seniors picking up groceries should not arrive before 10:00 a.m. Masks are required and seniors must remain in their vehicles at all times. Workers will put the food directly into seniors’ vehicles. For more info call 505-468-7650.
ST. JOHN’S EMAIL BIBLE STUDY
St. John's Email Bible Study continues with “What Must I Do to Be Saved? Part 3c, God wants you to have eternal life.” We have seen in the past portions of this study that the New Testament continues the Old Testament theme of salvation as saving our physical lives and health and giving us the abundance we need to be comfortable and content. For the first time, we also see unambiguous promises of life that is “eternal” or “everlasting.” Join us as we examine the scriptural basis for our belief in resurrection and eternity with God through Jesus Christ. To receive daily study tips by email, write or call Regina Hunter at drhunter@nmia.com or 294-2877. You can also download a study guide HERE.
Lent at St. John's
WOMEN'S LENTEN STUDY
He Chose the Nails, What God Did to Win Your Heart by Max Lucado
  • February 23 - March 23 (5 weeks), Tuesdays, 2 - 4 p.m., via Zoom
  • Maximum number for class is 11
  • Facilitator: Karen Tidler
  • Register by emailing donnabruce@comcast.net; registration deadline: February 7

When Jesus took his last breath, did he secure salvation for humanity or perpetrate history's biggest hoax? Travel to Golgotha with Lucado and decide for yourself. With his characteristic insight, Lucado examines the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Christ's crucifixion and explains why the cross is central to our own search for significance.
MEN'S ZOOM BIBLE STUDY: GOSPEL OF LUKE
Mondays February 8 - March 15 | 10:00 am or 7:00 pm
Luke is a gospel rich in detail and focused on the meaning of salvation. Unique to Luke are the extensive birth narratives and parables such as The Good Samaritan and Prodigal Son. As a Gentile, Luke brings an outsider perspective and show sympathies to other "outsiders" like women and the marginalized of his society.
Join other men on Zoom at either 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM on six Mondays starting February 8. Contact teacher Jack Nuzum at jcnuzum@juno.com or 265-5241 to sign up.
WEEKLY LENTEN ZOOM STUDY
Tuesdays February 16 - March 30 | 7:00 pm
Weekly Lenten Zoom Study, based on the book Wind in the Wilderness: A Lenten study from the Prophets (D. J. del Rosario; available from Cokesbury). Tuesdays at 7 PM, led by our Certified Lay Ministers, beginning Feb. 16th. The chapters: Building a skyscraper, Sticks and stones, Worst baby names ever, Nine words that changed everything, Present in the waiting, A taste of the good life, and If a tree falls in the woods... . The first chapter raises interesting questions about when we find ourselves in a deep hole as the Israelites did during the Exile and how the experience changes us, drawing on texts from Isaiah 9 and 53. It goes from there. There are daily Scripture readings as well. To register please contact Michael Furnish (mdfurnish@comcast.net ). We are exploring continuing this after Easter with Adam Hamilton’s The Walk, led by Joe Marshall, CLM.
MOUNTAIN CATHEDRALS
Saturday, February 20 & Saturday, February 27
Save the date: We’re planning a Mountain Cathedrals hike on Saturday, Feb. 20th, then considering a moonlight walk and meditation the evening of Saturday, Feb. 27th. Details later!
Youth News
YOUTH SPRING SEMESTER SURVEY
As we live into this New Year, there are several key plans the Youth Ministry is plotting regarding camping, Confirmation, and CrownPoint; Parents and students, we need your individual feedback to help guide and steer these decisions. Please take quick 3-minute survey to help us; entries are put in a drawing for a $30.00 gift card to Starbucks or Keva Juice. Find the survey HERE.

GALATIANS BIBLE STUDY ONLINE & ON-DEMAND
We have started an online on demand Bible Study over the book of Galatians for all ages. Find our discussion and post your own thoughts and observations through the following link as we explore this short and insightful book at a time that works for you. Link HERE.

NEW YOUTH GROUP SPRING ZOOM
Happy New Year! Not only is there a new year, but a new Zoom, at Sunday youth group with new games, new series, new discussions, and new faith-building activities every Sunday from 4:00-5:15PM! Zoom link HERE.
VIRTUAL PRAYER QUILT
Dwayne Ethridge is the recipient of the prayer quilt on display for January 26 - February 8.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Dwayne: “Heavenly Father, we pray for good health and recovery for Dwayne and ask that you make known the healing power of your hands. Amen."
JANUARY SPECIAL OFFERING: Family Promise
  The pandemic has led to some significant long term changes for Family Promise. The families have been housed in one church since last March and other churches, including St. John's, have been providing meals and supplies on the usual rotating basis but without personal contact until Covid is behind us.
      That has worked well and the decision was made to obtain a permanent location which will double the number of families that can be served from 4 to 8. The good news is that a building has been found, but as you can imagine the costs are significant. Churches will continue to provide meals. Contact Jen Shields at 450-9978 if you are interested in helping.
  But the biggest way we can help now is to help pay the mortgage for the new location. Family promise has helped so many families find permanent housing, get jobs, learn parenting skills and more over the past 17 years. Let's help it continue to do this for the next 17 years. Please give generously throughout the month.
STEPHEN MINISTRY
Stephen Ministers are members of St. John’s who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high quality, confidential 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 stephenministry@stjohns-abq.org
Contact Us
www.stjohns-abq.org
(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