February 9, 2021

John 15:1-4: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

A leash connects a person and a dog. If you let go of that leash, will the dog run away? I walk/run two dogs daily, using long retractable leashes. Times do arise when those creatures decide to go on opposite sides of a large cactus or maybe a truck. I have to let go of one leash and lead the other dog around to retrieve it on the other side. The other dog will just stop, look over at me and wait for me to come pick up the leash. If the dogs suddenly pull to chase a rabbit and I fumble a leash, the same thing happens. They realize that they need me on the other end of the leash for things to go well. I’m really thankful for this.

These leashes have two ends. My wife and I have made a promise to the dogs of love, routine, food, and a comfortable place to live. They stay with us and certainly reflect that love. All of our lives are richer.

I wonder about all of the leashes attached to me. Some are real commitments. My wife and I have made some very important promises to each other, and have built a household and family on this foundation. It goes even deeper. A priority of my life is to make hers better, and I experience her reciprocal love every day. We are also connected to our children and fathers by strong cords.

A widow I know describes how sometimes she had felt tied down by her husband, but after he passed away, she realized that tie was more like the string of a kite without which she no longer knew how to fly.

There was a leash connecting me to Sandia Labs for decades, and I am thankful for many blessings from that tie, as well as the chance to help in the labs’ missions. This can be the case for any groups with which we serve.

Other leashes can be lower priority. What are the most important places for us to give of our time, talent, treasure, and energy?

Leashes. Cords. Kite strings. Vines, along which flows a life force. Our connections to Jesus, and His to us. Our church is an important manifestation of that vine, a way for us to grow in Jesus, to learn, and to be His hands.

Dear Lord, please help me to know and be glad that You are holding me close, and that by doing so You make so many wonderful things possible in my life, and through me, in other peoples’ lives.

-- Michael Furnish, Certified Lay Minister
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
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.
FEBRUARY SPECIAL OFFERING: Covenant with Missionaries.
  February is the month we have the opportunity to support United Methodist Missionaries. As past recipients have retired, we have two missionaries to introduce.
    First, Desiree Segura-April. She lives in Honduras with her husband (also a UMC missionary) and son Nikolas. She is a Resource Person for Children at Risk Ministries in Latin America and the Caribbean. She partners with churches and other organizations to provide safe places for children to experience holistic and creative Christian education.
   Our second missionary is Dr. Belinda Forbes. She and her husband (also a doctor) and their two daughters live in Managua, Nicaragua. She works with Accion Medica Christiana (AMC), a Nicaraguan Christian Medical group, which specializes in health and development in impoverished rural communities. As a dentist, Dr. Forbes works with a community based primary dental health program where she also mentors volunteers and interfaces with AMC's international partner organizations.
   So this month, we have the opportunity to help people who don't have access to medical and dental services, and to help children who need a safe and loving place in the midst of often chaotic lives to learn about God's love. Please give generously.
Thursdays, February 11, 18, & 25 | 11:00 am
The added drive-through food distribution is for February only and will be on Thursdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25, at 11:00 am at Highland High School. Find more information on the RRFB Webpage.
Lent at St. John's
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.
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.
Wednesday, February 17 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm & 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Ash Wednesday Drive-by Imposition of Ashes in the west parking lot:
Certified Lay Ministers, Larry Luna, Mike Furnish, Gina Rivera, and Joe Marshall will provide a brief liturgy and containers of ashes to be self-administered.

Wednesday, February 17 | 12:00 pm
Ash Wednesday Noon Concert featuring cellist Joel Becktell. Link HERE.

Wednesday, February 17 | 6:30 pm
We will celebrate a live Ash Wednesday service on February 17 at 6:30pm MST. To participate in the ritual, please prepare some ashes of your own (or soil from your yard works just as well!). You can also pick up some ashes to use during the drive-through times on Wednesday. Live-Stream link HERE.
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!
Betty Jones is the recipient of the prayer quilt on display for February 5 - February 18.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Betty “Lord, you are Holy above all others, and all of the strength that Betty needs is in your hands. Amen."
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
(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