September 8, 2020

“….whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” Mark 10:43 (NIV)

Now that our economy is increasingly opening up from the virus shutdown and many of us are getting out and about, I’ve been thinking about the GOAT. Not the animal famous for being willing and able to eat almost anything, but the acronym for the Greatest Of All Time. Ask any group of rabid sports fans about who is the GOAT in (fill in the blank: baseball, basketball, golf…) and they will debate it for hours. The question can never be objectively answered, but it can be fun to have the discussion.

Of course, these public figures from sports, business, and entertainment are known to millions. But what about closer to home? Can you and I achieve GOAT status with those close to us? I know I can’t claim to be the greatest of all time father across the planet, but can I achieve something akin to that rank with my own two sons (or my wife, friends, co-workers)?

Now I know what you’re thinking: of course you can be the greatest at anything if you narrow the field so much that there is only one choice. After all, I’m the only father my sons have. But that misses the point. We don’t need to have lots of competition in the roles we take on in life, in order to have life-changing impact. For example, my paternal grandmother spent her life as a homemaker. To supplement the family income, she took a correspondence course to become a seamstress, and took in clothes from the people in our little town to do alterations. She kept meticulous receipts, and when she passed, my Dad tallied the ledger. Over a span of 50 years working with her sewing machine, she had made a grand total of ten thousand dollars! As the world measures these things, she was not someone you would notice. And yet, she had a profound impact on my life. When I was four, my Mom went back to work and I stayed with my grandmother during the day. Some of my earliest and most important memories are from that time. My favorite Bible stories (the story of Jesus calming the storm, and the parable of the lost sheep) are ones she taught me. And when I taught my own sons the Lord’s Prayer, that was made possible by my grandmother having taught it to me 30 years earlier.

Seems to me that Jesus’ view of how to achieve greatness was likewise contrary to the prevailing world view. When He told his disciples that he who would be the greatest must be last, and when He said of a little child “of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”, He was telling us that it’s not the things of the world that really matter. And the good news for the unique challenges we face today? We can model Jesus without ever leaving the house!

Father, you sent your Son to show us what true greatness looks like. Help us to always seek to follow His example.

-- Clifford Renschler
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)
The Body of the Devotion (one page is a good guideline)
A Prayer or a Spiritual Practice
As a Professional Interior Designer, I was privileged to work on half a dozen church or religious related projects over the years. The following stained glass windows were done in the 1970’s for Trinity United Methodist Church here in Albuquerque. The proper logo for the United Methodist Church encompasses the Trinity - - - Father (the circle), Son (the cross) and the Holy Spirit (the flame). This symbol is on the front and the spine of every Methodist Hymnal.

In the case of Trinity UMC, I had the opportunity to make use of the triangle in several different ways. The Altar Table was triangular with the corners lopped off and positioned midway between the lectern and pulpit near the front pews, the Communion Rail was triangular arms that allowed the people to gather around the altar. The original round stained glass window, high on the wall of the reredos, was framed with a custom designed triangular frame. A gold colored carpet flowed down the center aisle, spread out at the arms of the communion rails, then ran up the reredos wall to the round stained glass window. This, in essence, forms a Cross with the Altar Table positioned at the center. All the paraments, including the Altar Table cloth were designed to incorporate some form of triangular motif appliquéd on each of the paraments. The stained glass windows (shown below) that I designed for Trinity, replaced the original obscure glass panes above the doors. Two of the half round windows were on the East and South entrances, the other half round was on the entrance to the Education wing, and the rectangular window was on the West door.

-- Ron Nelson
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. communicate@stjohns-abq.org
Wednesdays | 8:00 am & 7:00 pm
Please join us on Wednesday mornings & evenings for a worship service of praise and prayer. This service will take place in the Memorial Garden of St. John’s on the west side of the building. This services is designed to be thirty minutes and will be led by Certified Lay Ministers Larry Luna & Joe Marshall. Please bring your own lawn chairs and sit six feet from your neighbor. In an effort to keep all of us safe and healthy, masks are required.
Wednesdays | 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. musicatstjohns.org

Jim Ahrend, pianist
Saturday, September 12

Tramway Trail” – meditation on Psalm 121 and travelers then and now

Logistics: Meet at St. John’s East Parking Lot at 8 AM or at the base of the Sandia Peak Tram at 8:30 (in this case please contact us so we know to look for you). The hiking distance is 4.2 miles round trip with 830 feet of elevation gain and some rocky walking (moderately strenuous). We should be back at the tramway base by 12:30. Be prepared for sunny conditions; also bring masks, snack, water. No bathrooms are available at St. John’s at this time. Contact Mike Furnish (mdfurnish@comcast.net) or Kelly Giese (kellyg@stjohns-abq.org) for more information.

Ps. 121: I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and

I imagine myself on a roadway near Jerusalem around the time of Jesus. A rocky desert path with many travelers. The main roads were engineered by the Romans and formed an impressive network, but the lesser ones were rougher. I’m amazed when I look at the travels of Paul – routes that would take several days in a car, but much longer on two feet or four hooves plus some time on boats. On these roads, many of the people I’d meet would be absorbed in their own journey, hurrying to their destinations and the tasks that await them there. Some would possibly stop to talk. Some would be intent on harm. Some would remain absorbed in their own stories as they silently continue onward.

How are things different now? How are they the same?
Saturday, September 12 | 5:00 pm
We're so happy to announce that Jazz Vespers will be resuming monthly, LIVEstreamed to your home on our YouTube Channel. Saturday, September 12 at 5pm

Dianna Hughes, vocalist
Robert Lah, pianist
Micky Patten, bassist
Jazz Vespers is a unique, meditative worship service that features some of New Mexico’s best professional jazz musicians. Jazz Vespers occurs on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 5:00 pm in the St. John’s United Methodist Church sanctuary.
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 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 mgreer@stjohns-abq.org.
Wednesday, October 7 | 7:00 pm
Come receive communion in your car on Wednesday, October 7 and gather in safe community to worship and praise God. We encourage you to bring your own elements (bread & juice). If you do not have your own elements, we will provide individually-packaged elements. We will gather in the east parking lot of St. John's (2626 Arizona Street NE).
Women's Studies Via ZOOM
We will be offering all our classes via ZOOM so you can attend from the convenience of your own home - perhaps even in your pjs if you want!

Registration Information
  • No charge to take the class but you will need to purchase your own book
  • Information provided when you sign up for a class on possible sources for books
  • Depending on the class you choose, cost of book is usually between $10 - $16 plus shipping
  • Deadlines given to allow time to order and receive your book before class begins
  • Sign up for the class(es) you want by emailing Donna at donnabruce@comcast.net
  • Maximum number of participants listed with each class so if interested in a particular class, please register as soon as possible
  • Waiting lists created for any classes that reach maximum number but still have ladies interested in participating
  • If there are enough on the waiting list for a particular class, a second session will be considered
God of Covenant, a Study of Genesis 12-50 by Jen Wilkin, led by Donna Bruce

October 6 - December 8 (10 weeks), Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Deadline for registration: September 24
Maximum number for class is 11

In Genesis 12-50, we see our God as the Covenant Maker. Starting in chapter 12, Jen Wilkin walks through the stories of the fathers of our faith - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Through these chapters in Genesis, we witness image bearers who sin and wrestle to maintain trust in the only One who will fulfill every promise, the One for whom nothing is too hard.
Matchless, the Life and Love of Jesus, by Angie Smith, led by Donna Bruce

September 21 - November 9 (8 weeks), Mondays, 9:30 - 11:30 am
Deadline for registration: September 9
Maximum number for class is 11

We live in a world where there is a lot of confusion about Jesus. Disillusion and doubt give us a distorted picture of who Jesus really is. Too often people want to shape Jesus and His message to fit their personal needs or agendas. How can we know the truth? Join Angie Smith as she uses her signature wit and insight to tell the beautiful story of our matchless Savior. As you dive into Jesus' message, miracles, and mission, you'll be challenged and invited to see Him in a new light whether you've walked with Him for many years or are meeting Him for the first time.
Friday, September 11 | 10:00 am
The Ladies Needle Arts will meet on September 11 at 10:00 am in the playground area on the West Side of the church. Please bring your lawn chain and you must wear your mask.
This is a time to share some of your current projects and to socialize with one another. There will be no access to the church. Please contact mapalook@comcast.net for other information.

Monday, September 14 | 6:30 pm
The Ladies Book Club will meet on September 14 at 6:30 pm in the grassy area between the Church and FLC. Please bring your lawn chair and you must wear your mask. We will be discussing “The Great Alone” by Kristan Hannah. There will be no access to the church. Please contact mapalook@comcast.net for other information.
A CALL TO HOME GARDENERS: The Food Ministry Wants Your Fresh Produce From Your Garden
St John’s Food Ministry continues to serve the people of Albuquerque--approximately 500 people per month!--with hot meals prepared in our kitchen,  Do you have a surplus of fresh produce from your garden that you would like to donate to St. John's to feed the hungry? If so, please contact Chef Tim at tnuzum@stjohns-abq.org.
Online Groups
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!
Summer is past, and as we get back to school? Our Solid Ground youth group will resume meeting every Sunday at 4:00-5:15PM with new games, discussions, and faith-building activities plus new features of the student led Soap Box and Top 5s. Log-in. at: bit.ly/Fall2020UMYF (case sensitive).

While we are not yet allowed to sing together, stay informed about the activities of the Sonrise Youth Choir, including weekly Zooms on Thursdays at 4:00 pm (Jackbox games!!), and musical workshops in the Fall! Email Shea at sonrisechoir@gmail.com!
Tuesdays | 7:30 pm
Wednesdays | 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE.
Wednesdays | 6:00 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. This summer we are taking a Focus on Faith! Don’t miss it! Email tmacali@stjohns-abq.org for more information!
Thursdays | 1:30 pm -- Starting August 6th
Meet by zoom with Pastor Pam for a 30 minute spiritual practice every Thursday afternoon. We will explore different ways to pray, to commune with God, to nurture our spiritual lives with Christ through the Indwelling Holy Spirit. Space is limited, join the class HERE.
Getting Started on Your Family History Manuscript: A limited number of openings are left in this Zoom genealogy class, and the deadline for enrollment is Saturday, August 29. Sign up today by emailing Regina Hunter at drhunter@nmia.com or Terri Link at terrilink@comcast.net.
Most of us have read only read bits and pieces of the book of Daniel: “Daniel in the Lions’ Den” and “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Fiery Furnace.” This brief episode of St. John’s email Bible study will examine what else happened to Daniel and his friends in Babylon. Download a study guide, or call or write Regina Hunter for daily scripture readings and study tips, at 294-2877 or drhunter@nmia.com.
Fridays | 9:30 - 10:00 am
Susan Brumbaugh, staff mental health counselor at St. John's, is offering a FREE weekly gathering on FRIDAYS at 9:30 am to practice mindfulness meditation. Each 30-minute session begins with a brief welcome, a description of the focus (e.g., breath, body, senses, emotions, thoughts), a 15-20 minute guided practice, and an opportunity to debrief and share experiences.
Anyone is welcome--no experience is necessary. (And, yes! It's okay for Christians to meditate.) If you want to learn more prior to starting, the sessions will be similar to ones she leads and records on YouTube. Each session will be hosted on Zoom. HERE is the zoom link. Please contact Susan Brumbaugh, counselor@stjohns-abq.org, or 505-506-6716, if you have questions.
Congregational Care Corner
Lynn Pate is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for August 31st through September 13th.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer): “Father, please hold Lynn tight in your embrace sustaining her by your grace and giving her strength and courage for whatever challenges she may face.”

With the Church currently closed, the prayer shawls have taken up residence with Hunt and Ann. They are actually quite comfortable in the coolness of their new home but they would love to be of comfort to someone in need of God’s love. Please contact Ann at mapalook@comcast.net or 768-7013 if you would like a shawl. If you call, the basket will await your visit in their courtyard. Blessings -
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: mapalook@comcast.net or submit them on our website HERE.

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 c.care@stjohns-abq.org

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 counselor@stjohns-abq.org for more details about session and cost information. Susan also has a Youtube Channel with mindfulness tips HERE.

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
SEPTEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: Sacramento Methodist Assembly
   As summer winds up this year, let's pause and remember the church camp experiences of our lives, wherever they may be.
You may remember youth camps, women's or men's conferences, marriage retreats, lay speaker schools and many more events Some people made their first commitment to Christ in a camp setting. Most remember growing closer to God.
   Sadly, this year most events at Sacramento and other camps were canceled by Covid resulting in not only lots of disappointment, but also serious financial hardship. We at St. John's have the opportunity this month to support our beautiful camp in the Sacramento mountains south of Cloudcroft and ensure future opportunities with other Christians to pray, worship, play and study in God's beautiful creation. Please give generously.
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed until further notice. 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!
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 (call only): Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at communicate@stjohns-abq.org