August 19, 2020

Romans 1:12 “...for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other.” (TLB)

A friend of mine recently said something that got me thinking. He said that people of our age (60+) have it deeply ingrained in them to keep most of themselves inside and to not let a lot out. In other words, we have to – above all – be acceptable to the people around us. And that immediately brought me back to my childhood.

I was about 10 or 11, sitting with my mom at a church Mother and Daughter Banquet. I was doing something (what I don’t exactly remember) and I felt a sharp pinch on my thigh. I had made a faux pas (my mom’s

term) – and that pinch told me I had embarrassed my mother. Happened a lot – especially at church. Talk too loud or eat too fast at a pot luck – faux pas. And don’t go for seconds! And I was warned many times what a faux pas it would be to tell family secrets. These days that rings of a family hiding abuse. Not in our family! Our biggest family secret was that we had hamburgers for Sunday dinner, when all my mom’s friends cooked roast beef. Or that my father had a Sunday paper route to make extra money.

To my mom, appearances had to be kept up. So she seldom if ever revealed to others anything about herself that she thought might reflect negatively on her. Never revealed to us that we left our home in a small town and moved to Minneapolis where she went to work because my father was fired from his job. (I found that out as an adult from my father.) Never shared, even with us children, the hard emotional aspects of caring for my father through his long illness and eventual death. She was a strong, proud, capable and successful woman – but usually that part of her was all she allowed others to see.

I suppose at my core I am a lot like that – and have struggled and still struggle to break free. Remember the old Simon and Garfunkel classic:

“I am a rock. I am an island. . . . I’ve built walls, a fortress deep and mighty that none may penetrate. . . . Hiding in my room, safe within my womb, I

touch no one and no one touches me. I am a rock. I am an island. And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.”

That’s there, part of me. Probably part of all of us. I want to be acceptable to other people. So I close off that part of me – that part of me that is scared or angry or hurting or without faith – that I fear will reflect negatively on me. But the other part of me craves to let these walls down.

To let others in. To keep others out. A constant battleground!

In Galatians 6:2, it reads: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”(RSV) For a long time I saw that as a Christian swooping down and lifting someone’s burdens off their back – and that is certainly one way to help. But then I read the same verse in the Living Bible: “Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command.” That gave me a whole new viewpoint. Sharing – not just bearing.

That same friend I spoke of earlier also said that if you share something hard you have going on in your life with one other person, then you carry half the load. To share, to open up to someone else is not easy – especially for many of us growing up in a culture of the “stiff upper lip” and “keeping things to yourself.”

The other day someone else was honest to me about a goof she had made. And as soon as she did, I realized (and told her) that she has cleared the way for me to be more honest about myself with her – and others.

My burden grew lighter.

Lord, help me to share more of myself with others. Help me to remember that when I am vulnerable and open with others, it can free them to do the same. And then we can really carry each other’s burdens.

-- Lyn Fitz
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.
Food Ministry Updates!
8.9.20 Community of Hope | Breakfast for Lunch

1. Eggplant, Basil, Tomato, Parmesan, Green Chile Quiche
2. From Scratch Belgian Waffles and Blueberry Muffins, Bacon and Fresh Fruit Salad
3. Extra Thick Hickory Smoked Bacon
Saturday, 8.15.20 for Seranam—
From Scratch Five Cheese Beef Lasagna
For 9 formerly homeless families who have been staying in a Seranam apartment complex for 1 year.
9 pans of From Scratch Five Cheese Beef Lasagna
Saturday, 8.15.20 for Seranam—
From Scratch Five Cheese Beef Lasagna
For 9 formerly homeless families who have been staying in a Seranam apartment complex for 1 year.
9 pans of From Scratch Five Cheese Beef Lasagna
Sunday, 8.16.20—Community of Hope Meal
Chef Tim’s From Scratch Five Cheese Beef Lasagna
Squash for Calabacitas for Community of Hope
Squash was grown by and donated by Annie Olson
Our family decided to share a bit of joy with our friends and neighbors by growing plants from seeds, and then sharing the seedlings with them. It was amazing to see the daily changes in the plants, and we loved sharing them with others. God blessed us through the project, and we certainly learned some valuable lessons! 

Hallstrom Family (Kevin, Katie, Emma and Joanna)
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.
Would you be interested in submitting a daily devotional for the Newsletter? If so, send an email to Pastor Pam at!

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
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
Saturday, August 29 | 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Let’s rally together for the need of others! On Saturday, August 29, 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the east parking lot of St. John’s United Methodist Church (2626 Arizona NE), the Missions’ Team will be collecting any of the following items for Silver Horizons and the Four Corners Ministry:

·     Any non-perishable food
·     Toilet paper
·     Paper towels
·     Facial tissues
·     Hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, men’s and women’s deodorants, toothpaste)
·     Bottled water

So, every time you go shopping this month or have products delivered to you, think about these two organizations and pick up some extra items. We’ll collect all these items on Saturday, August 29th!

If you’d rather give $$ instead of buying the products yourself, you can bring it that night, mail it to the church, or go to the St. John’s online giving. If you want the $$ split between the two organizations, write “Drive-in, Drop-off” in the memo field. If you’d rather it would go to an individual organization write either “Silver Horizons” or “Four Corners Ministry.”

The Missions’ Team thanks you so much for your generosity!!!
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: (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!
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 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.
This Zoom genealogy class is for people who have amassed a lot of family information and are wondering what to do next. It will not teach introductory genealogy or memoir writing. Some of the types of manuscripts to be considered include ancestral reports, descendancy reports, biographies, and edited letters or diaries. Each class will be one to two hours long, depending on the topic. Weekly assignments will be given, and in six weeks, students will have all of the major parts of a family-history manuscript and an abbreviated version of the content. The cost will be $10 per person, which will go to the UMW. A minimum of 6 people will be required for the class; a maximum of 12 Zoom connections will be accepted. A preliminary Zoom tutorial will be offered if needed. Check out the complete syllabus for topics and dates. Enroll by emailing Regina Hunter at or Terri Link at
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,, or 505-506-6716, if you have questions.
Congregational Care Corner
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 or 768-7013 if you would like a shawl. If you call, the basket will await your visit in their courtyard. Blessings -
Ruth Vermillion is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for August 17th through August 30th.

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

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: 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

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 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
  School at UNM will be starting soon in some form this year. It will be an stressful time for all students, so our opportunity to financially support Wesley House, for both the students who live there and those who participate in other Wesley Foundation programs is more important than ever.

 Please pray for the students and their leaders as they reach out to other students on campus as well. Please pray that Wesley House may be a place where all may find God's love and peace in these difficult times. 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