Wednesday
August 26, 2020
FAILURE

Psalm 37: 23-24: Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when he delights in our way; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand.

A monk was asked, "What do you do there in the monastery?" He replied, "We fall and get up, fall and get up, fall and get up again."

He fails somehow, then comes back. Perhaps he fails because of his own mistakes. Maybe because of things others are doing or not doing. Or maybe because of things that ... just happen. We've all been there.

The good news is that God gives us the freedom to fail. Then get up. Then fail again. And, somewhere in this process, to learn. Do other people give us this freedom? In this society, how often must we put on a perfect face? Complete a task flawlessly?

And what happens if we fail? Sometimes it can create problems, but sometimes God uses the situation to do something amazing.

The picture is of pools in a sandstone narrows. I took this photo in December of my second year in college. This was sort of a failure on my part, because I hadn't planned to be there that morning. I was leading a group of students on winter break for a set of hikes. When we got into the area, we camped by our cars alongside Route 89A a few miles south of Lees Ferry. That's where the Colorado River starts to dig into the Grand Canyon. When we woke up, it took awhile to get breakfast done and to pack up. Finally, we put on boots and hiked down a side canyon to the Colorado, then started downriver. A ledgy cliff at the river's edge gets higher and higher as you go downstream in this section of Marble Canyon, and after a few miles we were 400 feet above the river. So far so good. We could see Shear Wall Rapids below us as we turned left and started up Tanner Wash. The rim was still 1200 feet above us, a huge cream-colored cliff in the late afternoon sun. The days end quickly in December, so as we approached where we needed to find the route out, it got dark. The stars were dazzling. One nice flat spot in the canyon floor started to crack under me, and I realized I was walking on ice. So eventually the six of us formed a tight circle and lit a fire. We managed to not get too cold, and at sunrise looked over the route up, realizing it really wasn't something we could tackle. So we started back the way we came. On the way, I detoured briefly into the sandstone narrows below our route to take some pictures. The picture you see is looking at the reflection of the cliffs on the far side of the Colorado River. The rest of the trip, and subsequent hikes that week, went well. That was, in spite of my mistake of misgauging the daylight available to us that first day.

So how did God use this failure? Well, first I felt humbled by the canyon itself. Looking up at those bright stars encased by the great cliffs, hearing a profound silence, feeling the chill around, and being hungry too leaves an impression. And this has stuck with me to this day. It is a place that demands respect. I have had the great privilege of sharing the Grand Canyon with many exchange students, year after year. Second, God turned this into a divine appointment. Some years later, in graduate school in upstate New York, I made an enlargement of the photo (without the topo map), and took it to a prints and custom framing store to mat and frame it. The lady managing that store helped me sort out a mat color to use. She had also been my CPR instructor a few months earlier, and I had briefly met her at a church picnic a couple of years before that. A sequence of events occurred, and this month we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. God can be persistent, and I wonder if He was saying patiently, "Wait - you still don't get it. Let's try this again."

On the other hand, what happens if we always avoid situations where we might fail? If we focus mostly on simply being safe and successful, what are we missing?

Failures can come from our mistakes. Or they can come from things beyond our control. We bear in mind that if we're NOT making mistakes we're probably not growing very much. God has blessed us with the room to grow! May He grant us the grace to grow when we mess up.

Spiritual practice: Pray about failure in ours and others' lives. What role does failure play in our lives, especially now? How do we treat failure in others?

-- Mike Furnish, CLM
WEDNESDAY PRAYER SERVICE
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 Update
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.
GARDEN COMMITTEE MESSAGE:
A CALL FOR DAILY DEVOTIONALS
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
#PHOTOSFROMHOME
A CALL FOR SELFIES AND AT-HOME PICTURES
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
DRIVE-IN, DROP-OFF
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!!!

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.
DRIVE-IN COMMUNION SERVICE
Wednesday, September 2 | 7:00 pm
Come receive communion in your car on Wednesday, September 2 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).
Online Groups
ZOOM TUTORIAL
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!
NEW YOUTH ZOOM FOR THE FALL
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).

SONRISE YOUTH CHOIR ZOOMS
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!
PARENT'S CLUB
Tuesdays | 7:30 pm
"COFFEE BREAK" WITH PASTORS PAM & KELLY
Wednesdays | 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT KIDS' BIBLE CLUB
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!
NEW SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT CLASS 101
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" GENEALOGY CLASS
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.
THE PRACTICE OF PRESENCE
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
PRAYER SHAWLS
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 -
VIRTUAL PRAYER QUILT
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.”

PRAYER SUPPORT
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.

GO-FER TEAM
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

ONLINE COUNSELING SERVICE AVAILABLE
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.

VIRTUAL TAI CHI WITH KATHY
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
AUGUST SPECIAL OFFERING: WESLEY FOUNDATION
  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.
ST. JOHN'S FACILITY IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
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!
CONTACT US
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
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