December 9, 2020

Like most American kids, my little sister and I got toys and games for Christmas. Usually they were similar enough to satisfy my sister’s desire to be like me, and different enough to satisfy my conviction that I was six years older than she was.

I remember one particular Christmas when we were about six and twelve. We lived next door to my grandparents, and after a flurry of opening small gifts in our own house before our parents were even awake, we all went over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Christmas Breakfast. As my sister and I walked into the living room, we saw the final gift from our parents: two dolls sitting under the tree. We both stopped and looked at the dolls.

One of the dolls was much bigger than the other. Its soft plastic face had no particular expression, it shoulders slumped as if it carried the woes of the world, and its clothes were dull. The little doll, though ... she was beautiful! She had lovely eyelashes, a peaches-and-cream complexion, a pert expression, and much nicer clothes than I had ever had.

In our family, you didn’t necessarily get what you wanted, but you did necessarily want what you got. I swallowed and hid my disappointment, because I just knew that my parents had reasoned like this: big girl, big doll; little girl, little doll. I wanted that little doll, but I knew it had to be for my sister.

We walked over to the tree. The big doll was for my sister! The little doll was for me! We were both thrilled! Many, many years later, we were talking about those dolls, and my sister admitted that when we walked into the room, she wanted the big doll, but she just knew it would be for me. In fact, each doll was the right size.

The church in Corinth was having some trouble. Apparently some people thought their gifts were bigger than other people’s gifts. Paul told them that nothing could be further from the truth (1 Corinthians 12:1-30). Pay special attention to vss. 28-29. In Greek, Paul is clearly saying, “Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they?” and so on through the other gifts. Not all gifts are the same! But all gifts from God are the right size.

An Advent Prayer:
Dear Lord, this Christmas as I open my gifts, let each one remind me that every gift is perfect, because it is given to honor you, the giver of perfect gifts. Amen.

-- Regina Hunter
Wednesdays during Advent | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm & 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Communion will be offered on December 9, 16, and 23 in the west parking lot. You may “drive-by” between 11:00-12:00 and 4:30-5:30 p.m. Pastors Pam and Kelly will consecrate the elements with the gathered community at the beginning of each of these time slots. Individual cups with a wafer on the top will be provided. If you feel more comfortable bringing your own bread and juice, please feel free to do so. Chief Tim will also be assisting with the serving and with a prayer.
 Gina Rivera reads Isaiah 11:1-10
During Advent you are invited to participate in personal Advent Evening Prayer and Worship in the comfort of your home at the close of each day. Download this guide HERE.
“Miss Therese spent her entire Sunday safely recording children and youth one by one in the choir room for the Christmas Eve family service. She prepped the room and supplies in the weeks before, and spent about 12 hours on Sunday on the recording alone. Now comes the editing! We appreciate you so much, Miss Therese!!”
-- Shea
Let’s share the spirit of Advent and Christmas by sharing photos of our at-home altar spaces, the lighting of Advent candles, and our holiday decorations! Please also consider sharing a favorite Advent & Christmas activity or memory! Email your photos and a description to Shea at
The list of Advent and Christmas events has been updated! Click the image above to see what is new.
Sunday, December 13 | 5:00 - 7:00 pm
The Youth and Children’s Ministries are hosting the movie “Elf” on a jumbotron in the large East St. John’s Parking lot on Sunday, December 13th 5:00-7:00PM. The HD 13’x23’ screen, courtesy of “db Production Services,” will be a perfect Drive-in movie set up for all of us socially distant in our cars. We will give away 1 Free Pizza to each family registered. We will also be hosting the first ever “Tacky Christmas Mask Contest” which could win you a $30 Amazon Gift Card. The event is free, and we are doing a Sock Drive to benefit ABQ Healthcare for the Homeless, so please bring a pack if you can. The current RED COVID LEVEL restricts the event for 10 cars, so RSVP soon HERE and let us know if your plans change.
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)
  • One page of a Devotion
  • 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 our Youtube Channel. 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

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 registration is HERE.
Prayer Requests:
The Gruen family in the passing into glory of Marge

Ann Boland and family in the passing into glory of Bob

Roger and Donna Eaton in the passing of sister Virginia Davis

Donna Bruce in the passing of her brother

Karen and Hal Tidler in the passing of their brother-in-law
Kelly Giese is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for December 7 - December 20.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Kelly: “Loving Lord, we ask that as Kelly moves forward to a new location and a new ministry, may your Holy Spirit lead and guide her and keep her steadfast, always abounding in your work and in your love. Amen."
 DECEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: Two Ministries for Children
This month, we have the opportunity to support two wonderful ministries dealing with children. The Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, Texas, has helped troubled children (ages 12-18) find a place to heal and grow in a loving Christian environment for over 125 years. Younger children thrive in homes of loving foster parents. “They (MCH) are here for me when no one else is.” “They never give up on us.” “I now know that God’s going to be there for me.
      A second Methodist-supported haven for children is Providence Place in San Antonio, Texas. Its motto says it all: “Giving God’s Children a Faith, a Family, a Future.” “Providence Place loved me and helped me make the best decision for my child without any pressure,” said one birth mother in the open adoption program. And, as an adoptive couple puts it, “It is indescribable the joy that Abby has brought into our lives.” Providence Place also helps young adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities develop their full potential and learn to live on their own with minimal assistance.  Both of these fine ministries rely on our generous donations.
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