November 25, 2020

Scripture: Psalm 38:15; Psalm 62:5

Advent is coming. Advent is about waiting – with joyous expectation! – the arrival of Jesus into our world. It is about preparing his way by preparing our hearts. It is about a longing that we know ends in certainty. Advent is coming. Usually I wait almost trembling with joy and anticipation.

But I am tired of waiting. COVID has meant waiting – too much waiting.

So I remember Advents past. I remember the lighting of the Advent candles in our church – one more each Sunday as we got closer and closer to Christmas. The candles were lit by the children from the church, one more child added each week, each carrying a candle. Each Sunday we would sing a different verse of “O Come, O Come, Emanuel” and there were simple motions the children would do as the song was sung. The candles would be raised up high as we sang “Rejoice! Rejoice!” and lowered to light the candles of the advent wreath as we sang “Emmanuel shall come to thee.”

It was simple and beautiful and I loved it. It helped me wait with anticipation and longing for the celebration of the coming of Jesus into our world.

But this year – this year, when I have been mostly patiently waiting COVID out, waiting as I used to during Advent – with joy and anticipation - seems a bit much. I really miss my children and grandchildren, especially my three youngest grandchildren, who don’t do Facetime very well. I worry about the break in our relationship. I miss talking face-to-face with friends here in Albuquerque. And then of course there is the virus – an invisible, ever-lurking villain. Yes, it could be a lot worse for me personally. And I know it will get better, maybe by summer. But still – this waiting is not fun. So I was preparing my heart for a different kind of Advent – very low key – until I read, really read, all the verses to “Come O Come Emmanuel”. It was not written to the believers who had it all together – but to those who were in the middle of hardship and suffering! They were mourning and lonely and dying and depressed and in misery – and even so, Emmanuel was coming to them. He was coming to free, to cheer, to make safe and to save.

It is a song about God ‘s intervention into our world, even into our crazy COVID world. It reminded me that while Advent is made lovely and memorable by church traditions, for Advent to be truly meaningful this year means me re-opening my heart and my mind to his coming – to his coming to us all and to the hope that brings.

Prayer: Come, o come, Emmanuel! Save me – save us all – from our COVID weariness, our loneliness, our sadness and our boredom. Open my heart – open our hearts – and fill them again with the joy of waiting for your coming to us in the birth of Jesus and the hope that Jesus brings.

“Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to us!

-- Lyn Fitz
Shea Perry & Jim Ahrend | "Come Ye, Disconsolate"
Food Ministry Update:
On November 12, 18 fresh, from scratch, apple and pumpkin pies made by Chef Tim were delivered as a holiday treat to Saranam families who have transitioned from homelessness into Saranam affordable housing within the last 2 years. Big thanks to Ann Connor for partnering with Saranam and facilitating the delivery.
Ghost Ranch with the Nuzums!
If only we could capture and share the scent of Albuquerque in the fall. Let’s do the next best thing and share our fall photos with each other here in the E-Disciple Newsletter! Photos can be of any fall-time activity/project (hiking photos, please!!), or nature photos! Email your photos and a short description to Shea at
Irene Garvin, a long time member, is celebrating her 100th BIRTHDAY on December 2nd!!! Let’s shower her with some old fashion birthday cards. She loves getting mail. Cards should be mailed to her address posted in the Church directory. Please write out a special memory of some church activity you shared with Irene. She will surely treasure the warmth and kindness through this simple gesture of recognition of her milestone Birthday!
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 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
Missing getting together with your St John’s family after church? Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship. Church Leadership Team members starting with Jim Hickman will be hosting with the Pastors Pam and Kelly joining if they are available. Zoom registration is HERE.
Elaine Montague is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for November 23 - December 7.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Elaine: “Father, we ask that Elaine will know that you are by her side and that she will feel your deep tender love every moment of every day."
NOVEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: United Methodist Committee on Relief ( UMCOR)
   This month by giving to UMCOR we have a way of helping people and communities devastated by disasters. This year UMCOR is helping Louisiana communities recovering from not one but two hurricanes, Laura and Delta! And UMCOR is known for sticking around for the long haul after the headlines are gone and the world has moved on.
      This year, of course, we are also faced with the world wide disaster of Covid 19. Through the Sheltering in Love Campaign, UMCOR and Global Ministries have collaborated with health care professionals, missionaries, disaster management coordinators and faith leaders to help folks from the Philippines to Pennsylvania. UMCOR has helped isolate communities of Brazil who may receive no other help as well as the unemployed and hungry in the big cities of the US.
  St. John's people have been so very generous in helping those in need in New Mexico. Through UMCOR we can broaden our reach. Please give generously any time in November.
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