October 14, 2020

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.” (Rom. 8:11)

Since all three of the above terms are represented by the same word in the biblical languages, we were able to explore the dimensions of the spirit expressed by breath and wind in Part 1. Breath shows us the internal, life-giving dimension and wind the external aspects of spirit such as divine judgment and inspiration. But scripture gives us an even broader perspective on both the human spirit and divine Holy Spirit. Spirit is simply the energy of life manifesting in all the dimensions of our existence.

We’ve already looked at the physical dimension, where spirit is the force that animates the material world. Breath literally allows us speak and sing, and wind, like the Holy Spirit, blows where it will. Emotionally, the Bible describes countless ways that we respond to life: our spirits can be troubled, broken, willing, jealous, different than others (Caleb), crushed, fainting, haughty or humble, creative, seeking, renewed, or hardened! (Check your concordances for references as I blast through these descriptions.) Morally, our spirits can be strengthened, enlightened, or encouraged as we need both the discernment and moral power to do the right thing. Spiritually, the Bible recognizes that both angels and demons are spiritual beings. Evil spirits invade humans causing ailments and then are cast out by the power of the Spirit (Matt. 8:16.) Indeed, all of the human expressions of spirit listed above are intimately connected with the working of the Holy Spirit. God is spirit, to be worshiped in spirit (John 4:24.) Jesus is the incarnation of the Spirit and leaves his spirit to inspire his followers. Scripture uses the word spirit to encompass the power of God as it works with us in a staggering multiplicity of ways.

In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God falls upon bands of prophets, whereupon they start frenzied dancing and speaking as in 1 Sam. 19:20-21 (perhaps inspiring contemporary Pentecostal worship?!) In the book of Judges before the kingdom, the Spirit of God would alight upon an individual (e.g., Gideon, Jepthah) who then would become the leader of the tribal alliance to fight off enemies. The Spirit of God comes upon Saul after he is anointed king and he falls into a prophetic frenzy (1 Sam. 10:10.) But then David receives the Spirit when he is, in turn, anointed (1 Sam. 16:13), and it departs from Saul, who then is tormented by evil spirits (1 Sam. 16:23.) Elisha asks for a double portion of the spirit of his mentor Elijah and gets it (2 Kgs. 2:9) resulting in signs and wonders, external markers of the Spirit at work. The Psalmist exclaims, “Where can I go from God’s Spirit?” (Ps. 139:7), which is both a good thing (God saves the crushed in spirit-Ps. 34:18) and a bad thing (God will wash away evil with a spirit of judgment and burning-Is. 4:4.) Isaiah claims the Spirit of the Lord is upon him to bring good news to the oppressed (61:1), which claim Jesus repeats in Luke 4; while Joel predicts a time where the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh, which Peter repeats in his great sermon in Acts 2. Foreshadowing the New Testament experience of the Holy Spirit, Ezekiel reveals that God has promised a time when “I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh (11:19.)

This idea of spirit becoming flesh is, of course, the meaning of the incarnation. Mary, of human flesh, conceives a child through the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18.) That child, Jesus, grows up to be a man, is baptized by John (who is filled with the Holy Spirit, Luke 1:15), and then goes out to baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11.) After being led into the wilderness by the Spirit, this Jesus casts out demonic spirits by the Spirit of God (Matt. 12:28.) Interestingly, evil spirits recognize Jesus and Paul even as they are being destroyed by them (Acts 19:15.) John and Paul of the NT writers give us the most information about the working of the Holy Spirit in the era of the Christ. Most importantly it allows us to be born again in the spirit (John 3:8.) The Holy Spirit is an advocate, a comforter, the spirit of truth and peace, the source of power (John 14:15-31.). The book called The Acts of the Apostles should really be named The Acts of the Holy Spirit, as the spirit guides and strengthens the disciples and Paul as they start to evangelize the world for Christ. Paul often contrasts the spirit with the flesh, his shorthand for the impulses of our selfish nature and the influences of worldly culture (see much of Romans 8.) The spirit intercedes for us (Rom. 8:27), confirms our conscience (Rom. 9:3), and sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13), slowly transforming us until we can put on the mind of Christ. Our bodies are God’s temple and God’s spirit dwells among us (I Cor. 3:16.) But so do many other spirits and forces of evil (Eph. 6:12), and in this spiritual warfare, we must learn to test the spirits (1 John 4:1.)

I know, faithful readers, you are saying, “Enough on spirit! It’s too much to absorb.” No kidding! If there is such a thing as the ‘theory of everything’ in the Bible, it is summed up in the word ‘spirit.’ The Christian teaching of the Trinity acknowledges this insight in giving the Holy Spirit equality with the Father and Son. The very energy of life is divinely sourced and divinely sustained. It is invisible, like breath and wind, yet powerful; unpredictable in some ways, yet incredibly comforting in others. It acknowledges a realm of reality beyond our material world and natural senses, a realm in which, united with the Divine Spirit, our own spirits can find their true being.

What spiritual practices help you get a sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit? (Worship? Prayer? Service? A walk in the mountains? Laughter? Music? Good conversation?) What signs do you recognize as markers of God’s Spirit working in you? (Excitement? Guilt? Peace beyond understanding? Inspired words? Compassion? Righteous anger? Motivation?)

-- Jack Nuzum
SPIRITUAL DISCOVERY TRIP: Walking the Labyrinths
Wednesday October 14 | 9:00 am
Please join Certified Lay Minister, Larry Luna, and Pastor Pam on a Spiritual Discovery Trip: Walking the Labyrinths. We invite you to participate in one or both of these labyrinth experiences, either in the beauty of northern New Mexico or here in Albuquerque. Our first trip will be on Wednesday, October 14th to the outdoor Labyrinth at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. We will meet at the church at 9:00 a.m. and drive separately or carpool to Santa Fe. After walking and praying at our first stop, we will head on to a labyrinth at Black Mesa Winery north of Espanola. Please bring a sack lunch and participate in the sharing of a love feast together. (You are welcome to do the wine tasting after our event is completed). The second prayer labyrinth trip is on October 18th at 1:00 p.m. when we will meet together at the outdoor labyrinth at New Life Presbyterian Church. We will then head on to the Center for Action and Contemplation to walk the outdoor labyrinth there at 3:00 p.m. You are welcomed to do both of these labyrinth experiences, or choose one. Larry will provide a pre-trip explanation and spiritual exercise in a zoom class on Sunday, October 11th at 1 pm. It is highly beneficial to the over-all experience to be a part of this 30 minute “tutorial”. We look forward to sharing in this Spiritual Discovery Trip! TO REGISTER: Email Larry Luna at
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.

Gustavo Pimentel, guitarist
This is Jay and I on the last day of the Balloon "Siesta". Jay went out every morning and flew 7 out of the 9 days. About 100 local balloonists flew all week. 

"Old ballonists never die, they just fill up with hot air and float away."

-- Jay Mason and Regina Hampton
Our next hosting rotation will be October 18th - 24th. The families are still at Church of the Good Shepherd, and we will be providing dinners each of the evenings, Sunday - Saturday. Like the rotation at the end of July, there is a Signup link HERE. If you have any questions please contact Linn Furnish:; 505-884-6626 or Jenn Shields:; 505-450-9978
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
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.
Sunday School Classes &
Bible Study Groups
Sundays | 9:30 - 10:30 am
The class always welcomes new faces, whether they wish to become permanent members, are interested in a particular study, or need a Sunday School family while on temporary assignment in Albuquerque. We typically alternate between modern books and books of the Bible. We are currently nearing the end of I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me, by John Ortberg. Contact Regina Hunter,, to be added to the invitation list on Sundays and to learn of the next book.
Sundays | 9:30 - 10:30 am
Family Spirit Class meets by zoom on Sunday mornings, 9:30 to 10:30. They are studying John Ortberg’s book The Life You've Always Wanted. Brian Eagen and Doug Sweet lead this study. Please contact Anita Hallstrom at if you would like to join this zoom class.
Sundays | 10:00 - 10:45 am
Bereans Class meets Sundays from 10:00 to 10:45. Some time ago the class adopted a long-term project to go through all of Paul’s letters in chronological order. August 30th started a new study on 1 Corinthians. To receive the weekly zoom link contact Daryl Lee,
Sundays | 3:30 pm
Christian Classics Sunday School Class is meeting by Zoom at 3:30 PM on Sundays. We are studying The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault. Contact Jack Nuzum at to join in.
Mondays | 10:00 am & 7:00 pm
Men’s Bible Study for the fall, Mondays at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm, October-November. This study will be focusing on the book of Job. Watch for upcoming dates or contact Jack Nuzum at
First & Third Wednesdays of the Month | 12:00 pm
Wednesday Men’s Brown Baggers meet for virtual lunch, fellowship, and discussion from noon to 1:00 on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. They will soon begin reading A Gentle Answer by Scott Sauls, available on Amazon. The Brown Baggers are currently meeting by Zoom; contact to be added to the group.
Thursdays | 7:00 pm
NEW STUDY, a 7-week study on Peter’s Journey, beginning on October 1st. This class will be led by CLM Joe Marshall, via Zoom, Thursday evenings at 7pm for about an hour. One does not need to be a theologian to enjoy this study and is open to Men/Women and any age. Email Joe to register and receive Zoom Link,
Saturday, October 24 | 3:00 - 5:00 pm
The Missions' Team will be hosting another DRIVE-IN, DROP-OFF on Saturday, October 24, 3:00 – 5:00 pm in the east parking lot of St. John’s United Methodist Church (2626 Arizona NE). The recipient is Mandy's Farm (, a nonprofit organization that assists individuals with developmental disabilities in achieving their goals for living, learning, and working in the community. Ruthie and David Robbins, St. John's members, are the founders of Mandy's Farm. The items listed below are the needs of Mandy's Farm:

printer paper
disposable gloves
masks (disposable or fabric)
hand sanitizer
toilet paper
paper towels
art supplies (crayons, colored pencils, paintbrushes, paint, watercolor paper)

So, every time you go shopping this month or have products delivered to you, think about Mandy's Farm and pick up some extra items. We’ll collect all these items on Saturday, October 24th!

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. Be sure to write "Mandy's Farm" in the memo field of your check.

The Missions’ Team thanks you so much for your generosity!!!
Saturday, October 31 | 2:30 - 4:30 pm
Calling all Cars. Many children will not be able to trick-or-treat door to door this year because of Covid-19. Let's create a fun, safe, socially distant, costume-filled, and candy-laden option for children in our community on Oct 31st 2:30-4:30PM. To keep everyone safe, masks are required, gloves are needed, and individually wrapped candies are a must. We are looking for 25 people/families to participate. Can you join us? Please register to volunteer:

Photos from the 2019 Trunk or Treat:
Youth News
To better streamline all the ways we communicate, the Youth Group has adopted the Slack app to merge and integrate the our direct messaging, digital calendar, Zoom account, and all our online documents. It is easy to join the threads that apply just to you. Join in 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!
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
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!
Mondays | 9:00 am
Join St. John’s Music Director Matthew Greer for a new weekly session in which he talks about the music ministry, explores hymns and choral music, and chats with the occasional guest about music they love. CLICK HERE TO JOIN!
MEN'S BIBLE STUDY: The Book of Job (and Esther and Ruth)
Mondays | 10:00 am & 7:00 pm
There are few more perplexing issues for people of faith than that of unmerited suffering. We understand when good people prosper and evil people suffer. But what about when good people suffer for nothing that they did? That is Job's situation and the book that bares his name is a complex examination of the issue.
Join us for a Zoom study of this book (for four weeks) and then the delightful Old Testament stories of Ruth and Esther the final two weeks. The Bible study will take place on Mondays, October 19-Nov. 23, 2020, at either 10 AM or 7 PM. You may join either class or jump between them. If interested, or if you have questions, contact Jack Nuzum at or 505-265-5241. Jack will be leading the discussion and will send out a Zoom invitation before each meeting.
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
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.
Remember to get started on your family-history manuscript with Terri Link and Regina Hunter, Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00. If you have trouble connecting before 10:00, all Regina at 294-2877.
Reading Our Bible Together in 2020 will begin a new study, “Sermon Series,” on Monday, Sept. 27. Preachers love sermon series, partly because in a good sermon series, one idea will last for weeks. This episode of Reading our Bible Together will look at some of the sermons preached long ago by Moses, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others, and we’ll see that these sermons still have important messages for us today. Download a study guide here. To receive daily study tips by email, write or call Regina Hunter at or 294-2877.
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
Carmen Vargas is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for October 12 - 25.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Carmen: “Heavenly Father, we lift up Carmen and ask for your guidance as she seeks your will in her ministry for your kingdom."

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 -
It seems like a very long time since we have been able to be together as a church family. Our staff has worked hard to keep us connected through virtual worship services, drive-in or small in-person services, and some Sunday School classes and other groups have been able to continue via Zoom, meeting safely at the church, in homes or even in parks. The Leadership Team wants to make sure everyone in our church family is being contacted in some way, especially those of our members and friends who might not have regular contact with people. We are looking for volunteers to help us call a small number of members to find out how they are, to let them know we are thinking of them and to find out how the church can help them. If that sounds like something you would enjoy doing and sending information back to the church about these members, please contact Barbara Stanfield, Thank you for considering helping in this important ministry of reaching out to our St. John’s family.
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
OCTOBER SPECIAL OFFERING: World Communion Offering 
     This month we will be remembering our unity with Christians around the world. Our special gifts will go to students like Kennedy. She lost her father when she was eight and her family struggled to find enough to eat. But with the help of her church, Lotus UMC in Maryland, and a World Communion scholarship, Kennedy is on her way to giving back to the community as a physician.

  Far away in Nigeria, Obinna grew up without electricity or clean water. Yet, today with the help of the Global United Methodist Church via a World Communion scholarship, he is studying to be an engineer.

  Nelson Mandela once said," Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." Please give generously any time in the month of October.
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