May 13, 2020

This has been a rough week for choir directors.

Last Tuesday, there was a much-publicized webinar on the near-term future of group singing during the pandemic. The news was depressing, to say the least. The medical experts involved were all in agreement that, for the time being, group singing in an enclosed space is a high-risk activity. The breath energy required for singing results in a higher danger of transmission of the virus.

Singing together is a high-risk activity. I don’t mind saying, I’m having a very hard time with that.

As Christians, and especially as United Methodists, our worship is punctuated by singing. We are a singing people. And St. John’s is justly proud of the importance of singing to our sense of community, and of worship.

And, selfishly speaking, my weeks have for years been shaped by a pattern of Wednesdays and Sundays. Wednesday nights find me in a room full of singing people whom I love. Sunday mornings find me in a room full of singing people whom I love. I am missing that, a lot.

These are such strange times we’re in now. Like the Jews in Babylon, we’re living in a state of exile – from church, from friends, from work, from extended family. But even as we’re in exile, we’re also (most of us) home, thank God. And though our congregation is separated, I have a felt a real, palpable sense of closeness in the St. John’s community in the time that we have been apart. And, regardless, we are continuing to make music for one another, and for God.

Kellie Walsh, a Canadian choral director, wrote recently:
“If a choir is only about singing and performing - there will be no choir for a while. If choir is about teaching and learning, growing, connecting, community, cultural exploration and transmission, and innovating - we will find a way to have choir.”

If we substitute the word “worship” for “choir,” it's no less true. We are a Christian community, and Christian communities sing. Until such time as our homebound exile is over and we are reunited, let us all continue to worship, and to sing.

-- Matthew Greer
Wednesdays at 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.

Therese Macali
Shea Perry
Curtis Storm
Natalie Bonelli
Jim Ahrend

Alexis & Hovey Corbin
One of the pure joys of being “sequestered”is becoming reacquainted with “time”.
Time to notice things that were going unnoticed.
Time to see things that were going unseen; to do things that were left undone.
To touch the morning sunrise and to feel the beauty that was going untouched.
To visit old pictures and memories yellowing in boxes, unvisited.
To walk dusty trails with Jesus that were cleared, but unwalked.

For I have met a culprit-
And that culprit is busyness.

And it will be replaced by noticing and seeing, by touching and visiting, and by walking more and more dusty roads with the Lord Jesus.

--Belle Page
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, and I will share them here and compile them for a project!

-- Shea Perry, Communications Director
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service 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
Four million pounds of food in April! That’s the report given by Roadrunner Food Bank of their distribution in New Mexico at all sites combined. Compare this to a high of two million pounds previously! This means that their work of drive-through distributions is not only protecting the safety of volunteers and clients, it is making it possible for all people who are experiencing emergency food shortages, to have access to a source of nutritional food for their families.

Here at St John’s UMC, we are so grateful for the partnership we have with Roadrunner Food Bank! Although St John’s Food Pantry is not distributing food currently, we are supporting Roadrunner with second mile giving for the months of April and May. This is thanks to a generous gift given “for the needs of the community” and the ongoing monthly support we already had in place!

In the mean time, St John’s continues to evaluate when we will be opening our pantry again and our food pantry leaders continue to stay in touch with the people we serve. Please stay tuned for updates!

ST. JOHN'S EMAIL BIBLE STUDY: Theology in Popular Music - Mostly the Good
Last year’s study, “The Songs of Summer” seemed to be a hit, so we’re going to do it again. This summer we’ll listen to some popular music that sings about prayer and healing, some international music, some bluegrass and country, some great young singers who are the future of the Church, and some show tunes. Download the study guide, or sign up for daily study tips by email by writing or calling Regina Hunter at or 294-2877.
Online Classes
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!

Sundays from 4:00 - 5:15 pm
Students, come join us for games, discussion, community, and faith-building every Sunday from 4:00-5:15 pm! Go to: (case sensitive) with the password: 048658

Mondays from 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Is distance learning with your child harder than you thought? Are the challenges of parenting in close quarters overwhelming at times? Or do you just miss talking with other parents? I know that I certainly do, so join us for Parents Club on Zoom Monday evenings from 7:30-8:30 pm! Email

Wednesdays at 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE. Wednesdays at 1:30 pm.
Wednesdays from 6:00 - 7:00 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. Email for more information!

Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Join Pastor Pam for a 30-minute spiritual exercise. Space is limited, and the Zoom link will be provided to the first 15 people to sign up! Sign-up is HERE. Thursdays at 1:30 pm.
In addition to the suffering, COVID-19 patients are not allowed any visitors. The health care workers at UNM Hospital are asking for cards. An article by KOB states, "the health care workers want to flood the COVID-19 units with love, support and inspiration." All cards can be sent to UNM Hospital - Attention: Barbara Temer; 2211 Lomas Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106.
While many of us are in a stay-at-home mode we can find both our emotions and faith challenged. Max Lucado has written a book "You'll Get Through This" based on the story of Joseph. He has opened up the video presentation online for no cost. I will be facilitating a Zoom discussion of this material and incorporating material from his book and study guide. If you would like to join me each week for the next 7 weeks starting Tuesday May 7th from 10 - 11 then email me for details ( If you would just like to watch the online video go to Online Bible Study to sign up for the free videos.
A great and loving THANK YOU to all the generosity that has been shown to the residents at Casa Esperanza. The money that was donated helped many families check "make dinner" off their list. In these difficult times, knowing that someone is caring for you means the world. Your generosity has lessen the feeling of loneliness and anxiety that these residents face each day. If you have questions about Casa Esperanza, please contact Jenn Shields: or 505-450-9978. Blessings to you all.

The out pouring of support for Family Promise of Albuquerque has been astounding. Many times over, THANK YOU for all the monetary donations during the months of March and April. These donations are going straight to Family Promise to help alleviate the financial burden that has fallen on this ministry. This money not only helps the families currently in the program, but also recent graduates that were hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions. You have shown great love for our brothers and sister, and for that the Family Promise ministry is very grateful. If you have questions about Family Promise, please contact Linn Furnish: or 505-884-6626 OR Jenn Shields: or 505-450-9978. Blessings to you all.

In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed until further notice. A re-open date is to be determined! 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!
Please come to pray in the labyrinth any time of day. Park in the east parking lot near the front doors of the sanctuary/narthex doors. Our prayer labyrinth is directly to the south of the front doors. It is advisable to have one person on the labyrinth at a time. Enter the prayer labyrinth with a personal prayer and then quietly and contemplatively experience what God has to share with you during this time.
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.

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.
Congregational Care Corner

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:

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

1) Please DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE- unless your hands are freshly washed. COVID-19 is mainly spread by people touching their own faces with unwashed hands. I know it is a VERY hard habit to break- but very important to do so. Average person touches face/head 250 to 500 times/day!! More tips coming from Linn Furnish, please contact me directly if you have any questions:
Contact Us
(505) 883-9717
2626 Arizona St NE | Albuquerque, NM 87110
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at