Wednesday
May 20, 2020
LETTING GO

“Then Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.” Mark 11: 11

The writer of Mark is not one to tarry over any one point, moment, or even conversation, that marked Jesus’ ministry. Mark’s Gospel moves from moment to moment in staccato bursts as the story unfolds like a ball rolling down the hill. But even with that in mind, Mark’s description of Jesus’ seemingly momentary observation of the Temple is minimalists by anyone’s standards. In Mark’s telling, Jesus’ seems to stroll through the most important city of his faith as if he was walking through a convenience store looking for Kosher snacks.

There are a number of significant theological reasons for Mark’s narrative. One of the most profound readings I have ever found along this matter is Ched Myers’ book Binding the Strong Man. I would recommend that as a wonderful commentary on the entire Gospel of Mark, and especially this short passage.

However, for today, and for this time in which we find ourselves, I would like to focus on a spiritual lesson that this passage can teach us. Suffice it to say that Jesus’ complete lack of homage to the sacrificial system of the Temple teaches us that he was free from the practice of institutional religion of his day. Clearly, and obviously, Jesus was a faithful follower of Judaism and its embodiment during his lifetime, and yet, he was not blinded by the trappings of the Temple, or the city of Jerusalem. He saw clearly both the light and the shadow of how people expressed worship of God. In this way, Jesus was free. He was free to live faithfully to God. He was free to express his love of God with everyone he met. He was free to live out the Law in a way that was gracious rather than punitive, just rather than legalistic, and equal rather than lopsided.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to change the way we live, worship, interact, and move within our world. Much of what we used to deem so absolutely necessary as disappeared, while other values, other priorities, and other expressions of life have become more visible and essential. Church has changed radically. No longer are we worshipping within the walls of a building. Instead, we worship with others from our own homes. We pray for one another differently. We serve one another differently. We give differently. We even sing differently.

We are now in a moment of transition, as states develop plans to reengage the world. It seems to me that some reflection on Jesus’ ability to let go of some of the trappings of religion of his day might be time well spent for each of us as we ponder what it means for us to return to the world. What have we lost in this Pandemic that we need to let go of permanently? What have we begun to hold onto that is important? What expressions of worship and service are essential? What expressions were nothing more than routine, patterns, or ease of use?

Try this:
find a comfortable place to sit and rest your hands, palms up, on your legs. First, make a tight fist and hold it for 30 seconds. This should be work! Second, relax your hand and allow it to open. Allow your palm to rest open for at least a minute. Repeat this pattern and ask God to inform your heart and mind about what things in your life can be let go of. Practice this daily for a week, and keep notes in a journal. At the end of the week, review your journal. What awareness is there? What are you being asked to let go of? What gift might your receive in your open palm when it is free of holding onto something else?

-- Reverend Dr. Scott Sharp
"MUSIC FROM ST. JOHN'S"
LIVE-STREAM CONCERTS
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. musicatstjohns.org

Alexis & Hovey Corbin

Gabriel Longuinhos
Curtis Storm
Shea Perry
#photosfromhome
With the Sandia Mountains full of people trying to get outside, Laura and I are working on hiking all the trails in the Manzano Mountains, which are empty. We started on April 7 when there was still a lot of snow and have watched spring explode around us in our 7 subsequent trips. Our goal is to hike the length of the Manzano Crest trail in segments. We are about 40% of the way through.
-- Stan Mortimer
#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, and I will share them here and compile them for a project! communicate@stjohns-abq.org
-- Shea Perry, Communications Director
JOIN US FOR WORSHIP LIVE-STREAMED FROM THE SANCTUARY
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 mgreer@stjohns-abq.org.
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 drhunter@nmia.com or 294-2877.
Online Classes
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!

ZOOM YOUTH GROUP
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: bit.ly/UMYFSolidGround (case sensitive) with the password: 048658

PARENTS CLUB
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 tmacali@stjohns-abq.org.

"COFFEE BREAK" WITH PASTORS PAM & KELLY
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.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE CLUB
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 tmacali@stjohns-abq.org for more information!

"SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT" CLASS WITH PASTOR PAM
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.
GET WELL CARDS
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.
ONLINE BIBLE STUDY
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 (ktidler@comcast.net). If you would just like to watch the online video go to Online Bible Study to sign up for the free videos.
MENTAL
HEALTH
MOMENT
WITH
SUSAN BRUMBAUGH,
LMHC
VIRTUAL
TAI CHI
WITH
KATHY
ST. JOHN'S
VIRTUAL
CHOIR
VIDEO
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. 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!
ST. JOHN'S PRAYER LABYRINTH IS OPEN
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.
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.

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.
Congregational Care Corner

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

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

HEALTH TIPS FROM YOUR PARISH NURSE
7) As the weather is now warmer- be sure to stay hydrated. Plain water is still the best way to hydrate. If you are thirsty- you are already somewhat dehydrated!!  More tips coming from Linn Furnish, please contact me directly if you have any questions: swimsew@comcast.net
Contact Us
www.stjohns-abq.org
(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 communicate@stjohns-abq.org