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Sunday Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Welcome To Our Church!

Moscow First United Methodist Church is an exciting place to be. It is filled with the sound of choirs and congregants raising their voices in praise to God, with bells ringing and the historic clock chiming the hours. It is filled with children laughing, families working together, and seniors sharing their stories. Above all, however, it is filled with the people of God who are earnestly listening for the voice of God. I invite you to join with us in our many activities but mostly I invite you to join us as we encounter the God who comes into our midst as we gather together. Grace and Peace, 
Debbie Sperry, Pastor

Pastor-Debbie---May-14-2017

 

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Youth Ministries

Learn more about our youth program and the many activities they do in service and fellowship! Read more...

Prayer Groups

Come together to support each other lift up those in need in prayer. Read more...

Christ on Campus

We meet on Thursday nights from 5:30-7pm for a home cooked meal, Bible study, and discussion. More information...

Help the Ministry

What gifts can you bring to help Moscow First United Methodist Church? Everyone has unique and special gifts Get Involved...

Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - October 7, 2017

One of the things I love about Moscow is the sense of community. Before here, I served churches in urban areas. We often had a lot of needs; and it was the churches that hosted the food pantries, utility assistance, meals for the homeless, Christmas outreach ministries, and more. I was grateful I was able to lead and be involved directly with people in need....to learn their stories and know their names. It was also taxing that as a community (meaning the city itself) we weren't doing more to help.

I've been impressed from the beginning as I learned about all that is happening in and around Moscow. There is the free lunch program for all kids during the summer, Sojourner's, Family Promise, Community Action Partnership, Latah Recovery Center, Alternatives to Violence, Habitat for Humanity, and more. The community is at work responding to help our neighbors.

As a church, instead of doing each of those types of ministries by ourselves, we can partner with those other agencies. We can come alongside as part of the larger community. Our missions committee oversees much of that connection. And as part of our work, we have a desire to do more to help. In addition to this month's toiletries and cold weather drive, we are planning a dinner and benefit auction for Friday, November 10th.

The auction is meant for us and for the community. We will host dinner and have a silent and live auction. All proceeds will go to our mission committee's work and partnerships around the community (going to those groups listed above, and additional funds being sent for hurricane relief through UMCOR). We are looking for donations (from businesses of products or gift certificates, and from individuals of handcrafted or auctionable items). If you have a community contact and would like to solicit a donation on our behalf, we'd be most grateful. If you are a crafter, cook, or artisan and could make an item to donate, that would be wonderful too. We will also need help with the event itself (set up and decorations, cooking, serving, bid table, and clean up)

For more information about the auction or our work in the community, please contact a member of the Missions Committee: Connie Elliott, Rosemary Shively, Jodi Walker, Katelyn Domras, or myself.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - September 20, 2017

I'm kind of a DIY junkie. Not really in practice, but in my TV selections. I love watching Chip and Joanna Gaines or "Rehab Addict" or most any of the other shows that deal with taking something old and freshening it up or even totally re-doing it. There's something powerful in the dreaming, in the creating, in the repurposing, and the renewing. As a consequence of my DIY habits, I get some of their emails including the "Win This Dream Home" ones. I get the daily email reminders and do my entry for my chance to win (the mountain house, the lake house, the whatever house it is this week house).

Now, the odd thing is I'm a skeptic (ok, maybe just a realist) and have very strong doubts that I would ever win any of those houses. Yet, I keep entering (hey, it's free and I'm not risking or losing anything). I regularly ask myself, why do I bother?! And my answer is sometimes, "Because there's a chance that maybe it could be me." And sometimes, "Because it's fun to dream." I think it's good to dream. I think it can be wonderful to imagine new possibilities or new adventures. It can be fun to experience a new style, a new sport, a new talent, or a new place. And I think dreaming takes us there. It urges us to look beyond ourselves and our current place and to imagine what could be.

It might be crazy. It might be expensive. It might be impossible. And that's ok. Because any of those things could spark the right idea to propel us to new and beautiful things. It can be easy to get pulled down by the tyranny of the necessary...day to day things that have to be done. So it's nice to cut some of those strings and dream.

My question to you is two-fold: 1) What inspires you to dream? 2) What dreams do you have for the church? If you're willing to share your answer(s), I'd love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - August 30, 2017

After every major natural disaster around the world, UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) responds. UMCOR offers relief aid much like the Red Cross. They are often first on the ground after a disaster strikes and generally, one of the last to leave.

When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, UMCOR was there and they made a 10-year commitment to the rebuilding work. You can be sure they aren't there for show, or for the basics, the UMC makes a long-lasting commitment to help communities that have been devastated.

 

I was privileged to take UMCOR teams to Mississippi (and then Maryland after hurricane Sandy) for a number of years. Often, toward the end of our work week, we would have a dinner and invite the community. At the end of the meal, people would be invited to share. I remember one woman shared, "We expected the government to help, but they didn't, it was the church." Someone else shared, "You know, a cross with fire has a real bad connotation here in the South. But y'all have those vans with the cross and flame and it gave it new meaning. Now the cross with a flame reminds us to have hope."

 

The work we do as a church helps in practical ways and in how we become the church to those who don't know God or profess faith. With the events and devastation from Hurricane Harvey, we have the chance to be the church again. If you have watched the news and wondered how to help, I would recommend you give to UMCOR.

 

If you would like to give directly to UMCOR, you can do that here.

 

If you would like to give through the church, you can write a check to Moscow First and put "UMCOR #901670" or "UMCOR Harvey" in the memo line.

 

With either choice of giving every dollar, you give goes directly to help the people. There is no overhead or administration fees. One hundred percent of your gift will go to helping people in the midst of the devastation.

 

In Christ,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - August 9, 2017

Recently, I had a situation that made me want to give up. I've seen a repeated pattern and I thought, "This is hopeless." It didn't feel like it was even worth trying to have hope since that only led to me feeling let down (again).

I then started reading, "The Case For Grace" by Lee Strobel. In it, he shares some amazing stories of transformation. There were more than a few situations that were "hopeless" where most reasonable people would have given up. Yet, somehow, grace was offered (often in lots of forms). And for these people, transformation and redemption took place.

 

It made me cry. It was grace at work--making a way where there was no way and giving rise to the impossible. It was beautiful. And it was a powerful reminder that as a follower of Christ, I believe in grace, and if I believe in grace, then there's always hope.

 

I can't count on being the catalyst for change myself, but I can count on God. So, where all hope seems lost, I am invited to hand it over to God and ask for the mystery of grace to take over.

 

What is it that feels hopeless in your own life? Are you giving up or are you counting on grace? If it's too much for you to change and do, have you given it to God in prayer? If not, will you start today?

 

Some of the stories in the book took years for transformation to take hold. It's important to remember that grace isn't magic, but it is powerful. And sometimes it takes time for that power to work.

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - August 5, 2017

A few months ago, Rick and I attended the Habitat for Humanity auction. It was awesome to see so many people from our community caring for other families in need. It was especially cool to see so many people from our church participating in leadership for Humanity, donating auction items, and attending the dinner.

While we were there, we thought, "With so many United Methodists already wanting to help this awesome ministry, why don't we do something more?" So we began conversations with Jennifer Wallace and their project coordinator about how and when we could help.

 

They have offered us a great opportunity to serve by building a shed for their new build. This is a special opportunity because it will take place off-site, which means we can take kids 10+ (instead of their normal rule of 14 and older). This is a "quick and easy" job that can be completed in just a few hours.

 

We are scheduled to work on Monday August 14th at the Habitat location on the south side of town. We will start at 10, stop for a sack lunch, and finish in the afternoon. If you would like to help, even for a couple hours, or with preparing lunch, please sign up on Sundays or by emailing the church office. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) We can take youth ages 10 and older too.

 

I look forward to building and serving with you!!!

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - July 19, 2017

In reflecting on the story of the good samaritan, someone shared, "I would help them if they were in a ditch. I wouldn't leave them there. But that doesn't mean I want to have coffee with them."

My guess is he's not the only one. Sure, there are people we'd consider leaving in the ditch. Maybe even a few we'd deem worthy of being left, but more often than not, our compassion would win out and we'd help them. So then we're pushed to consider a different question: would we sit down to coffee? We might not leave them stranded, but would we be willing to take time to get to know our undesirable neighbor?

Have no doubt, we are being asked not just to see people or help them, but also to get to know them....as individuals. For some of us, that's a much harder request. Would I be willing to sit down and get to know my neighbor? To push past my disdain or prejudice and spend time with them in a way that matters?

Who is it God is inviting you to get to know? Who is it the Spirit is pushing you to see and know differently? How might you begin to engage them?

 

 

 

 In Christ

Pastor Debbie

 

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  • Denominational History


    The United Methodist Church traces its roots back to the life and ministry of John and Charles Wesley, Anglican priests in 18th century England. Though neither left the Anglican Church, they began a movement to reform that church which eventually became its own denomination and spread to the United States where it split from the Anglican Church in their lifetime. Read more...

    For more information on the history of the denomination go to www.umc.org.

  • Pastor Debbie Sperry 

    Pastor Debbie was born and raised in Bishop California (a rural town at the foot of the Eastern Sierra mountains).

    She attended UCLA and earned a BA in Sociology with a minor in Spanish after she spent a year studying abroad in both Costa Rica and Spain. She attended Candler School of Theology at Emory University and earned her Master of Divinity. 

     

    Debbie has served for 10 years in Southern California at a variety of churches.  She and her husband, Rick, and their two children, Ruth and Steven, were delighted to be assigned to serve here in Moscow as they love being outdoors and exploring the local area. The size and culture of Moscow is reminiscent of their time in rural California and they enjoy the community connections.  Debbie is passionate about helping the stories of the Bible to come alive, relating it to every day life, and helping people to reach out to help and connect with others. 

     

  • Guidelines For Faith There are many things which guide our faith.  As United Methodists we look in particular at four things to help us understand God and grow in our relationship with God. 
    Scripture:  is the primary source of our faith.  The 66 books of the Old and New Testament contain all that is necessary for salvation.  We believe that Scripture is best interpreted in the believing community.
    Tradition:  the wisdom of those who have gone before us, though not 100% true for our day, is another useful guide in our faith.
    Experience:  our individual experiences of God ‘s grace and the cumulative experiences of our lives which give each person a unique and valued insight into faith.
    Reason:  God gave us minds and expects us to use them and to think through not only what the Bible tells us in light of the world in which we live but also how to live out that faith.  Read more...

  • Worship Gathering together with other Christians to pray, sing, and praise God is an important expression of our faith and avenue for growth.  At Moscow First United Methodist Church worship is both casual and informal, traditional and contemporary, reflective and passionate.  You will find people here in suits and dresses, and in t-shirts and jeans.  You will hear classical, gospel, jazz, and light rock music.  You will hear our pipe organ, the piano, and banjo and guitar.

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Get Directions

Sunday morning parking at the church is available in the high school parking lot on Third Street across from the church and in the city lots west of the church. These lots are available only on Sunday mornings. A small lot for handicapped parking is available just off of Adams Street on the north side of the church, with an accessible entrance directly into the sanctuary. A lift operates between the Fellowship Hall (3rd Street level) and the Sanctuary . William Sound System Receivers and Headsets are available to assist with hearing problems.

Church Mission

The First United Methodist Church of Moscow, Idaho takes as our mission to be the body of Jesus Christ, ministering to a community which draws strength from its diversity. Our mission centers on the worship of God, expressed through varied forms of prayer, preaching, music, and ritual.  See more...

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