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Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - May 5, 2021

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 When I moved into my first parsonage my mom recommended I “not touch anything for the first year, just see what grows.” She was half right and half wrong. You see preceding pastors had had a variety of yard philosophies, one had a partner who loved to garden and she planted all kinds of flowers—a lot of which were bulb flowers that weren’t visible by the time I moved in late June but made for a glorious spring, and another had a philosophy of “natural yard”, which basically meant it wasn’t maintained so there was a lot of overgrowth and weeds to deal with. So I took a middle-of-the-road approach. There were some things that were obvious and needed to go and other things that would be a well-kept secret until the season where they bloomed.

Church work is a lot like that. Sometimes that are ministries that have been planted that will only reveal themselves in certain seasons, which is a gift—IF you know where they were planted and don’t rush into change too quickly. And, sometimes some things have simply been neglected or left alone in ways that allowed them to grow over other things or just become full of weeds. As a pastor, distinguishing what to do and when to do it in a new church can be an interesting challenge. Some things need immediate attention otherwise they will overrun and choke out other ministries, and some things need to be left alone so the beauty of what they offer can be revealed in due time. It’s a test of diligence, discernment, and patience. As church members, your role in helping your new pastor/ministry gardener is invaluable. Many of you have planted ministries here. Many of you have tended ministries. Some of you have done the incredibly hard work of weeding and pruning so that new life can happen. Pastor Kim will need you to help her know what is what, help her be patient for the things that are secretly buried underground but will reveal themselves in times, and help her see which things need immediate attention.

And with that encouragement….a word of caution…when I came to Moscow there was this weird plant along the stairs in the backyard. It had these spiny bean things growing and I couldn’t identify what they were. I asked a few people and they couldn’t help, so we weed-whacked them down when we did the lawn. It was late in the season and they were in a very shady spot, which meant there weren’t many others like them around town for me to compare to. But come the next spring I realized what they were—they were lupin, which happens to be one of my favorite flowers! I felt so silly about what we’d done the year before, but I simply hadn’t known. Ministry can be like that too—something that we’ve seen and admired from afar, but not really seen up close or in all its seasons can easily be mistaken for something else and destroyed—ruining its potential in the process.

Whether you’re a long term church-gardener, or you’re just getting started (meaning you’ve been in church leadership forever or you’re barely getting your feet wet) remember, there’s a lot to learn and many things in the life of the church take patience and discernment.

 

In Christ,
Pastor Debbie

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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.

322 East Third Street
Moscow, ID 83843

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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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