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

Pastor Debbie E-Spire - December 8, 2018

This week our community suffered the loss of Donal Wilkinson. For reasons we may never know or understand, Donal took his own life. He was a scout leader, a member of UUCP, a youth mentor, and a community member. As his own pastor was out of town for a family funeral, I was asked to attend some of the events their church held. On Wednesday evening, they kept the church open and had their lay ministers available to listen and pray with any and all. On Thursday they hosted a soup supper (thank you to the Co-op for the soup and bread) along with conversation, professional counselors, and community support for youth, parents of young children, and parents of teens and young adults. Tragedy is hard on any community and I was so grateful to see the ways people were coming together to care for one another.

As I talked with and listened to many who knew and loved Donal many wondered how he could have done that, and why they didn't see it, and wished they had only known so they could have helped me. All of those are normal and appropriate responses. Most of us can never fully wrap our minds around how someone could feel so terrible. And yet, for the few of us who have seen the darkest part of the abyss (of depression, or grief, or sadness) we can imagine. I shared more than a few times about my own struggles over the years. I battle situational depression and have faced the suicidal edge twice. I am grateful for the things that brought me back from that place. And learned that in the pit, reason doesn't exist. Logic is mute.

That might sound crazy, but I remember talking with a friend who called when she was suicidal. I remember asking about her sisters and parents and friends...what about them? And they did't matter. Not in the darkness. I didn't understand it. Until I found myself in that space. And then I got it. The darkness isn't rational or reasonable.

So then the next question became, "How do you help someone?" And "How can you defeat the darkness?" It's not a perfect formula. And there's not a strict timeline. But I've found that being vulnerable and honest about how you're feeling is vital. Not being shocked if someone tells you they feel that low is essential. Listen. Share. Be honest. Be real. And remember, it does get better. Not generally as quickly as we might like, but there is always reason to hope and believe things will get better. We all need to be reminded we matter, are important, and are loved.

Suicide is something treated as taboo in the church. We don't quite know what to do with it. So we avoid it, if we can. This week, for some in our community, it was unavoidable. So we talked and shared, and worked through the hardest parts together.

If you are struggling, please know you are not alone. We are here. You matter. And it does get better. It's ok (essential really) to be honest. Please tell someone, even a stranger. There is always someone who will listen at 1-800-273-8255. And if you need to talk, I'm here. Please reach out.

Many in Moscow are grieving this week. Many are struggling. May we have abundant compassion and grace for one another.


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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