Devotionals
Summer Worship Service begins at 9:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - November 17, 2017

In my college years I was privileged to travel a lot to a number of different countries. I was exposed to new cultures and new people and was stretched in how I understood the world and myself. I was fortunate that despite being in lots of places under lots of circumstances, nothing threatened my sense of safety.

After I returned to the states and was working a fair amount with people in need, I often asked myself "Where would I go if I were stranded and needed help?" My first answer was always, "A church." I grew up in the church and believed a church should be a place of safety, of help, and of provision. Sometimes my heart would break for the ways the church failed to be that place of sanctuary for those seeking help. And sometimes my heart would swell for the ways we got it right. To be sure, caring for others is not a perfect art.

Nevertheless, I still believe the church should be a safe place—emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The news of the last few weeks only reinforces that for me. We should know that we are safe in the sanctuary. We should have peace in knowing we would be welcomed. We should have confidence our story will be believed. And I genuinely hope that if we faced adversity or injustice, that those in the church would stand with us to find hope and justice.

Fortunately and unfortunately, Moscow often feels protected from the chaos of "those people" and "those places" and even "those things." Yet sexual assault, discrimination, domestic violence, and gun violence all happen here too. As a church, we need to be clear about being a place of sanctuary and hope. I believe we need to be open in saying "I believe you." "I care about you." "We choose hope over fear."

We may not get it right every single time. But I do hope that when people think they need help, or refuge, or hope that they know that could find it at Moscow First.

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - October 19, 2017

Over the years, I've been known (by those closest to me) to do my fair share of fussing. Like most of you, I've had the opportunity to complain about most everything—classes, professors, family, work, bosses, life in general. Most of the time my verbal tirade leads me to a productive course of action, but not always. Sometimes I spin my wheels...fussing and grousing about the person or issue over and over. On those occasions, my dad will ask, "Have you prayed about it?" And, generally, regrettably, I sheepishly say no. Generally, it hadn't even occurred to me to pray about it. I was just frustrated or mad and wanted to be heard.

The good news is, we have one who is always ready to hear us—to know the truth of what we're facing, what frustrates us, what shames us, what holds us back. Beyond that, the Great Listener wants things to be better for us. As believers, we're invited to believe in God's goodness and willingness to act in our lives and pray. We're asked to turn our grousing into prayers and listen for God's wisdom and direction about how we might change our response to those people, or live differently in those situations. God will work on our behalf. God often shows us the way to be a part of that action.

If there's something or someone under your skin, I ask, "Have you prayed about it?" Have you sought a godly solution through prayer? Pray for them. Pray for how you understand them. Pray for wisdom, discernment, or guidance for your particular situation.

May you find new blessings as you look and listen for God's reply.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. ~Philippians 4:6

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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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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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.

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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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