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

Pastor Debbies, E-Spire - Nov 9, 2016

Arriving at church early on October 30 for Sunday School, I caught one of our regular visitors outside on his knees. He was cleaning the outside windows of Epworth Hall, attempting to remove hard water deposits from the glass. We joked about how appropriate it was to be on one's knees at church, and that maybe I should also join him. After worship that day, I told him how his selfless act of voluntary service had moved me. In these next few weeks of our stewardship drive, we are being asked to consider how we can give our prayers, presence, and service, as well as gifts, to this beloved church.

Thanks to our regular visitor, the outside windows of Epworth are clean. So what else can we do? The following ideas cost little or no money.
---Come for worship, Sunday School, and youth activities.
---Listen to the joys and concerns during worship. Send a Grace Notes card, or an email to those who need our care. Pray for concerns during the week.
---Become part of our famous music program. More bell ringers or choir members would make director Andy's day!
---Add your voice and instrument to the 5th Sunday Praise Band, or weekly service.
---There are many ways to become involved with the children and youth in nursery care, Sunday School, activity time, and youth activities. At the least, study our pictorial directory and try to learn the names of the young people in our congregation.
---Food offerings for coffee hour and receptions DO NOT have to be home made. Most of us could provide fresh fruit, cheese, crackers, or nuts.
---Learn how to operate the kitchen dish washer and coffee makers. Volunteer your help with big dinners and receptions. Strong men are especially needed and appreciated!
---Add your muscles and a few hours of time to the Trustee Work Days. Coffee and donuts are free!
---Support Family Promise however you can.
---Join Grace Notes for creative card making and talk therapy.
---Come to the annual Charge Conference meeting with our district superintendent. This is NOT a LONG, or BORING, meeting!
---Practice being welcoming to new faces! Even the most shy among us can say, "Thank you for worshiping with us today."
---Pray for Pastor Debbie. Ask her if there is something you could do to ease her load.

None of these ideas are new or original, but each is a way to contribute to our life at FUMC with our prayers, presence, and service. Listen for God's call.

Respectfully, Karen Johnson

 

This Sunday we will be talking about identifying our spiritual gifts and serving in the church (in a variety of ways).

We'd love for you to do a spiritual gifts assessment to (re)identify your personal gifts. Here are a couple of websites that provide an easy test (50-70 questions that are pretty easy...I did mine in less than 5 minutes).

http://giftstest.com/test

http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/tests (this one even has a gifts test designed specifically for youth!)

(and if you're up for it, feel free to send a copy of your results to pastor Debbie!) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you would rather take a printed test, we will have a handful of booklets available on Sunday morning.

 

 

In Christ

Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - November 4, 2016

This was a written by a friend of mine from seminary, Rev. Andy Woodworth. He and his wife are doing a new church plant in Atlanta.

I found his thoughts both insightful and helpful.

See you Sunday for All Saints' Sunday, Communion, and Week 2 of our Stewardship Series: The Gift of Church

By: Rev. Andy Woodworth

I think that I have shared this story with some of you, but it bears repeating. When I was 6, my family had begun attending a United Methodist Church in Grant Park named St. Paul. In October of 1985, there was an electrical fire in St. Paul's education building that destroyed all three floors of that part of the church facility. I remember the smell of the burned building and the sights and sounds of the charred walls and floors. I also remember the way that the pastor, Lee Ramsey and his wife (and functional co-pastor) Mary Leslie were with our church in honest and authentic ways - crying over our loss as a community with us, and also helping the church to see itself differently.

Even as a six year old, I was included in what the church was becoming. We kids were taught a song called I am the Church - #558 in your United Methodist hymnal - a song that echoes for me in my deepest places even now as we undertake our adventure together:

The church is not a building,
the church is not a steeple,
the church is not a resting place,
the church is a people.

I am the church!
You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus, all around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!

Our work together is to build a church - not a building, not a physical facility that has all the newest technology or the most comfortable meeting spaces. Our work is to build a church - an interconnected fabric of relationships between real people and our real God. We are building a church - built one relationship at a time, over coffee, around dinner tables, at playgrounds and ball fields; we are connecting people new and old alike into a community of faith and action; we are growing as Patty Griffin says "kindness in our hearts for all the strangers among us, until there are no strangers anymore." I am the church, you are the church - we are the church together - because the church is a people linked together with love by the grace of God.

If we have a building, it is because it facilitates our meeting and knowing one another; if we have a steeple it is because it reminds us to look up from our lives and notice God at work among us; if we are a resting place, it is because the world is busy and God knows we need rest regularly. But church is not these things - the church is the people living a grace-filled relationship with God, and trying with everything they've got to reach out with the same grace to other imperfect humans.

Ask for God's help to unite us together as we seek to follow Jesus and build a church. I am the church. You are the church. Yes - we are the church together!

 

In Christ,

Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie E-Spire - October 21, 2016

When I was in seminary, a friend invited me to go with her to serve a hot meal to the homeless. We got up early one morning, shared a meal with folks downtown who had spent the night on the street and then we went to a different room to hand out hats, dry socks, and toiletry items.

If someone asked for a beanie, I randomly gave them one. One man said he didn't want the random one I had pulled, instead he wanted one of a different color. In my head, I sort of balked at his request thinking "beggars can't be choosers" but I gave him the hat anyway.

 

As we finished distributing items, my thoughts gnawed at me. It was just a hat and we had plenty, what did it matter to me if he chose blue over grey? Why had I been so harsh in my mind? After all the guests had left, the workers sat down for reflection and devotion and I confessed my hard-hearted thoughts. It hurt me that I had been so harsh (even if I didn't say it out-loud) to someone who had spent the night on the cold wet streets of Atlanta and simply wanted a different colored hat.

 

After our breakfast volunteering, my friend Jessie and I returned weekly for an evening meal and then "foot clinic" where we washed people's feet, cutting out corns, scrapping away calluses, massaging their feet, lotioning them and then giving them clean dry socks. It was beautiful and challenging all at the same time. And I learned a lot as I heard stories from those (mostly) men. I learned to see them as people and not problems. I tried to learned the nuances of their struggles and the challenges of living on the street.

 

Throughout my years of ministry, I have worked with and encountered hundreds of people who have spent the night or lived on the street. I have shared meals, opened the showers, given clothes, distributed Bibles, offered a bottle of water or a granola bar, taken people to the bus depot, or arranged for a night in a hotel. And I've heard many many stories of trials, job losses, family disputes, and battles with addiction.

 

The issues that lead to homelessness are often complex and the solutions take time. The churches I have served have faced various challenges in offering a place of sanctuary and grace. Which is why I am so grateful to partner with an agency like Family Promise. I worked with them for 2 years in Valencia and now again in Moscow. I am so appreciative of the ways they recognize the need in our community and equip lay volunteers to serve our neighbors in need. It is a gift to work with people who care and who have a functioning structure and true accountability in their program.

 

This Sunday we will begin our Fall week of hosting the families that are currently in the Family Promise Program. It is an opportunity for us to share a meal, to help with kids (for parents who don't really get a break or have a simple "play room" where they can leave their kids while they cook dinner, or read a book, or make a phone call....when you're a parent on the streets, or even in the FP program, you are always "on"), to be a safe person to talk with, or simply be a presence in a warm place for them to stay.

 

In Christ,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie E-Spire- - October 15, 2016

Almost 4 years ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast. A year later, we worked with UMCOR and sent a work team to help in Crisfield Maryland. Our team was comprised of both veteran missioners and first-timers. We worked on roofing projects, drywall, painting, and a variety of other tasks. Unlike the work we had done for a number of years in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, the devastation of Sandy was harder to see. Katrina wiped out entire homes, practically entire towns that were in the eye of the storm. Sandy flooded the town, so the damage was more internal...mold that grew behind the walls, rotting insulation, and wood damage to the flooring.

This morning, I received an email saying that the last work team is scheduled for Maryland at the end of this month. Four years of recovery work and they are finally nearing the end. To drive through the towns, you'd have hardly known the devastation was so pervasive, but natural disasters wreck a lot of damage, both seen and unseen.

This week we are in the wake of yet another storm...Hurricane Matthew, which killed over 500 people in Haiti and destroyed communities. It flooded towns all along the East coast, and so, yet again, UMCOR prepares to respond across each of these areas. They will take in emergency teams and flood buckets at first, and then later bring in volunteer teams to help with the other work that will need to be done. Work that may take years to complete.

It's heartbreaking to see so much loss. And heartwarming to know there are so many who have donated time, energy, and resources year after year to help brothers and sisters in need. When it's not our community, it can be easy to let the needs slide to the back of our minds, but we are called back to awareness over and over as we both see the damage and the call to help.

If you would like to make a donation to help with relief efforts, you can bring a check to worship with you. For the check, simply mark your donation "UMCOR--Matthew". As always, each and every dollar donated goes directly to the relief work, not to overhead costs of administration. We encourage you to give generously as folks are relying on us to be the hands and feet of Christ as they rebuild their homes, businesses and communities.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Debbie

 

p.s. We are still collecting individual (hotel size) and household size shampoos, soaps, toothbrushes, etc for homeless individuals and families in our area. Please bring your donation to Sunday worship. --Thank you to all those who have already contributed, there are so many blessings to be shared.

 

 

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Read more: Pastor Debbie E-Spire- - October 15, 2016

Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - September 28, 2016

As a college freshman who was raised in the church, I was eager to find a campus ministry that would nourish my soul. Early in my first term, I met some people who were engaged in an active ministry that was doing fun things (like playing capture the flag in the sculpture garden) and doing Bible study. The ladies I spent time with were friendly and kind and invited me to do intentional and intensive Bible studies with them. It all seemed good, at first. We studied John chapter 1. We spent meals together. and we hung out when they brought me a jamba juice to the dorms. But there was also something out of sorts. As a college freshman, I couldn't quite figure out what it was, but I knew my spirit was unsettled. I had another friend who was from Ghana and he too was unsettled and we would talk about our experiences and try and figure out what wasn't quite right. In a 2 on 1 Bible study, the ladies told me that I could help "save" my family, which was odd since a) they didn't know anything about my family (other than that they weren't part of their church) and b) I had a brother who was a pastor and a sister in seminary...I wasn't quite sure how they needed saving.

Eventually, though I couldn't name it all specifically, I decided it simply wasn't the group for me and I would need to look elsewhere. They were not happy when I told them and after a couple attempts to get me to go back, they stopped talking to me all together.

After that, I visited around to other groups (probably at least 9) before finding a group that was more solid and where I was more comfortable. Separate from that time of worship and Bible study, I took classes on Judaism and World Religions and asked lots of questions about what I actually believed.

Which is the long way of saying that finding a good place to explore and grow in faith while in college can be challenging! So, as a ministry on campus, we want to be a safe place for students to come where they can ask questions and explore the Christian faith, as well as trust the teachings that we offer and the fellowship they encounter. We are seeking to shape such a ministry on Thursday nights during our time at the Campus Christian Center (now simply called "The Center"). We share a home cooked meal and then have some conversation around issues and questions of faith. We have a diverse group who self-identify in all kinds of ways. It's interesting, challenging, and inspiring all at the same time!

As we shape, invite, and seek to grow this ministry, I would invite you to participate in any of the following ways:

Pray for the UofI and all the students and specifically those who are responding to our invitation
Consider helping with a Thursday night meal (we serve 5-8 hearty eaters)
Consider making a finger food platter or cookie tray for midterm week (October 14th)
Consider making a pot of soup (vegetarian or meat) for a Monday soup meal
Join us for time together to get to know the students and listen to what they are dealing with

We are grateful to have a regular space on campus and for the ways God is present in our conversations and we look forward to what the rest of the school year will bring.

If you would like to help in any of these ways, please contact me for details.

In Christ,

Pastor Debbie

 

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Read more: Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - September 28, 2016

Current Church News

  • Family Promise of the Palouse

    Moscow First United Methodist Church is honored to be an active participant of the Family Promise of the Palouse providing temporary, safe housing for families in our community who are facing homelessness. Our next opportunity to host is June 11-18, 2017.

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...