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

Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - December 15, 2016

Shared by Lynn and Kay Youngblood

 

Most of you may be aware that we have supported the Shalom Project in Spokane for several years What may be news to you is that the Central United Methodist Church in Spokane, which has housed Shalom in its facilities many years has recently closed its doors as a congregation. But while the church no longer has a functioning congregation, Shalom appears to be alive and well thanks to the volunteer efforts of many people. For example, one night last week dinner was served to more than 400 homeless persons and the morning we delivered our congregation's generous contributions of blankets, coats, socks, toiletries, etc., more than 130 persons had eaten breakfast there!

 

We were overwhelmed by the gratitude of the half dozen or so individuals who helped us unload from our Honda Civic which was so fully packed that the rear-view mirror was of no use on the trip up. And with the coldest weather of the year now here, it feels good to know that we at Moscow FUMC have contributed in some measure to whatever comfort can be found by these children of God who face the kind of struggles on a daily basis that most of us can only imagine. By the way, in addition to the items mentioned above, some of you donated cash. Our Shalom friends were quite happy to receive a check for more than $40 with which they planned to purchase badly needed hand warmers. And for we Youngbloods who had the privilege of delivering your gifts, the experience meant heart warmers for us!

 

 

In Christ
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie E-Spire - December 7, 2016

Growing up, we attended Bishop First UMC. It's the church I was born into, where I was baptized, and where I was confirmed. And it's also the church where we did countless performances...Christmas Pageants, special music, bell choir, youth choir, etc. One of my strongest memories is from the year I was Mary in the Christmas play. My mom believed in making things believable and "real" (and occasionally was a little over the top). Her idea was that I could "birth" the baby Jesus by having the baby doll under my dress for the play until it was time for him to be "born". At that time, I was to (subtly?) lift my costume and "deliver" the baby.

 

It might have been good in theory, but I remember it as my earliest embarrassment (probably not too bad considering I was 7 or 8). When the time came, instead of subtle, I lifted my costume all the way over my head and pulled out the baby doll. I remember hearing a roar of laughter in the congregation and being mortified. I pulled my costume down and laid the baby in the manger and we finished the show. Besides the deep laughter, I don't remember much.

 

 

Whatever silliness might have been present, I remember telling the story of Jesus. I didn't have to preach or teach or have all the right words. But I got to be a part of the story from a very early age. This Sunday is a chance for the children of our church to proclaim the Gospel message and be part of the Christmas traditions of the church. It is a gift that they are excited to learn and tell the stories of Jesus. We look forward to having you join us at 10:30 for worship and the pageant and then for Christmas "Dinner" immediately after in Epworth Hall. Please think about inviting a friend, family member, or neighbor to join us for this special service and meal.

 

 

In Christ

Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - December 2, 2016

Christmas brings lots of traditions....many of which involve decorations. We put up lights. We put up trees. We put up nativities. We put up wreaths. We put out special Christmas dishes. We put up all kinds of things to signal the season and celebrate the coming of Christ. But often we do those things for ourselves. We do them inside, but are we bothering to do anything outside? Ok, maybe a few strands of lights at the house, but what about the church? Would someone who doesn't attend have any idea of the festivities inside based on what has changed during Advent?

 

What is it that tells the world Jesus is coming? We could put lights on the outside of the church and pretend it's the lights and the ornaments and the decorations...but that actually only highlights what people already know (culturally, that is, Christmas is a time of shopping, baking, and decorating). But, as Christians, Christmas is meant to be more than what the culture knows. Christmas is about the indwelling of Emmanuel—God with us. We're called to celebrate Christmas over and again, not just to remember (though that's certainly part of it) that God came once, but to know and share that God is Emmanuel every day, not just on that one day.

 

 

As people called to follow and imitate Christ, God is with us. And, for many, we become the "only Christ they will know." We aren't just supposed to wait for him to do something. But we are called to be do-ers of the Word who live like Christ and share his gifts with others. in many ways, we are invited to give rise to the Kingdom of God here on earth.

 

 

So, the question becomes, how are we doing that? How are we a living example of what Christ has done, but also what he is doing, and will do in the future? Are our lives a proclamation of the Good News? Do people feel the love of Christ when they are with us? Do they feel known and accepted for who they are? Loved? Appreciated? Not just the people who know us and love us, but the strangers and the outsiders. How do they encounter us? What about our witness tells them that Jesus is coming and that's a good thing?

 

 

I've been encouraged by the outpouring of jackets, coats, and blankets for those living on the street in Spokane—that's a living witness to Jesus' generosity. The gifts you are getting for Christmas for Kids will tell children they are important, valued, and loved. The cards you will send and the cookies you will make tell people they are remembered and cherished. Each of those things are a living witness. God is with us in those places. And God has the potential to be even more present in our lives and in our witness. It doesn't have to involve spending money or giving tangible gifts. It also involves time, care, inclusion, and intentionality.

 

Christmas is just 3 weeks away. That time may go quickly, but it will provide plenty of moments in which we can show grace, love, and kindness that mimics Christ. Will people know Christ through you?

 

 

In Christ
Pastor Debbie

 

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Read more: Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - December 2, 2016

Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - November 26, 2016

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Happy New Year!!

 

Ok, so it's not quite the new year just yet, it actually starts tomorrow. No, I haven't lost my mind. The Christian calendar actually starts with Advent, which begins tomorrow. Our new beginning starts with looking forward to what God will do in our lives. It means waiting for God to be in our midst and imagining what difference that would make in stirring hope, offering comfort, giving rise to justice, and celebrating God's good gifts.

 

For some of us, these next 4 weeks will go all too quickly. They'll be a flurry of events, shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, and doing. Many of us will see many of our hopes for the season slip through the cracks...we may or may not get all the lights up, or the Christmas dishes out, or all the presents sent on time, or the food cooked just the way ______ (grandma, dad, auntie, sister, or mom) did. Others of us will push through the days, wishing they would only go by faster. For some, instead of great cheer, the holidays tend to bring the cold and darkness of the days into the corners of our hearts and we pray it would all move quickly.

 

Whatever the case may be for you in this season, please know we are here and wanting to share it with you (both the joys and the hardships). And I truly believe in the amazing presence of God because of the incarnation. May God bless us to see and experience God in the midst of the craziness, the busyness, the joyful times, the frustrating family times, and the hardest times. And may we live out the incarnation of God with us as we seek to be present and loving with others.

In Christ,
Pastor Debbie

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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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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