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

Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - January 3, 2018

Normally, I'm a die-hard for the Christmas season. Christmas decorations go up the day (or two) after Thanksgiving and they stay up all the way until Epiphany...since that's the full Christmas season. This year, I needed to restore a little order to the house and wasn't willing to wait for January 6th. So I put things away over the weekend. Regardless, every year, one thing is always true. No matter how thoroughly I check the house, there is always something that remains from Christmas. Sometimes it's the lone ornament that I missed on the tree. Sometimes it's my Christmas apron or a dish towel with the holiday theme. Sometimes a trinket, or something larger. Christmas has a way of persisting. And it's a nice reminder....all the things we love about Christmas—the sights, the smells, the feelings, the family, the goodness of God given to us through the Christ child are meant to persist. We aren't to box them up for another 11 months, longing for what they mean to us. Instead, Christmas should linger....little touches and moments that help us hold onto the holy in our midst. And remember, that holy one comes to us in the chaos, the clutter, the stress, the sickness, the loneliness...all of it...any of it. We don't have to have it right for God to show up. As you clean up from Christmas, I invite you to leave a reminder somewhere in your home where you will be reminded to let Christmas linger a little longer into the year.


May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie


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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - December 1, 2017

 After following Christ, I would say community is the most important part of being a Christian. Lots of us have faith practices that we do alone, but being a Christian inherently means being a part of a community. And being a part doesn't simply mean attending, it means belonging. We are to develop relationships that make a significant difference in our lives. Some of us fall into that easily and naturally. Others of us struggle to feel and get connected. It is fairly easy for someone to attend our church for 3, even 6, months and not really be known. I believe we need to work on that. We may not all end up knowing each other really well, but we should be known by a few so that they can pray with and for us, so they can connect with us regularly, and so someone notices if we're missing, and cares enough to see if we've been sick, have a prayer need, if we're struggling with a relationship, or if we've simply been on the road and traveling a lot

Sometimes we're tempted to wait for someone to notice us, and while that's a natural tendency, it often only leads to unnecessary hurt or resentment. If we want to be noticed or need someone to care, we often have to reach out and ask for time or prayer. All too often we assume "no news is good news" and aren't inclined to reach out. As people of faith, it's our job to reach out to others, and, it's our job to risk and be vulnerable and reach out for ourselves.

May we each be inclined to connect for others and for ourselves.

In Christ,
Pastor Debbie


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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 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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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


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...

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