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

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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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

Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - September 22, 2016

At my second church, they had a tradition of doing family camp over labor day weekend. Since it was a church thing, I went that first summer (and each one after). We had spent July and August together in worship, but I remember being struck by the thought when I saw them in jeans and sweatshirts, playing games, and sitting around the campfire, "They're real people, who are so much more than what I see on Sunday morning." I was clearly a bit naive, but I've also found that it's easy for any of us to only see people for who we know on Sunday mornings and not know their real selves.

I've had lots of grocery store encounters where a parishioner doesn't recognize me because I'm shopping in sweats instead of a robe and stole. :)

Which is the long way of saying, it's important that we make time to be with our church family in fun and casual ways, to get to know each other as "real" people.

Rick and I want to reiterate our invitation for you to come to the parsonage (2214 Henry Ct, behind AB McDonald) this Sunday from 4-7pm for a potluck, softball, yard games, the bounce house, and casual fellowship. We'll be BBQing burgers and hot dogs and would love for you to bring a dish to share.

Please feel free to bring your family or invite a friend. You don't need to RSVP to come, but if you can send a quick note if you're coming and/or what you might bring it'll help us plan.

In Christ,
Pastor Debbie


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Read more: Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - September 22, 2016

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

This last week when we were in California to help my dad sort through my mom's things. While we were there we also visited my home church for Sunday worship. It's the church I was born into, baptized in, and confirmed in. It's the church that welcomed me back as a youth leader after my first year of college and encouraged me through seminary and for special travel/learning trips. The people of this church were my extended family—my "adopted" grandparents, Sunday school teachers, and trusted friends. They were critical in my faith formation and the people mean the world to me.

I know when we go on a Sunday that we can't just show up for worship and head out, there are too many people to greet. We can easily plan on an extra half an hour to say hello to people and that won't even include everyone we should greet.

When I walked in last Sunday I began saying hello to people I knew immediately (always hoping it didn't take me too long to remember their name!) And then there were others I didn't recognize. Naturally, I was inclined to look right by them. I know it sounds bad, but they weren't "my" people or "my" community (the one I grew up with...15 years ago). But then I had to remember, it's not just my job to "be the church" (meaning welcoming, attentive, and kind) when it's "my" church or "my" people; I am responsible to be a friendly face regardless of whether we go back 20 years, or 2 years, or 2 minutes. So I said hello to strangers and I thanked the college students who'd worked in the community all week.

And as I reflected on my experience, I became aware that I'm probably not the only one who slips into these patterns. I'm not the only one who tends to focus on greeting friends rather than strangers (after all, I've been the stranger in a church who was ignored because I wasn't a familiar face). And I'm probably not the only one who struggles to remember that my role on Sundays isn't just to come for me and "my" people, but I am there as a follower of Christ who is to offer the hospitality, warmth, and grace of Christ to all who walk through the doors.

That's not always easy. Sometimes I'm stuck in my head. Sometimes I'm teary. Sometimes I've had a rough morning with the kids and I'm amazed we made it to church alive and without injury. But Christ doesn't call us to what is easy. Christ calls us to radical hospitality which includes being the one to say "welcome" even if it's only our second week. Or the one to acknowledge a job well done, even if we don't know the ins and outs of the work that was done.

We can be the church in so many different ways, each according to our gifts. And at the same time, it's important to step outside of ourselves and look out for those who might be new, or alone, or the ones to whom God is pointing on any given Sunday.

I'd encourage you this Sunday to look beyond your circle of friends and look for a new face—greet them and welcome them in the name of Christ.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Debbie


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Pastor Debie's E-Spire - September 8, 2016

When we first moved to Moscow, there was a fair amount of road construction between downtown and the parsonage. We couldn't take D St, or Blaine, or Hayes, or part of Third...and probably a couple others I'm not even aware of because we simply couldn't drive that way. We learned F St, B St and Sixth (and the quirks that go with each).

And then last week, they re-opened D st for the start of school. And I'll confess, I didn't think twice about it. I took my left and went toward B, because that's what I'd been doing for months. It literally took me a couple days to realize it was an option. It's right there in front of me--the most direct route and more often than not, I ignore it.

Now, we've only lived here a couple of months, but imagine how we might be if D had been blocked for years and then finally opened. I'd practically be blind to it!

Habits can be hard to break, whether they're on the road, in our home, or in the church. Sometimes we learn something a certain way because there's an obstacle of some sort. Sometimes it's because that's how our mentor did it. Sometimes it was the only way we could manage. Whatever the case, it's what we learned and what we know, and being asked to veer from that path can be challenging.

But if we're willing to take the risk (or simply push ourselves to break our routine), it can also be really rewarding as we meet new people, see new sights, and maybe learn new things.

Where might God be inviting you to try a new way?

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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