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

Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - January 6, 2017

Today is, officially, the last day of Christmas. This is the 12th and last day of Christmas and is celebrated as Epiphany--the day the wise men visited Jesus in Bethlehem.

Often, with the pomp and circumstance of the holidays, it's easy to believe, at least in part, that it's about the big celebration. But really, Christmas is about the incarnation--God with us in the person "Emmanuel". And that isn't meant to be celebrated for a day (or even 12), it's meant to be a reality that is lived each and every day. 

So, as we pack up "Christmas" I would encourage you to think about how you might carry it into the new year. 

Howard Thurman wrote a beautiful poem called "The Work of Christmas". I share it with you here that it might be an inspiration for how we share Christmas all year long. 

When the song of the angels is stilled, 
when the star in the sky is gone, 
when the kings and princes are home, 
when the shepherds are back with their flocks, 
the work of Christmas begins: 
to find the lost, 
to heal the broken, 
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart. 

Pastor Debbie


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Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - December 21, 2016

     Six years ago I was pregnant with Ruth and reading and hearing the Christmas scriptures in a whole new light. I had miserable morning sickness and instead of the sweet visions of a pregnant Mary, I readily saw her running to the back fence with her own sickness. I now knew for myself a new kind of expectancy & hope, as well as the privilege and responsibility of growing a little life inside of me.


     I learned a whole new level of empathy for Mary and that long trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem on the donkey. They say Mary & Joseph would have walked close to 90 miles on their journey (even though the "crow flies" distance was more like 70 miles). Nine months pregnant and walking (or riding a donkey) for a week! That trip must have felt interminable.


     It reminds me that sometimes the journey to God feels long and arduous. It can be uncomfortable and demanding. And lots of times, we can't get there directly. ..there's a few detours and extra miles along the way. It may feel like we're never going to get there. And yet, somehow, if we stay the course, we will.


     For some of us, the week/s leading to Christmas are so very long. Remember to stay the course (even if there are a few detours) and know there are great blessings to be had when we finally meet the Christ child.


In Christ

Pastor Debbie


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Read more: Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - December 21, 2016

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

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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


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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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