Devotionals
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 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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Current Church News

  • FUMC Auction & Dinner - Friday, October 19th

    The first Missions Auction and Dinner was so fun, we are going to do it again! Mark you calendars for Friday, October 19th at the Latah County Fair grounds. Like last year we will be serving dinner and having a silent and live auction. The Missions Auction helps support local nonprofits, including: Family Promise, Sojourner’s Alliance, My Little Pantry, Alternatives to Violence and more. All money raised at this event goes to mission projects with no overhead or fees taken out. Please help support our neighbors and friends in need. Tickets on sale soon!

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...