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 - February 9, 2017

When I was in seminary there was a woman named Shively who I pretty much steered clear of. We hadn't had a bad interaction, but she was fierce, and I had no desire to get to know her. As luck would have it, we ended up working in the same office over the summer. We had a few casual interactions and started to get to know each other, and she ended up being pretty likable. One day, we did some truth telling and she told me before we worked together, she thought I was pretty much a heifer (this is a common term in the South, and has no relation to your size, but is liken to a more derogatory term that is used here in the West). I was surprised and laughed and then confessed that I had thought the same of her. Apparently, being a strong outspoken woman can lead people to think certain things about you, no matter which part of the country you're from.

I was wrong about Shively. She was articulate, brilliant, funny, and easy to get along with. I had judged her based on next to nothing in terms of facts or reality. And, fortunately, I had been forced to confront my bias and learn the truth about her. All too often we judge people based on all sorts of things. We judge based on age, size, gender, appearance, color of skin, religion, accent, and even area of study. Those things may say something about a person, but they don't tell you much of anything about who he/she really is. Each person is an individual and deserves to be known for who they are.

Cognitively, we might get that, but how often do we push ourselves to stop and spend the time and really get to know someone we've judged? Building relationships with people are even more critical for us, both as the church and as a society. Too many people think they know someone based on who they voted for (or think they voted for), their stance on a particular political issue, or whether or not they speak out on said issues. Those truths (if they even are truth and aren't just assumption) tell us something but they don't tell the whole story.

The divide in our country is heartbreaking, and if we aren't careful it will divide our churches. This is a time for the church to rise up and be a witness. We need to witness to the fact that each person is a beloved child of God (regardless of race, creed, or gender). We need to be a living witness to the love of Christ through our words and our actions. We need to be a witness that often the Bible declares something very different from the culture in which we live. And we need to be a witness of what it means to believe differently (politically), but still be able to come together and worship the same Lord.

The miraculous work of the Gospel is not that we are united in our similarities, but instead that the power of Christ is more pervasive than our divides and differences. Staying together takes work. We will be challenged to see beyond our own perspective. We might even be offended. And, yet, if we stick with it, we will be stronger as we support and love one another. To do that, we have to be together. We have to look beyond stereotypes and first impressions. We have to listen, earnestly and intentionally. And we have to believe that God really does have the power to heal and unite.

 

In Christ

Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E Spire - January 26, 2017

Over the last several months, we have been praying for Benny Woodell (a 4-year-old with stage 4 adrenal cancer) and Baby Thomas Harner (a newborn with ALL Leukemia). Both boys are undergoing chemo treatment and are much affected by the health of their blood.

To help them heal, they receive healthy blood units to restore platelets and red and white blood cells. For both of these families, one of the only things we've been able to do is pray, though many of us would be happy to do more.

Well, we now have a chance to do more by giving blood to help restock the blood bank. It is not guaranteed that our blood will go to Thomas, but his illness has helped raise the awareness of the great need for healthy blood on a regular basis. If you are able, would you consider signing up to give in honor of Thomas? (Sign up information is below). If you are not able to donate, would you consider helping care for a young child so a dad or mom can take the time to give mid-day?

Please know your prayers are much appreciated and much needed. We pray for all cancer cells to be dissolved and washed from these boys' bodies and for protection from infection as they heal. Benny will have surgery to remove his tumor (which has shrunk dramatically!!) on Thursday, January 26th.

 

To donate locally with Inland Northwest Blood Center (INBC):

Their bus is out front of Gritman Hospital every Wednesday from 10-3

They have a blood drive at the U of I in the Commons, specifically in honor of Baby Thomas, on 2/7/17 from 11-3.

You can call 800-423-0151to schedule an appointment

or get on the website: inbcsaves.org and search by zip code

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - January 19, 2017

Jambo Everyone!

Africa Sunday is this coming Sunday - our annual celebration of our mission support of three children at the Jamaa Letu orphanages in the Congo, and Africa University in Zimbabwe. Marimba band Setsishaya will be performing again, and we'll have our annual bake sale fundraiser during coffee hour. Congregation members are welcome to bring treats (savory or sweet) to donate to the sale. Items can be dropped off Saturday from 1-2:00, or Sunday before service. Our goal is to raise $1700 to sponsor three children at Jamaa Letu and provide one scholarship stipend to Africa University. (If each adult in worship gave a $15 offering or spent that much at the bake sale, we would easily make our goal).

About our mission work in Africa:

Jamaa Letu I & II provide housing, shelter, education and ministry for 70 boys and girls without families in Congo. With the support from Jamaa Letu, these children are able to build their own futures and be part of a positive future for their countries.

Sponsorship of a child is $500.

Like children do, the children we've sponsored are growing up. Patience Ekanga is now enrolled in a nursing school at the University. "Papy" Mukendi Mpoyi is in his third year of high school and is studying to become a teacher. Angele Mwadi is an intern at in the Methodist Fashion Workshop, learning sewing.

Africa University was founded in 1985 "to provide quality education within a Pan-African context through which persons can acquire general and professional knowledge and skills, grow in spiritual maturity, develop sound moral values, ethics, and leadership qualities." The University provides education opportunities in a variety of fields, including Education, Agriculture, Health Sciences, Management, Humanities, and Theology.

Our annual contribution to AU is $200 to support student scholarships.

http://www.pnwumc.org/news/sponsor-a-resident-of-the-jamaa-letu-orphanages/
Sponsor a resident of the Jamaa Letu Orphanages | Pacific ...
www.pnwumc.org
Visit hopeforthechildrenofafrica.com for more information. Barbara Dadd Shaffer serves as the Chair of the Bishop's Task Force, Hope for the Children of Africa.

~Jennifer Wallace

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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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. 

Faithfully,
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

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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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