Sunday Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
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Rule Based or Grace Based Faith - November 16, 2014

Matthew 25:14-30

Looking at her brother, the little girl says, "People who break other people's dolls don't go to heaven." Later as their mother vacuums the house, she notices the brother in front of a large book. She says, "Why, you are reading the bible. How nice." "I'm looking up a rule," he says.
There was once a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his backpack with apples, his pet gecko, his favorite stuffed animal (a frog) and a six pack of apple juice. Then he started out.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down and opened his pack. He was about to drink some apple juice when he noticed that she looked hungry. He offered her an apple which she gratefully accepted and smiled at him.
Her smile was so pretty that he wanted to see it again, so he offered her an apple juice. Once again she smiled at him.
They sat there all afternoon, eating and smiling at each other. As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and got up and started home. Then he ran back and gave the old woman a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.
When he got home, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. When she asked him what he had done, he said, "I had lunch with God," then added, "She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen."
Meanwhile, the woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home with such a look of peace on her face that her son asked, "Mother, what did you do today that makes you so happy?"
She replied, "I ate apples in the park with God." Then she added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Read more: Rule Based or Grace Based Faith - November 16, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait! - November 9, 2014

Matthew 25:1-13

Many years ago I was asked to officiate at a wedding which needed to be scheduled quickly so the bride's pregnancy would not be too obvious. We squeezed in premarital counseling and got the date on the calendar. At the rehearsal we waited and waited for the best man to show up, and finally went on without him. The next day he did not appear for the pictures before the wedding so they drafted someone else who could fit into his tux. As the wedding began and the groom and I were standing in the hallway waiting for our signal to go into the sanctuary, the best man came in. "Hey man," he said to the groom, "where's the tux?"

Read more: Hurry Up and Wait! - November 9, 2014

Life Based on the Promise - October 26, 2014

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Good old Moses. Even people who have never studied the Bible have likely at least heard of him. He had led the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt, crossing through the Red Sea where God opened a pathway. For forty years he led the people as they wandered in the wilderness. They weren't an easy people to lead: they whined, they complained, they grew nostalgic for the bad old days in Egypt. Moses led them as God honed them into those who could enter the Promised Land. Always God had held that promise before them: someday God would provide for them a land flowing with milk and honey, in other words a land of fertility and abundance. When they were hungry and thirsty, Moses turned to God who provided water from the rock and manna from heaven to eat. When they made a golden calf to worship instead of God and God became angry, Moses reminded God of that promise. God relented of the punishment he had planned. Always there was the promise: their own land, their own home, a place which they could call their own.

Read more: Life Based on the Promise - October 26, 2014

The Backside of God’s Glory - October 19, 2014

Exodus 33:12-33

Have you ever cried out, "Where are you, God?" I have. I've said it in moments of deep grief and anguish. Maybe it is when the doctor's report is not what I'd hoped for. Sometimes it is when a natural disaster strikes and thousands of people lose their lives. I may not know them personally, and still I rail at the suffering. Sometimes I cry out when human evil prevails: a swastika painted at the Jewish temple on the holiest night of the year for them, a terrorist strike or an especially gruesome crime makes the headlines. "Where are you, God?" I wail when problem after problem surfaces and I can't see the solution.
Sometimes when I raise my voice my prayers go unheeded. I've asked, I've pled, I've begged, and nothing has happened.
More than once I have talked to long time church members who have attended for years, participated in Bible studies and helped out with church programs – and they have confessed to me, "I've never really felt God's presence. Ever."
A number of years ago the world was stunned, after her death, to learn that for much of her life, Mother Teresa felt God's absence. She wrote to her spiritual advisor, "The place of God in my soul is blank. There is no God in me." The woman who epitomized for us compassion and faith, did not feel God's presence.

Read more: The Backside of God’s Glory - October 19, 2014

Judgment Tempered By Grace - October 12, 2014

Exodus 32:1-14
Matthew 22:1-14

I am currently working with a delightful group of middle school age youth in a confirmation class. Together we are learning about what it means to be a Christian and a United Methodist. Later this fall they will each have the opportunity to decide if they are ready to join our church.
We began by looking at the basic beliefs of the Christian faith. I gave them a variety of names commonly used for God and asked them to each choose their favorite and their least liked names. One of those names was Judge. I didn't keep a tally but it was high on the list of least favorite names for God.
These youth are not unusual. Judgment is a difficult topic. It seems to convey a picture of a stern, unyielding and authoritarian figure. In a way there's a certain irony here because Supreme Court Judges are among the more respected figures in our country. And if a judge is sentencing someone whose crime was against me, then I'm all in favor of judgment.
Both of our Bible readings today tell us about judgment.

Read more: Judgment Tempered By Grace - October 12, 2014

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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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