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

Sleep in Heavenly Peace - December 24, 2014

Luke 2:1-20

You may know the story behind the writing of the carol, Silent Night. In 1818 in Oberndorf, Austria, the village church had planned to celebrate Christmas with a drama put on by a traveling group. Un-fortunately, the church organ was not working. (If you know anything about church organs you may know that is not an uncommon problem.) So they went to a private home for the drama. As he walked home, the associate priest, Josef Mohr, moved by the drama, looked down on the snow covered village. It reminded him of a poem about the birth of Jesus he had written a couple of years earlier. He thought it might make a good carol for the congregation to sing. The trouble was that broken organ. So the next day he went to the organist, Franz Gruber. With only a few hours to go, Herr Gruber wrote a simple melody that could be accompanied by guitar. That night they sang it for their congregation.

Read more: Sleep in Heavenly Peace - December 24, 2014

Infused with Glory - December 21, 2014

I Thessalonians 5:16-24
Romans 16:25-28
Luke 1:26-33

The melodies of glory infuse the stories of Jesus' birth. The carol we just sang comes from the song of the angelic host after the Angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem. "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those whom he favors." I use those words each morning in my daily prayers all throughout the year.. I hope that glory can infuse my days.
While Mary's song is called "The Magnificat" from her first words, "My soul magnifies the Lord," and not "The Gloria", I think it is fair to say that glory characterizes her mood when she learns she is to give birth to God's Child. Maybe that should tell us something about glory because while Mary submits herself to God's will, she is also confused. Glory is not always simple or fun.
After she sang, Mary went to visit her older cousin, Elizabeth. As soon as she greeted Elizabeth, the child in Mary's womb leaped for joy. You could call it prenatal glory.
At the end of his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul closes with glory: "to the only wise God through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever."
So let's sing of glory now: "Gloria in excelsis deo."

Read more: Infused with Glory - December 21, 2014

Joy to the World! - December 14, 2014

I Thessalonians 5:16-24

"Joy to the world, the Lord is come!" What a joy it is to raise our voices together in that familiar and beloved carol. Many of us gathered Friday night at the Kibbie Dome for the UI Holiday Concert which always feels like the real start to Christmas in Moscow. I'm always proud of our bell choirs and the youth from our church who participate.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Though we will celebrate Jesus' birth ten nights from now on Christmas Eve, we know he was actually born over 2000 years ago, likely not on December 25. Probably it was in the spring, the time of year when shepherds gathered their flocks on the hills near Bethlehem. Still we are more than halfway through Advent so the festivities of Christmas are that much closer.
Joy to the world! The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Joy Sunday. It is why the candle in the Advent wreath is pink instead of purple. The lessons assigned for the day move from the gloomy predictions of the end of time we hear early in Advent to predictions of joy. The prophet Isaiah promised the Hebrew exiles in Judah the oil of gladness instead of mourning. "Rejoice always!" the Apostle Paul advised the Thessalonians as they waited for Jesus' final return to earth. Joy to the world indeed.

Read more: Joy to the World! - December 14, 2014

A Theology of Waiting - December 7, 2014

Isaiah 40:1-11
2 Peter 3:8-15a

Life is filled with occasions when time seems to drag. After several days in the hospital, the doctor finally says, "You can go home today." Eagerly you call your family who arrive to help you pack, dress, and then everyone sits. And sits. My family has noted, "Hospitals operate on a different clock than the rest of the world." The doctor has to write orders which must go to pharmacy, therapy, and of course, the nurse. And the nurse may have other patients to discharge. Hours pass.
Time usually drags for expectant mothers. I hear those last months of pregnancy are uncomfortable. And babies seldom arrive on their due dates. Mary too must have wondered if Jesus was ever going to be born.
As we noted last week, Advent is a season of waiting. Some of the best loved Advent texts come from the prophecies of Isaiah who spoke to the people of Judah who had been sent into exile in Babylon. Defeated and depressed, they wondered if God too had been defeated, if God had lost power to the Babylonians. Or maybe God didn't love them anymore. "How long?" they wondered.
The early church waited impatiently for Jesus' return to earth. They thought it would happen soon – certainly within their lifetimes and possible as soon as next Tuesday. The longer they had to wait the more they questioned. Maybe they had misunderstood or perhaps God had let them down. What if Jesus never did come back? As they waited they faced persecution and all the ordinary trials of life. "Maranatha!" or "Come, Lord Jesus!" they prayed.

Read more: A Theology of Waiting - December 7, 2014

Advent Waiting - November 30, 2014

Isaiah 64:1-9
I Corinthians 1:3-9

Here we are, on the first Sunday of Advent. We've lit the first candle of our Advent wreath. The Christmas for Kids tree is up in the back of the sanctuary ready for you to take a tag to purchase a gift for a needy child. In past years the tree has been left bare and sad in that time between the taking of the tags and the bringing of the gifts. This year we are asking you to hang an ornament on the tree once you've taken your tag.
Advent. I think adding the ornaments will be lovely. I also think the bare tree had an Advent message for us. Advent is a season of waiting. It is that almost here but not quite yet time, like when the first tray of cookies is in the oven but not yet done. It's the season of preparation, like the first rehearsal when the choir sings through a difficult piece of music. At that stage the music often does not sound beautiful. As a choir member I'm not sure I'm going to like it. That usually changes after a few rehearsals as the notes come together, and I become more confident in singing, but while we're learning the anthem it is unlovely.

Read more: Advent Waiting - November 30, 2014

Current Church News

  • Worship Time Change - starts - August 18th

    Starting August 18th, 2019 Sunday Worship go back to our regular worship time at 10:30 am Sunday mornings.

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.

322 East Third Street
Moscow, ID 83843


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...