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

Better Together - October 22, 2017

Ephesians 4:1-6, 11-16

In my first year of seminary, I went to Cuba for a 10-day evangelism trip. It was an experience that changed my faith and my life. I have a lot of stories I could tell about that trip, but the one that matters for today is I was there with 2 other women from my school. And like a lot of first-year students we were waiting to be fed our faith life. We were expectant that someone—a professor, a worship leader, the school would set out a banquet of faith so we

could pick and choose. And then, when we were in Cuba we saw that if we wanted to grow in our faith, we had to make it happen. No one else was going to do it for us. We were changed in our faith because of what we witnessed. We had a new belief and understanding of how God could act in our lives and we wanted to be part of that. So we made a commitment. We decided that when we got back to Atlanta, we would pray together every week. When we got back we found a time that worked and a space that was free and we met to pray.

First, we would share what was going on in our lives and then we'd pray. Sometimes we'd sing. sometimes we held the silence. And we grew together. Over the years we met and shared and sang and prayed. We invited others to join us. Some came for a time or two, others came for a season, and some others stuck and stayed with us until graduation.
We haven't been together in person for over 10 years. But we stay close. We have a private space to ask for and share prayers. And we call each other—some of us only once or twice a year, others once or twice a month. those ladies were my small group and in many ways, they continue as my core group of Christian friends.
In a lot of ways, I think that's a big part of Christian community—believing God can do amazing things and knowing that no one can serve up a God-diet on a platter. Instead, to grow in faith we do it for ourselves and we do it together. We learn to care out time to pray, to share, to sing, to laugh, and to simply be together.
Now, I believe in coming to church, please don't hear me as saying anything different. I believe God shows up here and speaks to us and soothes our hurts and challenges our vices. I think worship is a key part of our faith development. And at the same time...we're only actually doing church if we're in community—not just surrounded by people—but connected to them—belonging among them. The church is defined by the togetherness. And some of us happen to think that's for the birds—I mean God is great, but y'all are flawed. I'm not saying I think that—I'm saying some of you think you're fine to do faith without these characters. Right? And I don't think that—I know that. No offense. I know I'm horribly flawed myself. The truth is we all are....and growing in faith with other flawed people presents its challenges.
Why do you think Paul said to the church: "I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling—with humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another IN LOVE. AND making every effort to maintain the UNITY of the Spirit and the bond of peace."?
That's a tall order. And if it were easy, no one would have to say it.

___transition——-

But the truth of the matter is—despite its challenges, (and there are many) we are better together. But together isn't just bodies in the room. It's people who see each other and know each other. It's people who see the one who isn't seen or known and reaches out to them. We'd all (except maybe Kay and Karen) like that whole walking up to a stranger and introducing yourself thing to be someone else's job. But the reality is—if you call this place "my church" if this is where you come regularly—whatever that means in your life—then you're part of us. You belong here. And it's partly your job to help others feel like they belong here.
I don't say that to be preachy. I'm not trying to preach at you—but I want you to see this place matters as a church—not because of our buildings or our music or my peraching—but because of you—because of who we are together!

We are the church and we're only the church if we're together.
After Paul says, "look being together takes work—be humble, be patient, be kind, be loving" he goes on to say—"here's why, because you're better together. God actually intended for us to need one another. kNow how I know? Because some are apostles, some teachers, some preachers, some evangelists. Which is to say, there are no lone rangers. You have a limited capacity, which requires you to depend on someone else. And the purpose of that is UNITY—it's to grow together in FAITH until we're all strong together. And we're called to keep working together until everyone is part of that oneness. Guess what that means?! There's no retirement date for Christian community builders.
Let's do a little truth-telling. How many of you, have ever walked into a church and felt alone?
now, how many of you have ever walked into THIS church and felt alone?

And how many of us believe that God has put someone here in this room who could speak life and build a connection that is just for you? I'm serious. Do we think God equips the church? (yes) For what purpose? according to Paul, it's oneness—unity, and connection.
So, does God just put a bunch of tools in the pews?
Or, does God equip us with the tools we need to draw together as the body of Christ? Not just people in the same place. But connected and belonging. We are better together! Why? Because God created us for community.

Current Church News

  • Christmas Eve Services - Dec 24, 2017

    4:00 PM Family Christmas Eve. This service is especially designed for wiggly, giggly children and is intentionally kept shorter. It will include music by Children's bell choir and leadership from children.

    7:00 PM Traditional Christmas Eve. This service includes music from Choir and Bell Choirs, plus Holy Communion and the Candlelight Ceremony. Child care is provided.

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...