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

I See A New Church - August 10, 2014

Isaiah 43:18-19
Acts 15: 6-22

"But we've always done it that way!" has itself been said so often that it has become a cliché. We laugh at it, albeit a bit uncomfortably, as we joke about tradition bound people who are stuck in their outdated ways.
The truth is that sometimes experience is a good teacher. There can be valid reasons why organizations and individuals have done things the same way for years. I use the same recipe for pie crust that my mother used and hers before her. It tastes good and is comparatively easy. Furthermore, it is the way I learned to make pie crust and there's no need to change.
The other side of the story is that the way we've always done things can become a trap. As the world around us changes, the old ways don't always work. When new people come into a group they can be excluded and shut out because they don't know the old way and their ideas are dismissed.

Read more: I See A New Church - August 10, 2014

Be Strong and Courageous - August 3, 2014

Joshua 1:1-9
Matthew 28:16-20

As we conclude our exploration of the Scriptures used at the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference in June, we come to Joshua 1. This passage was read at the Closing Worship.
For many years at that service, the Bishop read the appointments of all the clergy in the conference. Clergy donned their robes and marched in. Some called it the Penguin Parade. The Bishop then charged pastors and lay people to go back to our local churches to carry on with ministry in the name of Jesus Christ.
It was, for me and others, a deeply moving and powerful time as we heard the Bishop's commission. On the other hand, it made for a long service, after a full week, with many miles to travel home. So in recent years we have read the appointments two districts at a time at other points during the conference. I understand why. I'm now on the team that makes that decision. And a piece of me still longs for the charge from the Bishop at that closing service. Whenever it happens, the Bishop essentially tells us all, "Be strong and courageous."

Read more: Be Strong and Courageous - August 3, 2014

The Essence of Our Faith - July 27, 2014

Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Matthew 22:34-41

As we continue to explore the Scripture passages read at Annual Conference this past June, we come to Deuteronomy 6:1-9. At Annual Conference I had the privilege of joining a few others in an early morning Bible Study led by Dr. Jeffrey Kuan, President of Claremont School of Theology and an Old Testament scholar.
I already knew a bit about this text. Deuteronomy 6:4 is known in Judaism as The Shema, from the Hebrew word for to hear. This is the one text I know in Hebrew: Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai echad. That's all the Hebrew I know.
I learned it in seminary when I took a course on Contemporary Judaism. This verse is the most important verse in all of Judaism. Faithful Jews recite it each morning when they wake up and each night before they go to sleep. Its role in Judaism is roughly equivalent to John 3:16 in Christianity. It sums up the most basic elements of their faith. Because Christianity has its roots in Judaism it is also a core text for us.
Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai echad. The New Revised Standard Version translates it, "Hear, O Israel; the Lord is our God, the Lord alone." The Common English Bible puts it, "Our God is the Lord: Only the Lord." This verse is actually difficult to translate because, as Dr. Kuan explained, the Hebrew does not include any verbs. A literal translation would be, "Hear Israel, the Lord God, the Lord alone."
As with anything in the Bible, to really understand it, we need to look at the broader context. The Book of Deuteronomy is addressed to the Hebrew people as they are, at long last, about to enter into the land of Canaan. They have spent forty years wandering in the wilderness after escaping slavery in Egypt and are looking ahead to a land of promise.

Read more: The Essence of Our Faith - July 27, 2014

Knowing Whose We Are - July 20, 2014

Exodus 6:2-9

A month ago today the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference opened with members from churches in Washington and the panhandle of Idaho, both lay and clergy. Our theme was, "What's the Next Act?" The theme is set by our Bishop. It guides worship, for which I have particular responsibilities as the chair of the worship team, and the overall work of the conference.
The Bishop also chose theme Scriptures which we used at worship and in an early morning Bible Study led by Dr. Jeffrey Kuan, president of the Claremont School of Theology and an Old Testament scholar.
To share with you some of what took place at Conference, we'll spend the next three weeks exploring some of those Scriptures. We'll also use some of the liturgy. Our own CH drew the pictures used for the worship bulletins and we'll use those too.
"What's our Next Act?" was Bishop Hagiya's way of helping us to think about how the church moves forward into the future. Before moving forward it is necessary to remember who we are and whose we are.
At Annual Conference that remembering took place on our first day as we gathered together. Clergy are required to attend and many churches send the same lay members year after year. Others are new to Conference, as were our two lay members, so gathering means both reunion with old friends and making new ones.
This year the Opening service took a special focus because of where we were: the Puyallup Fairgrounds. During World War II they were an assembly center for Japanese Americans being sent to internment camps. It was called Camp Harmony. To acknowledge this sad history, Japanese Americans who were at the camps read poems and shared stories. Our Bishop, a third generation Japanese American who was born after the war, shared some of his family's experiences. It was a deeply moving time.

Read more: Knowing Whose We Are - July 20, 2014

Imagine and Grow With God - June 29, 2014

Esther 4:12-17; 7:1-6
Matthew 13:31-32

We celebrate Vacation Bible School today by singing many of the songs and looking at some of their crafts and decorations. The theme for VBS was Workshop of Wonders: Imagine and Grow with God. Each day the children explored a different Bible story related to the theme. This morning I want to highlight two of them: the story of Queen Esther and the parable of the mustard seed.
Queen Esther's story is one of my favorite Bible stories. It is only ten chapters long. While that's too long to read in worship, it makes for a great Sunday afternoon story. I encourage you to give it a try.
It is a drama full of intrigue and action, with colorful characters ranging from a beautiful and brave heroine to a proud and evil villain. Imagine it with me. Cheer for our heroine and boo for the villain.

Read more: Imagine and Grow With God - June 29, 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.

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...

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