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

Strengthening the Churches - August 24, 2014

Exodus 18:13-27
Acts 15:36-41

"What troubles have we seen, what mighty conflicts past, fightings without, and fears within, since we assembled last?"

Charles Wesley's words have often been sung at the Opening Worship service of Annual Conference, the regional gathering of United Methodists. They speak to us today at the end of the summer and the start of the new academic year.
They also describe the realities all churches face. Fightings without and fears within, and very often fightings within and fears without are common in churches large and small. For all we like to think of ourselves as one big happy family, united in mission and ministry, the truth is that it is seldom that idyllic. From worship wars between those who favor traditional versus those who favor contemporary worship, to disagreements about local versus international mission, to hurt feelings, conflict is a part of the church.

Read more: Strengthening the Churches - August 24, 2014

Forward Through The Ages - August 17, 2014

I Kings 8:27-30
Acts 15:22-35

On December 21, 1876, seven people met in the old Maguire schoolhouse three miles south of Moscow to organize the Moscow Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Milton Anderson was the first pastor. In the early years, the fledgling church met on the upper floor of a building at the corner of 4th and Main, and then for a while at the Baptist Church.
Our church history does not specify whether Rev. Anderson was sent here by the Annual Conference to start a church or if those seven lay people had begun to organize one on their own. The 1876 date is listed as the start of Rev. Anderson's tenure, so my guess is that he had done initial work prior to the December 21 meeting.
However it came about, the church began then and the rest, as we say, is history.

Read more: Forward Through The Ages - August 17, 2014

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 We laugh at it, albeit a bit uncomfortably, as we joke about tradition bound people who are stuck in their outdated ways.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

Current Church News

  • Christmas Eve Services - Dec 24, 2018

    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...