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

Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - February 16, 2021

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. It is the beginning of the season of Lent (the 40 days, plus Sundays) of preparation before Easter. Traditionally it’s a time of sacrifice and fasting….spiritual cleansing of sorts to then fully embrace the goodness and grace of Easter.

And, over the centuries, the practices of fasting have sometimes felt more punitive than purifying. For some, Lent is only about the things they can’t have—meat, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, dessert, and less about opening their hearts to the movement of God. In the decades I’ve been alive, I’ve seen significant movement within the church for folks to find things to embrace, and not just sacrifices to make. I’ve been invited to add in a practice of prayer, a Bible study, journaling, meditation, music, and time in an intentional relationship.

This year, when asked, I’ve heard a chorus of clergy say “I’m not giving anything else up, I’ve sacrificed enough this year!” Which I totally get. AND, I know many folks have allowed “coping mechanisms” of alcohol, comfort food, and other vices to take hold in the pandemic and haven’t turned to God as they might have otherwise. If that rings true for you, I’d invite you to think about setting something aside this Lent. Personally, I’ve allowed Facebook to be a numbing agent. When I need a diversion, I scroll and it’s not always (often?) life-giving. So, one of my Lenten fasts is regularly scrolling social media. I will allow myself just one time a day to check-in, post for myself and the church page, and check-in with friends, and then off again.

The other side of the season is to add in practices…find things that nurture your relationship with God. Maybe that’s a dedicated time of prayer, maybe it’s reading a book on faith, studying a book of the Bible, singing from the hymnal or with your favorite praise songs, or sending care cards to family and friends. There are lots of options.

You can always choose multiple things. Whatever you do, I do hope you will think about what you can do intentionally to nurture your relationship with God. Maybe you’ll give up something so you can be more mindful and ask God to fill the needs in your heart and mind, or maybe you’ll add in a practice to establish a more regular rhythm in your discipleship.

For all of us, I pray that we receive the gifts of the season.

Through the church, we do have a few special offerings for Lent. We hope you’ll take advantage of the ways that feel right to you.

We are using the Ash Wednesday service created and offered by the District office. The service is about 45 minutes long and will post on our Facebook page at 6 am tomorrow. It will then be available any time after. I invite you to take time to worship, to focus on the themes of repentance for Ash Wednesday, and start Lent intentionally.

Small group book study on “The Sermon on the Mount” by Amy Jill Levine. We have multiple days and times that are possibilities. Many started this week, but it’s not too late to join. For class times you can use this link, or you can email Jenny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are making prayer flags. We have swatches of fabric for you to write your prayers and we will string them together to make a prayer banner. They can be specific prayers or general ones. You’re invited to use the open sanctuary times (listed below) to come to do a swatch (or two or three) or to email me and I can do a door-drop delivery.

We are taking a special offering to help the World Health Organization and the United Nations deliver and administer COVID-19 vaccines in the developing world. To donate, send a check or make a Paypal donation and use “vaccines” in the memo line.

We are offering various ministry opportunities for children and youth. This includes a small group study at 9 am online on Sundays for teens. “Take 10” (at 10:10 on Sunday mornings for elementary and Junior High aged kids) and a “Chopped Challenge” on a Sunday afternoon. If you have a kiddo or youth who would like to participate, please contact Jenny at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are opening the sanctuary for prayer on Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:30 (starting 2/21) and Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 pm (starting 2/24). You may enter the sanctuary from the main door or the accessible entrance. There will be a host to greet you and answer questions if you have them. You must mask and distance when in the building.


In Christ,

Pastor Debbie


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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.

322 East Third Street
Moscow, ID 83843


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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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