Acolyte Training

All incoming 5th graders through 12th graders! You are invited to serve as an acolyte for the 2017-18 academic year. Training for ALL who wish to serve as acolytes will be Wednesday, August 16. Please contact Kim English to schedule a time or with questions. If that date does not work, please contact Kim and other arrangements can be made. Training is mandatory. We would love for every 5th through 12th grader to have the opportunity to serve our church in this way!



And They’re Off…!

I thought that title was a little more professional than Darrell Waltrip’s signature NASCAR catchphrase “Oogitty boogitty, let’s go racin’!”

This season in the life of a church can be very exciting. A new pastor. New possibilities.

It can also be a little scary. What is going to happen? What can we expect?

From my perspective as the incoming pastor, I can honestly say that I feel the same way. I am excited about what we might do together as we discern the leading of God’s Holy Spirit. I am also a little nervous about what is in our future.

My greatest hope is that First UMC will be an influential part of our community as we participate in God’s work in our world by offering a life-changing relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. We may have different ways of seeing the world and different ideas of how we might accomplish this work, but if we share the goal of following the example and teaching of Jesus, I believe we will see amazing things happen in our church, our community, and our world.

As we get started, I will offer a series of sermons intended to help us remember and reconnect with some of the core practices of successful and effective churches. We’ll talk about the impact we might have when we get serious about hospitality, generosity, service, worship, and discipleship. I hope you will plan to be present in worship each week and recommend First UMC to a friend or a neighbor.

In addition, Jennifer and I look forward to getting reacquainted with old friends and making new friends in the weeks and months to come. We are excited about making a home in Wichita Falls once again.

Finally, I hope you will pray about the ways you can contribute to what God is doing through our church. Whether it’s Vacation Bible School, youth mission trips, Intentional Caring Unit, or something else, there are lots of opportunities to get connected to the ministry of First UMC. I’ve learned that our faith is strengthened when we are participating together. I look forward to hearing your stories of the ways that your service is impacting the lives of other people.

Let’s get off to a great start together and continue the tradition of this great church of being a place where real transformation can happen.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we celebrate God’s love together in worship.

With love, and joy, serving as your pastor-

John McLarty


July 12, 2017 Newsletter

The July 12, 2017 Newsletter is now available.

Interfaith Pantry Needs Donations!

Interfaith Outreach Services provides temporary food assistance to Wichita County and Holliday residents who do not currently receive food stamps, and whose monthly income does not cover their basic needs. Food donations are always very welcome.

Here’s a list of items MOST needed (updated July ’17):

  • Canned beans (i.e. pork & beans)
  • Boxed potatoes
  • Canned fruit
  • Cereal

Thanks for helping keep Interfaith’s shelves stocked!

RSVP for a Listening Tour Date

We’d love to have as many people as possible attend a Listening Tour session and help our new senior pastor get to know more about FUMC! All adults are welcome and you may attend any session that fits your schedule. Rev. John McLarty and his wife, Jennifer, will be attending these sessions (mostly held in people’s homes) to listen to the perspective of our congregation. They will come prepared with questions for you so you don’t need to worry about what to talk about!

We are asking that you please RSVP for the session you plan to attend so the hosts can prepare adequately.

Update: if you are signed up for the session on July 25 hosted by Mary Jane Smith, it will take place in the FUMC Parlor.

RSVP: Listening Tour

RSVP: Listening Tour

An RSVP is not required, but is helpful for our hosts to plan. If you know which tour date you'll be attending, please tell us below.

For privacy reasons, we are not listing addresses. Please contact the church office or the host for information on meeting places. Note: Wednesday, August 2 at the Brothertons' is full. Tuesday, July 25 at Mary Jane Smith's is full.
If members of your family are coming to the same session, let us know how many of you will be there. If members of your family are attending separate sessions, please submit a different RSVP for each session.

New Thursday Morning Study

Starting Thursday, July 13, the Thursday Morning Bible study group will be studying the book of Galatians, using the book God Unbound by Elaine Heath, Dean of Duke Divinity School, as a guide.

The group meets Thursdays from 10:30 am-noon in the Sweeton Room.

Books are available in the church office for $8. Contact Rev. Georgia Harrison at 766-4231 or for more information.


Watanabes in San Diego

Our organist Kiyo Watanabe and his wife Chiemi are going to give an “outdoor” organ concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion in Balboa Park, San Diego on Monday, July 10, 7:30 pm. Kiyo and Chiemi are the featured artists for the 30th Annual International Summer Organ Festival.

If you’d like to watch the concert via webcast, click the link below. It will be available to live stream on Monday, July 10 at 7:30 pm Pacific Time (9:30 pm Central Time) and remain on the website for 48 hours following the concert.

Listening Tour Coming to FUMC

by Rev. Don Pellikan, in The First Word, June 28, 2017

As we get closer to Rev. McLarty’s first Sunday, we’d like to share with you a couple of ways you can get to know him and help welcome him back to Wichita Falls.

* Rev. McLarty’s Listening Tour:

The church is organizing a Listening Tour for Rev. McLarty. A Listening Tour is a series of gatherings in homes or other sites away from the church building for members to come together to meet the new pastor and to share their perspectives on the church. The gatherings are for the members to share with Rev. McLarty their thoughts, hopes and dreams for the church. They are not for us to learn about Rev. McLarty and his vision, but for him to learn from us. Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate. There will be twelve gatherings between July 23 and August 14. Dates and places will be announced soon.

* Welcoming Reception:

There will be a reception in the Atrium on July 9 following worship to welcome our new pastor and his family. Along with the reception, we invite the church to bring cards of welcoming and encouragement to be shared with Rev. McLarty on this first Sunday. Another generous act of hospitality is to include gift certificates to local restaurants or businesses (especially home improvement stores). Bring your cards to church that Sunday or bring them by the office.

Moving into a new home and community can be overwhelming. Let us do what we can, to help the move be pleasant and grace-filled.