Good Neighbors

As I have listened to people express their hopes and dreams for this congregation, I have heard many people talk about the desire to make a difference in the lives of people who live in our neighborhood. Being in ministry with the children and youth of our neighborhood was a specific area of focus in our church’s “Holy Conversations” work that was done a few years ago.

I believe that one of the places where our church can focus on the children of our neighborhood to make an immediate impact is in developing a partnership with Booker T. Washington Elementary School, the school closest to our church facility. In getting to know the principal at Washington, Mark Davis, I believe that God is orchestrating a potentially life-changing opportunity for our church, if we are up to the challenge.

As you are probably aware, early literacy is a major factor in setting a child up for success in his or her education. Washington has an immediate need for volunteers to work with K-2nd grade students as they are developing their reading skills. Volunteers could work one-on-one with children, listening to them read, or they could work with a classroom teacher, reading with kids in groups or whatever is needed. I would like to see our church step into this gap in a big way, sending dozens of reading partners onto the campus for an hour each week.

There will be a dinner on Sunday, September 24 at 6:00 pm for current volunteers and anyone else who may be interested in learning more about this emerging partnership. I hope you will prayerfully consider serving in this special and important way. If we want to impact the lives of children in our neighborhood, this is the perfect place for us to start. If you plan to come, we do ask that you RSVP at For more information, please reach out to Georgia Harrison.

I look forward to the ways that we will continue to grow in our faith and action as we share the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ with those around us. I also look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we worship God together.

With love, and joy, serving as your pastor-
John McLarty

September 20, 2017 Newsletter

The September 20, 2017 Newsletter is now available online.

Fall in the Falls Luncheon

The YES (Young Energetic Seniors) Committee again will launch a tremendous project to benefit FUMC when the committee presents a luncheon and decorative show by Pier One Imports of Wichita Falls Thursday, October 5 in Fellowship Hall. All proceeds from this event will go to raising funds for new flooring in the FUMC Atrium. Fall in the Falls will be held at 11 a.m. beginning with a luncheon followed by the demonstration of decorative, clever, and original ideas by Rachelle Edwards and Shirley Rollis of Pier One. This program is a donation by Pier One Imports.

Tickets are available for $25 from YES members and the church office. Contact Jeanne Rigg, YES treasurer, at 692-5130 or Sue Babb, YES chairman, at 767-1079 for more information.

3rd Graders to Receive Bibles

Third graders are invited to receive the gift of a Bible from the Keystone Sunday school class in our 10:30 worship service on Sunday, September 24. All third graders are invited to participate!

Following the service, we will have the opportunity to learn to be Bible Sleuths! All third graders and a parent or other loving adult are invited to join us for this traditional “lunch and learn.” Please let Kim English know by September 18 if you plan to participate.


Next Steps

Getting acquainted (or reacquainted) with a church community is an interesting process. There are people in leadership and staff positions to get to know. There are ways of doing things to figure out. There are the regular and predictable daily and weekly tasks of ministry – sermon and worship preparation, hospital visits, meetings, etc. There are also aspects of learning the culture and trying to get a sense of the pulse of the congregation and community.

Over the 13 sessions of my “Listening Tour,” Jennifer and I received lots of insight as to where our congregation is right now and what God may be calling us to do. I shared some of this information with our Administrative Council a few weeks ago and suggested that we look for a time for our church family to explore some of the next steps that we might take together. This suggestion has materialized into an event that we are preparing for Sunday, September 17.

The Next Steps Summit will be an opportunity to bring the church family together to share ideas, hopes, and dreams, and cultivate a vision that will help us reach and serve people in our community. We will share a meal immediately following worship, then spend some time around tables together talking about how we believe God is leading us. This summit is not intended to be the final step on our journey, but rather an opportunity to survey the landscape from a higher view as we plot the course for our future.

I really hope that you will plan to be part of this work. Kim English is coordinating childcare for families with kids. We are also arranging for lunch so that we can get started as quickly after worship as possible in order to maximize the day. (The Dallas Cowboys kick off at 3:25 that day and we will be done well before that!)

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you each Sunday in worship and Sunday school. I have been enjoying our opportunities to worship God together and to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. I also hope that you have been looking for ways that you can recommend First Church to friends and those you encounter. God is moving in powerful ways and it is exciting to think about what God might be calling us to do.

With love, and joy, serving as your pastor-
John McLarty

September 6, 2017 Newsletter

The September 6, 2017 Newsletter is now available.

RSVP: Next Steps Summit

Sunday, September 17, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Everyone in 6th grade through adults is invited to be in conversation about what our “next steps” as a congregation might be and what our vision is for the future. This is an important discussion and we hope everyone will make an effort to attend.

Lunch will be provided. Please bring $7/adult and $4/child to cover the cost of food. Child care will be available for children through 5th grade. Please RSVP below and indicate whether you will need child care and the age(s) of your child(ren) so we may adequately prepare.

Registration is now closed. Please call the office at 766-4231 with any questions or concerns.

Click here for more information on the Summit!

PIE Partners Dinner

On Sunday, September 24 at 6:00 pm we will have a dinner and conversation to thank each person who is reading with or mentoring a child at our PIE (Partners in Education) partner school, Booker T. Washington Elementary. Mark Davis, the school’s principal, will be present to hear our stories and share some stories of his own! Those who helped last year and those who want to help this year are encouraged to join us.

RSVP below!

RSVP: Booker T. Washington Dinner

RSVP: Booker T. Washington Dinner