Dear First Methodist Family,

A compelling vision is what makes First Methodist a great church.   Vision is at the core of who we are.  Take away our vision for the future and our passion for serving Christ dims.  Vision is the fuel that keeps First Methodist on target as we move toward a great future.  It’s the fire that ignites the passion of those of us who are Christ followers.  It’s the clear call that sustains a church like ours year after year, decade after decade, as the people of this great church offer consistent and sacrificial service to God.  It’s this vision that made our Easter weekend such a celebration of life.   I love the flower covered cross.  When it is brought down the aisle, I’m always moved by what God has done for us.  I loved the Maundy Thursday service, the Easter Egg hunt, and all six Easter worship services.  It was an extraordinary weekend, and the Good News was the winning factor.  Thanks to all those who worked so hard to make it all work.   It was one of our best Easter celebrations ever.  But it is always clear to be that “Vision” is not for the past, no matter how wonderful that past was, it is always for the future.   A God sent vision is a great gift from God, and his constant guidance continually gives that vision clarity.

fumcwaco, message, series

Proverbs 29:18 says,  “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.”  An older translation says,  “Without vision, the people  perish.”  I’ve seen it many times – without vision, people lose the vitality that makes them feel alive.

The members and friends of First Methodist have continually made valiant attempts to grasp the vision God is giving our church as we build toward the future.   I’ve always felt that vision filling people with a passion for God and for God’s people.

I have felt the power of vision at Easter.  I’ve felt that vision at work many times during the 20 years I’ve been in ministry here.   If fact, I’ll begin my twentieth year as Senior Pastor here on May 1st.  It’s been an amazing twenty years, and I love this church more than ever.  It’s a great gift to love what you do, and I’ve loved what I do here for a very long time.  However, as most of you know,  June 25th will be my last Sunday as your pastor.  We’ve made the decision prayerfully to move toward retirement on that date.  I have many opportunities to do ministry in other settings, and we will not just stay home and plant flowers.   We will stay in Waco, in the same home at Sunwest,  our grandchildren will still attend the preschool here, and they will all still be involved In this church.  However, we will no longer be involved in leading this church.  It’s a change God has led us to, and we are confident  Rev. Ryan Barnett will be God’s man for your next 20 years.   However…   we have ten more weekends together.   Do you know what that means?  It means a ten-week message series, my final, called,  “God is Big Enough – What Matters Most.”

I’m looking forward to this message series.   The “God is Big Enough” theme has been a powerful miracle that began at this church nearly eight years ago.  Millions of those GIBE bracelets are out, and church after church is following our lead.  What fun!

The first message will be this weekend on April 22 and 23, and it will be called  “God is Big Enough.”  I’m looking forward to this weekend and to the following nine weekends of worshiping with you.  God was big enough for our past,  God is big enough for our present, and God is more than big enough for our future. 


Rev. Steve Ramsdell