The congregation of the United Church of Faith (Methodist and Presbyterian U.S.A.) range from young families with children to the elderly. The United Church of Faith has gracefully completed over fourteen years together as a union church and seeks a minister who can help us continue to grow in new and imaginative ways as we praise and glorify Jesus Christ.
Keota is a town of approximately 1,000. The population gains its livelihood from the agriculture industry, although some travel to neighboring towns to work. The businesses in town provide goods and services basic to sufficiently care for everyday needs (post office, bank, hardware store, grocery store, gas stations, converience store, a weekly newspaper, and a few specialty shops). There are three manufacturing plants which employ around 100 people. In addition, Maplewood Manor Nusing Home is locally owned and operated, housing fifty-four residents and employing sixty. Other services include Wilson Memorial Library, recently enlarged and providing programs for all ages, and Lagos Acres Country Club, a beautiful nine hole golf course with a club house and a public swimming pool.
The community is fortunate to have it's own school system. Preschool-sixth grade are housed in one wing and seventh-twelfth are located in the opposite wing. In 2004, a second gymnasium, ICN room, elementary media center and several classrooms were added to the facility.
Another appealing attribute is the location. Keota thirty-eight miles from Iowa City, a city of 60,000 with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, cultural events, art exibits, diverse restaurants, and Big Ten athletics can be enjoyed year round. People travel for miles to take advantage of the excellent medical care available at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. The University of Iowa is a leader among the nation's institutions of higher learning.
In Keota, the building which houses the United Church of Faith is a lovely brick building built in 1962 with a sanctuary capacity of 250 and air conditioned in 2002. On the main floor is the Pastor' office with an adjoining second office. The sancturay is a blend of modern architecture and newly installed stained glass windows salvaged from the old Methodist Church. Also located on the first floor are a library, Sunday School Superintendent's office, a lounge which is used for meetings and Sunday School, and an overflow area at the back of the sanctuary, also used for Sunday School. In the basement is a large kitchen and fellowship hall along with four Sunday School rooms. Every square inch of the church is utilized, and it would be advantageous in the future to have more room available.
Located a block away from the church building is the parsonage, a lovely brick, ranch style home on a corner lot. It was built in 1975 and has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, a full basement, an attached garage, and central air conditioning. Recently updated, the home is in excellent condition.
With a membership of 350, the United Church of Faith offers opportunites for people of diverse ages and talents. We have a Chancel choir. Sunday school classes are available for ages three through adult. Kid's Club, in its 16th year, meets Tuesdays after school for ages preschool through sixth grade. Average attendance is thirty, and manyf non churched children are reached through this ministry. A Youth Group for ninth through twelfth grades meets twice a month on Sunday evenings. Vacation Bible School is held for one week each year and reaches many children including Bethel and members of the Catholic congregation. Vacation Bible School had 110 involved in 2011. In all Christian Education activities, the congregation welcomes the involvement of the pastor as much as time allows.
Within the Christian Education department, the Family Activities Committee plans and implements several events throughout the year. These include hay rides, wiener roasts, an Advent Party, swimming party, skating party, bowling, pie social and Christmas caroling. We are a fun-loving congregation and are open to new ideas.
The "30 Something" group of young adults meets on Friday nights approximately 8 times per year for a variety of social activities.
Two women's groups are active in the church. The United Women's Fellowship is focused on local mission projects, and the Women United sponsor the Presbyterian and Methodist projects.
The Men's Brotherhood, which meets as needed, contributes to local missions through the profits from forty acres of farmland owned by the Presbyterian church. They also provide scholarships to college students who are church members.
Through local missions, our church assists the needy in our community by providing food and clothing. We implement two big projects this year. Our annual "Back to School" project provides school supplies and new and used clothing to children. At Christmas, members of the congregation purchase gifts for children, and food for needy families. St. Mary's Catholic Church in Keota has enhanced our efforts the past few years by donating to our local mission projects.
The governing body of our church is the Administrative Session Board. Comprised of nine members and the pastor, it meets once a month. Open to sharing and spiritual growth, the members elected to this board oversee the life of the congregation and fulfill the responsibilities of the Book of Order.
Our congregation is generous and creatively involved. In fact, many of the projects over the past several years have been financed through special donations. These include moving and restoring the stained-glass windows, air conditioning, the paving of two parking areas, a new roof, and carpet for the entryway's.
Besides the United Church of Faith, the only other church in Keota is St. Mary's Catholic Church. We enjoy a cordial relationship. St. Mary's invites us to be a part of their high school prom mass in the spring, with many students and parents attending. The UCF pastor participates in this service and some years is asked to deliver the homily.
As we continue to thrive as warm and open, thelogically-diverse congregation, strengths vital to our needs are the following: counseling of members and non-members, hospital and nursing home visitaion, evangelism and teaching, congregational communication, and to maintain strong ecumenical ties with St. Mary's and within the community. The congregation looks forward to the leadership of a pastor, who will enthusiastically teach us, grow with us, and lead us into our future.