Keota United Church of Faith Celebrates Going “Back to Church”

September 9th, the Keota United Church of Faith celebrated “National Back to Church Sunday.” 

On September 9th, the Keota United Church of Faith (UCF) celebrated a growing national movement, “National Back to Church Sunday.” The vision of National Back to Church Sunday is to create a movement of churches encouraging their members to invite every person in America back to church. Now in its 10th year, the goal of the 2018 National Back to Church Sunday movement was to see over 10,000 churches participating and inviting their community to give church a try. The Keota UCF was one of those churches.

            Beginning early in 2018, leadership in the church began forming plans to reach out to their neighbors and friends to invite them to our special day. Between 70 – 90% of people who visit a church come because they were invited by someone they knew. Using personal invitations and direct mailings, we sent out approximately 1,200 invitations. We wanted everyone to know that Keota has a wonderful church that is directly involved in its community.

            Our goal was to celebrate and renew the church and connect it to its community. In addition, we wanted to invite people without a church home to “give church a try.” Our morning worship consisted of a beloved children’s time (where we learned what a church was), the Children’s Choir and Adult Choir singing specials, Vicki Fagen sharing all of the church’s unique mission and community outreaches, and a morning message reminding us why, “A Community Needs a Church.” And while there is always room for more people, we were grateful for all the visitors, members, and friends of the Keota UCF who “came back to church.” It was fun worshiping in a full sanctuary (and it wasn’t even Easter).

            Following the morning service we took a historic photograph of the congregation, the Men’s and Woman’s Groups served lunch, the Keota Brass Band entertained on the church lawn, and dozens of children played in the bounce houses and with the yard games. It was simply a delightful and joyful morning—as church should be.

            Communities indeed need churches. People will always need a place to find encouragement, grow faith, serve others, and build community. And churches are more than buildings; churches are people—God’s people. In the hymn we sang Sunday morning, “We Are the Church,” the verse says: “The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.” The Keota UCF are people of faith who were happy to host all their neighbors and friends who joined us for “National Back to Church Sunday.” And our goal is that everyone will come back to church—every Sunday.

            Pastor Vince Homan