This mission statement was agreed upon by the Session of First Presbyterian Church (FPC) of Iola in March 2013. Our church seeks to fulfill this mission by placing Jesus Christ at the center of our ministry both within and beyond our church. To that end, sharing the love of Christ and opening our doors to all people has become a priority for this caring church family.
FPC is a congregation of faithful followers of Christ in a small, progressive community. We are primarily educated professionals of varied backgrounds, joining spiritual perspectives from various denominations. Unlike some traditional, small town churches, FPC has a core of spirited, friendly and welcoming individuals who are open to new ideas, new visions.
FPC offers ministry through worship, education, music, mission work and the sharing and giving of gifts. Sunday worship services follow traditional Presbyterian liturgy with communion served monthly. Traditional and contemporary music styles are incorporated with the aid of video technology and a sound system. Reflecting our communityís support for the arts, FPCís love of music in worship is evident in our commitment to employ part-time music directors and maintain quality instruments in the sanctuary. A pipe organ, electric organ and piano are used in worship as well as accompaniment for the adult and childrenís choirs. Additional musical groups include hand bells and chimes.
A part-time Christian Education Director (currently vacant due to a recent retirement), Christian Education Team and Youth Council oversee programs including Sunday School for children, youth and adults, a weekly Kidís Club and youth group. We hope to grow these programs with the help of pastoral leadership.
Our mission is fulfilled through the generous gifts and experiences with which God has richly blessed this congregation. Members demonstrate leadership and spiritual discernment by organizing opportunities to minister through mission work. For example, working with our Presbyterian brothers and sisters in Mexico to construct a variety of buildings, volunteering with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in Iola, Moore, OK, Joplin, MO and Bayville, NJ after disasters hit, or helping local residents with house repairs, our church builds relationships, understanding and faith through these inter-generational efforts. Such experiences have inspired many members to serve. We are proud that three members of our congregation have recently attended seminary with the nurture and support of the congregation.
Members are willing to share their faith through acts of volunteerism in the church and community. For example, a collaborative VBS with neighboring churches brings together 200 children and volunteers. Many members assist local non-profit organizations such as Thrive Allen County dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents.
A meaningful personal experience is the sharing of joys and concerns in worship. We are comfortable asking for prayers for ourselves and others knowing that our loving congregation will follow through with these requests. This experience draws us closer to each other and God as we take our sincere joys and deepest sorrows to God in prayer.
FPC feels called to discern a new vision for our church; an understanding of Godís intention for us and our role in the greater community. While past ministries have been vibrant and fruitful, we sense this as a time in which to revitalize our faith through action.
H.W. Ewing, Clerk of the Session, wrote this Cornerstone History to be placed inside the cornerstone. The day of the setting ceremony, it was "... not read because it was desired to shorten the ceremony ..." It was printed in The Iola Register on September 5, 1903.