In Mission Together update from the Riverview Park District

In Mission Together update from the Riverview Park District

April 06, 2022

New Hope UMC — Des Moines

New Hope partnered with the Filipino American Society in Iowa to provide the facility and volunteer support for free COVID vaccinations for the Asian and Immigrant Communities in Polk County. 

Interpreters were available from the Asian Coalition to explain, answer questions and provide emotional support to participants. Vaccinations were given by a group of volunteer pharmacists.

Organized by the Mission Committee, church volunteers staffed the intake table, the vaccination room and the ‘15-minute waiting room’ as well as provided lunch. 

In addition, they provided assistance to the very capable “Vacci Taxi” personnel who transported participants to and from the church.
New Hope had a very busy day as 250 persons were vaccinated. It was a successful In Mission Together partnership.

Center Chapel UMC — Indianola

This rural church with an average Sunday attendance of 20-25 persons has a passion for missions including helping the homeless in their community.

Heal House is an old hotel converted into a residence in Indianola. The purpose is to help non-drug addicted homeless persons get back on their feet by providing them a stable residence. It is a collaborative effort supported by many churches and organizations. 

Center Chapel sponsors room #16. They have painted and decorated the room, furnished supplies of towels, sheets and toiletries- anything needed to make it a warm and comfortable living space.

When the room is occupied, Central Chapel is notified so they can support the person with prayer as they work to get their life back on track. 

There are church members who also volunteer at Heal House in answering the phone, working at the front desk, doing yard work etc.
A great partnership of a small rural church working with others In Mission Together.
Valley UMC — West Des Moines 

Members of Valley UMC, West Des Moines expanded their prayer shawl ministry during the pandemic. Approximately 1135 shawls were given to Iowa Lutheran Hospital healthcare workers to bless, support and encourage them while they worked so very hard to care for all during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a unique opportunity to be In Mission Together.

Altoona UMC

Because of disruptions due to COVID-19, Altoona UMC started Make a Difference Project as a way for church members to individually do something, that when combined with many others, would make an impact for local ministries such as food pantries and homeless shelters.

The project continued to expand including letters and pictures drawn by Sunday School age children. These were sent as encouragement to missionaries overseas. The Make a Difference Project continues to be an ongoing effort In Mission Together.

Hope UMC – Marshalltown

At Hope UMC in Marshalltown the church and all activities were closed due to the pandemic. The Christian Education Committee and Sunday School representatives decided to maintain contact with families that included children and youth. They used this unique opportunity to create Door Dash. The committees made various packets of material including stories, crafts and Bible verses; these were dropped off at the designated homes by the members known as Door Dashers.

Some 20 families were served each month. Special emphasis was placed on in-home worship during the Advent and Lenten seasons. What a wonderful way to be In Mission Together.

Hopkins Grove UMC — Madrid

For Hopkins Grove UMC Project Imagine is a direct result of the pandemic and an answer to "how do we serve families who could use a lift and a bit of care?" Congregants found a unique way to be In Mission Together.

The initial plan was to provide direct food delivery to families during the pandemic, particularly fresh food not available from food pantries. To make it even more different “special events” were identified, the first being a Mother’s Day Box that included all the ingredients for a special Mother’s Day breakfast. Boxes were delivered to families by members of this small congregation.
That success spurred the congregation to create more fun boxes. For example, close to the Fourth of July boxes were delivered that contained summer picnic items including fresh ground beef and buns. As time went on 20 boxes for 20 families were created for each of 12 events. 

Trinity Las Americas UMC — Des Moines

Trinity Las Americas UMC partnered with 8th & College Connections to involve English Language Learner students and Sweet Tooth Farms employees to provide plants and labor for the community garden on Trinity Las Americas land. The church provided water and assisted with maintenance.

Twenty gardeners from seven countries, as well as many community volunteers, were involved during the summer of 2021 growing vegetables and other crops for local families. Building relationships and sharing the workload is a great example of being In Mission Together.
Aldersgate UMC — Urbandale

Aldersgate UMC has grown produce in their garden for the express purpose of donating to the Urbandale Food Pantry. For several years the Iowa Chin Baptist congregation has leased space from Aldersgate for worship and activities. Recently, Aldersgate expanded this relationship through the garden. They invited Chin Baptist to share the garden so they might grow vegetables more common to their culture and cuisine. It has been another In Mission Together success story.
Ankeny First UMC

The Agape Garden, a long-time ministry of Ankeny First UMC, is a very large garden devoted to feeding others. Thousands of pounds of vegetables and fruits are donated to various pantries throughout the community including DMARC. The labor is a shared ecumenical effort involving many individuals from the community who are In Mission Together.