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Connecting with one another opens room for the power of the Holy Spirit. That power is released through the gifts, natural abilities, and good and bad experiences each of us has had. We all have something of value to offer, and nothing short of the transformation of the world is at stake. Meaningful work is important to having a meaningful life; contributing what you have to the transformation of the world is as meaningful as it gets.

There is more going on when we serve, though. When we respond in service, we find ourselves back at worship, discovering the love of God from the other side as we express love to others with no expectation of repayment. To respond is its own reward; it elevates our ability to praise the worthiness of God.

Respond to God's gift of love by serving your neighbor.

Use the RESPOND ICON/LINK to see a listing of ONGOING RESPOND ministries and SIGNUP for more information!


  • Love Lunches

    Summer Meal Program

    Love Lunches is a summer lunch program for children and their families that is solely supported by church donations and is not affiliated with the school district.

    Ankeny has two lunch sites:

    • The East Side is supported by The Ridge, Lutheran Church of Hope, First Family, and Ankeny Presbyterian Church with lunches being served at Ankeny Presbyterian Church.
    • The West Side site is at Sunset Park located at 1320 SW 3rd Street. Our Church along with three other churches: Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, Holy Trinity Lutheran, and Ankeny Christian support the West Side by preparing, transporting, and serving food. On average 60 meals are served each day at Sunset Park.

    This year's Love Lunch Program will occur from May 28 through August 22. Lunch will be served 11:30am to 12:30pm, Monday to Friday.

    If you are interested in helping with this Program you can do so by: 

    • Signing up to help prepare the food at Ankeny First United Methodist Church Uptown Site, transport or serve the food at Sunset Park. Volunteer descriptions and hours are available on the sign-up page. Volunteering can be for a few days, several weeks, or all summer. Teens can volunteer as well and it is a great way to earn hours for Silver Cord or Scouts. Sign up HERE.
    • Donating nonperishable items such as individually wrapped/or packaged: teddy grahams, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, granola bars, fruit cups, and applesauce cups. Bring donations to the Uptown church office starting in May.
    • Donating grocery gift cards to Sam’s Club, Fareway, Aldi’s or Hy-Vee. Also, bring donations to our Uptown church office.

    Helping with Love Lunches is a great way to meet other Christians and respond to a widespread need in our community. Contact Holly Szcodronski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for additional information and any questions.

  • Agape Garden

    Sign up to help this season!

    Volunteering at the garden is a great way to get the whole family involved in helping others. Please consider getting a few nights of volunteering this summer. Many hands make light work, and it truly takes many hands!

    Regular work nights will be Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30-7:30pm. Sign up HERE for the dates that work for you. Make sure to watch our Facebook page throughout the season as well.

    We want small groups, community members and organizations, families, individuals, and ANYONE! Produce will benefit the clients of Ankeny Service Center right here in Ankeny this year. ​


    DMARC Food Pantry Donations

    In June, our Mission of the Month will focus on collecting donations for the DMARC Food Pantry. We encourage you to give monetarily because DMARC can buy in bulk and make your money go further than you can at a local grocery store. 

    This document gives a list of their most needed food items, but the TOP THREE items they request are peanut butter, fruit canned in 100% juice, and whole grain cereal. Please place donations in the gray Mission of the Month bins.​​

     Give monetarily by writing "June Mission of the Month" on your check memo or simply give online



    Volunteers Needed for Meals We Serve to Des Moines Agencies

    YMCA Supportive Housing Meal Eight volunteers are needed each 3rd Tuesday of the month to manage a meal for the residents of the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus in Des Moines. The eight volunteers share the duties of meal prep, serving and clean-up. You are needed by 5:45pm and you will be finished up by 7:45pm. If you are brand new to this mission opportunity, there will be people there to assist you and get you going with needed tasks. Sign up here.

    Trinity Supper Club Meals: First Wednesdays AND Fourth Tuesdays
    A team of volunteers meets at the Christian Life Center to prepare meals and deliver them to Trinity Las Americas in downtown Des Moines, which goes to the community and after-school children. To make that happen, we need you! There are opportunities to bake cookies, prep meals, or deliver meals.

    • First Wednesdays: Please sign up HERE.
    • Fourth Tuesdays: Please sign up HERE.

    Central Iowa Shelter & Services Meal Join us as we serve a meal for our neighbors at Central Iowa Homeless Shelter in Des Moines on the 21st of each month. This is a wonderful way to respond to God's love and command to love our neighbors. There are opportunities to help with serving the meal, and driving the food and helpers down to the shelter. Find more information and register here.

  • Monday Community Meals

    We are off for the summer!


  • Blood Drives

    July 30

    What a great way to respond to God’s love in our community! Every pint saves or sustains another life! Sign up for our July 30 Blood Drive at our Uptown location, 1:00-6:00pm. Register at Questions? Contact Judy Ruble, 515.729.9482.

  • Bidwell Pantry Workdays

    3rd Saturdays of Each Month

    Families Forward's Bidwell Pantry needs our help! United Women in Faith (UWIF) have scheduled a workday for Saturday, June 15 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Projects are available for all ages and abilities from stocking shelves, hanging donated clothing, cleaning, organizing, making kits, etc. Please join our Ankeny First group and see how Bidwell Pantry functions as the largest distribution center in Iowa.

    We will be carpooling from the north Uptown parking lot leaving promptly at 8:30 a.m. Or come and go throughout the mornings as it fits your schedule. Your support and assistance are needed! Address: 1203 Hartford Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315.

    Questions? Mary Johnson (515) 771-5591 from Ankeny First

    VIEW THIS VIDEO to hear more about Bidwell and how they utilize volunteers like you!

  • Families Forward and YMCA Supportive Housing Donations

    Simple donations needed!
    • Help Families Forward with these needs! They immediately need used plastic grocery bags (or any kind of grocery bags) for the food pantry AND laundry detergent pods.
    • Most needed donations for YMCA Supportive Housing right now! Toilet paper, plastic trash bags (13 gallon), and gently used silverware (especially forks).

    Bring all items to the Uptown site and place them in the marked bins in the "old" library.

  • Make Care Kits for Local Agencies

    It's a simple way to respond!

    Find instructions HERE!