First United Methodist Church seeks to be a church that goes out into the world to serve others.  Below are some of the ways we strive to do so.

The Rainbow Covenant

The Rainbow Covenant is a ministry of the Iowa Annual Conference.  Churches around the state seek to become “Rainbow Covenant” churches by giving goal amounts to various missions and ministries across a spectrum of opportunities.  First UMC has been a Rainbow Covenant Church for many years now.  You can find out more about the Rainbow Covenant here.  If you would like to contribute to the missions giving of this church, mark your envelope or check specifically for “Missions” when you donate.

Red: World Projects, Goal: $1/member.  So far we have contributed money to the Global Aids fund and a mission in Ukraine.

Orange: United States Projects, Goal: $1/member.

Yellow: UMCOR Projects, Goal: $1/member. UMCOR is the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Green: World Hunger & Poverty Relief, Goal: $6/member.  So far we have contributed to the Souper Bowl of Caring and our local food pantry.

Blue: Iowa Annual Conference Projects, Goal: $1/member.  We have contributed to Bidwell Riverside, Free Clinics of Iowa, and Rick’s House of Hope.

Indigo: Iowa Annual Conference Parish Development Projects, Goal: $1/member.  We have contributed to Iglesia Vida Nueva and the Ames Korean UMC.

Purple: Special Sundays of the United Methodist Church.  You can find out more about this category in the “Special Sundays” section.

Special Sundays

The Special Sundays are 6 offerings collected across the United Methodist Church.  We participate in each of these Special Sundays, and will have special envelopes available for donations.  If you want to learn more about the Special Sundays overall, click here.

Human Relations Day:

Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance (January)

The Human Relations Day offering supports neighborhood ministries through Community Developers, community advocacy in the United States and Puerto Rico through United Methodist Voluntary Services and work with at-risk individuals through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program.

One Great Hour of Sharing:

Fourth Sunday in Lent (March or early April)

Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing lay the foundation of all United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) work by covering the costs of doing business. This means all contributions designated to specific programs can go 100 percent to those programs because UMCOR’s basic expenses are covered.

Native American Ministries Sunday:

Second Sunday after Easter (April or early May)

The Native American Ministries Sunday offering develops and strengthens annual conference Native American ministries, equips Native American rural and urban congregations ministries, and communities and education Native American seminarians.

Peace with Justice Sunday:

First Sunday after Pentecost (late May or June)

Gifts on Peace with Justice Sunday fund programs that advocate for peace and justice in the United States and around the world.  These programs empower United Methodists to speak out for removing structures and systems that harm God’s children globally.

World Communion Sunday:

First Sunday in October

The World Communion Sunday offering funds racial-ethnic World Communion Scholarships, with at least one-half of the annual ammount reserved for ministries beyond the United States.  Donations also provide for U.S. Ethnic Scholarship and Ethnic In-Service Training programs.

United Methodist Student Day:

Last Sunday in November

United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge.  Gifts on United Methodist Student Day support UM scholarships and the UM Student Loan Fund.

Appalachia Service Project (ASP)

The Appalachia Service Project is a Christian mission that addresses the housing needs of Central Appalachia. Each year, usually in late July, a team of high school youth and adults leaves from Ames First UMC to share God’s love through home repair. The goal of the Appalachia Service Project is to make homes safer, drier, and warmer, and to transform the lives of the volunteers and the families with whom they work. This mission certainly is a transformative time for youth and adults; an opportunity to engage in meaningful work, reflect on the blessings and challenges of our life together, and grow closer as a group.

2019 dates are : July 20-28th

Contact: Ken Van Pelt, 515-232-4018

Our Missionaries

Dr. J. Jeffrey Hoover is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned since 1979 to the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire. Dr. Hoover is a professor at Katanga Methodist University, both in the theological college as professor of church history and in the School of Information Technology. He serves with his wife Ellen Hoover, who is a part-time professor at the United Methodist university in Mulungwishi where she teaches courses in Islam and church history in the college of theology.

Dr. Jeffrey Hoover has been involved in international accreditation isssues, development of Congolese faculty, and the development of both concepts and curricula for the new colleges of the university. In addition to teaching, Dr. Hoover has also served as a consultant to government and international organizations involved with development projects in Katanga province. From 1985-92 he served as administrative director of a medical infrastructure project with the cooperation of USAID, the Zairian government, and several Christian denominations, all managed by the Southern Congo Annual Conference.

Dr. Ellen Hoover also works with The English-speaking School of Lubumbashi (TESOL), an elementary and middle school for children of missionaries, full-time church workers and other English-speaking families in a city where French is the common language of instruction. After helping start the school in 1987, she served on the Administrative Council and as director of the school.

Together they have three grown children, daughter Jane, and sons Jeremy and Mark.

Our Matthew 25 Ministries

When one hears or reads of “Matthew 25 ministries” it is hoped that it encourages persons to discover that wonderful chapter near the close of Matthew’s gospel when Jesus is teaching his disciples about what it means to follow him.  It is a passage that reminds us of the work that the church is called to do if we are to grow as Christian disciples.   We are to reach out with love and assistance to the poor and disenfranchised, to walk with those who might seem on the fringes of society and isolated, without hope.   Here at Ames First UMC when we speak of Matthew Ministries we are referring to a variety of mission projects supported and partially funded by our congregation.Just two of these many  ministries are Food at First ( and the Ames Free Medical Clinic. This church has a strong heart for missions. This congregation has been continually growing in ways of being  driven to serve. The best way to find more information regarding the many ministries is to be in touch with one of the pastors or the Director of Christian education.