Miles for Metro, Spotlight on Community Meals, Youth Worker Trainings, Grant Opportunity and More!
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July 21, 2021


2021 Miles for Metro Challenge!



We are EXCITED to announce the inaugural Miles for Metro Challenge! Today we kick off a new annual fundraiser where we ask YOU to contribute Miles for Metro.

The week leading up to and including Labor Day - August 30 thru September 6 - Metro challenges you to walk, run, bike or swim. Or log miles on a treadmill, elliptical machine, stationary bike, or even convert your daily steps to miles.

Click to sign up today and accept this challenge! We encourage you to also become a fundraiser and invite your friends and families to join in the challenge and/or make a donation on your behalf. Note: if you have registered for a race or challenge using RaceSignup platform in the past, you can use your pre-existing account to sign up for this race. 

If accumulating miles is not for you, you can still become a fundraiser. When you become a fundraiser, you will be able to create a unique link to share with folks in your circle to raise funds for Miles for Metro.

You can also  make a direct donation towards our goal.

What is our goal? We envision repeating this challenge every year and hope to raise $100,000 by 2023, Metro’s 100th Anniversary.  In order to reach this ultimate goal, we are targeting to raise $33,000 through this year's challenge. So we need your help! Register, fundraise and/or donate! Get started today!

Top fundraisers and those recording the most miles by age categories will be recognized at the conclusion of the challenge.

All funds will go directly to growing Metro’s Grants programs. Imagine how we might together impact children, youth and their families across Central Indiana. Won't you accept this challenge?


Spotlight on Community Meals

Several churches throughout the Central District host weekly or monthly community meals, which are wonderful opportunities for outreach to their neighbors. This week, we'd like to highlight two of those churches' programs, Greenwood UMC's Shepherd's Table and Grace UMC's Soup's On. These two churches responded to Metro's request for Expressions of Interest back in April, and both programs received funds through the Anonymous Family Foundation awards.

Shepherd's Table at Greenwood UMC


Yesterday morning, 35 cars came through the drive-thru line in just the first few minutes. During the 11 - 1 lunch time, a total of 60 meals were served, with 80 meals served the week before. Greenwood UMC launched Shepherd's Table free community lunch in 2011 and have continued to serve the community every Tuesday since, overcoming many obstacles and challenges, including a pandemic. They quickly adapted their sit-down self-service model to a drive-thru format, continuing to serve many regulars as well as first-time guests from the Greenwood neighborhood. They have managed with a crew of around 12 volunteers each week.

Greenwood UMC's congregation faithfully monitors the Shepherd's Table bulletin board, to know what items are needed, ensuring the ministry continues to thrive. Their pianist continues to play for the volunteers  each week, and she and all of the volunteers are looking forward to their re-opening dine-in service next week, with several modifications in place to ensure optimum safety for guests and volunteers.


Soups On at Grace UMC


Grace United Methodist Church has been offering a free community meal called Soups On every Friday evening for 15 years.  Prior to the pandemic, anywhere from 50 to 80 meals were served each week, and they have continued to serve at or above this range since.

When Franklin schools closed last March a week before Spring Break due to CDC and state official guidelines, Soups On leaders quickly gathered to figure out how and if to keep the weekly meal going. That first week, three individuals came together to send out notifications and make phone calls, letting folks know the meal would be served and offer guidance  for those who were concerned to stay home. The dedicated volunteers did not miss a beat. By the next Friday, Soups On had pivoted to the drive-thru model that is still used today, 16 months later. Sturdier carts and walkie-talkies were purchased as well as a surplus of to-go containers. One of the biggest shifts that needed to be made was that desserts have had to be purchased commercially instead of homemade.

Grace UMC's partnerships with many service organizations and local officials and businesses have provided new opportunities. Shortcake left over from the recent Strawberry Festival was donated to Soups On and was the dessert that Friday, and recently 200 pounds of ground beef was donated for future Soups On meals.


In 2013, Greenwood UMC and Grace UMC were two of five faith communities in Johnson County that initially formed the Johnson County Community Meals Network. Today, nine Johnson County churches and one south Indianapolis church make up the network that strives to make free community meals available at least 5 days/week in Johnson County and surrounding communities.

This is what sustained collaboration can look like. Metro Ministries thanks both of these churches for your commitment to your neighbors!   _______________________________________________



Workshops for Children and Youth Workers

Children, Youth and Family Ministry Leaders, what could these workshops add to your church's ministries? These are not free but are worthwhile opportunities to learn how to better serve the needs of children and youth.

  • Intentional Relationships: Youth with strong developmental relationships benefit powerfully in their learning and development, but less than half of all youth experience them through school and the programs they attend.  This is offered August 4 and 5 or September 1 and 2.
  • Developmental Assets & Developmental Relationships: This interactive training teaches how these two frameworks and bodies of research work together to help young people be and become their best selves. This workshop is offered August 10 and 11 or September 14 and 15.
  • Engaging Families - a Relationship-Centered Approach: Across the board, schools, youth- and family-serving organizations and yes, churches, struggle to engage and partner with families. This workshop reframes family engagement based on developmental relationships. This workshop is offered August 18 and 19 or September 16 and 17.




Church Leaders, Don't Miss This Opportunity!

The deadline is August 8! Metro Ministries invites all United Methodist Churches in the Central District to consider proposal submissions that demonstrate caring for children in meaningful and lasting ways. We are seeking proposals focused on children in or more of these areas:

  • Non-violence
  • Food insecurity
  • Education
  • Mental Health

Application submissions will be accepted now through August 8, 2021. Review all of the details of this grant opportunity on our website. Don't miss this opportunity to support children and youth in your community!

Churches are encouraged to collaborate on their proposals with other churches, schools, and/or organizations in their respective communities.

Reach out to Tina McAninch with any questions you have, at or (317)452-4786.

We can't wait to see the ways our churches demonstrate that Children Matter Most!

Volunteer Opportunities



Society of St. Andrew Indiana has a gleaning opportunity in Fairland (in Shelby County) this Friday, July 23rd. Sign up HERE to help glean corn, 8:30 - 11:00 am.

NeighborLink Indianapolis has opportunities to help low income individuals with disabilities and senior homeowners in Marion County with household repair and maintenance. Painting, yard cleanup and handy projects are available. Details and volunteer registration can be found HERE.

Pack Away Hunger is sponsoring a Public Meal Pack event at Interchurch Food Pantry in Franklin on August 7. Help in packing 33,000 meals for the pantry. Details can be found HERE.





Check out these upcoming community events:

  • July 24: Community Flea Market at Chapel Hill UMC 9 am - 4 pm
  • August 14: Community Resource Day at Barnes UMC Noon - 4 pm
  • August 14: Yard Sale at Southport UMC 8 am - Noon
  • August 15: Back to School Block Party at Pittsboro UMC 4 - 7 pm
  • August 27 - 29: G2G Conference at Scott UMC, details coming soon!


Global Leadership Summit 2021: Just 2 Weeks Away!

This year's two-day Global Leadership Summit has two United Methodist host sites in the Central district, Franklin Grace UMC and St. Luke's UMC. Check out the summit speakers and details HERE.

Join hundreds of thousands of curious, growth-minded, and change-driven people like you who want to understand more about leadership in today's world: learn more about the Global Leadership Summit, hosted by Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin on August 5 & 6, and begin to register. Whether you attend in-person at a station like Grace or online, you will experience two days of rich, high-impact, inspiring sessions from folks who will share their wisdom and practical perspective to support you in your leadership program. 

The summit is August 5 - 6, 2021. You can reserve either in-person or online at either Grace UMC or St. Luke's UMC.



Check out Metro's Resources Hub!
If you know of other resources we should share, please let us know by emailing Tina McAninch at


Community Compass

Community Compass is a tool created by Indy Hunger Network and has two key ways to connect individuals with food resources near them. The first is an app for smart phones that automically provides food resources based on where the individual is. The second is the ability to text for food resources if an individual does not have a smart phone. Check out details of Community Compass. This is a very valuable tool but does not currently include all food pantries beyond Marion County.

Listing of Central Indiana Food Pantries

We have updated the format of the food pantry list, making it easier to view when printed. You can download the updated listing HERE or from Metro's website's Resources Hub. Please let us know if you have food resources to add or update. We will make updates to this list on a quarterly basis.
Metro Ministries, Inc.   2560 Villa Avenue   Indianapolis, Indiana 46203    (317) 452-4786
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