Thank You, Betty Hopkins!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must cancel the church reception we had planned to honor Betty Hopkins, our retiring Church Administrator, on Sunday, October 4th.

Betty officially retires on Wednesday, September 30th after serving our church diligently, deftly, and graciously for more than 18 years. Since we cannot honor her with a reception, please make an opportunity to express our gratitude to Betty individually, by giving her a call or a card or however you choose.

As a congregation and staff, we are forever grateful to Betty for the positive difference she has made for the ministry of Duluth First UMC.

Rev. Terry Tippens, Senior Pastor

Welcome, Brian Overstreet, Our New Church Administrator

After 18 years of wonderful service as our Church Administrator, Betty Hopkins will be retiring on September 30th. We will be honoring Betty with a reception in the Fellowship Hall after worship on Sunday, October 4th. Please put October 4th on your calendar to honor Betty.

Betty gave us plenty of notice about her plan to retire, so at the beginning of February, we began the search for a new Church Administrator. We are pleased to announce that we have hired Brian Overstreet to serve in this role.

Brian has served in Administrative Leadership at Johns Creek UMC, Midway UMC in Alpharetta, and Hickory Flat UMC. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Mercer University in Macon and his Master of Divinity degree from McAfee School of Theology (Mercer University) in Atlanta. As part of his continuing education, he has completed 70% of the Certified Church Business Administrator program through The Church Network.

Brian and his wife, Michelle, have a daughter who is a rising high school senior and a son who is a rising 6th grader.

Brian will begin in the last half of July, working with Betty. This will provide a two month orientation period that Betty and the church will provide for Brian, continuing through August and September until Betty’s retirement.

Please prepare to help us express our appreciation to Betty for her excellent work over the span of two decades, and to welcome Brian aboard as he begins his service with us in this important ministry.

Thank you,
Terry Tippens, Senior Pastor
Glenn Cornell, Chair of Staff Parish Relations Committee

Wednesday Night Drive-Thru Dinner:

September 23rd

PLEASE NOTE: We are no longer taking dinner reservations for September 23rd.
If you placed an order for meals, please pick up your meals between 5 to 6 p.m. (please note new ending time) underneath the rear portico of the Family Life Center. Please enter the rear parking lot from the rear-side entrance off of Norman Circle and pull under the portico from that side. You will be directed to pull in under the portico after the previous vehicle has pulled out.

Wednesday Night Drive-Thru Dinner:

September 30th

We know you love our Wednesday night dinners at Duluth First UMC. Due to social distancing and wearing masks, eating together in Hinton Hall is not a viable option at this time, so get ready for the Wednesday Night Dinner Drive-Thru! It will be similar to curbside pick-up at your favorite restaurant where you order ahead, pay online, and drive by to get your dinner.

The menu for Wednesday, September 30th, is fried catfish, hush puppies, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, broccoli, and dessert. For the kids (ages 11 years and younger) - fish sticks and mac & cheese.

Prices are: adults - $6; seniors - $5; family - $19 (parents and their children only); children (ages 11 years and younger) - $4.

All reservations must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 25th. In order to keep everyone safe, we are taking orders for meals and payments online only. Please click on Wednesday Night Drive-Thru Dinner Order and Payment Form to place your order.

Pick up your meals between 5 to 6 p.m. (PLEASE NOTE NEW TIMES) underneath the rear portico of the Family Life Center. Please enter the rear parking lot from the rear-side entrance off of Norman Circle and pull under the portico from that side. You will be directed to pull in under the portico after the previous vehicle has pulled out. If you have any questions, please contact Marilyn Scheiwe by e-mail at mscheiwe@duluthumc.org or call 770-476-3776, ext. 111.

4th Annual “Cars for Campouts” Classic Cruise In and Car Show: October 3rd

Boy Scout Troop 419 is putting on its 4th Annual “Cars for Campouts” Classic Cruise In and Car Show in Duluth First UMC’s front parking lot for all you car buffs on Saturday, October 3rd, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds will help Troop 419 fund improving its operations making Scouting more affordable and fun for all boys.

Come join the excitement! The event is free for spectators. There will be lots of awards and prizes for participants, including the coveted ‘Pastor’s Choice’ award! Food and drinks will be available.


Have a car to show off and want to enter it in the show? Bring them all! Hot rods, muscle cars, classic drivers, modifieds, bikes, and one-offs are welcome. Preregister by Friday, October 2nd, and the cost is $20. To register, follow this link:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-cars-for-campouts-tickets-105030003568?aff=Facebook. You can also register the day of the show for $25.

Want to be involved personally, or maybe your company or organization? We’re looking for partners (aka sponsors). Contributions are greatly appreciated! If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to carsforcampouts@troop419.com or call Mike Ringham at 770-815-4206.

Wednesday Night Drive-Thru Dinner:

October 7th

We know you love our Wednesday night dinners at Duluth First UMC. Due to social distancing and wearing masks, eating together in Hinton Hall is not a viable option at this time, so get ready for the Wednesday Night Dinner Drive-Thru! It will be similar to curbside pick-up at your favorite restaurant where you order ahead, pay online, and drive by to get your dinner.


The menu for October 7th is Monterrey Chicken (chicken with BBQ sauce, topped with bits of bacon and tomatoes), mashed potatoes, green beans, squash casserole, rolls, and dessert. For the kids (ages 11 years and younger) - chicken tenders and fries.

Prices are: adults - $6; seniors - $5; family - $19 (parents and their children only); children (ages 11 years and younger) - $4.

All reservations must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 2nd. In order to keep everyone safe, we are taking orders for meals and payments online only. Please click on Wednesday Night Drive-Thru Dinner Order and Payment Form to place your order.

Pick up your meals between 5 to 6 p.m. (PLEASE NOTE NEW TIMES) underneath the rear portico of the Family Life Center. Please enter the rear parking lot from the rear-side entrance off of Norman Circle and pull under the portico from that side. You will be directed to pull in under the portico after the previous vehicle has pulled out. If you have any questions, please contact Marilyn Scheiwe by e-mail at mscheiwe@duluthumc.org or call 770-476-3776, ext. 111.

A New Way to Celebrate Halloween

Our Halloween celebration will take place on Saturday, October 31st, and it will look a little different than in previous years. Drop by the church between 5 and 6:30 p.m. You are encouraged to bring food donations for the Hands of Christ Duluth Co-Op because It is Spooky to be Hungry! We will also have photo booths available where you may take pictures in costume. And of course you will receive a treat!

Want to help?  Here’s how:

  • Donate bags of candy. Place your donations in bins located around the church.
  • Help decorate the photo booth. Contact Rev. Beth Brown Shugart to volunteer.
  • Help with logistics that night (give out treats, direct traffic, help with the photos, collect food donations). Contact Rev. Beth Brown Shugart to volunteer.

We look forward to seeing you in our Halloween costumes! If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Beth Brown Shugart (aka the Minister of Fun) by e-mail at bshugart@duluthumc.org, or call 770-476-3776, ext. 128.

The Star Project - Let Your Light Shine!

The Butterfly Project we did for Easter was a wonderful success.  Many people have inquired about participating in the project next year. It will happen again, but in the meantime let’s do another similar thing – The Star Project.

For Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, let’s cover the front lawn with stars!  We will be using the same format as we did for the butterflies.  See the timeline below and watch for ways to sign up for the activities you would like to do!

  • Now through Wednesday, October 7th: Volunteers to cut stars from plywood. Templates will be provided.
  • Saturday, October 10th: Volunteers to paint primer on the stars.
  • Sunday, October 18th: Stars to paint available for pick up.
  • Sunday, November 22nd: Stars due back.
  • Saturday, November 28th: Stars placed on the church lawn.

If you wish to participate in the Star Project, please send an email to sesquicentennial@duluthumc.org and let us know how you wish to participate.

Operation Christmas Child: September 16th through November 15th

We are gearing up for this year’s Operation Christmas Child, our annual participation in Samaritans Purse’s mission for God’s children around the world. In 2019, Samaritans Purse delivered over 10.5 Operation Christmas Child million shoe boxes in over 160 countries.

By filling shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items, you not only give to children in need the only gift they will likely receive for Christmas, but also help deliver hope, joy and the gospel of Jesus Christ to them and their families.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, empty Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes will be available for pick-up on Wednesday, September 16th, during the Wednesday Night Drive-Thru Dinner. In addition, the shoe boxes will be available on Sunday, September 20th, in the Gathering Room and in the hallway by Hinton Hall.  You will find ideas on how to pack a shoebox gift, what not to include and labels inside each box.  Remember to include the $9 donation in the shoe box.

It is also possible to fill a shoebox online by picking out items and paying for it electronically. Please see instructions for doing so at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Please return your filed boxes to the Fellowship Hall stage no later than Sunday, November 15th.

This will be such a worthwhile and fun project for our Sunday School classes, Women’s Circles, Youth groups, and families with their children to undertake. Let’s try to better Duluth First UMC’s total of 250 boxes we packed last year!

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Charlie Doerlich by e-mail at chaz3d@gmail.com or call 678-662-2115.

Happy Sacks 2020

Since the new school year has started, it is time once more to gear up the Happy Sacks mission program.  This is the beginning of our 9th year of providing healthy weekend snacks for school children in need in our local community.  We will be serving four elementary schools – B.B. Harris, Burnette, Chattahoochee and Mason, and one middle school – Duluth Middle.

Last school year we had to cease delivery to most of our schools as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up.  However, we were able to continue serving B.B. Harris Elementary School, a Title 1 school, through the end of the school year because of the way lunches were distributed there.  We owe a huge thanks to Lourdes Hernandez, the parent liaison at B.B. Harris, for her help and support in serving the B.B. Harris students.

This year, as students gradually return to the classrooms, we are working with counselors to identify and serve the appropriate students.  It may take a while to return to our normal numbers, but we are ready to serve these children in the best way possible.

As of the end of the last school year, we have delivered a total of 20,165 Happy Sacks to local school children.  At $5.00 per sack, this represents a $100,825 investment in the futures of our children.  Thank you for your faithful support in making this happen.  In addition, you have faithfully helped pack, deliver and pray for this mission.  We thank God for you all and your support.

As we start a new school year, we hope you will continue to support Happy Sacks as best you can.  We will be packing here at the church (with masks and social distancing, of course) and hope that some of you will feel comfortable helping again.  Our driving teams are lined up and ready to deliver and our pantry is being stocked.

As always, we need your financial help to keep it stocked, so please consider a donation.  Checks may be made to Duluth First UMC with Happy Sacks in the memo line.

If you would like to buy supplies for Happy Sacks, please adhere strictly to our shopping list.  These are the items which fit our needs and fit in the sacks!

NO CHOCOLATE PLEASE!

All items must be within expiration period

  • Fruit filled Nutri-grain brand breakfast bars
  • Granola bars (Nature Valley Honey & Oats)
  • Non-perishable milk boxes
  • 100% fruit juice boxes (NOT Capri-Sun)
  • Applesauce cups
  • Fruit cups
  • Dried fruit: raisins/craisins (individual packs)
  • Fruit roll-ups
  • Cheese or peanut butter cracker
  • Goldfish, Cheez-its, Combos, pretzels – individual serving bags
  • Canned pasta – Ravioli, Beef-a-roni, Spaghetti O’s (single serving, 6 to 8 oz.- ready to eat)

Green collection bins are located in Fellowship Hall and just inside the back portico door.  More information is available by contacting Terrie Adkins by e-mail at ttadkins@sprynet.com.

Donations of food items, money, or time are always welcome. Bless you for all of your help and prayers!

Report from the 2020 Annual Conference of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church

The 2020 Annual Conference for the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church convened on Saturday, August 29th, but NOT in Athens as usual. All 2,800+ delegates (both clergy and laity) tuned in to the virtual conference online. This was indeed a huge switch from the historically congenial gathering at the Classic Center in Athens. Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson presided with the incredible technical support of the conference staff.

The opening slide presentations congratulated newly commissioned elders and deacons, provisional elders (including our former Youth Pastor, Robin Parr), retiring clergy and conference staff. The slide presentation also paid tribute to those who have passed away during the previous year.


Bishop Sue’s opening reflection centered on John 21: 1-14, where Jesus tells the frustrated disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat and they then haul in overflowing nets. She reminded us that in difficult and different times, we need to seek new and different directions to cast our nets for Christ. Online has become a very different side of the boat for many. This was followed by a hymn sung by a virtual choir which included our own David Daniel and Rev. Beth Brown Shugart, beautiful music to start an interesting and productive day.


During the course of the conference there were many procedural changes which had to be approved, but there were 3 significant issues requiring approval by vote. They are as follows:

  1. The North Georgia Conference has spent the last four years working with an outside consultant to redistrict our conference from twelve districts down to eight. The big question is WHY? “The current district structure was created during a far different era in North Georgia. Realigning our districts in a more strategic, mission-focused manner reflective of today’s North Georgia Conference is the responsible and most opportune path to pursue”, according to the NGC explanation information. Churches within each county will be together in a district, larger and smaller churches will be more balanced within each district, clergy will have a better opportunity to collaborate within each district – making each new district more cohesive. In addition, this restructuring will reduce conference expenses by over one million dollars annually, funds that can be used to better serve God in north Georgia. A vote was taken - electronically of course - and the motion passed by an overwhelming majority. Our church is now in District 3, the Central East district along with Barrow, Clark, Oconee and Walton counties.
  2. The next major issue to be addressed is a change in monetary management. The Charles Barnes Fund for Church Development was established to provide financial support for new or struggling church development. It is managed by a committee which reports to the Conference Board of Trustees. The proceeds from the sale of conference owned church properties will now go directly into the Barnes Fund for use throughout the conference on a needs basis. The change here involves a switch from district to conference management of sale proceeds, making these funds more available for use across the conference. A vote was taken and the motion was approved by a comfortable majority.
  3. The third major issue to be addressed involved some changes for the better in clergy healthcare packages and housing compensation. The vote was taken and also approved by a vast majority.

In other business, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, scheduled to be held in Minneapolis, has been postponed until August 29 – September 7, 2021. The 2020 Conference of the Southeast Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church will now be held November 10 – 12, 2021. But, the 2021 Annual Conference of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church is still planned for June 3-5, 2021 at the Classic Center in Athens – God Willing!

All in all, it was a very successful, if not traditional, annual conference. In addition to our clergy members, the conference was attended by lay members Sherry Ferguson, Elizabeth Marcus, Jim and Terrie Adkins.