Save the Dates: Sunday Night Youth Gatherings

Students in the 6th through 12th grades are invited to join us on Sunday nights for Sunday Night Gatherings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Youth Center (“The Fish Tank”), located on the 1st floor of the Sheldon Family Life Center. Sunday Night Gatherings include great dinners, fun games, amazing worship, inspirational and relevant messages and life-changing small groups.

Our schedule for the month of May is:

  • Sunday, May 26th: Sunday Night Gathering at 5:30 p.m. in the Youth Center (“The Fish Tank”).

Please visit the Youth Ministry’s website at for more information.

Join Us for Tuesday Talk

The Tuesday morning Simply Psalms classes are on pause until August.  However, the participants want to continue with a time of discussion, so we are offering Tuesday Talk, a time to discuss a variety of topics and enjoy wonderful fellowship. The class meets 10 a.m. in room F145, located on the 1st floor of the Sheldon Family Life Center. 


Tuesday Talk will meet on the following dates:

  • May 28th;
  • June 4th, 11th and 18;
  • July 9th and 16th.

Join us when you can. For more information, please contact Rev. Beth Brown Shugart by e-mail at, or call 770-476-3776, ext. 128.

Road Trip to Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center in Cedartown, GA:  Friday, June 7th

All church members of all ages are invited to join the United Women in Faith as they travel to Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center in Cedartown, GA, on Friday, June 7th, to host an ice cream social for the residents and staff at 1:00 p.m. We will meet in front of the church mid-morning to carpool up to Cedartown. Murphy-Harpst, a missions ministry supported by Duluth First United Methodist Church, works alongside local and state agencies to help provide residential treatment, specialized foster care placements and community programs to serve at-risk children and their families.


As a bonus, we would like to shower the children with items for their Point Store which provides the residents with the opportunity to purchase fun things using their behavior “Points.” They earn these points by completing chores, meeting goals, helping others and setting an example for others. Pooled Points can purchase off-campus trips. Below is a list of items needed to support their Point Store:

  • Individual-sized snacks (candy, chips, Ramen Noodles, jerky, popcorn, cookies)
  • Drinks (Gatorade, Fanta, iced teas)
  • Wired earbuds, auxiliary cords, charging blocks)
  • Teen and young adult books
  • Sports stuff (balls, Nerf Hoops, etc.)
  • Makeup (eyelashes, bronzer set, lip gloss sets, acrylic nails)
  • Skin/acne care products
  • Perfume/cologne and body wash for guys and girls (no aerosols please)
  • Hair Scrunchies
  • Jewelry (guys too)
  • LED strip lights
  • Squishmellows
  • Posters (sports - especially basketball, anime, music)
  • Throw blankets
  • Lego sets
  • Alarm clock radios
  • Items for Pooled Points: tickets to local special events; museum, zoo, and sporting event passes; gift cards to fast food restaurants and shopping (Zaxby’s, McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, Amazon, Visa)

Murphy-Harpst Point Store bins for donated items will be located in the Dorothy L Rainey Fellowship Hall and in the lower level of the Sheldon Family Life Center. Please contact Linda Kepler by e-mail at to let us know you are going with us, so we can plan carpooling.

For additional information about the Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center, please visit their website at Thank you for your support!

All Creatures Great and Small: Sunday, June 9th

Join us on Sunday, June 9th, for a discussion of how animals, especially our pets, help us see God at work in our lives. Missy Tippens, who has written for Guideposts since 2019, will share about writing for All God’s Creatures, a book of daily devotions for animal lovers.

We will meet from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in room F145, located on the 1st floor of the Sheldon Family Life Center. We hope you’ll come and share how animals have played a role in your life and have helped you experience God’s love! If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Beth Brown Shugart by e-mail at, or call 770-476-3376, ext. 128.

Vacation Bible School is June 24th – 28th: Register Now for “Scuba: Diving Into Friendship with God”

Mark your calendars and save the date for “SCUBA: Diving Into Friendship with God” – this summer’s Vacation Bible School at Duluth First UMC! It will be held Monday, June 24th, through Friday, June 28th, from 9 a.m. to noon each day. “SCUBA: Diving Into Friendship with God” is for kids going into pre-Kindergarten (age 4 as of September 1st) through rising 4th graders. Each day participants will participate in Bible story time, sing songs, play games, make crafts, and eat snacks.

PLEASE NOTE: We are no longer able to take registrations for rising 5th and 6th graders. We have reached the limit for the number of students we can accept in Extreme VBS this year. If you have any questions, please contact Leslie Yokeley  by e-mail at

Registration is underway, and the cost is $30 per child with a maximum of $70 per family. In addition to registering participants, we are also registering adult and youth volunteers. We especially need shepherds who are adult volunteers in charge of a group of 6-10 kids. Shepherds do not need to prepare anything in advance. They lead their group to the various activities where other volunteers are in charge. If you would like to help but are only available one or two days that week, you can put your available dates on your registration. We often need substitute shepherds. Also, the nursery is available for the children of volunteers if you have a child who is not old enough to be a participant.

Everyone who registers by Sunday, May 26th, is guaranteed a VBS t-shirt and copy of the music. All Vacation Bible School participant registration forms, as well as volunteer forms, are available online – click on “SCUBA: Diving Into Friendship with God” Vacation Bible School.

For more information, please contact Leslie Yokeley, Director of Children’s Ministries, by e-mail at, or call 770-476-3776, ext. 138.

Book Club to Discuss Do All the Good You Can: How Faith Shaped Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Politics by Gary Scott Smith: Monday, July 8th

Rev. Beth Brown Shugart invites you to read Do All the Good You Can: How Faith Shaped Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Politics by Gary Scott Smith and then join her on Monday, July 8th, for a discussion of the book. After more than forty contentious years in the public eye, Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the best-known political figures in the nation. Yet the strong religious faith at the heart of her politics and personal life often remains confounding, if not mysterious, to longtime observers. Even many of her admirers would be surprised to hear Clinton state that her Methodist outlook has “been a huge part of who I am and how I have seen the world, and what I believe in, and what I have tried to do in my life.”

Gary Scott Smith’s biography of Clinton’s journey in faith begins with her Methodist upbringing in Park Ridge, Illinois, where she faithfully attended worship services, Sunday school, and youth group meetings. Like many mainline Protestants, Clinton’s spiritual commitment developed gradually throughout childhood, while her combination of missionary zeal and impressive personal talents has informed her career from the time of her pro bono work at Yale on behalf of children to the present.

We will meet from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in room F145, located on the 1st floor of the Sheldon Family Life Center to discuss the book. Please contact Beth by e-mail at, or call 770-476-3776, ext. 128, if you have any questions.

Register Now for the Christian Beginnings 2024-2025 School Year

Register now for Christian Beginnings Preschool & Kindergarten’s 2024-2025 school year. Christian Beginnings, offered Monday through Friday during the school year from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for children ages 6 weeks through 5 years, provides a loving Christian atmosphere for the growth and nurture of each child. They will have fun and make friends while attending our accredited, award winning school. Christian Beginnings won the “Best of Gwinnett” award in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023! We also won the “Gwinnett Daily Post Reader’s Choice” award in 2019.

If you would like more information regarding Christian Beginnings Preschool & Kindergarten, or you would like to set up a tour, please contact Pat Szathmary by e-mail at or call 770-497-1743.

Click on CHRISTIAN BEGINNINGS REGISTRATION FORMS to download copies of the forms.

A Message from the Finance and Stewardship Committees:  “Let’s Head ‘Em Off at the Pass”

That’s a familiar phrase for those of us who like old Western movies.  The good guys hop on their trusty steeds and ride off to intercept the bad guys before they can get to town and cause a ruckus.  In today’s parlance, the good guys are being proactive.  They recognize that a potential problem might be on its way, and they want to do something about it before it really becomes an issue.

Our church works the same way.  The church staff, the Finance Committee, and the Stewardship Committee all watch over the money that the church brings in and keeps an eye on how much the church spends, too.  We try to be proactive whenever possible and identify potential problems before they become an issue and ‘head them off at the pass.’

That said, last year in 2023, as a congregation, our giving to the church was down by 4%.  That means the church took in less revenue than we were expecting.  The result was an overall financial loss for the year of about ($142,000).

Obviously, we don’t want to see that happen again in 2024.  So, to avoid another loss year, we want to be proactive now and head off any potential problems at the pass before they get here.  To that end, we’re asking everyone to increase their giving plans for 2024 by 10%.  Whether you completed a pledge card or not, we would like to see everyone help out by giving just a little bit more.  For example, if you give $100 per week, start giving $110 per week.  A 10% increase isn’t much and, if everyone in the church does it, then we won’t have to worry about the prospect of potential cuts to programs, ministries, and staff in the future.

It’s always a good idea to be proactive instead of reactive.  Being proactive with your health by getting an annual physical always pays benefits.  Being proactive with your house and car by making sure they are serviced and in good repair helps them last a long time.  Being proactive with your faith by attending church services, studying the scriptures, and loving God and your neighbor will help your spirit stay nice and strong.

Our church has been a good steward of the provisions and blessings that God has given us.  Financially, we are pretty healthy and that has allowed us to weather that loss for 2023 without too much pain.  That good financial health also allows us to have ministries and programs that play a huge role in our community and that impact a lot of people.  Nobody wants to get to the point where cuts have to be made, so let’s do everything we can as a congregation to ‘head that off at the pass’ and make sure it doesn’t happen.

The Finance Committee and the Stewardship Committee believe that our church is very capable of giving sufficiently to fund our budget, but it takes everyone in the church to do so.  Please consider helping if you can.

In His Service,
Don Greene,
Chair of the Finance Committee
Bryan Johnson,
Chair of the Stewardship Committee

Stay Connected with Your Church:  MinistryOne Mobile App

Duluth First United Methodist Church’s Ministry One app for mobile devices allows you to:

  • Watch sermons on your mobile device.
  • Make donations to the church.
  • Easily update your contact information.
  • Connect with other members through the online directory.

To install the app on your mobile device, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the app store on your mobile phone and search for CHURCH MINISTRYONE. The icon is purple with a white cross in the middle of it.
  2. Once it is downloaded, open the app and enter “Duluth First United Methodist Church” in the box just above the blue FIND YOUR CHURCH button, then click the button.
  3. When the church’s name comes up, click on it.  It will move to a larger screen and at the bottom of that screen, click SELECT THE CHURCH.
  4. It will ask you to allow the app to send you notifications. We would recommend clicking ALLOW.
  5. In the bottom right, click profile.  Sign in with your e-mail (the one you use for church communications) and your mobile phone number.  The spaces for your e-mail and phone number are below the words E-MAIL and MOBILE PHONE NUMBER.  Do not sign using the username/password function.
  6. Click NEXT and it will ask you for a way to send you a validation code.  Click TEXT ME THE CODE.  Enter the code and click NEXT.
  7. After you do this, it will take you back to the menu screen and you should now have a 7th box that says PEOPLE.  This is the directory.

If you would like a copy of the MinistryOne app installation instructions to print out, please click on MINISTRYONE APP INSTRUCTIONS.

Having problems and need help? Please contact Brian Overstreet, Church Administrator, by e-mail at or call the church office at 770-476-3776.