Mission Ministries

Bringing the gospel in word and deed to people with the greatest need, so that individuals, families,

and communities will have a life-transforming encounter with a living God.

Duluth First UMC Mission Outreach seeks to...

Engage in “making disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) by being mature and equipped followers of Jesus Christ.

Be Involved in partnerships with ministries, organizations and churches in Gwinnett County, in Georgia, in our nation, and in our world for transformation through life to life encounters.
Equip and Empower our congregation to serve in our mission outreach programs as they are called to use their God-given gifts, time and talents.

At Duluth First United Methodist Church, you can be actively involved in the mission field in the City of Duluth, in Gwinnett County, in Georgia, in other states and in other countries. If you want to get involved, refer to the current weekly editions of The Sunday Supplement and the monthly editions of The Messenger. They are available for downloading by clicking on Resources.

If you have an interest in any of the following mission areas, please contact Rev. David Burchett by e-mail at dburchett@duluthumc.org,

or call 770-476-3776, ext. 124.

Click on THANK YOU to watch a video how your giving helps United Methodist mission work around the world.

Coat Drive: Now Through October 9th

Help support our Youth Ministry and Children’s Ministry as they collect coats for those in our community who will need help staying warm this coming winter. All coat sizes, from infant to adult, are needed. Please bring in your gently-used and new coats now through October 9th. You can drop them off in either the Dorothy L. Rainey Fellowship Hall or on the 1st floor hallway of the Sheldon Family Life Center.

This will be a healthy, fun-filled competition between our Youth and Children’s Ministries. You will be able to choose which ministry you wish to designate your donation to go to on the coat racks in collection areas. Thank you for your support!

“Bundle Up for Buffalo” Fundraiser is Right Around the Corner:  November 13th

We are looking forward to our annual “Bundle Up for Buffalo” fundraising bake and craft sale on Sunday, November 13th, for the benefit of the children of the Seneca Street UMC in Buffalo, NY. Funds raised from this event help keep the heat on in Seneca Street UMC throughout the cold-weather months (October through May), providing a warm location for neighborhood children to gather every day after school and do their schoolwork.
“Bundle Up for Buffalo” will be held on November 13th from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., and from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dorothy L. Rainey Fellowship Hall. The fundraiser will not take place during the worship services.

The generous people of Duluth First UMC have helped so much in this effort in past years! They have baked items, knitted blankets, and created wonderful items to be sold for the fundraiser, and we need your help again this year. Volunteers are needed to:

  • Set up tables and a few chairs in Fellowship Hall on Saturday, November 12th.
  • Price items and lay them out on tables.
  • Make handmade craft items.
  • Bake goodies and bag them for individual purchase.
  • Take down tables and chairs around 1:00 p.m.

If you are willing to help in any of the following ways, please contact Beth Intondi by e-mail at Beth.intondi@outlook.com and let her know how you can help. Everything is appreciated, especially your prayers!

Operation Christmas Child 2022:

Through November 13th

This year’s Operation Christmas Child, our annual participation in Samaritans Purse’s mission for God’s children around the world, is underway. Despite the continuing issues associated with the pandemic in 2021, Samaritans Purse delivered over 10.1 MILLION shoeboxes in over 170 countries and territories.  Since the inception of the program in 1993, over 198 MILLION shoeboxes have been delivered to children around the world.

At the local level, the Southeastern Team (Alabama, Georgia, Florida) collected over 950,00 shoeboxes while the East Metro Team (Gwinnett and DeKalb Countries) collected over 26,000 shoeboxes in 2021.

By filling shoeboxes 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.

Many children who receive these shoebox gifts will also enroll in Operation Christmas Child’s 12 lesson discipleship program, The Greatest Journey.  This program teaches children about God’s amazing love and guides them through what it means to faithfully follow Jesus Christ. 

Empty shoe boxes are available 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 $10 processing donation. This donation not only covers the processing of the shoebox and shipping, but also supports the in-country ministry training and materials for The Greatest Journey activities.  Again this year, we also have adhesive labels that will allow you to register your shoebox(s), make your donation and track your shoebox. See more information included in the empty shoebox.

It is also possible to fill a shoebox online by selecting items and paying for it electronically.  These online shoeboxes address special needs that are delivered to hard to cover locations.  Please see instructions for doing so at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Please return your filed boxes to the Dorothy L. Rainey Fellowship Hall stage or Hinton Hall no later than Sunday, November 13th.

This will be such a worthwhile and fun project for our Sunday School classes, Women’s Circles, our Youth groups and families with their children to undertake. Let’s try to better Duluth First UMC’s total of 160 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.

Christmas for a Soldier 2022

The Hugs for Soldiers Ministry, celebrating its 19th year of supporting our troops, is collecting care package donations for soldiers serving overseas.  Help us spread some holiday joy to troops who can’t be home during the holidays.

Snack Items:

  • Packets of hot chocolate, apple cider, assorted flavors of tea bags individually wrapped in pouches
  • Instant Ramen Noodle Soup, 3 oz. packets
  • Holiday candy (great time to ship chocolate)
  • Slim Jims or Beef Jerky
  • Trail mix, nuts, granola bars, fruit snacks, gum
  • Cookies (small individual packs)

Other Items:

  • Gallon and quart size Ziploc bags used for packing items
  • Christmas tree ornaments (lightweight and unbreakable)
  • Christmas Santa hats (Chaplain’s wish list for 250 soldiers)

Christmas cards: Deployed troops would love to receive a handcrafted or signed card from you with holiday wishes. PLEASE - NO GLITTER ON THE CARDS.  Glitter will come off during the two-week shipping overseas.

The deadline for donations is Wednesday, November 23rd. Donation boxes are located on the stage in the Dorothy L. Rainey Fellowship Hall and inside the back entrance to the Family Life Center.

Make plans to join us as we pack care packages at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 3rd, at the Scout Hut located at the rear of the church campus.

Monetary donations are appreciated to help purchase items not received. Checks can be made payable to Duluth First UMC with Hugs for Soldiers written in the memo section, or go to ONLINE GIVING – click on MISCELLANEOUS GIFT and specify “Support Our Troops/Hugs for Soldiers.”

For further information, please contact Angie Doerlich by e-mail at hugsforsoldiers@gmail.com or call 404-316-8183.

For additional information about the Hugs for Soldiers Ministry, please visit their website at www.hugsforsoldiers.org. Thank you for supporting our troops!

Drop-Off Food Collection for the Hands of Christ Duluth Co-op

Our church’s Missions Ministry is providing an opportunity for you to drop off critically needed food items for the Hands of Christ Duluth Co-op, a local missions ministry. We are offering a meaningful way for your family to serve our community. A variety of goods will be collected at the donation station located inside the rear 1st floor entrance to the Sheldon Family Life Center.

The critically needed items are canned peas, canned chicken, and toilet paper. An updated listing of critically needed food items for the food drives will be posted weekly on the church’s website on the Missions Ministries page. For additional information about the Hands of Christ Duluth Co-op, please visit their website at duluthco-op.org.

Happy Sacks

Sponsored by the United Methodist Women of Duluth First UMC

Over past years, the need to help homeless and poverty-stricken children in our local school district and community has become obvious. In an effort to address some of that need, the United Methodist Women of Duluth First United Methodist Church began the Happy Sacks program in September of 2012.

During the 2012-13 school year, we partnered with three elementary schools in our area, providing 1,050 Happy Sacks to children in need. Each sack contains 10 to 12 healthy snack items to eat over the weekend, providing nutrition to the kids until they return to school to receive free or reduced breakfasts and/or lunches during the school week. Since that time, this mission has grown tremendously, even during the COVID pandemic. To date, we have packed and delivered well over 25,500 Happy Sacks.

Currently, Happy Sacks is partnering with local elementary and middle schools, working with the school counselors who identify the children in need.  The Happy Sacks team assembles approximately 100 sacks on Wednesdays, they are delivered on Friday morning by wonderful volunteers, and given to the children by the school staff. We expect this number to keep growing as the need increases. In keeping with public school policy, the Happy Sacks contain no religious information whatsoever, only nutritious snacks. However, the prayers of our volunteers go with them.

The Happy Sacks program is self-funded and is not funded by the church’s general budget. We rely on donations from church members and interested community members/groups to supply the specific snack foods. You can help us fill the Happy Sacks by making a monetary gift to Happy Sacks. Each Happy Sack costs approximately $5 and the number of sacks needed varies each week.

We have made a commitment to these schools to provide the Happy Sacks for the duration of each school year. Donations of needed food items and/or money are always welcome. Shopping cards with a list of our specific items are available in the Gathering Room. For more information, please contact Terrie Adkins by e-mail at ttadkins@sprynet.com.

Duluth High School Care Team

Duluth High School Care Team provides essential items for homeless high school students attending Duluth High School. Our church supports them with gift cards, personal items like shampoo, deodorant and soap that are not often available for the students in the temporary living locations.

Hands of Christ Duluth Cooperative Ministry


Duluth First UMC was one of the founding members of Hands of Christ, a Duluth Cooperative Ministry created more than 20 years ago to help with food insufficiency in the 30096 and 30097 zip codes. In order to be a supporting member and hold a voting seat on the board, a church is required to donate food, complete 50 annual service hours, and contribute $1,200 per year.

How can you help with this ministry?

  • Help with the 50-hour service requirement. March is our church’s month to volunteer to work at the Hands of Christ. Volunteers stock pantry shelves, divide bulk food items into smaller packages, and fill orders. An experienced “captain” for the day guides you. Choose to work a 2-hour shift from 10 a.m. to noon, or noon to 2 p.m. on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday in March. To volunteer please contact Annette Pierce by e-mail at apierce60@bellsouth.net or call 770-354-7674.
  • Help with food donation by donating food at our Wednesday Night Drive-Thru Dinners or take items directly to the Duluth Co-op on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 10 a.m. to noon. Items needed are listed on their website www.duluthco-op.org.
  • Help with funding by donating funds to the Hands of Christ by sending a check to Duluth First UMC with Hands of Christ in the memo section, or directly to the Duluth Cooperative Ministry through their website at www.duluthco-op.org.
  • Volunteer your time to help the Hands of Christ board with raising community awareness, fundraising, legal advice when needed, as well as ongoing technology assistance.

Rainbow Village


Rainbow Village provides transitional housing for families with children while also adding programming to focus on family stability, well-being, financial management, education and training. The program also offers career and employment assistance for the resident.

Click on VIRTUAL TOUR take a virtual tour of the Rainbow Village campus.

Family Promise of Gwinnett County


Family Promise of Gwinnett County program offers temporary housing for the homeless in Gwinnett county. A circle of churches supports the effort by providing a place each week for up to four families to live. The church provides meals and social time each evening.

Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett


Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett demonstrate the love of Christ by providing quality and affordable healthcare and dental services to residents of Gwinnett County. It is designed to serve the poor and uninsured to make certain they have access to healthcare when needed.

Friends of Refugees is located in the Clarkston area to support the community of diverse refugees that arrive in the Atlanta Area. They support new arrivals with finding homes and jobs along with understanding new customs and living in the United States. Many of them have escaped from very dangerous conditions and find a place of peace and hope here.

Wellroot Family Services


Wellroot Family Services (formerly called The United Methodist Children’s Home) is a United Methodist Church agency that helps to provide a safe loving environment for children and young adults in the foster care system. They assist in locating foster parents, providing transitional and independent living and family housing for homelessness with a safety net of skills to attain self-sufficiency.

Sheltering Arms is a daycare in Gwinnett county providing excellent childcare for lower income families. We support them with funds, gifts for the children at Christmas and other outreach like diaper drives.

Seneca Street United Methodist Church, Buffalo, NY


Seneca Street United Methodist Church is located in Buffalo, NY.  We have supported this church since 2005 with a variety of means to help the children of the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood.  An adult mission team travels there during the summer to help with the first week of reading camp that includes providing book bags for each child filled with school supplies.  Additionally, a youth team travels to lead vacation Bible school and in the fall the church raises funds to help with heating bills through the Bundle Up for Buffalo craft fair.

The Reverend Charlene Kay Fuino Foundation Elementary school in Liberia

The Reverend Charlene Kay Fuino Foundation Elementary School in Liberia offers an education to children in the Kpelle Town community. The school is a part of the United Methodist Church and was begun as a project with their pastor Sam Sumo Gaywen with Rev. C. Kay Fuino. The school typically educates about 60 children in pre-school through sixth grade. Since it’s beginning we have provided funds to purchase land, build the school, pay the teachers and recently feed the children during the pandemic.

Ray & Lidia Zirkel

United Methodist Church, Costa Rica

Ray and Lydia Zirkel are missionaries in Costa Rica. We have supported them for over fifteen years in the efforts to help children in the orphanage and the Christian school. They do a lot with a little in Costa Rica and truly appreciate our support. We hope to send a team there soon to help with their new construction. Follow their ministry at www.zirkelministrycostarica.com.