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. Dr. C. Kay Fuino by e-mail at ckfuino@duluthumc.org,

or call 770-476-3776, ext. 117.

Family Promise of Gwinnett County


Family Promise of Gwinnett County (FPGC) is a network of 29 congregations that provide shelter, meals, and support services to homeless families in Gwinnett County. It was created to mobilize faith communities to partner with social service agencies to end homelessness, one family at a time. Learn more at www.FamilyPromiseGwinnett.org.  

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.


In 2020, Hands of Christ, which is located at 3395 Fox Street in downtown Duluth:

  • fed more than 17,000 people with 247,785 pounds of food;
  • provided more than $100,000 in financial assistance for rent, utilities, and gift cards;
  • distributed donations of 119 Easter baskets, 317 book bags with school supplies, 400 holiday dinners, and Christmas gifts to 298 children and seniors.
  • This amazing amount of outreach could not be achieved without the $127,500 of community grants, and more than $275,000 from the supporting churches, individuals and other community organizations, as well as the many volunteer hours needed to operate the co-op.

March 2020 stretched the capacity of meeting needs of 700 families, as compared with approximately 120 families in March 2019. 2020 also was the first time that the Co-op did not have enough food donated to meet the demands of our community and had to purchase from the Atlanta Food Bank, as well from local grocery stores.

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.

Happy Sacks

for the 2018-2019 School Year

Sponsored by the United Methodist Women of Duluth First UMC

For the seventh year in a row, the United Methodist Women’s Happy Sacks mission will provide healthy snacks for local school children who may go hungry over the weekend.  Your help and support makes this mission possible by meeting some of this critical need in our community.  It is our prayer that you, as a congregation/community, will once again contribute food items and/or financial support to keep this mission going.

In an effort to help some of the children in our own community who do not have sufficient food over the school year weekends, members of the United Methodist Women of Duluth First UMC are once again partnering with four local elementary and three middle schools to help children who are not eating sufficiently over the weekend.  Free and reduced lunches at school provide nutritious meals for children in need during the school week, but these children may not want to go home on Friday afternoons and cannot wait to get off the bus for breakfast on Monday mornings.  Last school year, we provided approximately 3,000 Happy Sacks and we have packed and delivered more than 13,700 Happy Sacks since our beginning in 2012.  We are honored to continue this outreach program again this school year.

We are preparing to provide 100+ Happy Sacks to the participating schools every Friday to be distributed by the school staff to the children identified by school counselors as being in need of extra food for the weekend. Each Happy Sack costs approximately $5, which is an annual cost of approximately $15,000.  In keeping with school policy, no religious information is distributed with the Happy Sacks; however, the prayers of the packers go with them every week.

You can help us fill the Happy Sacks by contributing the specific, single-serving non-perishable food items from this list:

  • Cheese or peanut butter crackers
  • Spaghetti-O’s, Ravioli, Beef-a-roni (single serving, 6 to 8 ounce, ready to eat units only)
  • 100% fruit juice boxes (not Capri Sun)
  • Non-perishable milk boxes
  • Fruit cups
  • Applesauce cups
  • Dried fruit: raisins/craisins (individual servings)
  • Fruit-filled breakfast bars (Nutri-grain brand)
  • Granola bars (Nature Valley Honey & Oat)
  • Goldfish, Cheez-its, Combos, pretzels (individual serving bags)
  • Fruit roll-ups


All items should be name brands and MUST be within the expiration date period.

Happy Sacks green collection bins can be found in the Fellowship Hall on the stage and in the Family Life Center beside the doors to the portico. Checks may be made to Duluth First UMC with Happy Sacks in the memo line.

This is a full school year long program, so your continued help is greatly appreciated! Happy Sacks is a mission many in our church are very passionate about to help less fortunate children in our community.

Rainbow Village


Rainbow Village provides an opportunity for families to recover from the devastation of homelessness, addiction and abuse.  Housing, life skills training, counseling and after school programs are provided to families making it possible for families to break the cycle of homelessness, poverty and domestic violence. Please visit their website at www.rainbowvillage.org.

Seneca Street United Methodist Church, Buffalo, NY


The Seneca Street United Methodist Church partners with the residents and businesses of the Buffalo, NY neighborhood to improve and restore their spiritual, economic, educational and social environment. They provide opportunities for the entire community to acquire skills that build resiliency and self-reliance, enhancing the quality of life, spiritual understanding and potential for current and future generations. Learn more about Seneca Street UMC at www.SenecaStreet.org.

Ray & Lidia Zirkel

United Methodist Church, Costa Rica

Ray & Lidia Zirkel minister with the Methodist Church in Costa Rica.  Ray is an ordained elder in the Methodist Church, serves as a professor at the Evangelical Methodist Seminary and helps to plant and develop local congregations.  Lidia is the director of the Methodist Childrens Home and they host approximately 25 short-term mission teams each year who work on a variety of ministries. Follow their ministry at www.zirkelministrycostarica.com.

New Life United Methodist Preaching Point Church and School

Monrovia, Liberia

As part of a joint program between the Atlanta-Emory United Methodist District and the Monrovia, Liberia United Methodist District, we support the ongoing development and operation of the school. Pastor Sam Sumo Gaywen and his staff teach vulnerable children how to read and write while ministering to the community through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.