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.

Donate Toys for the Hands of Christ Toy Drive: November 26th Through December 17th

Would you like to help make a difference in a child’s life this Christmas? Help us provide toys for the Hands of Christ - A Duluth Co-Op’s Christmas Shop this year. Beginning Sunday, November 26th, you can bring in an unwrapped toy and place it under either of the Christmas trees in the Veterans Memorial Gathering Room, or in Hinton Hall.

The toy donation will run from Sunday, November 26th, through Sunday, December 17th. All donated toys will be delivered to Hands of Christ Duluth Co-Op, a local missions ministry supported by Duluth First UMC, so that families in need can provide presents for their children this Christmas. Thank you for your help in making sure that all the children in our community have a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday Night Food Drives

Our Wednesday Night Food Drives for the Hands of Christ Duluth Co-op have made their return to Duluth First UMC. This weekly mission project is combined with the many Wednesday evening activities offered at the church.

Each week we will ask for a donation of one critically needed item. A table for the donated items will be located outside of the main entrance to Hinton Hall.

To date, over 1100 items have been donated!

Upcoming dates and needed items are

  • November 22nd: No Food Drive due to the Thanksgiving holiday
  • November 29th: Pasta/spaghetti (not spaghetti sauce)
  • December 6th: Cream soups or tomato soup
  • December 13th: Peanut butter and jelly

Join us for a delicious dinner and fellowship in Hinton Hall, pick up a to-go dinner for your family, join us for any of our Wednesday evening activities, and drop off food items to help other families in need. We thank you for your support.

Thank You from the Seneca Street United Methodist Church in Buffalo, NY

Dear Duluth First United Methodist Church family,

It pleases us so much to write this letter of thanks to you. On October 27th and 28th Duluth First UMC held its annual Bundle Up for Buffalo fundraiser in the Dorothy L. Rainey Fellowship Hall. The purpose was to raise enough money to help pay the cost of heat for the Seneca Street United Methodist Church in Buffalo, NY, for this upcoming winter.

The old Seneca Street UMC building, located on a corner at 1218 Seneca Street in south Buffalo, serves and protects the people of this poverty-stricken neighborhood every day. Because of severe climate change and storms in this area of the country, people living in the church’s neighborhood often lose power in their rented 100-year-old houses. They are sometimes left without warmth, warm food, and water.

The $11,000 you helped raise at the Bundle Up for Buffalo fundraiser will cover Seneca Street UMC’s cold weather heating bill through May, as well as helping to repair the old heating equipment. Your generosity in giving money to heat the church gives its local community a place to get warm and get a hot meal.  We see your gifts’ direct impact on these people who have little hope.

It is from the bottom of our hearts that we thank you for giving to this ministry.

Love in Christ,
Beth Intondi, Rev. Brian Rotach, and Cheryl Bird

The United Methodist Committee on Relief

As the humanitarian relief and development arm of The United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) provides humanitarian relief and disaster response in the United States and internationally. UMCOR has been onsite of locations recently affected by Hurricane Ian. UMCOR comes alongside those who suffer from natural or human-caused disasters – be it famine, hurricane, war, flood, fire or other events—to alleviate suffering and to be a source of help and hope for those left most vulnerable.

UMCOR’s efforts are targeted in places where natural disasters, war, or conflict have done so much damage that communities are unable to recover on their own. In addition, UMCOR helps communities in the United States and abroad prepare for emergencies and to reduce the risk of disasters through a roster of training programs.

UMCOR is also involved in global development work. Specific programs address issues of health, sanitation, poverty, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and food security. Many development problems are interrelated, so UMCOR uses integrated solutions to address their root causes. UMCOR seeks to empower local hospitals, schools, churches, and other stakeholders by enhancing their capacity to address these issues.

100% of your donation goes directly to UMCOR! The proceeds from our recent Ministry of Music & Worship Arts “Oh Happy Day” Concerts went to UMCOR. For more information about UMCOR or to make an online donation, please click on UMCOR.

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 Ramona Ricks by e-mail at ramonaricks@att.net.
  • 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, part of the United Methodist Church and was begun as a project with their pastor Sam Sumo Gaywen with Rev. C. Kay Fuino, 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 feed the children during the pandemic.

If you would like to give to this online, click on ONLINE GIVING and select MISCELLANEOUS GIVING from the online giving options.

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.