Door Stories

Here’s how we’re opening doors in a ministry year pledged to SERVING OTHERS

At Alpharetta Methodist, we’ve challenged ourselves to live up to our ministry year theme of SERVING OTHERS — in our church, in our community and in the world. We are called serve others in the name of Christ, and we believe that, with service, we become doorways through which people can enter into a new experience of God and a new connection with God’s people. This is the second year that SERVING OTHERS has been our ministry focus.

Read our 2016-17 ministry year Serving Others report here.

Here’s how we’re striving to demonstrate Christ’s love through acts of kindness and outreach this year.


Our 4th and 5th Grade Choir sang at the Mansions of Alpharetta, a senior living community, on February 10. They also spent time visiting with the residents.

10 volunteers helped at the Camp Grace Winter Jam, February 2-4, helping in the dining hall and joining in the activities with the campers.

After listening to Alpharetta Methodist sermons on Spotify, a member of a church in Brazil contacted Director of Technology Austin Ginn for advice on how to set up online sermons. With Austin’s help, the Brazilian church can now share the gospel around the world.

4th and 5th grade girls sang for residents of Mansions of Alpharetta on February 10.


Volunteers prepared a meal and served it to homeless mothers and their children on Jan. 5 at the Women’s and Children’s Community Kitchen in downtown Atlanta.

Following our Christmas Eve worship services, volunteers delivered poinsettias that had decorated the sanctuary to local healthcare facilities.

Thank you to everyone who donated baby items and clothing and toys for the Giving Tree. Your generosity was overwhelming! You donated four car loads of gifts for Dreamweavers and two car loads for The Place of Forsyth.

Our congregation provided gifts for 23 families — a total of 68 people — through Action Ministries. You were so generous, that you gave between 350 and 400 gifts. After receiving the presents, an Action Ministries coordinator wrote, “This is one of the most touching direct acts of charity that I have the pleasure of witnessing, all year long. It’s an amazing way to wrap up the year. THANK YOU!”

Santa Claus and the Buddy Bag Ministry teamed up to provide 200 children with Buddy Bag surprises on Christmas morning. The bags included Teddy bears to hug, blankets to snuggle up in, books to read, and coloring books and crayons with which to color. YOUR donations made this happen! This ministry donated the gifts through the Gainesville Salvation Army, which gave them to children in nine, mostly rural, counties.

One of the families to receive Christmas presents through the Action Ministries Adopt a Family program.


Our volunteer Sanctuary Stewards assembled over 2,500 candles for our Christmas Eve services.

Church members and small groups adopted all of the families in this year’s Action Ministries Adopt a Family program.

After an ice storm cancelled Santa’s Secret Shop on Dec. 9, members of the United Methodist Women quickly rescheduled the shop for Dec. 12. They had minimal time to set up and recruit volunteers, but the rescheduled shop went off without a hitch. Children age two through 5th grade were able purchase $1 Christmas gifts for their families, and proceeds from the sales went to the United Methodist Children’s Home.

Volunteers prepared a meal and served it to homeless mothers and their children on December 1 at the Women’s and Children’s Community Kitchen in downtown Atlanta.

The Upward Bound UMW Circle began collecting personal hygiene supplies to send with the Honduras mission team in March. Church members were asked to contribute nail files or clippers, toothbrushes and toothpaste (5 or 6 oz. tubes), bath-size bars of soap, hand towels and bandanas.

The In His Steps Sunday School class had a blast on December 17, hosting a Christmas party for the enAble House on Lynne Circle in Alpharetta. Class members provided a snack lunch and presents and led the singing of Christmas carols. The class hosts a party for the enAble House residents every Christmas and periodically schedules workdays to help with yard and home maintenance.

Every year Alpharetta Methodist members serve as Salvation Army Red Kettle volunteers outside Macy’s at North Point Mall. Students from René Watson’s “Book of Isaiah” class served as bell ringers last week.

We love our Sanctuary Stewards! In this photo, they're assembling hundreds of candles for Christmas Eve worship services.
Bible study participants serve as bell ringers for the Salvation Army outside Macy's at North Point Mall.

Children in kindergarten through 5th grade participated in Kids-On-A-Mission! on Dec. 6, stuffing Christmas stockings for children at Drake House. After completing the mission project they took photos and a train ride with Santa and then sang at the Wednesday evening Christmas concert.

The week after Thanksgiving, senior adults in the 54 & More group, handcrafted Christmas wreaths, bows and mailbox covers for sale to church members and the community. Proceeds were donated to ministries and to help decorate our church buildings for Christmas.

Members of 54 & More work with Christmas greenery. Proceeds from their wreath sales goes to ministry.


Our adult choirs have been practicing for weeks for their concert, “Hope! A Gospel Christmas Celebration,” which they’ll present on December 16 and 17.

We joined with area churches on a Habitat for Humanity build this fall. Volunteers framed the home, hung drywall and siding, painted and helped with landscaping.

Alpharetta Methodist held our quarterly food drive for North Fulton Community Charities November 5, with church members contributing much needed food and paper goods.


On November 10, church members participated in a 10-Minute Mission project to pack Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes into cartons so they could be delivered to a nearby collection center. The congregation filled 800 shoeboxes with toys and toiletries.

Church members collected 800 shoeboxes to distribute to children through Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse. Several church members worked hard on packaging the individual shoeboxes so they can be sent to children around the world for the upcoming holidays. Thank you to everyone who donated for this incredible cause. It’s such a joy to see our church family serving the Kingdom in tangible ways.

Volunteers prepared a meal and served it to homeless mothers and their children on November 3 at the Women’s and Children’s Community Kitchen in downtown Atlanta.

Operation Christmas Child boxes are ready to be shipped overseas to children in need.


Dozens of church members participated in the first Do Something Day on October 21. The day provided an opportunity for our church family do something to help others! Projects were available on the church campus as well as at a number of our local ministry partners.

For Do Something Day, a group of Alpharetta Methodist volunteers spent time at Manning Oaks Elementary doing yard work.

Members of the In His Steps Sunday School class, led by Woody Alderman, spent Do Something Day at an enAble home on Lynne Circle. They cleaned the roof and gutters and pressured washed the deck, sidewalks, front porch, stepping stones and some of the driveway. They also cleaned all the windows, inside and outside. Betty Berry brought flowers and gardenia shrubs which class members planted around the mailbox and along the side of the home. They also repainted a bedroom and a front yard swing. The Sunday School class has “adopted” the enAble home residents and periodically takes care of maintenance projects for the home.

For Do Something Day, Nancy Alderman and Mary Ann Gilbert spent time at Dreamweavers watching these sweet foster babies!

Do Something Day FINAL_singular_350px

Volunteers prepared a meal and served it to homeless mothers and their children on October 6 at the Women’s and Children’s Community Kitchen in downtown Atlanta.

A church member volunteered to coordinate and lead Hope for Hurting Parents, a support group and Bible study for parents of children who are struggling with anxiety, depression, peer pressure, behavioral issues, low self-esteem or troubled relationships and have resorted to substance abuse, self-harming, defiance or destructive behaviors.

Alpharetta Methodist held its annual coat drive for North Fulton Community Charities on Oct. 22. Members of the church family donated new and gently-used coats and jackets, mittens, gloves, hats and scarves.

During construction of our new building, some church staff were temporarily relocated to the Hope House and Mod B, a modular unit at the back of the Cumming Street parking lot. Affected staff had to box up all their files and supplies for the big move. A request for moving boxes was published, and the church family donated lots and lots of them!

There were miles of smiles in Houston, Texas, last week as 130 Buddy Bags were presented from Alpharetta Methodist to children affected by Hurricane Harvey. Two churches, St. Peter’s Methodist and Kingsland Baptist, are both currently conducting hurricane recovery sessions. The children received their bags Tuesday night, with additional bags going to school children in the area who lost their homes. Our Pairs and Spares Sunday School class also sent a check to St. Peter’s to help with hurricane needs. Susan Garrard and Pam Schiftic made the special delivery.

Six church members participated in a Hurricane Matthew Mission Trip, spending several days in Fayetteville, N.C., to help with recovery efforts from the 2016 storm.

Members of the Prayer Committee and Blanket Ministry offered worshipers prayers and a Prayer Blanket on Oct. 22. There were prayer/blanket stations outside both Vinebranch Chapel and the Sanctuary.

Last night, as the United Methodist Women celebrated ladies’ night out at All Fired Up, their focus still remained on mission. The women painted Christmas ornaments to donate to Santa’s Secret Shop. The UMW sponsors the shop every December, providing children with a place to buy inexpensive presents for their families.

Club 45 (4th and 5th graders) spent the afternoon assembling the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. The assembled boxes were placed on a table in Trinity Hall, so church members could pick them up and fill them for children in need around the world.


Volunteers prepared a meal and served it to homeless mothers and their children on September 3 at the Women’s and Children’s Community Kitchen in downtown Atlanta.

Volunteers led an AARP SAFE Driving Course for senior adults who are members of the church and our community.

The church opened its doors to the American Red Cross, which hosted a blood drive in Trinity Hall on Sept. 21. Church members joined with the community to donate blood that saves lives.

The Congregational Care Ministry sponsored a College Care Package Night on Sept. 7. Volunteers assembled care packages, including items that college students enjoy or find helpful (snacks, school supplies items, tissues, socks, razors, etc.).

Over the last two months, the church family contributed $27,844.01 to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for hurricane recovery.

Liz Waller’s 6th grade Life Group made desserts, which were served at the Women’s Community Kitchen in Atlanta. Volunteers serve lunch there on the first Friday of each month.


The Prayer Committee asked church members to PrayAFUMC on August 27, asking them to stop by prayer stations outside the sanctuaries and write brief prayers for our church. The response was overwhelming:

  • “I witnessed individuals willingly coming to pray, with no prompting, but a heartfelt desire to send God a message.”
  • One woman said she felt like she was at the altar praying as she wrote her prayer.
  • A mother and child knelt together at the table to write.
  • Youth and young children eagerly wrote prayers.

The Blanket Ministry shares God’s love through the gift of a simple fleece blanket sewn in love. Volunteers meet weekly to make and pray over the blankets. Each blanket has a label attached which reads, “This blanket is an expression of God’s love for you. We pray that it will bring you comfort. When life gets tough, wrap yourself in it and remember you are loved.” Over the past year, some 4,000 blankets have been delivered to people in need. Blankets are also available for church members to share with anyone they know who might be struggling.

Volunteers prepared a meal and served it to homeless mothers and their children on August 5 at the Women’s and Children’s Community Kitchen in downtown Atlanta.

We held our quarterly food drive for North Fulton Community Charities on August 6, and church member contributed much needed items, along with financial donations.

Alpharetta Methodist volunteers packed over 3,000 lunches for MUST Ministries this summer, almost 1,000 more lunches than we provided the ministry in the summer of 2016.

11 church volunteers distributed water bottles, koozies and bags along the Old Soldier’s Day parade. There were many people truly thankful for the kind gesture.

Read our 2016-17 ministry year Serving Others report here.