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Grace and Peace, Hamburg UMC!


I am the Rev. David Nicol, and Bishop Mark Webb, in cooperation with Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar has appointed me to serve as your new Pastor, effective July 1, 2018. I cannot answer all of your questions and curiosities, but I can imagine you would like to know more about me, just as I am excited to get to know more about you!


Like many of you, I am the product of a Christian home. As long as I can remember, prayer and worship (especially in song) have been a central part of my life. I learned what it meant to be a follower of Jesus at home praying with my parents, reading scripture verses at the dinner table, and also in Sunday School and VBS, and from singing in choirs and congregations. My mother is a deeply committed layperson and my father a pastor (American Baptist)—their faith helped shape me. They live in Scottsdale, Arizona, where my mother manages a Hallmark store, and my father is recently retired (at 82), most recently from full-time hospital chaplaincy. They are both active in the North Scottsdale UMC where both have led Bible studies and have served in a variety of other capacities as well.


I spent most of my childhood on Cape Cod, where I became a member of the Osterville UMC (the church where Kate and I were later married). I graduated from Barnstable High School, located in Hyannis, and spent several summers working long hours, mostly at an Italian caffe. I wanted to attend a Christian college, preferably in the broad Methodist tradition, and enrolled at Eastern Nazarene College, in Quincy, Massachusetts, in the fall of 1996 as a history major. I first affirmed a call to ordained ministry at Exploration ’96, when I was a freshman in college. It was at ENC the next spring where I met Kate. I loved my college environment and sought a way to be in ministry in a place like that, so I attended Boston College and earned an M.A. in European History. When I finished, Kate and I were married, and I began teaching as adjunct faculty at two Boston area schools. I finally answered God’s call and enrolled at Boston University School of Theology as Kate was finishing her M.Div. When Kate was commissioned and moved to her second appointment, I was appointed to Buxton UMC and Elm Street UMC in South Portland, Maine. While in the Portland area, our son Abraham was born, and I completed my M.Div and was commissioned. Later, I moved to Hampden Highlands UMC, in Hampden, Maine.


While in Hampden, I was ordained and our second child, Andrew was born. Also, during this time, I have served as chairperson of the New England Annual Conference Commission on Equitable Compensation, as well as a member of the General Conference/Jurisdictional Conference Delegation for the 2016 (current) quadrennium, a member of the Northeast Jurisdictional CFA (2016-2019), chair of the Northern Maine District Finance Team, and the Northern Maine DCOM. Outside of UMC circles, I have taught Christian Worship for New England Bible College/Grace Evangelical Seminary in Bangor, Maine, as well as serving as President of the Hampden Neighborhood Food Cupboard Board of Directors for the last 7 years, and as a member of the Public Safety Citizens Advisory Committee for Hampden for the last two years. I am looking forward to a cross-conference appointment where I will have fewer connectional responsibilities at least up front!


In addition to my formal education, I have been trained as a Candidacy and Clergy Mentor within my Annual Conference, multiple trainings related to Conflict Resolution, as well as young clergy training at the General Board of Church and Society, and along with Kate, I became a member of the Order of the FLAME (a week of training and fellowship focused on evangelism in the Wesleyan tradition run by World Methodist Evangelism) in 2014.


I have been blessed to travel in Eastern Europe in High School, an Eastern and Central European Choir Tour in College, to live abroad during College in Romania (Sighişoara, Transylvania) where Kate and I were both involved in Christian ministry and mission work, and most recently to join a pilgrimage with our Bishop in the Holy Land in 2014. I am currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry at Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada), with a prospective completion by the spring of 2021, focusing on authentic clergy relationships and their impact on missional effectiveness. As I arrive in Hamburg, I will be completing written work for a course on 1 Timothy and another on the doctrine of the Trinity. As I discussed with SPRC in my interview, I will be away slightly more often in the short run to complete this work, but the program has had immediate benefit in Hampden, and I expect it will in Hamburg as well!


I love to fish, run, read, cook, canoe and drink coffee (not necessarily in order of intensity). I value my family—my wife Kate, and my sons Abraham and Andrew, as well as my parents and Kate’s mother, who lives in Webster, New York. Andrew will begin Kindergarten this fall, and Abraham will enter 6th grade. Perhaps more importantly, Andrew is fascinated to participate in his first move, and Abraham is excited to continue playing baseball through the summer in Eden (he’s slightly obsessed, and a fourth-generation die-hard Red Sox fan). My parents are both cancer survivors and being near Buffalo will make travel to them more accessible than from our current location. Kate’s mother (who is active in the Webster UMC) is in treatment for Parkinson’s and needs us closer—we couldn’t have imagined a better way to support our parents than moving to be in ministry with all of you!


Answering God’s call to serve as a pastor has been a major decision, but the most important decision in my life remains committing to follow Jesus. Discipleship and our mutual baptismal ministry are at the heart of my Christian convictions. I can’t wait to be in ministry with all of you in the months and (the Lord and the Bishop willing) years to come!


In Christ, Soon to be with you,


Rev. David Nicol

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