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April 2023 Newsletter

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Hamburg United Methodist Church 116 Union St Hamburg, New York, 14075 (716) 649-8080 Worship Livestream: Sundays at 10 am Via Facebook Live & Youtube

Dear Saints,

I pray you have a blessed and holy Lent. Over the years, I have practiced various spiritual disciplines during the Lenten season, preparing for Easter and the joy it brings! This year, I will be joining Four Corner’s UMC for Sunrise and then be leading worship in Hamburg at 10:00 hour. We will sing, celebrate, and recall that "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," not just on Easter but every day since!

While in Seminary, I focused on worship, taking several elective courses in that area and becoming deeply interested in how worship shapes discipleship. I spend a fair amount of time preparing liturgical (worship) materials, planning for sermons, and trying to connect the various pieces of our time in God’s presence together. In The United Methodist Church, whatever the style of worship music, the length of the service, and the language we use, we claim that a basic “Four-Fold Pattern” shapes how we come into God’s presence together. You can find the Basic Pattern on page 2 of The United Methodist Hymnal and a more complete form on pages 3-5.

First is the Entrance. We gather together for worship in a variety of ways. In our various congregations, this includes both formal and informal components, but it is essential to our time of worshiping God together! Those conversations about life as we gather together are as sacred as the prelude or Call to Worship, and in them, we can find Christ in each other.

Second is the Proclamation and Response. We sing we hear the Scripture read, someone preaches or testifies to the grace of God in Jesus Christ, we pray, and we give our gifts to God in an offering. While it might be hard to realize those conversations in the Gathering Space at Hamburg or in the pews or kitchens at Versailles, Four Corners, or Gowanda are essential to worship, most of us would imagine worshiping without these parts would be incomplete.

Third is the Thanksgiving and Communion. We thank God for the mighty acts of Jesus Christ, sharing the Bread and Cup whenever possible. In The UMC, this requires an authorized presider, and we are blessed to have several ordained people willing to lead us at the Table. This is one of the highlights of my morning. I am grateful to have so many colleagues who share in ministry at the Table of Christ and other parts of Church life.

Fourth is the Sending Forth. Including the Benediction and whatever follows as we prepare to disperse into the world, to continue as representatives of Christ, and offer hope to a hurting world. In the words of UMH 664: “The service is ended, O now be extended the fruits of our worship in all who believe… God’s grace did invite us, and love shall unite us to work for God’s kingdom and answer the call.”

Each time we worship together, as we follow the pattern, we manifest the Body of Christ both together and then dispersed in ministry to the world. Each of us is essential to that, and whether we are all in the physical space or unable to gather in person and instead online, we share in the life of Christ together. Thank you for sharing in the ministry of Christ!

In Christ’s Service, with you,

Pastor David Nicol


Announcements from the Office

Applications for the Julia Platt Memorial Scholarship are now available

This year, the application is solely online.

The deadline is May 31, 2023


The office will be putting together an announcement slideshow for the gathering space. Content is accepted weekly and due on Wednesday Morning to the church office.

**Please note for repeating slides, the last Sunday it should be run.

Office hours

Monday- Thursday: 9am-2pm

Friday: 9 am-Noon

Email us!!

Jeannine Vanwey:

Patrick Fitzgerald:

Cristina Glover:



In Remembrance:

Dorothy Rood – born into this life February 15, 1932; passed on to her heavenly resting place March 20, 2023. Thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.


Join us for Book Club. We meet on the 4th Monday of the month at 10:30 am in the church library. The following are the upcoming book selections.

April - Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano;

May - Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens; June - Horse by Geraldine Brooks;

July - The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave.



Returning your cans and bottles can be an easy way to donate $$ to Little Lamb Preschool. Just take them to Can & Bottle Return, 4255 Clark Street in Hamburg (next to the former Vara Cleaners), and designate your refund to Little Lamb. They keep the money on record and periodically send Little Lamb a check. Easy for you…easy for them…and much appreciated by Little Lamb.



Supporting the Ministry of Christ Among Native People

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Most Americans today recognize that the history following the arrival of the people “pale as birch” who crossed the great water in large canoes bore little resemblance to the one all Christians identify as Creator. That’s why the people of The United Methodist Church, Native and non-Native, are creating a new history. Through Native American Ministries Sunday, we’re able to equip and empower Native American pastors, congregations (like our friends at Four Corners UMC), and seminary students to do what only they can do: authentically worship and serve Jesus.

As a member of The United Methodist Church, your gift, on Native American Ministries Sunday, equips Native congregations to worship and serve as only they can. This work and hundreds of other ministries are possible because you give. When you support Native American Ministries Sunday, you equip seminary students who will honor and celebrate Native American culture in their ministries, and you empower congregations that are finding fresh new ways to minister to their communities with the love of Christ.

Dr. Richard Twiss, a member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, asked: “Will we be allowed to develop new ways of doing church that honor God’s purposes for the creative expression of our cultures? Will new ministry partnerships and coalitions form? Will you help be a part of this wonderful process of reconciliation, restoration, and release?”

Say yes with your offering and prayer support on Sunday, April 23 or any time thereafter. Offering envelopes will be available on the table with the announcement sheets. After April 23, they will be next to the offering plate in the sanctuary and at the Welcome Center. You may use electronic giving, your personal check, or cash.



The Retired Men’s Fellowship of Hamburg UMC will have its monthly lunch gathering on Tuesday, April 18, at 12 Noon a ZJ’s Restaurant in the Hamburg Village Plaza. All retired men are invited. Come and bring a friend for food and fellowship.

Dick Caldwell, facilitator



  1. Finding God in the Questions by Dr. Timothy Johnson. For many people, religion provides answers to the big questions of life. For others, the absolute claims of religion raise more questions than they answer. The author knows that he has been on both sides – in the past and even now. His path of faith has wandered through both doubt and belief, often at the same time. Doubt doesn’t have to tear down belief. However, it can purify it. When it does, the beliefs on the other side become more certain. That is why he affirms that it is possible to find God even when the big questions are being asked.

  2. In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado. Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us? That is what we want to know. Does God love us forever? Not just on Easter Sunday when our shoes are shined, and our hair is fixed. We want to know, deep within, how God feels about us, even when we act like a jerk. The answer is found in the word GRACE. God doesn’t condone our sin, nor does he compromise his standard. He doesn’t ignore our rebellion, nor does he relax his demands. Rather than dismiss our sin, he assumes our sin and, incredibly, sentences himself. God is still holy. Sin is still sin. And we are redeemed. This book will remind you that the God who made us is strong enough to sustain us.

  3. Healing Words – the Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine by Larry Dossey, M.D. Restoring the spiritual art of healing to the science of medicine, “Healing Words” points the way toward “a medicine that is both effective and more humane, a medicine that works better and feels better.” Practicing medicine over many years, the author discovered scientific evidence of the healing power of prayer. Citing compelling studies and fascinating case histories, he shows how prayer compliments but doesn’t take the place of good medicine. He shows which methods of prayer show the greatest healing potential and believes we will find ourselves praying more prayers of gratitude and fewer prayers of supplication.

As we welcome the beauty and joy of spring and the Easter seasons, you can find books for study and devotions through which you may experience new insights and growth in faith.


There will be a collection tote in April for The Eden-North Collins Food Pantry. Non-perishable food items will be collected for needy families in the Eden, Collins, and Lawtons areas. No specific items were requested.


Join us for a virtual fellowship! This group is a place to share prayer requests, devotions, concerns, joys, and even some humor with your church family. Join the Hamburg UMC Fellowship group on Facebook.


PRAYER CONCERNS? If you would like someone added to our church prayer list, call Barb Meader (648-1273) or email her at, or contact anyone who is a Prayer, Care, and Share member. Daily we lift the concerns that have been shared with us.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 4-7)

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