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April 2024 Newsletter

Hamburg United Methodist Church 116 Union St Hamburg, New York, 14075 (716) 649-8080 Sundays at 10 am

Also Streamed Via Facebook Live & Youtube

Dear Saints,

Christ is Risen! Throughout Christian history, we have greeted one another with these words (in the language of the people), in many places not just on Easter Sunday but throughout the 50 days of Easter until Pentecost. The ancient tradition of sharing the central hope of Christian faith over and over again reminds us that sharing the faith requires more than hymns and worship, it requires us all to share the hope within us. 

The First Epistle of Peter sets this as a Christian goal. Elsewhere, in 1 Corinthians 9 and Philippians 1, we here the Pauline call for a similar response, and even Jesus encouraging sharing our hope in Luke 21. Often, these encouragements are intended to call us to share our hope when asked, not as a prepared event! While Luke 21 seems to encourage total spontaneity, I think a better way to hear these passages together is to live Christian lives, share and study faith together, and know that after all of that, the Spirit will allow us to share what matters when the need arises. 

Part of that, historically, has been repeating the basic affirmations of the faith—who God is, what Christ has done, what the Church is. At the most basic, Christian faith affirms that Jesus is Lord (along with God the Father), he is risen from death, and his Kingdom has drawn near and is present in the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, life is forever transformed. 

The message of new and transformed life, informed by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, is for those who already believe and all those with whom we interact. 1 Peter sees this hope as active among a people who are poor and persecuted—while most of us are not, our posture derives from this place. We have become other, outsiders, in baptism and interact with a world that doesn’t understand our purpose and motivations—but Jesus is risen, and that changes everything! We seek to walk by faith, walk with Christ, and let the Holy Spirit continue to renew and transform us, always making room for those who desire to be a part of what God is doing. 

It's not always easy, but Christ is Risen, and by any normal measure, ancient or modern, that is impossible! We proclaim in faith that God does what cannot be done, and calls us to live renewed and refreshed lives—always, every day, in the power of the One who conquers death itself and sets us free from sin and death.

Christ is Risen, indeed!

Pastor David Nicol


Dear Saints,

In January I wrote to you that “on the Third Day of Christmas, the special Church-Charge Conference of Hamburg UMC met to address the matter of purchasing a parsonage, and by a vote of 31-0 charged the Trustees with the purchase and renovation of a home for the use of the Pastor of Hamburg UMC.”

The process that followed was both surprisingly quick and stultifyingly slow. 52 Center Street in Hamburg, formerly belonging to the Chambers family, became available to the Church. The property will need significant renovation to serve as a parsonage, but given the gracious bequest received from the Tomaka family, our parsonage fund has more than enough for the purchase price of $160,000 and the necessary renovations (expected to be about another $140,000). All told, this is a more than reasonable price for a home in the Village of Hamburg, walking distance from the Church. 

The Trustees were able to move through the negotiation process and close in February, and in early March we received the cleared deed. As required by the Book of Discipline, a Parsonage Committee has been established to advise and coordinate with the Trustees on the project. Meetings will be hybrid, in the Church Library and by Zoom, and will begin shortly after Easter. 

We received further good news last week—the Town informed us we do not need prior plans to begin the demolition phase of work, and the property does not have asbestos! God is Good!

Housing a Pastor is the responsibility of all full-time appointments—either through a parsonage or a housing allowance. Currently, my housing allowance from Hamburg and the Southern Tier Circuit is sufficient for rent and utilities for a two-bedroom apartment. While utilities for a parsonage will cost the Church going forward, a reasonable estimate is that those (all told) will be less than what Hamburg currently pays for my housing allowance.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe that something like this could benefit everyone, across the board, but God is Good all the time! 

In Christ’s Service, with You,

Pastor David Nicol


Announcements from the Office

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:



***** THANK YOU ***** THANK YOU *** THANK YOU ***** THANK YOU *****

A big thank you to everyone who helped to make this year’s fish fries so successful!!!  A special thank you to Gary Cawthard and Rick Park who took leadership, shopped, and organized each week’s dinner.  Thank you to those who prepared food on Thursdays, those who set tables, the cooks for the fish, shrimp, chicken fingers and fries, servers of meals and beverages for the eat-in dinners, those who filled orders for take-outs and made deliveries, the dessert makers and those who set up the dessert tables, those who set up and took down tables and chairs, those who did advertising, the ticket sellers and greeters, those who washed and dried dishes (especially after the dishwasher could not be used) and those who did cleanup of the kitchen and the floors in Fellowship Hall.  Many hands made it possible for the fish fries to be a great experience for everyone.

It was wonderful to welcome so many church friends and members of the community into our church.  A final financial report will be made after all the expenses are paid.  We did it together with good food and fellowship and the blessing of God with us all.  

***** THANK YOU ***** THANK YOU *** THANK YOU ***** THANK YOU *****



IN REMEMBRANCE: Aureta A. Koepp – passed away on February 29, 2024.  She is the sister of William (Bill) Villepique.  Thoughts and prayers are with her family.


Church Council

In-person and Zoom

February 26, 2024

Present:  Pastor David, Rollin Shoemaker, Caroline Schneggenburger, Jerry Schneggenburger, Bob Cook, David Rood, Dave Engberg, Rick Park, Cheryl Bell, Dan Paskie, Lynda Sentz, Dianne Caldwell, Rose Caldwell

Lynda opened the meeting with a prayer.

Bob made the motion to approve the minutes of January 22, 2024, with the following addition: the Osterville UMC donated $2,500 that Missions then donated to Versailles Church.  Dave E. seconded the motion.  Motion approved.

Dave E. reported that the budget and stewardship are going very well.  There is nothing to indicate and problems, Fish Fries are also going well.

Rollin reported that the fifth window is scheduled to be installed on February 28.  The anticipated completion of the project is late April or early May of 2024.  A celebration will be held following completion.

David R. reported on pricing for a new pictorial directory.  The price for 50-99 books is $55.00, 100 or over will be priced at $32.00.  Individual pictures can be purchased on line.  Discussion was held about determining the number of people interested in participating and the possibility of the church subsidizing the cost using the budget surplus from last year.  David R. will set up a sign up sheet for people to indicate their interest in the Gathering Space and announcements for Sunday, March 3, as well as the newsletter and Friday Flash.  This will run for a few weeks.

Discussion was held about the $7,500 donation from Wendy Schneider.  She has indicated in a communication with Matt Edie that part of it should go to our Respite program.  Pastor David made the motion that a letter be sent to the family stating that we graciously accept this donation for which we are grateful.  One third of it will go to Respite.  We will prayerfully consider what to do with the rest.  Dave E. seconded the motion.  Motion approved.  Dave will tell Matt to send this letter at the next Finance meeting.

Pastor David reported that the property on Center Street has been purchased, and we have the deed.   A Parsonage Committee needs to be established to be in compliance with The Discipline.  This committee will work in conjunction with the Trustees to oversee plans to renovate the parsonage.  Pastor David made the motion to form this committee with the nominations of Gail Harris and Carolyn Montgomery to serve, and the request that SPRC provide two members and Trustees provide two.  Rick seconded the motion.  Motion approved.

Lynda reported that Sparks has not made progress on the 501C3 application yet.  There are training and other classes going on.

Dianne reported that Little Lamb held an Open House. Registration is going well.

Our next meeting will be March 25, 2024.

Pastor David closed with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted.

Cheryl Bell



Plants were given to the glory of God and in memory of: 

Carolyn and Gordon Bloomberg by Dianne and Ronald Brent

Daniel Metz by Anne and Stephen Brown

Gary Caldwell by Rose Caldwell and Sarah, Jessie and Maddox Kowalski

Loved ones and brothers, Gary and Russell by Dianne and Richard Caldwell

My husband, Gene by Mary Densmore

My parents, Doris and John Jones by Lynn Kieber

Janet Krell, Carol Butler and Theresa Montalvo by Julie Krell 

My parents, Edna and S. Lauriston Travis by Laura McDade

Our parents by Diane and David Petrick

My mother, father and sisters by Robert Stapf

Loved ones by Sharon and Anthony Tiballi

Plants were given to the glory of God and in honor of:

Our children and grandchildren by Dianne and Richard Caldwell

Our dear parents by Sandra and Thomas Holden

Our parents by Carol and Todd Shoff

Our church staff: Pastor David Nicol, Jeannine VanWey, Cristina Glover, Patrick Fitzgerald, James Flynn and Sandy Berry

Plants were given to the glory of God for blessings received:

Sheri, Marc, Ben and Nicholas Cilano

Loren, Mike, Violet and Ted Fleckenstein

Gail Harris and Rev. Dr. G. Ewart Morris

Barbara and John Meader

Anne and Carl Nicol

Tina and Dan Paskie and family

Elaine Parisi

Joyce Wasnock


Julia Platt Memorial Scholarship 2024

We are thrilled to announce that the Hamburg UMC Julia Platt Memorial Scholarship applications are now open through May 31st. This scholarship honors the memory of Julia Platt and aims to support deserving individuals within our greater United Methodist congregation in their pursuit of higher education.

Multiple scholarship awards are available, with monetary amounts ranging from $250 to $2,000, depending on the number of applicants.

To be considered for this esteemed award, applicants must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Membership in a United Methodist Church.

  • Status as a senior or high school graduate enrolled in a college, university, or trade school.

  • Age under 26 years old as of May 31st.

  • Exclusion from enrollment in a second bachelor's or graduate degree program.

Required documents for application include:

  • High school transcript.

  • College transcript or acceptance letter.

  • Applicant photo.

  • Three submitted references.

Interested candidates can apply through the following link: Apply Now

Please help us spread the word within our Conference. Encourage eligible individuals to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.


Join the Masons Lodge at HUMC!

Looking to enrich your life and strengthen your character? Consider joining the Masons Fortune Lodge at HUMC, where our motto is "Making Good Men Better."

Our lodge offers a welcoming community focused on personal growth, camaraderie, and service.

Meetings are held twice a month throughout the year, providing ample opportunities to connect with new friends and experience the bonds of brotherhood.

For more information or to express interest: please contact Jeffrey Smith at 716-560-7468 or email

Come be a part of something meaningful at the Masons Lodge at HUMC!


Cozy Quilts is Turning 20!

Save the date for our Celebration

Saturday, August 17th 2024

Farmersville Center Community Church 9040 Route 98 N. Franklinville, NY 14737



Supporting the Ministry of Christ Among Native People

Sunday April 14, 2024

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 14 or any time thereafter.  Offering envelopes will be available on the table with the announcement sheets, next to the offering plate in the sanctuary and at the Welcome Center.  You may use electronic giving, your personal check, or cash.  


Adult Sunday School

John Meader’s Adult Sunday School class meets each Sunday at 9 am in the parlor.

All are welcome to join the discussion. All are welcome!


FUN FUNDRAISER FOR LITTLE LAMB PRESCHOOL Returning your cans and bottles can be an easy way to donate $$ to Little Lamb Pre-School. 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 Pre-School.


Book Club will meet on April 22, 2024, at 10:30 am in the Library

This Month's selection is The Librarian of Burned Books by Brianna Labuskes,

Zoom is available for those who wish to attend virtually. Don't hesitate to get in touch with the church office to receive a link

Questions to Karen Klimecko



2023 Bazaar Proceeds will Benefit our Community and Beyond 

United Women in Faith (formerly the UMW) is humbled and grateful for the significant help and support the congregation provided to make the 2023 Bazaar possible – and a success – last November. Most importantly, the event netted a profit of $$6,892, an increase over 2022!

At our February meeting, we decided how to help our community with the profits.  

Because of the current positive bottom line in our checking account at this time, we were able to disburse $7,000 in funds to ministries across the area and beyond, including: 

  • HUMC Prayer, Care, and Share Ministry  

  • Cozy Quilts Ministry 

  • SS. Peter and Paul Food Pantry and Outreach 

  • Warm the Children – Hamburg 

  • Kathleen Mary House in Hamburg for those fleeing domestic violence situations 

  • Salary support for Dee Finch, pastor, at Seneca Street United Methodist Church in Buffalo 

  • Family Promise 

  • Buffalo Peacemakers violence prevention program 

  • Harvest House in Buffalo with ministries for children and families in need 

  • Journey's End Refugee Services 

  • Peace of the City, providing children and youth programming in Buffalo 

  • Cornerstone Manor, temporary housing for women and children 

  • St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, Buffalo 

  • Project Mona House for those experiencing homelessness, orphaned and exploited through human trafficking 

  • Rural Outreach Center 

  • United Methodist Committee on Relief – to help with disasters 

We also pledged annually to the Niagara Frontier District United Women in Faith.  

Thank you for helping us make a difference in our church, our community, region and beyond! 

Finally, we welcome all women to join our efforts by getting involved in our monthly Sarah Circle meeting at church on the second Thursday at 7 p.m. Our next meeting is April 11. Please join us! 

         - Members of United Women in Faith of HUMC 



Coffee Hour Schedule April- Sarah Circle

May- Missions & Outreach

June- Finance & Endowment

July- SPRC

August- Prayer, Care & Share

September- Men's Group

October- Church Council

November- Trustees & Columbarium

December- Sarah Circle


Medical Equipment Lending Closet

Hamburg UMC has a medical equipment lending closet. It is located in Room 18 in the basement. Please check the closet before purchasing wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, crutches, canes, etc. The equipment available constantly changes. If you have medical equipment you are no longer using, you may donate them. We cannot take soft items such as gauze pads, diabetic supplies, incontinence, bandages, etc. For questions, please call Caroline Schneggenburger at 716-289-0541.




The Retired Men’s Fellowship of Hamburg UMC will gather for their monthly lunch on Tuesday, April 16 at 12 Noon at ZJ’s Restaurant in the Hamburg Village Plaza. All retired men are invited. Come and bring a friend for good food and good fellowship.

Dick Caldwell, facilitator


April Church Library Selections

  1. The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra. “The Secret Supper´ is an historic thriller with a unique vision of both Leonardo da Vinci’s genius and his masterpiece.  In Milan 1497, Pope Alexander VI is determined to execute him after realizing that the painting contained clues to a baffling message.  The Holy Grail and the Eucharistic Bread are missing, there is no meat on the table, and the apostles are portraits of well-known heretics and without halos.  Also, da Vinci painted himself into the scene with his back to Jesus.  The author has written a plausible and intriguing story with well researched lore.

  2. April’s Hope by Robert Elmer.  From the Home to Heather Creek series, this story tells of the family farm that has been voted County Farm of the Year.  Heavy rains threaten the farm and fields just as an open house is being planned.  As neighbors pull together to help neighbors, the unshakeable faith of this tight-knit community continues to give them hope of better days ahead.  See how God, who watches makes the sun rise and the crops grow, watches over our lives too.

  3. Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout. In the late 1950’s in a small town in Maine, a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family, and his happiness after a profound loss.  At the same time the community must come to terms with its own strengths and failings when a dark secret is revealed.  As both pastor and congregation attempt to find the presence of God in the world around them as their humanity is tested, they look to endure the kinds of trials that sooner or later test us all.  

At this time of year with growth and change all around us, you can find books for study and devotions in our church library.  You may find new insights, hope, joy, and the blessings of Christian love for your heart.


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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