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August 2023 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,

On Monday, July 24, SPRC approved the recommendation of the hiring committee for a part-time director of Sparks of Hope Recovery Support Center. We will arrange for Carolyn Grassmick to join us in worship soon, but if you can meet her at Sparks or in the rest of her work in the next few days, please welcome her to the role! Carolyn brings years of experience in youth ministry and in developmental work with the Roman Catholic diocese that she will be using to expand fundraising efforts, recruit and train volunteers, and help us find a clear direction to develop new programming for the Sparks of Hope ministries.

I hear worship was rich and worthwhile while I was away between July 14-24 doing doctoral work. I have a rough draft of the Historical chapter of my thesis completed, and I plan on completing the Biblical/Theological chapter and the Literature Review and Research Methods chapters during my next time out of the office. As a reminder, I will not be in the office between July 31 and August 13, but I will be leading worship and celebrating with all of you in Versailles on Sunday, August 6, at 10:30 AM! Please be sure to come, and bring a dish to pass! My hope (and plan) is to complete the first draft of the thesis by the end of the week of August 21-27.

As I wrote last month, partly because of my thesis work, I have been thinking a lot about vocation. What does accepting God’s call on my life or yours mean? Most of the time, it means to seek to live for Jesus and to share that life. Sometimes, in dramatic circumstances, it can mean far more. One of my favorite novels is The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. The main character, addressed by the remnant faithful in a communist revolutionary state, calls him “Father,” otherwise he is only called “the whiskey Priest.” He is a shadow of his former self, afraid of mortal sins he’s committed and yet more faithful than when things were “normal.” Constantly hiding with an increasingly fearful flock, he meets people, hears their confessions, assures them of God’s grace, and says Mass, all while he is sure of his unforgiven sin weighing on him. Unlike the other priests who sought safety in accepting the forced marriage or leaving the State, the whiskey priest stayed and continued embodying Christ for the people.

We are called, collectively, to embody the presence of Christ in the world. I hope and pray not to find myself like Graham Greene’s Whiskey Priest—but regardless of my faithfulness or yours, the grace of God is enough to guide us to living so the world can see Jesus!

In Christ’s Service, with you,

Pastor David Nicol


Announcements from the Office

Office Closures

The Church office will be closed September 5th-8th, 11th & 12th.

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:


The labeled Collection bin for Operation Good Neighbor can be found in the Coatroom.




(Hamburg United Methodist Annual Golf Outing)

Sunday, August 20, at Byrncliff golf course, Varysburg

Our 26th annual outing of golf, dinner, basket auction, beautiful weather, and lots of fun

will start with registration at 11:00 a.m. and first tee off at 11:40.

This is a CHURCHWIDE event. Not limited to golfers.

Everyone can participate by donating items for the baskets, buying tickets for the auction,

or coming just for dinner at 6:00 pm.

A poster will be in the Gathering Space with more information.

This is a fun event. The golf is a scramble format, so you don’t have to be a pro golfer to play.

Gather your foursome or contact the Office if you need partners.

Registration sheets are in the Gathering Space.

Dave Engberg and Matt Edie



Once again, we are looking forward to having a fun and successful HUMANGO fundraising event on Sunday, August 20, 2023. Your participation and donations will help make this a success.

We appreciate any donation that you can make. We are looking for completed theme baskets, gift certificates to restaurants or stores, individual items to put in baskets, and empty baskets to use. Completed baskets with shrink wrap and bows are greatly appreciated, but we can complete it with the clear bag and bow if you cannot. Please label your basket with the group or individual’s name that is donating. We would like to make sure that donors are recognized on the dinner placemat at the HUMANGO event at Byrncliff Golf Resort.

All baskets and gift certificates need to be left at the church by July 31 or given to Pat Adema (716) 206-4687 or Sue Gagne (716) 200-8996.

Completed baskets, labeled with the donor’s name and “For HUMANGO,” can be left on the labeled shelf or in the labeled box in the coat room.

Completed baskets will be on display on Sunday, August 13. Tickets will be available this one Sunday for you to purchase. Thank you very much for your donations and support.

Pat Adema and the HUMANGO Committee


Holiday Homespun Bazaar coming in November

As you can tell by its name, our annual bazaar has always highlighted homemade items that are sold to raise money for our church and for the mission work of what was formerly “United Methodist Women” but now ”United Women in Faith”. Here are some homemade item ideas for both men and women to make:

Sewing: placemats, runners, aprons, pot holders, tote bags, wine bottle holders, glass cases or cell phone cases, garden flags, wind socks

Knitting or crocheting: scarves, hats, mittens, sweaters, shawls, afghans, baby things

Woodworking: cutting boards, bookends, bird houses, small magazine racks, toys

Special creations for children

Gifts for teachers or others: packaged treats like popcorn, nuts or candy

Eldercare items: catch-alls for walkers, bibs, lap blankets, décor for room

Jewelry: necklaces, bracelets, scarf necklaces

Décor: wreaths, dried flower arrangements for fall or Thanksgiving, winter or Christmas, wall or table decorations, ornaments, candle holders

Artwork: decorated vases or jars, ceramics, notepaper, thank you notes, artwork display.

Photography: homemade photo frames, photo displays, calendars, other items that make use of photos on phones

Young plants

Things for Pets: leashes, collars, coats, pillows, toys

So many possibilities – Do these mentioned whet your creative appetite? You only need to check the internet for even more ideas for bazaar crafts. It is early but a good time to start some projects. Would you all think about contributing? More information about the bazaar to follow.




Retired Men is on break during August. Lunch gatherings begin again in September.


August Selections from the Church Library

  1. The Windhorse by Elaine Brook and Julie Donnelly. Julie Donnelly has been blind since age eight due to glaucoma and goes to work as a switchboard operator with the help of her guide dog. She makes friends with Elaine Brook, who has a similar adventuring spirit and love for the outdoors. Together, they trek to the 18,000-foot summit of Kala Patthar in Nepal. This is a moving story of their astonishing adventure, achievement, and inner exploration told with a lightness of touch and humor to inspire us all.

  2. Reflections of Heaven – A Millennial Odyssey of Miracles, Angels and Afterlife by Peter Shockey. Stories of divine intervention in people’s lives have long been in the author's mind. Beginning with his own story, he shares accounts of others who relate their miraculous experiences, ranging from visions of heaven to the presence of angels. He then explores the patterns of divine intervention in history and In the Bible. His inspiring book is full of provocative thoughts and great stories.

  3. Twelve Ordinary Men – How the Master Shaped His Disciples for Greatness and What He Wants to Do with You by John MacArthur. Jesus’ disciples weren’t saints or scholars or even religious sages. They were ordinary men, hopelessly human, remarkably unremarkable, but they were available and obedient to the Master’s call. This book will put you in their shoes so that you can understand their doubts and hopes. And you will hear the power of Jesus’ words in a new way. If Christ can accomplish his purposes through the lives of ordinary men like these, imagine what He has in store for you.

Summer is a good time to relax and read. Our church library has a good collection of books for your reading enjoyment.


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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