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January 2024 Newsletter

Updated: Jan 31

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,

As we step into 2024, I reflect on the journey we've shared as a community in 2023 with immense joy and gratitude. Hamburg UMC has experienced continual growth in attendance, celebrated several weddings, and closed the financial year on a positive note—our bills are settled, and generous bequests have propelled progress in both the Endowment and the Parsonage Fund.

Throughout the past year, we've been blessed to connect with individuals in need of the Good News, serving as messengers and embodying Christ's love through our actions. At Sparks of Hope, we welcomed Carolyn Grassmick as the new director and witnessed remarkable growth in programming, volunteer involvement, and the demand for our Blessings Box. Moreover, we've fostered stronger connections between Sparks and Hamburg UMC, initiating steps toward establishing a 501c3 to facilitate further ministry expansion.

Our preaching rotation in Versailles, Four Corners, and Gowanda has continued to offer worship and dedicated service to Christ. In January 2024, Carolyn Grassmick and I will lead worship and explore ways to expand recovery support within these communities.

Our recent Church-Charge Conference held on the Third Day of Christmas marked a pivotal moment for Hamburg UMC. The Congregation unanimously endorsed the Trustees, with a 31-0 vote, to proceed with the purchase and renovation of a home for our Pastor's use. —a fitting conclusion to a year filled with God's abundant blessings and grace. This milestone signifies a new chapter in our commitment to support and nurture our current and future spiritual leaders.

The miracles and wonders God has performed in our midst throughout 2023 fill us with anticipation for what lies ahead in 2024. Let's continue embracing God's call and allowing ourselves to be vessels for His divine work in our community.

In Christ’s Service with You,

Pastor David Nicol


January Birthdays

Elaine DeLisle 1/12

Betty Fox 1/17

George Fox 1/24

Douglas Bushnell 1/25

They would love to hear from you


Announcements from the Office

The Church office will be closing at Noon on Friday, December 29, 2023, through Monday, January 1, 2024, in observance of New Year's Day.

Staff will return to work on Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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:



Plants are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of:

  • My parents, Carolyn and Rev. Gordon Bloomberg by Dianne and Ronald Brent

  • Gary Caldwell by Rose, Sarah, Jessie and Maddox  

  • Our parents and brothers, Russell and Gary Caldwell by Richard and Dianne Caldwell and family

  • My sisters, Rose Marie Dedman, Cheryl Gailbreath, and Dianne Scheffler by Gary and Maytha Cawthard

  • Our Parents by Elaine and Richard DeLisle

  • Our mothers, Willena Harris and Grace Morris by Gail Harris and Rev. G. Ewart Morris

  • Our Parents by Sandra and Thomas Holden

  • Edith and Lloyd Ellis by Ginger and Leo Jensen

  • Loved ones by Karen and Chris Klimecko

  • Janet Krell and Theresa Montaloo by Jason Krell

  • Our Parents by Tina and Dan Paskie

  • Our Parents by Diane and David Petrick

  • Loved Ones by Amy Rydholm

  • Jack Spencer by Joyce Spencer

  • My brothers, James and David Wade by Lynda and Jon Sentz

  • My parents and sisters by Robert Stapf

  • Loved ones by Sharon and Anthony Tiballi

Plants are given to the Glory of God and in honor of:

  • My Family by Jeanne Adkins

  • Our children and grandchildren by Dianne and Richard Caldwell

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

Plants are given to the Glory of God with gratitude for all his blessings:

  • Sheri, Marc. Ben and Nicholas Cilano

  • Loren, Mike, Violet, and Ted Fleckenstein 

  • Barbara and John Meader

  • Elaine Parisi



Cozy Quilts will resume on Tuesday, Jan 2, 2024, at 1:30 pm

Thank you to the anonymous donor

who purchased a new Brother sewing machine for Cozy Quilts

Cozy quilts will also need some strong backs and moving carts on

Saturday, Jan 13 at 1 pm as we will be moving to the upstairs room on the right.


Adult Sunday School

John Meader’s Sunday School class will resume on Sunday, January 7th.

John Meader’s Adult Sunday School class meets each Sunday at 9 a.m. in the

Parlor. Presently, we are using Max Lucado’s book, Help is Here, and the

accompanying DVD to learn more about the Holy Spirit. 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 January 22, 2024, at 10:30 am in the Library

We will be discussing "Lessons in Chemistry" by Bonnie Garmus

Here are the future selections:

February: "Demon Copperhead" by Barbara Kingsolver

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


Hello everyone,

We're thrilled to share some important details about our upcoming Lenten FishFry Dinners. Ash Wednesday is approaching, falling on February 14 next year. That means our beloved Friday night FishFry Lenten Dinners will kick off on Friday, February 16, and continue for seven consecutive Fridays until we reach Good Friday.

This event is more than just a meal; it's an opportunity for our entire Church Congregation to come together and actively participate in its success. From planning and ordering to cooking, baking, preparation, set-up, clean-up, and greeting our cherished customers, there's a role for everyone. The excitement is already building in Hamburg and HUMC, with people eager to know if we'll host these dinners next Spring.

The Lenten FishFry Dinners play a vital role in our budget as a significant fundraiser, but they hold even more significance as a chance for our community to come together. It's an opportunity to connect, build camaraderie, and share fun moments with new and familiar faces.

We're fortunate to have Rick Park leading the coordination efforts, but he can't do it alone. The success of these dinners depends on a dedicated working committee. We're calling on you to get involved and make this event a reality. Don't hesitate to get in touch with Rick to let us know how you'd like to contribute. We'll soon arrange a meeting to set everything up, but Rick requires some volunteers to step forward soon.

Your participation is crucial in ensuring the success of this cherished tradition. Let's unite as a congregation and make the upcoming Lenten FishFry Dinners an incredible experience for all.

Dave Engberg

Finance Committee



NEW MEMBERS: Received into membership in our church on December 3 were; 

  • Jeanne Adkins –transferred from Faith Christian Life Center in Alcolu, SC.

  • Dianne Brent – transferred from Orchard Park UMC

We welcome them into our fellowship and with them pledge to support the ministries of our church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.  


It was a special joy to honor Peggy Brown on December 10 and celebrate her 100th birthday.  She resides at Rosewood Village, attends our church, and sings in the church choir.  Her daughter, Lynn Giroux was with us for the celebration.  Rollin Shoemaker presented her with a framed tribute, and we all shared a birthday cake at coffee hour.


Village ENGAGED Clothing Drive

At Hamburg UMC, we're dedicated to supporting a meaningful initiative spearheaded by Village ENGAGED aimed at aiding local families experiencing homelessness in Erie County. Currently, we are assisting approximately 200 individuals, including 80 children, who have found temporary housing in two local hotels. It's important to emphasize that these individuals are all Western New York residents, with some children attending schools in our area while others continue in their "home" schools.

Village ENGAGED has assembled a diverse team equipped with various resources, including social work, legal aid, and spiritual care, to offer comprehensive support to these families. Their mission involves providing essential clothing, and personal care items, engaging in bi-monthly crafting sessions with the children, hosting festive events like Christmas parties, and fulfilling a wish list by gifting items to these families.

Hamburg UMC stands committed to extending our aid, and we invite your participation. Your donations of clean, gently used clothing items will significantly impact these families' lives. Personal care items are always welcomed and appreciated. Designated donation drop-off bins are conveniently located in the coatroom of the Gathering Space.

It's disheartening to note that every 2-3 weeks, these families are required to pack all their belongings, journey downtown to social services for recertification, and then return to the hotel. This continuous cycle underscores the importance of sustained support from caring individuals like you.

Your contributions, no matter the size, can make a world of difference to these families in need.

Let's come together as a community to provide comfort and support during these challenging times.


Coffee Hour Schedule



Men's Group


Church Council


Trustees/ Columbarium


Sarah Circle


Mission Outreach






Prayer Care & Share


Men's Group


Church Council


Trustees/ Columbarium


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 welcome in the year 2024 at their monthly lunch gathering on Tuesday, January 16 at 12 Noon at 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


January's Library Selections


  1. Legacy by James A. Michener.  At the age of 80 and at the time of the 200th anniversary of our Constitution, James Michener wrote this novel of great impact.   Major Norman Starr, attached to the National Security Council, is told that he will be called before a congressional committee.  As he prepares for the meeting, he reflects on the long line of Americans from whom he is descended – a Supreme Court Justice, a courageous and effective suffragist, a soldier, a slave owner, and others.  This novel is as timeless as truth and justice, an eloquent lesson in American history.

  2. Where Angels Walk, True Stories of Heavenly Visitors by Joan Webster Anderson. This book is a heartwarming, true account of people just like you.  People who, in time of need, found themselves in the loving presence of Beings who led them out of darkness into the light of hope.  The beings encountered can be called only…angels.  The author has encouraged these people to share their stories so that they may transform and enhance your life.  

  3. A State of Grace by Traci Depree.  Copper Mill, Tennessee is a place of tradition and tranquility.  When Kate and Paul Hanlon move in, they find out that small-town life is anything but boring.  The mysteries Kate uncovers are puzzling, but she always uses her quick mind and the help of her friends to find the answer.  In this story, a widow, whose daughter has leukemia, has a terrible secret, and finding the truth may save the life of her child.  As she seeks God’s wisdom, Kate begins to recognize that grace is all around.

During the cold and snowy days of January, take some time to read one of these books or one of the many other books 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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