Hamburg United Methodist Church 116 Union St Hamburg, New York, 14075 (716) 649-8080 Worship Livestream: Sundays at 10am Via Facebook Live & Youtube
From The Desk of Pastor David Nicol
The last couple of years, amid a global pandemic has dramatically changed the way the world around us looks. As a community, we at Hamburg UMC need to re-vision how we will implement our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ and transform our community through his grace.
As we now begin to emerge into a hopeful future, where COVID-19 is becoming another endemic disease, the world has changed from what is was in March of 2020 in profound ways. Pandemic related interruptions in global production and transportation of goods has left us in a kind of 21st century exile. The world of easy access and inexpensive goods driven by the last several decades of globalization have been shaken. War in Ukraine has further destabilized fuel on the global market, due to sanctions on Russian oil production, and food commodities, due to farming and transportation disruptions in Ukraine, one of the most fertile food producers on the planet. The ways we have lived for the early 21st century are currently unsettled!
Similarly, two years of intermittent lock-downs have disrupted attendance patterns in the local church, and the aforementioned economic ways we have always done things has strained giving in many congregations while simultaneously increasing operating costs. While giving remains relatively strong for us, our costs are rising month over month, as they are likely for you at home. So far, the outlook is more challenging than expected, but not bleak—but any of us who has opportunity to be generous may find a welcome opportunity in giving to support our ongoing mission. In many ways, HUMC has fared well, we have enough screens online each Sunday to total our pre-pandemic attendance when added to our in-person numbers, at least over the last two months. However, there are over 58,000 residents of the town of Hamburg, and our 90 attendees is a tiny fraction of the mission field! We must ask ourselves, are we continuing to worship by rote, or are we open to the movement of the Holy Spirit where the Lord will again do shocking and amazing things among us?
Isaiah foresaw a day in the life of Israel when the LORD God would again do miraculous things among the people. I believe the recent rebound in attendance, and the powerful things happening at HUMC, at Sparks of Hope, and the amazing potential partnerships we see before us are a testament to what God is doing and wants to do in and through Hamburg UMC. Worship has rebounded, we have more children than we have for several years. At Sparks, the ministry is rebounding and seeing new life. Last month, a substantial number of HUMC folks joined Lincoln Memorial UMC to stand in solidarity in their neighborhood where the Jefferson Avenue Tops shootings occurred—we were blessed.
God is doing a new thing. Will we hear and see? I hope we will. As your Pastor, I have spent some time thinking and praying about our future. I want to propose four possible goals for our next few years, goals I believe resonate with the vision God has for us in our neighborhood.
Rebuild the foundations of our Children’s and Youth Ministries. Developing resources for the next generations of disciples needs to be high on our priority list. Some of this might not look like the “glory days” tomorrow or for a long time, and may always be different. However, committing our energy as a congregation to this work is essential.
Fostering partnership with Lincoln Memorial UMC, continuing our support for Seneca Street UMC, and extending our partnership with Four Corners UMC and Gowanda and Versailles UMCs. These are not the same, but offer the chance to seek the peace of the city (and beyond, Jeremiah 29:7) and to develop a strong vision for how we can work for the good of Jesus Christ in our neighborhood and the surrounding areas.
Continued work to strengthen our outreach and discipleship ministries. The growing success at Sparks of Hope raises the question of when we might need a director, and the need for many more volunteers to staff the center in the days to come. The addiction epidemic has only become more profound during COVID. Overdose numbers are at an all-time high again, and we spent months where churches were closed for AA meetings, but bars and liquor stores served take-out. There is tremendous work to be done, and we have a powerful faith-based resource on our property growing in its successful service to others.
COVID disrupted how we lived as a community, but it also gave us new opportunities. To stay connected, we upgraded our technology. This September, we will test the possibilities a bit, by hosting Voices of Addiction in our sanctuary. We now stream to Facebook Live and YouTube every Sunday, and will be able to extend the reach of Voices as well. My hope is that Hamburg UMC might find a way to extend our ministry using our technological tools to become a host for workshops, speaker events, and community activities. We have the ability to connect anywhere in the world, while also offering break-out spaces throughout the building. This might allow new and creative ministries to flourish for the Greater Buffalo area, but also touch the world.
My hope is these possibilities will open conversation and lead to refinement of the mission we have together for the months and years to come. I look forward to seeing what new things the Lord will do in and through us in the increasingly post-COVID world. I trust God will continue to give Hamburg UMC fresh vision to implement our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ and transform our community through his grace.
In Christ’s Service, with you,
The Rev. David Nicol, Pastor of Hamburg UMC
Kathleen (Kay) Cornell – born February 25, 1932 – joined the church triumphant May 19, 2022. A memorial service was held June 25.
Carol M. Brudo – born July 11, 1932 – joined the church triumphant June 1, 2022.
A memorial service was held June 13 in California.
The righteous live forever: their reward is with the Lord.
Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends.
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.
Monday- Thursday: 9am-2pm
Pastor David: PastorDavid@hamburgumc.org
Jeannine Vanwey: Music@hamburgumc.org
Lisa Link: ChristianEd@hamburgumc.org
Kathy Manguso: Treasurer@hamburgumc.org
Patrick Fitzgerald: AV@hamburgumc.org
Cristina Glover: Office@hamburgumc.org
It is time to collect your "treasures" for Granny's Attic and deliver them to Room 19. If you have any questions, contact Judy Engberg, Carolyn Schneggenburger or Barbara Lockwood.
Sparks of Hope Recovery Support Center will be hosting an open house on Saturday July 23, 2022. As always we are most grateful for the love and support that we receive from pastor David and our church family, here at HUMC. Our goal is to make people in our community aware of Sparks of Hope and also the great number of other agencies in our area that specialize in Recovery support. A number of their representatives will be present at the open house. Keep us in your prayers and any from of assistance (now and always) would be appreciated.
SAVE THE DATE
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2022
After a couple year hiatus,
HUMANGO (Hamburg United Methodist Annual Golf Outing) Committee
Is planning this year’s golf outing
BYRNCLIFF GOLF AND BANQUET RESORT
So Make your plans for golf and dinner, get your foursome lined up and
Be ready for a great Day
HUMC CHURCH LIBRARY
The Citadel by A.J. Cronin. This is the story of a young physician portraying his career through successes and failures, happiness and sorrows. Andrew Mason shows early promise of doing great things. From his start in a small town through his realization of a London practice, this sincere, conscientious young man is almost broken and defeated by the arrogance and smugness of his superiors. Later, craving material success, he discovers that its attainment means compromising his honor. This novel emerges as a piercing, soul-searching account of a man who tried to be a good doctor but thought it didn’t pay. A great novel about a doctor by a doctor who is a great novelist.
The Call – The Life and Message of the Apostle Paul by Adam Hamilton. What would lead a first century rabbi to travel for thousands of miles by land and sea to be beaten, imprisoned and ultimately beheaded for his faith? The Call is the story of the Apostle Paul whose writings have shaped the lives of so many people, a man second only to Jesus in his influence on Christian faith and whose witness defines what it means to follow Jesus Christ. Paul’s writings have impacted lives, and God still speaks through his words to help us know Christ and live as his followers.
The Art of Serenity – The Path to a Joyful Life in the Best and Worst of Times by T. Bryam Karasu, M.D. We all face adversity, both man-made and natural. How do we survive the loss of a loved one, a betrayal, illness and even impending death, and still find meaning in our lives? Even a “normal life” can seem empty, despite material possessions, success, power and pleasure. We may try many ways to find fulfillment and meaning, but often the hollow feeling that something is missing returns. The author offers a way to authentic and soulful happiness through a combination of soul and spirit culminating in a belief in God. There is no best place to start and no best time to begin. Start where you are and start now.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact anyone who is a member of Prayer, Care and Share. Daily we lift up 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)