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July 2023 Newsletter

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 have struggled to decide what to say to you this month. Hamburg UMC had an open conversation about disaffiliation, and the Church Council discerned we do not need to enter the discernment process at this time. We trust that remaining in the UMC gives us room at this time to live for Jesus in our diversity of opinions while seeking the core of the Christian faith together.

I need to share with you that I will not be leading worship several times this summer, and I will not be in the office or readily available from July 14-24, July 31-August 13, and August 21-27. These will be extended Continuing Education times, finishing the work on my DMin thesis. I may be around for some special events, when time permits, during these windows. One in particular, I will be leading worship and celebrating with all of you in Versailles on August 6 at 10:30 AM. The Annual picnic this year, will be for everyone from Versailles, Four Corners, Gowanda, AND Hamburg. Once service. One fellowship. Look for more information soon.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the nature of vocation. What does it mean to be called to preach? What does it mean to be called to pray, serve, and live for Jesus? I have been reflecting back on an article that changed my perspective years ago. Written by an Episcopal priest, it speaks of Christian life and the role clergy play. I commend the article to you—some of it gets into the “weeds” of the difference between salary and stipend (which the IRS makes narrower than the theological position the author takes would). The key follows:

If we’re not paid to do any of the things we schedule, write, or facilitate, then all that we do is therefore offered as a gift. In other words, the church isn’t actually paying us to be there on Sunday to preside at the altar. The church is paying us so that we can sleep in our beds the night before. We’re not paid to preach. We’re not paid to administer last rites. To think that we are cheapens those beautiful moments by stirring in a transactional flavor. We’re paid so that we can pray for free.

I had already started down the path, but this article gave me words. I don’t count hours to earn a paycheck. I don’t “work,” I just try to live as a Christian with the calling to preach, teach, and pray with you all. The difference is profound. All we offer to God is a gift—the Church recognized long ago that while most of us need secular employment to pay the bills, setting aside some of us to live and model that life, and to be free from work so that we can be with each other when needed, is a real gift. I’ll share more thoughts on this topic later; enough said, if you see me in town when I’m doing continuing education, I’ll still be me, and I’ll still pray with you (but I’m not scheduling appointments, writing sermons, or doing other regular church work).

In Christ’s Service, with you,

Pastor David Nicol


Report on the 2023 Upper New York Annual Conference, June 1st – 3rd

Along with Pastor David Nicol, I attended this year’s Upper New York (UNY) Annual Conference in Syracuse as our church’s Lay Member to the Annual Conference.

The morning session on the first day began with a worship service with a message from Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez focused on togetherness as the church navigates through turbulent times. Clergy and laity sessions were held in the afternoon. During the plenary session that followed, various reports were presented. The Trustees Report given by the Rev. Pamela Klotzbach included an overview of the board’s work, which includes the purchase, sale, and maintenance of Conference properties and managing the Conference’s master insurance program. The board also presented resolutions for church closures, church disaffiliations, and an update on the lawsuits brought against the Conference under the Child Victims Act. Twelve churches were closed, and 35 were approved for disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church denomination.

During his Episcopal Address at the beginning of the second day of the conference, Bishop Héctor explained four shifts we need to prioritize: silos to connections, competition to collaboration, the culture of growth to a culture of impact, and institutions to people. He also presented the new logo, United Methodists of Upper New York, and explained how we will reference our Conference going forward.

The Rev. Scott Johnson, the Rev. Angela Stewart, and the Rev. Raquel Alston presented an update on the Buffalo 10 Scholarship, created in response to the May mass shooting at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue. They encouraged the conference attendees to be advocates in their congregations for funding this scholarship, and they announced Xavier Mann as the primary winner. He will receive $1,000 a year for all four years of college. The hope of the scholarship is to bring voices to these residents who reside in East Buffalo—that through helping them obtain a college education, they can advocate for their community which has long suffered from the effects of discrimination and racism.

Clergy and clergy spouses who have died since May of 2022 were honored and celebrated during the Memorial Service on Friday morning. The Rev. Nola Anderson, Finger Lakes and Crossroads District Superintendent delivered a powerful message that death is not the end of the story; the end of the story is the victory we have through Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Trey Wince with Ministry Architects led an afternoon learning session focusing on building discipleship and the importance of making clear what it means to be a part of your church. He offered the following as crucial steps to growing disciples and being an influential church: Define discipleship, break down this definition into its key components, list your activities, and develop a clear and straightforward message that tells your church’s story.

Beth Jordan and the Rev. Pamela Klotzbach were elected to serve on the Conference Board of Trustees.

The Rev. Rich Weihing Jr. and Teddi Urriola presented the Equitable Compensation Report. They presented a recommendation to increase the minimum base compensation by 3.5% for the 2024 calendar year. A motion was passed calling for next year’s Equitable Compensation Report to include the percentage of the clergy at Minimum Base Salary and a percentage breakdown based on race, gender, and age. The Clergy Housing Policy and the Accountable Reimbursement Plan did not change.

The Conference Council on Finance and Administration Chair Holly Roush presented the 2024 Ministry Budget Friday afternoon. The proposed budget was supported as presented. She also presented the recommendation “Request to Allocate the Cost of the Child Victims Act Legal Fees and Settlement Costs.” This recommendation was replaced during the Saturday morning session with a substitute motion for a committee to discern further the allocations, which passed. An amendment to disallow Camp and Retreat Ministry assets from being used for CVA payments was not supported.

After opening worship, the Saturday session began with a learning session led by the Rev. Dr. Giovanni Arroyo, General Secretary GCORR, titled “Intercultural Disciple Leaders.” He asked conference attendees to reflect on their own culture and identities to help understand the preconceptions we bring to ministry to be better disciples. “An intercultural leader is able to recognize that one’s culture is not the only cultural reality,” he said, and added that “others may have a different cultural reality and perspective, and that “those different cultural perspectives and realities must not create a polarization mindset of being inferior or superior to me.”

Retired clergypersons were honored during a service of passage. District Superintendents then read the new appointments in their districts.

The Conference celebrated the Black College Fund with a message from Jalen Lawson, Black College Fund ambassador for the General Board of Higher Education, who spoke about her experience at Bennett College in North Carolina. She thanked the United Methodist Church, United Women in Faith, and the United Methodists of Upper New York for their support.

Resolutions calling on the UNY Annual Conference to support the removal of discriminatory language and policies related to sexual orientation from the Book of Discipline were supported at the end of the Saturday session.

A link to additional information for the Annual Conference on the Upper New York Conference website is as follows:

Respectfully submitted,

Dan Paskie, HUMC Lay Member to the Annual Conference


Announcements from the Office

Office Closures

Cristina will be out of the office on Thursday, June 29, through July 7th. Normal office hours will resume on Monday, July 10th.

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:

Gloria R. Matchett – born into this life November 15, 1931, passed on to her heavenly resting place May 21, 2023

Suzanne T. Goodridge – born into this life May 12, 1962, passed on to her heavenly resting place May 23, 2023 (daughter of Beth and Ron Tills)

Thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends for comfort and peace.








FUN? Yes! Our entire Church family will be there. Bring the kids. Invite neighbors & friends to come and buy!

WHO CAN SELL “STUFF”? Every United Methodist Church Family, Individual Members, and Youth (Anyone in the community can sell items at our Flea Market). Bring your neighbors’ stuff to sell.

WHAT CAN WE SELL? Anything…Big or Small. Scour your home, attic, and garage. Bring everything!

WHERE? Outside, on the lawn and edges of the parking lots, throughout the outside Church property

IS THERE A COST? Yes. $19 space fee. At the end of the day, YOU KEEP 100% OF THE PROFITS!

HOW BIG IS EACH SELLING AREA? Approximately 14 x 14 feet. (room for two 8 foot tables)

(Pssst! Bring your own tables, chairs, umbrellas, etc.). We’ll provide food. The cost is low.

WHO BRINGS SALE ITEMS FROM MY HOME? You do. The morning of the event (early)


WHO WILL BE BUYING MY “STUFF”? Everybody in Western New York! This event is held the same day as the Hamburg BurgerFest celebration! Heavily advertised. Thousands of people will be in Hamburg that day!

DO I HAVE TO SIGN-UP? Yes. You sign up your name on the Church sign-up board (OR FILL OUT AND SEND IN THE ATTACHED FORM and we will assign you a lawn space. The earlier you sign up….the better location you will have. Table locations will be set up on all the grassy areas and on the edges of the parking areas! Look for the “map-grid” on July 15th showing your particular location. This will be very big! You’ll have fun and make money too! We hope everyone in the Church will want to participate.

PROCEEDS? We will use proceeds for our church family and charitable causes within our community.

TABLES? Bring your own tables and chairs

PICNIC CANOPIES? If you have a 12 x 12 pop-up canopy, you can bring it (no side walls, no stakes please)

FOOD? Yep! Our food stands (hot dogs, hamburgers, lemonade, bottled water, etc.) will be open all day!

QUESTIONS? Please contact Rollin Shoemaker (444-5537) or any United Methodist Men’s Group member.


UMM Flea Market- Contract 2023
Download PDF • 213KB


9 AM TO 3 PM

(early table set-up: 7:30 am)




Your United Methodist Men are looking for additional donations of household goods, lamps, collectibles, jewelry, tools, sports equipment and other goods to be sold under the big tent.

Do you have junk in your trunk?

Please check your attic, basement and garage…and donate your "stuff" for our flea market.

Just drop it off in the Gathering Space


Thanks for helping out!!

Your United Methodist Men

Rollin, Tel: 444-5537



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 making the donation. 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 the months of July and August. Lunch gatherings begin again in September.


July Selections from the Church Library

  1. A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton. This is a story of how a single mistake can forever change the lives of everyone involved – in ways that are beyond imagination. Alice Goodwin is dealing with many issues in her family and, on this day, is caring for her neighbor’s children and her own. While she takes a few minutes away, a devastating accident occurs. Her neighbor’s daughter drowns in the family pond. A trivial incident resurfaces from her past and takes on gigantic proportions, leading the Goodwins far from the child’s death into a maze of guilt and doubt, culminating in a court trial and the family’s shattering downfall. This is an exceptional novel about an American family and their relationships.

  2. Seeds of Faith by Kristin Eckhardt. This book is part of the Home to Heather Creek Series. With summer coming soon, Bedford High School is preparing for end-of-the-year events. When Charlotte hears that her grandchildren’s father is returning for the high school reunion, she looks into safeguarding her custody rights, fearing she will lose them again. The children are all busy with their own activities and are now unsure of what will happen when they see their father. Will they be able to stay together? See how God, who makes the sun rise, and the crops grow, watches over the lives of this family.

  3. Faith – A Journey for All by Jimmy Carter. All his life Jimmy Carter has been a courageous exemplar of faith. Here he shares the lessons he has learned. His goal is to explore the broader meaning of faith, its far-reaching effect on life, and its relationship to past, present and future events in America and worldwide. He tells how his own faith has sustained and guided him as well as how it has challenged and driven him to seek a closer relationship with people and with God.

Summer is an excellent 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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