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 Gospel of Luke recounts the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in his home town. In the Synagogue, he read from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19 NRSV).” Isaiah goes on to say “…to comfort all who mourn…to give the a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit (from Isaiah 61:2-3).” The task didn’t end in Nazareth, nor with Jesus—but was passed to us through the Church. God’s promise, and thus our hope, remains that in the end when we dwell with God, all things will be made new and mourning, crying and pain will be ended (Revelation 21:3-4).
Today, we are called to witness to that hope by taking action to build bridges, cross barriers, and work to confront the sin of racism both in ourselves, our church, and our society. I began this letter in the week following the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue, on Saturday May 14. It is clear now that the shooter was motivated by hatred and fear, and a well-developed racist and white supremacist ideology. He shot 13 people before he was apprehended, with evidence that he planned to continue and expected the police to respond slowly. 10 of his victims died—all of them were Black. This last week, in Uvalde, Texas another shooter killed 19 adults and 2 children at an elementary school. Unlike the targeted assault on our African American neighbors in Buffalo, the motives of the second attacker are not clear. Both events are tragic, but more than that, they represent the power of sin and evil in the world.
As I said the Sunday following the Tops shooting, this is sin at work—this is evil at work—and this is not the will of God. Ruth Whitfield (86), Roberta Drury (32), Aaron Salter (55), Heyward Patterson (67), Pearl Young (77), Geraldine Talley (62), Celestine Chaney (65), Katherine Massey (72), Margus Morrison (52), and Andre Mackneil (53), were Tops employees, retirees, and members of the community. They were people who had touched lives as parents, and friends, and who gave time and talent as a civil rights activist, a teacher, a police officer, and a local church deacon. None of them deserved to die any more than anyone else, certainly not for being Black, on a Saturday, at the supermarket!
As White Christians, when we keep silence at times like this—when we spiritualize the problems of our world, refuse to address the fear and prejudice in our own lives, and fail to be part of the solution in dismantling the the culture that fosters ideologies like the Tops shooter embraced, degrade our common humanity and impugn the Gospel. When we instead stand in solidarity with those affected, and seek ways to address and confront evil and injustice, we live the Gospel, and in small and large ways fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah Jesus quoted. On Tuesday following the Tops shooting, we shared a vigil with the Hamburg UU Church, the Hamburg Presbyterian Church, St. James’ UCC and St. Matthew’s UCC in the park next to Spot Coffee on Main Street in Hamburg. We prayed, we grieved, we talked with one another, and we witnessed to our faiths which call us to end violence and hatred. Numbers from HUMC were small, and many in attendance came from no church or from churches whose pastors were not participating in leading the event. Prayer has value, even from a distance, but as several clergy said that night, if the praying does not move us to act in solidarity with affected communities, spending time with those suffering, meeting them on their own turf, then we have failed to let prayer do its most fundamental work—the work of transforming and sanctifying us by the Spirit’s power.
In the days immediately following the Tops shooting, Hamburg UMC received an invitation to do something tangible, concrete, and intentional to witness to the new creation God is calling into being—the leaders and the people of Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church invited us to worship with them. On Pentecost (June 5, 2022), the day we commemorate the birth of the Church of Jesus Christ, when the Holy Spirit came and let the Galilean disciples speak to people from around the Roman world of every known race and language, we will join Pastor George Nicholas, Deacon Vivian Waltz, and the people of Lincoln Memorial in their sanctuary, where they are “Changing lives through love.” Changing lives through love, what a mission! This week, the Church Council met by Zoom and by unanimous consent, decided that on June 5, 2022, Hamburg UMC will leave the building, joining with one voice in worship at Lincoln Memorial UMC. Coffee Fellowship begins at 10:00 AM, and worship at 10:30 AM. If you are away, or cannot get to Lincoln, you can join the live-feed (they livestream on both Facebook Live and YouTube, and we will attempt to share on both of our streaming options, but minimally on Facebook Live).
I hope most of us will be able to make it that day, to witness to the unity of the Body of Christ and The United Methodists in Greater Buffalo as people who see each other’s common humanity and our unity in Jesus Christ. I would encourage you to carpool from Hamburg UMC with others who you spend time with regularly. We will post clearly, in as many places as possible, that for Pentecost, Hamburg UMC has left the building—it’s a small step, but I pray a meaningful one as we take further steps to offer the hope of Jesus Christ to the world, and work with our friends and siblings in Christ who are working to fulfill their mission in the city of Buffalo.
My hope is that a day in Buffalo will not be the end for us, but that as a congregation we will commit to confronting racism, not just by doing the work to find prejudice in ourselves, but to build bridges between divided communities, and to work to overcome the structures in our society that foster this evil. Alone, it is too much, but empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can witness to the New Creation God is calling into being, where there is no longer Jew nor Greek, Male nor Female, but we are one in Christ (Galatians 3:28).
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.
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.
RETIRED MEN’S FELLOWSHIP
The Retired Men’s Fellowship of Hamburg UMC will have their monthly lunch gathering on Tuesday June 21 at 12 Noon at ZJ’s Restaurant in the Hamburg Village Plaza. This will be the last gathering before the summer break. All retired men are invited. Come and bring a friend for food and fellowship.
Dick Caldwell, facilitator
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
When God and Cancer Meet – True Stories of Hope and Healing by Lynn Eib. Cancer survivor Lynn Eib knows from experience that God can touch you. Right where you are, whoever you are: Newly diagnosed and in shock, praying there has been a mistake. Facing surgery hoping the doctor can get it all. Holding the hand of a loved one, trying to be strong. Trudging through chemotherapy and radiation, hoping they work. Undergoing tests, longing for good news. When God and Cancer Meet is a book of powerful stories about cancer patients and their families who have been touched by God in miraculous ways.
Bryson City Tales by Walt Latimore, M.D. With homespun warmth, Dr. Walt Latimore portrays medical practice as something deeply personal, relational and spiritual. Setting up his first practice, he learns that the town presents its challenges. His patients become some of his best teachers. His classroom ranges from hospital corridors and smelly barns to homey kitchens and mountain streams. Sequels to this book, Bryson City Seasons and Bryson City Secrets are both available in the church library.
God’s Joyful Surprise – Finding Yourself Loved by Sue Monk Kidd. This is a book of discoveries, spiritual treasures that can transform your life. When the author experiences chest pains, she begins an adventure of opening up to God’s love. As you share her journey, you will learn to hear God knocking in the events of your life, when you take time to listen to him, because everything that happens to us can be a word from God himself. You don’t have to earn God’s love by trying to be perfect. God loves us because we belong to him – imperfections and all.
Summer will soon be here – a good time to relax and read. Our church library has a good collection of books for your reading enjoyment.
June Book Club Meeting
Book Club will finish up the “year” with Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain. The author of The Silent Sister has written another riveting tale, this time about two women whose different worlds intersect in life-changing ways. Join us Monday, June 27, at 10:30 in the Library for a lively discussion.
PEACE WITH JUSTICE SUNDAY
JUNE 12, 2022
In Arizona border towns, communities facing social challenges are dramatically divided. In Liberian villages, citizens’ human rights are being violated. In local U.S. communities, women and girls are being bought and sold against their will. Moved by Christ’s love to pursue reconciliation and peace, honoring the dignity of every individual made in God’s image, The United Methodist Church is unwilling to turn a blind eye to injustice.
Although we may lack the resources alone to effect change in a broken world, your giving is vital for the UMC to continue its global ministries of reconciliation. Because of the Peace with Justice Sunday offering, the people of The United Methodist Church are able to make a difference together by sowing seeds—and yielding fruit!—of peace.
When you give on Peace with Justice Sunday, your gift makes possible our critical kingdom work in the world. Because you give:
Methodists spearhead a peace ministry uniting Arizona border communities
United Methodists in Liberia are being equipped to implement the denomination’s Social Principles to address social-justice issue
Pennsylvania students are educating their community about sex-trafficking at home and abroad
These initiatives, and hundreds of other ones, are possible because you give. The proclamation of Christ’s peace is made possible because you give. Will you empower local Christians—in Pennsylvania and Arizona and Liberia—to build the kingdom of peace that Jesus ushered in? Through your giving good news is proclaimed to—and experienced by—the poor. Thanks be to God! Offering envelopes for the Peace with Justice Sunday offering will be with the offering plate in the sanctuary or you may give your offering electronically or mail in a check. Offerings may be given June 12 or any Sunday thereafter.
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 email@example.com, 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)