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March 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,

After Ash Wednesday worship in Hamburg and Versailles and our first Sunday of the Lenten season, we continue our season of preparation. As I do every year, I encourage you to keep a holy Lent, whether fasting helps you or focusing on the study and other disciplines is more suitable in the current reality. As we share this season, I thank God for you and the life and mission we share in Christ. Whatever else is happening in our everyday existence, it is worth remembering the grace of God at work with us.

The 40 days of Lent (not counting the Sundays) is a time for reflection, self-evaluation, and seeking to walk closer with Christ. Of course, in Greater Buffalo (and Hamburg UMC), it’s also the season of Fish-Fries. Historically, these are tied to the Roman Catholic practice of meatless meals in Lent but have become a cultural phenomenon as much as a religious one. I must admit; it is ironic how substantial a Buffalo fish fry is for a meal rooted in fasting! If it helps you, a meatless fast is a reasonable way to mark the Lenten season, even if only on Fridays. What matters isn’t the discipline you pick but the keeping of the fast, focusing on prayer and seeking to be in the presence of God while looking for ways to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in the world.

There are continuing needs at the food pantry at Lincoln Memorial UMC every Saturday—don't hesitate to get in touch with me, and I’ll help connect you. On Saturday, March 11, from 10:00 am-1:00 pm, Lincoln has scheduled a “clean up” day to do repair work after the Christmas blizzard. I hope you will consider those as good opportunities to serve our neighbors in the city of Buffalo who share in the ministry of Christ with us. Of course, hands are needed at Hamburg for fish fries, at all of our churches for the upcoming Spring clean-up season, and in countless other places around our communities.

Among the best ways to mark Lent is to make sure you join in worship with your Church community, sharing life and preparing for the great celebration of the Resurrection at Easter. Another 50-day season begins, continuing to celebrate Easter and the Resurrection and concluding with Pentecost, “the birth of the Church.”

I would like to do something different for Pentecost this year. Last year, Hamburg UMC worshipped with Lincoln Memorial UMC in the aftermath of the Buffalo mass shooting. It was a blessed experience! This year, I propose that Hamburg invite Versailles, Four Corners, and Gowanda to come and contribute to a joint celebration of the Church and the gift of the Holy Spirit to offer hope to a hurting world. What a joy it would be to be together, all of us in one place, on May 28, to celebrate and remember the gift of the Holy Spirit to us!

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.

Office hours

Monday- Thursday: 9am-2pm

Friday: 9 am-Noon

The Office will be Closed Monday, March 6th, through Wednesday, March 8th, with no access to phone or email. The Office will reopen on Thursday, March 9th, 2023.

Email us!!

Jeannine Vanwey:

Patrick Fitzgerald:

Cristina Glover:


Join us for Book Club. We meet on the 4th Monday of the month at 10:30 am in the church library. The following are the upcoming book selections.

March- Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

April - Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano;

May - Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens; June - Horse by Geraldine Brooks;

July - The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave.


How Bazaar Proceeds Helped our Church and Community

When all was said and done, the 2022 Bazaar netted a profit of $6,239! At our January meeting, we decided how to help our community with the profits.

First, because of the church's need and the amount of help from so many in our congregation during the bazaar, we decided to support the church budget with $2,000 from the 2022 proceeds. In our last report on the bazaar, we shared that we gave $1,000 to the church in December. We did, but that reflected 2021 bazaar proceeds since not all those funds were disbursed.

Other organizations supported were:

  • Salary support for Dee Finch at Seneca Street United Methodist Church in Buffalo

  • Buffalo Peacemakers violence prevention program

  • Harvest House in Buffalo with ministries for children and families in need

  • Journey's End Refugee Services

  • Kathleen Mary House in Hamburg for those fleeing domestic violence situations

  • Peace of the City children and youth programming in Buffalo

  • Project Mona House for those experiencing homelessness, orphaned and exploited through human trafficking

  • The United Methodist House in Chautauqua

  • Our own Prayer, Care, and Share Ministry

We also paid an annual pledge to the Niagara Frontier District United Women in Faith. All of these donations, including the church support, totaled $5,000.

Thank you for helping us help our church and community!

We welcome all women to join our efforts by getting involved in our monthly Sarah Circle meeting at church on the second Thursday at 7 p.m.

- Members of United Women in Faith at HUMC


UMCOR Sunday - March 19, 2023

Donna-Grace Orbong, 5, sits with her family's food bag following a distribution by the United Methodist Committee on Relief for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines.

When disaster strikes around the globe, many people watching the drama unfold on their living room televisions feel entirely helpless. How could any one person make a difference in the wake of such widespread devastation? As responders around the globe scramble to help survivors, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, is prepared to act.

Since 1940, when UMCOR’s forerunner was established to meet the needs of those suffering overseas at the onset of World War II, we’ve continued to respond to those in desperate need throughout more than eighty countries around the world. Convinced that all people have God-given worth and dignity, without regard to race, religion, or gender, we are assisting those impacted by crisis or chronic need. When we meet the needs of those, who suffer, we minister to Jesus.

Your generous giving to UMCOR Sunday underwrites UMCOR’s administrative costs and allows UMCOR to use 100% of all the funds given to humanitarian response and recovery efforts directly to communities in need. Gifts ensure UMCOR can respond directly swiftly to disasters around the world and be a source of hope and healing for those left most vulnerable.

Because you give, the United Methodist Church’s compassionate response to human suffering continues today:

  • When tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, we responded

  • When children in Zimbabwe lost parents to AIDS, we responded

  • When a massive tsunami devastated lives in Japan, we responded

  • And when the next mass crisis occurs, we will be prepared to respond

UMCOR will be able to offer aid in Jesus’ name to those who suffer because United Methodists give through UMCOR Sunday. In fact, it’s your generous giving that allows us to respond when disaster strikes. Donations by electronic giving or personal check may be given on UMCOR Sunday, March 19, or any time thereafter.



The Retired Men’s Fellowship of Hamburg UMC will have its monthly lunch gathering on Tuesday, March 21 at 12 Noon a 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




Monday, March 6

6:30-7:30 pm

Classes: 2’s with parent co-op – one day per week (Mon or Wed)

3’s – two days per week (Tues & Thurs)

4’s and 5’s pre-school – four days per week (Mon-Thurs)

Contact Lisa Link, teacher/director (cell: 716/868/4256) for further information.



  1. The Final Days of Jesus by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Justin Taylor. This book is about the most important person who ever lived during the most crucial week of his life. It clearly and faithfully explains what happened in the final days of Jesus and leads us to reexamine and meditate on the history-making, earth-shaking significance of Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and empty tomb. This book helps the reader to better understand what actually happened all those years ago – and why it matters today.

  2. The Promise of Spring by Leslie Gould. From the “Home to Heather Creek” series, Charlotte Stevenson is raising her grandchildren after a tragic accident has changed all their lives. In this story, everyone in Bedford is ready for spring. Due to heavy rains and slick pavement, a car crossing the bridge slides into the water below. Sam makes a daring rescue, but his new hero status may lead him into further danger. Christopher and Emily are also facing new challenges in their lives. The first hints of spring bring them all a new sense of hope and a fresh start to the farm with God watching over their lives.

  3. Congratulations, God Believes in You – Clues to Happiness from the Beatitudes by Lloyd J. Ogilvie. It is the author’s belief that Beatitudes hold the key to lasting happiness – the essence of a distinctly different and higher level of life that God wants for us. Each chapter gives you a fuller perspective of Christ’s portrait of the potential you. Ogilvie goes beyond interpreting the richness of the words and translates them into human terms that fill the needs Christ meant them to serve.

During the Lenten season, you can find books for study and devotions in our church library through which you may experience new insights and growth in faith.


During March and April, there will be a collection tote for The Eden-North Collins Food Pantry. Non-perishable food items will be collected for needy families in the Eden, Collins, and Lawtons areas. No specific items were requested.



Easter plants (white and colored lilies, mums, hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils) will be available for sale beginning March 19 after the morning worship service in the Gathering Space. Plants may be designated “in memory of”, “in honor of,” or “for blessings received.” A listing will be printed for Easter Sunday distribution. Plants will be on the altar on Easter Sunday, April 9, and may be taken home that day or at a time that is convenient for you.


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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