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May 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,

Christ is Risen!

In the wider Christian world, the “Paschal Greeting,” or Easter Greeting, is often shared right until Pentecost. I remember in the Spring when I was in Romania, a teenager on a wall called out to me while I walked by, “Hristos a ȋnviat!” meaning, “Christ is Risen!” It would be normal to share such exchanges with anyone you might meet on the road.

Today, in North America, Easter is a passing day, a minor event in the secular calendar, but historically, Easter is the center of the Christian year, and among Christian people sharing the central hope that Christ is Risen indeed, marks a key assurance of who we are called to be. The assurance that death itself is defeated, that Jesus is alive, and that the world is being transformed in his name has the power to reshape everything we encounter and should change the way we see the world around us.

There is both continuity and discontinuity in Jesus’ resurrected life. The Disciples recognize him, but often not at first sight. He eats and cooks, walks, and talks but also passes into locked rooms. I first learned to understand our Christian hope of a resurrected life resembling Jesus (in an intentional way) from John Polkinghorne (a physicist, Anglican priest, and theologian) while in College. While I still find his answers the most helpful, N. T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope is more accessible. For those wondering if an educated 21st-century person can see the resurrection as a real, meaningful, and historical event, the answer is yes.

Further, I believe that hope in the Resurrection offers far more. It both takes the Bible seriously and on its terms and accepts what the Bible says about the character of God. “The only ground for this hope—and the sufficient ground for this hope, as we have already emphasized—lies in the faithfulness of the Creator, in the unrelenting divine love for all creatures.” God’s faithfulness is at the heart of the hope for the world and assures us that what we do every day in the midst of this world matters profoundly.

Polkinghorne has a way of describing what he understands about human persons in the created order and what happens to people between death and resurrection that is both scientifically coherent and I find appealing. One of the most helpful thoughts, to me, is that the resurrection of Jesus isn’t just about human life after death, but that it takes seriously the words of Revelation 21:5 (echoing Isaiah 65), “I am making all things new.” Polkinghorne argues, “we must expect that there will be a destiny for the whole universe beyond its death, just as there will be a post mortem destiny for humankind… The significance of the empty tomb is that the Lord’s risen and glorified body is the transmuted form of his dead body. Thus matter itself participates in the resurrection transformation, enjoying thereby the foretaste of its own redemption from decay. The resurrection of Jesus is the seminal event from which the whole of God’s new creation has already begun to grow.”

Of course, big words and complicated theology can leave us all wondering, “so what?” If Jesus has been raised from the dead, and his body has been transformed and taken into the life of God, what we do with our everyday lives matters all the more. If the created order is intended for redemption, not merely destruction (as the Bible itself says), then care for creation is something of eternal significance—in the same way, so is art, compassion, and working to make a more just and loving world. Instead of a hope that death isn’t the end, when we proclaim “Christ is Risen, Indeed,” with that in mind, we share in the hope that God is doing a new thing, and we are witnesses to a living hope, where God intends that all have enough, none go without, and lives will be transformed for the better.

As I shared last month, we will be doing something different for Pentecost this year. The people of Versailles, Four Corners, Gowanda, and Hamburg will worship together, contributing 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 will 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!

Christ is Risen!

Pastor David Nicol


Announcements from the Office

Applications for the Julia Platt Memorial Scholarship are now available

This year, the application is exclusively online.

The deadline is May 31, 2023


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:

Albert M. “Bing” Putnam – passed on to his eternal resting place April 15, 2023. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

New Members:

On Easter Sunday, April 9,

we welcomed the following persons into membership at Hamburg UMC, transferring from South Park UMC in Buffalo:

James Krell, Sr.

James Krell, Jr., Tina Krell, Trevor Krell and Rachael Krell

Jason Krell

We look forward to sharing with them in worship and ministry.




Plants were given to the glory of God and in memory of:

  • Carolyn and Gordon Bloomberg by Dianne and Ronald Brent

  • Gary Caldwell, Madeliene and Carlton Cimmerer and Elvira and Howard Caldwell by Rose Caldwell and Sarah and Jessie Kowalski

  • Loved ones by Dianne and Richard Caldwell

  • Our parents by Elaine and Richard DeLisle

  • Loved ones by Gail Harris and Rev. Dr. G. Ewart Morris

  • Edith and Lloyd Ellis by Ginger and Leo Jensen

  • Janet Krell by the Krell family

  • Teresa Montalvo by the Krell family

  • Evelyn and Ray Ogden and brother, Ray by Faith and Ron Lesandro

  • Sue and Mark Glowski by Faith and Ronald Lesandro

  • Hazel Lesandro by Faith and Ronald Lesandro

  • My parents, Yong and Larry Russell by Joanne O’Connell

  • Loved ones by Carol and Todd Shoff

  • My parents and sisters by Robert Stapf

  • Loved ones by Sharon and Anthony Tiballi

Plants were given to the glory of God and in honor of:

  • Our grandchildren by Pat and Alan Adema

  • Our children and grandchildren by Dianne and Richard Caldwell

  • My family by Mary Densmore

  • Our daughters by Tina and Dan Paskie

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

Plants were given to the glory of God for blessings received:

  • Anne and Steve Brown

  • Maytha and Gary Cawthard

  • Sheri, Marc, Ben and Nicholas Cilano

  • Loren, Mike, Violet and Ted Fleckenstein

  • Sandra and Thomas Holden

  • Barbara and John Meader

  • Anne and Carl Nicol

  • Carlos Ortiz and family

  • Elaine Parisi

  • Ellen and James Ramsdell

  • Lynda and Jon Sentz


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 to see 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.



JUNE 4, 2023

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 issues.

  • 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, the good news is proclaimed to—and experienced by—the poor. Thanks be to God! Offering envelopes for Peace with Justice Sunday will be on the table with the Sunday announcement sheets next to the offering plate in the sanctuary and at the Welcome Center. You may give your offering electronically or mail in a check. Offerings may be given on June 4 or any Sunday thereafter.


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.

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

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



Returning your cans and bottles can be an easy way to donate $$ to Little Lamb Preschool. 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.


***** THANK YOU ***** THANK YOU *** THANK YOU ***** THANK YOU *****

A big thank you to everyone who helped to make this year’s fish fries so successful!!! A special thank you to Gary Cawthard and Rick Park, who took leadership, shopped and organized each week’s dinner. Thank you to those who prepared food on Thursdays, those who set tables, the cooks for the fish, shrimp, chicken fingers and fries, servers of meals and beverages for the eat-in dinners, those who filled orders for take-outs and made deliveries, the dessert makers and those who set up the dessert tables, those who set up and took down tables and chairs, those who did advertising, the ticket sellers and greeters, those who washed and dried dishes and those who did cleanup of the kitchen and the floors in Fellowship Hall. Many hands made it possible for the fish fries to be a great experience for everyone.

It was wonderful to welcome so many church friends and members of the community into our church. A final financial report will be made after all the expenses are paid.

We did it together with good food, fellowship, and the blessing of God with us all.

***** THANK YOU ***** THANK YOU *** THANK YOU ***** THANK YOU *****




The Retired Men’s Fellowship of Hamburg UMC will have its monthly lunch gathering on Tuesday, May 16, 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



  1. Tea Time With God – Heart Warming Insights to Refresh Your Spirit. Invite someone to share tea (or coffee) with you! It can be a time to relax, to be quiet, to sip from a favorite cup, to share with God as a guest of honor. The meditations in this book include scripture, poems, stories, quotes and much more. They offer moments to reflect on your priorities and gather strength for the day. Tea Time With God will help you celebrate everything good, beautiful, and uplifting in your life.

  2. In His Time – Recognizing God’s Answers – A Guideposts Book. Introduction by Elizabeth Rockwood. This book seeks to answer questions such as Where is God?, What about those times when prayers are not answered?, and How could a loving God let this happen? Stories of personal experiences help the reader to understand and relate their own experiences with those of the writers. They are a vivid reminder that the Creator of this beautiful and awesome world also guides our lives on a personal level. It is truly amazing the many ways God answers our prayers and meets our needs.

  3. Give Them Wings – Preparing for the Time Your Teen Leaves Home by Carol Kuykendall. A teenager gets a driver’s license. College catalogs fill the mailbox. Graduation time is here. Soon it is time to head off to college. During that time when a teenager transitions to a young adult, family roles must stretch and adjust to spreading wings. This book offers insights into how families change as parents and teens learn to make room for the future. It emphasizes the need to encourage independence and responsibility and explores how parents can help their teens.

At this time of year, with growth and change all around us, you can find books for study and devotions in our church library, through which you may experience new insights and growth in faith.


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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