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May 2024 Newsletter

Updated: May 1

Hamburg United Methodist Church 116 Union St Hamburg, New York, 14075 (716) 649-8080 Sundays at 10 am

Also Streamed Via Facebook Live & Youtube

Dear Saints,

In 2017 I began working on a Doctor of Ministry degree, taking my first class from Dr. Ron Sider, then the director of Evangelicals for Social Action. Sider was a Mennonite, born in Canada, and taught history at Eastern University in Philadelphia. He was a caring, compassionate, committed Christian who believed that Christian faith needed to be holistic—focused not just on telling people about Jesus, but living like Jesus and offering tangible responses to the world.

In Good News and Good Works: A Theology for the Whole Gospel, Ronald J. Sider argues: “Most churches today are one-sided disasters.”[1] In other words, most churches either practice evangelism or Christian social concern, but few do both, and even fewer do both well. Sider traces the divide between churches to Walter Rauschenbusch and the resulting Social Gospel movement, and the resulting division between “dominant ecumenical” (what others have called mainline protestants) and evangelical protestant Christians in North America. While the majority of the leadership in “dominant ecumenical” traditions favored the Social Gospel position, including the focus on social engagement and the reduction of the role of evangelism and personal transformation by the Gospel, even within these traditions alternative narratives persisted. That was particularly true among the predecessor bodies of The United Methodist Church.

As a final project for that class, I wrote a proposal for developing a more holistic ministry focus for Hampden Highlands UMC, where I was serving at the time. After coming to Hamburg UMC the next year, I have carried the philosophical focus of thinking holistically about ministry with me. Today, I think about the importance of both acting with a social conscious and sharing the good news of Jesus in Hamburg, as well as in Versailles, Four Corners, and Gowanda. Jesus calls us to more than just preaching with words, we need to share our faith in action in practical, effective, and consistent ways.

When DS Wayne Butler sent us profiles for Hamburg and Eden, I didn’t know anything about Buffalo, other than it was just south of Niagara Falls, and even less about Hamburg, NY. I did find the ancient Sparks of Hope ministry exciting—tangible ministry to people marginalized in our society excited me! Hamburg had already caught the holistic ministry bug, or at least some of the social action component! People in recovery or trying to get there are among the most stigmatized in our contemporary society, maybe especially in the Church. Any congregation willing to take tangible steps to offer hope and support to people whose issues are real, open, and honest might be ready to engage with those experiencing homelessness, struggling with financial instability, the challenges of grief or divorce, or any number of other challenges in our society. Perhaps, they’d also be willing to work on issues of racism and other isms that divide us as a society.

I have found much of that true—Hamburg is a congregation where people from diverse social strata and backgrounds can find a home, and work together “to make Disciples of Jesus Christ, for the Transformation of the World.” While we aren’t always of one mind on all issues, or even always ready to engage in every ministry together, it is a place that models a commitment to discipleship (in the form of Bible studies, prayer, visitation, and mutual concern), while also being open to accepting people where they are and inviting them to become more like Jesus. I see similar hope in the Southern Tier as I’ve worked with the congregations on the Circuit. God is at work, the Holy Spirit guides us all, and together, we are a family in Four Houses of worship committed to offering a holistic Gospel. For that, I am grateful to be your Pastor.

Serving the Risen Christ, with you,

Pastor David Nicol

[1] Ronald J. Sider, Good News and Good Works: A Theology for the Whole Gospel (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993), 26.


Announcements from the Office

May Staffing Notes:

  • Cristina will be out of office on Friday, May 10, 2024

  • Jim will be out of the office from Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17th

Office Volunteers are needed for vacation coverage in August.

Interested parties should contact Cristina or sign up here.


Content for the gathering space slide show 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:




Gavin James, son of Kaitlyn and Brian Ziolo, born April 5, 2024.  Proud grandparents are Carol and Todd Shoff.  Prayers of blessing for Gavin and his family as he grows in his Christian faith.


Frederick W. Dunn – entered this life in 1949; entered the kingdom of heaven April 4, 2024.  He is the brother of Kathy Swank.

Patty A. Wade-Simpson – entered this life August 29, 1936; entered the kingdom of heaven April 7, 2024.  She is the mother of Lynda Sentz. 

Thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.


Eight Days of Hope – Buffalo 2024: Serving Our Community Together!

Mark your calendars for July 20th to July 27th as Eight Days of Hope – Buffalo 2024 returns! This year, we are thrilled to extend our helping hands to families in the Ellicott District, offering vital home repairs at no cost.

This marks the 5th annual outreach effort by EDOH in the City of Buffalo. Since 2019, over 1,249 families across four different districts have received invaluable assistance through free home repairs. Year after year, thousands of volunteers unite in partnership with over 60 local churches, businesses, and nonprofits to foster a stronger, more vibrant Buffalo community.

We invite you to be part of this incredible mission! Whether you're eager to lend a hand, offer support, or simply spread the word, there's a place for everyone in making a positive impact. Let's join hands and build a better Buffalo together!

To register as a volunteer, please sign up online.

Together, let's make a lasting difference in the lives of our neighbors in the Ellicott District and beyond!





Church Council

March 25, 2024

Present:  Pastor David, Rollin Shoemaker, Matt Edie, Caroline Schneggenburger, Jerry Schneggenburger, Bob Cook, David Rood, Dave Engberg, Cheryl Bell, Dan Paskie, Dianne Caldwell, Rose Caldwell

Pastor David opened with scripture and a prayer.

Dave R. made the motion to accept the minutes of February 26, 2024. Rollin seconded the motion.  Motion approved.  

Matt reported that there are no significant changes to our current budget situation.  The $32,000 year end surplus will be invested.  It will be liquid in case we need it.  A thank you letter was sent to Wendy Schneider and family for the $7,500 donation and where we are designating it to go.  One third will go to Respite, and the remainder will be prayerfully considered for designation.

Rollin reported that the next window installation date may be around April  20..

Dave R. reported that the pictorial directory sign up is in progress.  Another announcement will be made clarifying purchase options.  This information will also be included in the Friday Flash.**

Pastor David reported that the parsonage committee is complete with the addition of 2 members selected by SPRC and one Trustee.  There was no asbestos found so demolition can begin on the inside of the parsonage.

Dianne reported that Little Lamb is reconfiguring classes for next year as 2 teachers are retiring.  There will be a 2 year old class and a multiage class.  Registration has been successful, and there is a waiting list.  All is well.

Lynda sent a Sparks report that Jerry shared   Vicki Weixlmann has been running financial literacy classes, there have been recovery fitness classes and a craft class.  Trivia night has been moved to Saturday and continues to be a big hit.  The Sparks of Hope Faith community has been restarted.  Several upcoming  educational and awareness opportunities  are in the works.  Training for liaisons to local churches is a possibility.  The Blessing Box continues to provide help for those in need.  Many good things are going on.

Discussion was held regarding an email from Carolyn Montgomery.  She expressed concern about communications of church happenings to the congregation.  We will be working on providing Church Council minutes once they are approved, and budget updates once a month.  This information will be in the Newsletter and Friday Flash.  Matt will look into providing budget information on paper located on the table by the sanctuary.  Dianne expressed a desire to have a calendar of events published in the newsletter. ##

Pastor David reported that he has been approached about people smoking by the church.  Discussion was held.  Dave R. made the motion to designate a smoking area away from the church doors and to purchase a smoking outpost for that area.  Matt seconded the motion. Motion approved.   Once the outpost is installed an announcement will be made on Sunday about the area. 

Our next meeting will be April 22, 2024.

Dave R. closed with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted. 

Cheryl Bell

Notes from the Church Office

** No information regarding the pictorial directories was provided to the church office at the time of publication.

##The church calendar can always be viewed at this link. Unfortunately, this is not printer-friendly due to the amount of events and illegible font size.


Julia Platt Memorial Scholarship 2024

We are thrilled to announce that the Hamburg UMC Julia Platt Memorial Scholarship applications are now open through May 31st. This scholarship honors the memory of Julia Platt and aims to support deserving individuals within our greater United Methodist congregation in their pursuit of higher education.

Multiple scholarship awards are available, with monetary amounts ranging from $250 to $2,000, depending on the number of applicants.

To be considered for this esteemed award, applicants must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Membership in a United Methodist Church.

  • Status as a senior or high school graduate enrolled in a college, university, or trade school.

  • Age under 26 years old as of May 31st.

  • Exclusion from enrollment in a second bachelor's or graduate degree program.

Required documents for application include:

  • High school transcript.

  • College transcript or acceptance letter.

  • Applicant photo.

  • Three submitted references.

Interested candidates can apply through the following link: Apply Now

Please help us spread the word within our Conference. Encourage eligible individuals to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.


Cozy Quilts is Turning 20!

Save the date for our Celebration

Saturday, August 17th 2024

Farmersville Center Community Church 9040 Route 98 N. Franklinville, NY 14737



MAY 26, 2024

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 others are possible because you give.  The proclamation of Christ’s peace is made possible because you give.  Will you empower local Christians in Pennsylvania, 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   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 May 26 or any Sunday thereafter.


Adult Sunday School

John Meader’s Adult Sunday School class meets each Sunday at 9 am in the parlor.

All are welcome to join the discussion. All are welcome!


FUN FUNDRAISER FOR LITTLE LAMB PRESCHOOL Returning your cans and bottles can be an easy way to donate $$ to Little Lamb Pre-School. 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 Pre-School.


Book Club will meet on Monday, June 3rd at 10:30 am in the Library

(date shift due to Memorial Day)

We will be discussing Valiant Women by Lena S Andrew’s.

This will be our last meeting for summer break will resume in September.

Please bring book ideas for the upcoming year

Zoom is available for those who wish to attend virtually. Don't hesitate to get in touch with the church office to receive a link

Questions to Karen Klimecko





Coffee Hour Schedule May- Missions & Outreach

June- Finance & Endowment

July- SPRC

August- Prayer, Care & Share

September- Men's Group

October- Church Council

November- Trustees & Columbarium

December- Sarah Circle


Medical Equipment Lending Closet

Hamburg UMC has a medical equipment lending closet. It is located in Room 18 in the basement. Please check the closet before purchasing wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, crutches, canes, etc. The equipment available constantly changes. If you have medical equipment you are no longer using, you may donate them. We cannot take soft items such as gauze pads, diabetic supplies, incontinence, bandages, etc. For questions, please call Caroline Schneggenburger at 716-289-0541.




The Retired Men’s Fellowship of Hamburg UMC will gather for their monthly lunch on Tuesday, May 21 at 12 Noon at ZJ’s Restaurant in the Hamburg Village Plaza. All retired men are invited. Come and bring a friend for good food and good fellowship.

Dick Caldwell, facilitator



May Church Library Selections


  1. First Ladies of the Republic by Jeanne E. Abrams. Using letters and other records of Martha Washington, Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison, the author presents convincing evidence that all three women took part in what has often been considered a strictly male province, the public political sphere.  She shows that although all three were limited by traditional constraints on women of their time, they played an important role in the nation’s early political life at a time when women were not even allowed to vote.

  2. Rose Wilder Lane – Her Story by Rose Wilder Lane and Roger Lea MacBride. Rose Wilder Lane had the good fortune to be the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder whose books have been best-sellers for many years and whose stories were the basis of a popular television series.  Like her mother, Rose grew up with wide horizons and became a newspaper editor, foreign correspondent, and contributor to many magazines.  Throughout her life she lived as she saw fit and expressed herself through her talents and beliefs on her own terms.

  3. One Simple Act – Discovering the Power of Generosity by Debbie Macomber. Debbie Macomber has witnessed how one simple act of generosity can yield unforeseen miracles.  Through the true stories of this book, you can see what happens when we commit intentional acts of generosity.  Lives are changed in ways we never envisioned.  Giving gifts of time, hope, encouragement, laughter, prayer, hospitality, service, and even forgiveness can have a lasting, life-changing impact on both the recipient and the giver.  All it takes is one simple act.

May is a month focused on women.  You can find books for study and devotions in our church library written by and about women.  You may find new insights, hope, joy, and the blessings of Christian love for your heart.


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.



If you would like to request prayer for yourself or for someone else you may call Barb Meader at home (number 716-648-1273), call or text her cell (number716-548-4139), or call Cristina at the church office (716-649-8080), and we will add your request to the weekly prayer list. You could also email Barb at

“Prayer, Care and Share” is a group of people who have committed to pray every day for requests made.  An updated list of requests is emailed to members each Monday.  In an emergency, you can call and we will relay the request immediately using our phone chain

Members also pray daily for and send out cards of encouragement monthly to our homebound members and those living in nursing homes.  We send cards to those experiencing lengthy illnesses.  On the first Wednesday of each month, PCS meets at church at 10:0am in the library.

James 5:16 says “…Pray for one another”.  

Philippians 4:6-7 “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.”  

 If you would like to be a part of this daily prayer ministry or have questions about it, talk to Barb or another member.  If you know of someone in our church family who would appreciate receiving a card of encouragement or get well, please let Barb know.

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