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October 2023 Newsletter

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,

The milk turned. I don’t mean smelled a little off or soured, I mean it really turned, separated into curds and whey (though not the good kind), that kind of turned. I’ll admit, there are times when I do not pour out the old half-gallon right away, so I wondered how long it had gone. When I checked the date, I was expecting a week past code at least, maybe more, but I found it was two days past code. Only two days.

Maybe you are better than I am about these things; I’ve used the smell test from time to time (especially when baking), so a couple of days wouldn’t have caused panic for me. Home tolerance for food safety varies among people, and I’m not going to judge you for erring on the side of extra safety or a bit more risk. After all, spoiled milk isn’t the point of this story.

I think there are two messages you might take from this for Christian life. The first is in dealing with our own struggles and uncertainties. As we’ve learned at Sparks of Hope, when trying to help someone in recovery, abstinence is best. Most people with addictive behaviors can’t just have a little and be OK with it. It’s not “just a beer” anymore—once someone realizes they can’t control one, the addiction takes over. I’m becoming aware how sin in our lives is often like an addiction. Paul says “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it but sin that dwells within me (Romans 7:19-20).” A couple days didn’t seem like too much for my milk, and a touch of envy or greed, a little gluttony or something else that feeds the ego doesn’t seem too bad—but sometimes a little sin in our lives leads to far more far more quickly than we expect!

The second connection applies to our life together as a congregation. I can’t cook with spoiled milk, I can’t drink it, I just need to let it go. Now, I put the jug back when I found it, not wanting to place it in the trash until trash day, but there is no going back! I planned the end to that half-gallon. Sometimes the season of ministry for one activity has come and gone, and learning to adjust, let go, and plan how to go forward into new things can be challenging! Just like my milk, when the time comes that a particular ministry has run its course, there is no going back—sometimes a new almost identical program can come after clean-up, sometimes it will be replaced by something new and different, but our collective life requires us to be looking for where the Holy Spirit is guiding and working to meet those needs in our community to offer the hope of Jesus Christ effectively to the world.

It was just a jug of milk, but it got me thinking—how often do we look to see what the world might teach us in everyday encounters? I hope you see surprising things in the world as often as I do, and maybe more! I hope you see visions and dream dreams, discovering what God has in store for Hamburg, Versailles, Gowanda and Four Corners in the days years ahead. Our neighbors need us to offer a faithful witness to Christ who has made our lives new, and helps us live in ways where sin, death, suffering, addiction, and anxiety no longer reigns.

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

Email us!!

Jeannine Vanwey:

Patrick Fitzgerald:

Cristina Glover:



Homespun Bazaar/New table item requests

Handmade Pet items - We are adding another popular area to our Bazaar this year! We are looking for handmade pet sweaters, toys, and snacks. Please contact Pat Adema (716) 206-4687, with any questions.

The Bazaar is November 3 & 4.

We would need to have your items by October 30. Thank you!


Adult Sunday School

John Meader’s Adult Sunday School class meets each Sunday at 9 a.m. in the

Parlor. Presently, we are using Max Lucado’s book, Help is Here, and the

accompanying DVD to learn more about the Holy Spirit. All are welcome!



PLEASE SIGN UP TO BAKE : on the counter in the Gathering Space.




Whatever you can contribute will be appreciated!


of pies to be served for the Saturday Take-out Luncheon(Nov.4). Please

sign up on the sheet in the Gathering Space if you can help out by

baking. (This is different from signing up for the baked goods sale)



Returning your cans and bottles can be an easy way to donate $$ to Little Lamb Pre-School. 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 October 23, 2023 at 10:30 am in the Library

We will be discussing "The Book of Lost Friends" by Lisa Wingate

Here are the future selections:

November: "Lost Souls" by Sandra Dallas

December: "Slammed" by Colleen Hoover

January: "Lessons in Chemistry" by Bonnie Garmus

February: "Demon Copperhead" by Barbara Kingsolver

Zoom is available for those who wish to attend virtually.

Questions to Karen Klimecko




BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT: Sarah and Jessie Kowalski are the parents of a son, Maddox Wayne, born on September 14. Rose Caldwell is a proud Grandmother

MILESTONE ANNIVERSARY: Lorie and Jim Flynn will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on October 5.

Prayers and best wishes to these families now and for the years ahead.



Sunday, October 1, is being celebrated around the world as World Communion Sunday

by many Christian denominations. As a part of this celebration, the United Methodist Church receives a special offering that is designated for scholarships for youth and young adults who are facing financial obstacles that make higher education difficult or impossible. Offering envelopes will be available on the small table with the announcement sheets as you enter the sanctuary and at the Welcome Center.

Others may include this offering electronically or in whatever way you give. Offerings may be given any time in October.


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 items. 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 mark the beginning of the fall season with their monthly lunch gathering on Tuesday, October 17, at 12 Noon at 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. The Case for Christ, A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel. Is there credible evidence that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Son of God? Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, the author consults with experts who are recognized authorities in their own fields. He challenges them with questions about the New Testament, evidence that might exist outside the Bible, belief in the resurrection, and more. This book is not fiction; it is the quest for truth about Jesus and the evidence for our faith in him.

  2. Hold Up the Sky by Patricia Sprinkle. Mamie Fountain believes that our lives are part of a rich and complex tapestry woven by God. When her retirement is put on hold by a secret she can’t bring herself to share, she can’t see a life pattern that makes any sense to her. Three of her friends are also in difficult situations and all are feeling overwhelmed by their tough times. As they gather together, they realize that the only way to true strength is to share their faith, their hearts and each other’s lives. Doing that they find the glorious pattern in the tapestry that was there all along.

  3. Traveling Light, Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear by Max Lucado. Odds are that sometime today each of us has picked up the burdens of our mind and taken them with us as we began our day. They might be burdens of guilt, discontent, anxiety, grief, loneliness fear, etc. and carrying them with us during the day has made us very tired. Max Lucado tells us to use the verses of the 23rd Psalm to help us release these burdens that we were never meant to bear and give them to Jesus because he is there to take them from us.

When you feel the load lifted, you will have the energy to ponder the mysteries of life.

With the cooler days of autumn, there will be time to find a comfortable place to relax and read. Our church library has a good collection of books for your reading enjoyment.



Donations of new, almost new, and gently used books are needed for the annual Book Sale held during the United Women in Faith bazaar on November 3 and 4. Books can be for children, youth, and adults, fiction and non-fiction, fact and fun, for pleasure reading or information. NO TEXTBOOKS PLEASE.

Books should be left in the hallway by the mailboxes any time before October 15.

Any questions??? See Dick Caldwell.


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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