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September 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,

As I near the end of my DMIN research, hoping to defend a thesis in the near future, I want to thank you for the time you have permitted me this summer to do that work. Also, I want to thank you for who you are as a community.

The journey began in the Spring of 2017, and my first courses were orientation-related and a class on Holistic Mission and Ministry with Ron Sider, then president of Evangelicals for Social Action. In Good News and Good Works: A Theology for the Whole Gospel, Ronald J. Sider argues: “Most churches today are one-sided disasters.” 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.

I want to thank you that our congregations are not “one-sided disasters!” One of the reasons I am glad to be United Methodist is that, whatever our flaws, we value both offering the transforming good news of Jesus Christ to individuals and also offering hope and help to a broken and hurting world in need. I recently had to fill out the new pastoral profile for the Annual Conference, and one of the questions was focused on how I understand the Gospel—is it mostly about saving souls or transforming the world?

The mission of The United Methodist Church is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world (¶120, 2016 Book of Discipline).” The remainder of the paragraph establishes a fairly holistic view of Christian ministry. Overall, United Methodism seems to provide a fertile environment for holistic mission and ministry, valuing both evangelism and social engagement by United Methodist Christians, however, local congregations embody this denominational vision to varying degrees. Apparently, we’ve accepted that it’s hard to do both well, and clergy and congregations will prioritize one or the other! I’m not there!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to live and work with you, sharing in mission and ministry that cares for health, wholeness, recovery from addiction, support for caregivers for people struggling with dementia, feeding the soul with Word and Sacrament, and even offering an old-fashioned invitation to discipleship (that sounds like a straight-forward altar call to give ones’ life to Jesus)! Thank you for sharing in ministry with each other and with me, and being open to the whole Gospel for the whole world, however we find needs that Christ sees, invites us to share in meeting, and empowers us through the Holy Spirit to touch.

In Christ’s Service, 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

Office Closures

Cristina will be out of the office September 5th-8th, 11th-12th. Don't hesitate to contact Pastor David in her absence for any urgent administrative needs.

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:




Congratulations to the 2023 Julia Platt Scholarship recipients:

Sarah Edie – a sophomore attending the University of Vermont majoring in Environmental Studies. Sarah shared the following resume of her activities:

"While my involvement in our church has declined in recent years, the people and community have been so important for me growing up, and moving up into my college years. I have met numerous mentors and friends in my years going to this church, and each person that I look up to personally has helped me to get to this point in my life. My mom always thought that the HUMC community would benefit me and my brothers growing up, which was proved to be true. I loved learning in Sunday School, being taught by some great leaders, participating in all events with my peers, and being around loved ones whenever on the premises. Without a doubt, these aspects of my childhood have pushed me to the successful point that I am now at.

UVM Rally Cat Community Cupboard: This year, I have started volunteering each week at my campus' food pantry that offers free food to needy students. With this, I stock the shelves with free, donated, nutritious foods from local businesses and organize the options for them to be the most accessible. This feels like a great way to serve my community, especially since college students are a group that is affected by food inaccessibility.

Buffalo Volleyball Academy coaching: I have volunteered to coach kids from as young as 3 and 4 to high school seniors through volleyball camps during the school year and over the summers growing up. This was a great way to connect with my home community, interact with kids from this community, and share the love of my favorite sport.

Hamburg Thanksgiving Drive: One of my favorite parts of my high school community was the HHS Thanksgiving Drive, which I would volunteer at every year. A few days before the holiday break, a huge group of students and faculty volunteers would unite to put together Thanksgiving meals for families in need in the Hamburg Community."

Kadeena Lewis – a sophomore attending the University at Albany majoring in Media Management. Kadeena shared the following resume of her involvement in the United Methodist Church and her activities:

Being in church and knowing and finding God has helped me stay motivated to go to college, get a degree, and better myself. It has also helped me stay motivated and strong to finish school as a first-generation college student. Being in the choir has also helped as our music resonates with me.

Kadeena participates in the following activities in school.

Community Club

Environmental Club

Multi-cultural Club

Church Choir


  • John Edie – graduated December 2022 from the University of Albany with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Actuarial Science

  • Alyssa Paskie – graduated June 2023 from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Public Health (Health, Behavior and Society) and a minor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Chemistry.

  • Jessica Paskie – graduated December 2020 from the State University of Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Environmental Sciences.



Sunday, September 3, is a special day for you. Bring your backpack, tote bag, briefcase, or whatever you use for school, daycare, college, the office, or church meetings to the Sunday morning worship service for a special blessing by Pastor David. It will be a great way to start off the school year and will bless your daily job and/or your mission and ministry for the church.



The Adult Sunday School Class led by John Meader will start at 9:00 am on Sunday,

September 10 in the Parlor. John has planned a study of the Holy Spirit to start that day using the book “Help Is Here” written by Max Lucado and the DVD accompanying it. Come and share in the fellowship, discussion, and learning.


GROW Bible Study Calendar

Wednesdays at 7PM

Ezra/Nehemiah/ Esther Study

Session 2 Ezra 8- 10 & Nehemiah 1-4 September 6th, 2023

Session 3 Nehemiah 5- 10 September 13th, 2023

Session 4 Nehemiah 11-13 & Esther 1-2 September 20th, 2023

Session 5 Esther 3- 10 September 27th, 2023



(Hamburg United Methodist Annual Golf Outing)

Thank you for making this year’s 26th Annual HUMANGO Golf Event a success! We appreciate all of the beautiful raffle baskets, items, and gift certificates that were donated and appreciate all of those who bought tickets for the baskets and bid on the Silent Auctions. All of the money raised will go toward programming in our church.



The new school year for our Little Lamb Pre-School begins on Monday, September 11, with many returning families and many that are new. Lisa Link continues as lead teacher and director, with Laura Herman assisting for the multi-age (4 and 5-year-old) class with the school on Monday-Thursday each week. Lynn Merkel is the teacher for the 3-year-old class, with Jessie Trimmer as an assistant with the school on Tuesday and Thursday each week. Marcy Koch is the teacher for the 2-year-old playgroup, one session on Monday and one on Wednesday. Currently, there are openings in the multi-age class and the Monday 2-year-old playgroup. Contact Lisa Link through the Little Lamb website or call the church office.

September activities center around getting acquainted with teachers, friends, and classroom routines. Little Lamb Pre-School is committed to fostering the development of the whole child, helping each child to feel good about himself/herself and his/her purpose and abilities, and preparing them for their next educational experience. Playing is learning!



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 resume on September 25 at 10:30 a.m. in the Library. We will be discussing The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave.

See you all then.



Around the globe, countless gifted and qualified people face financial obstacles that hinder them from preparing for the vocation God has given them, especially youth and young adults. For ethnic students who will be the first generation in their families to attend college, or for those people of color who haven’t historically had access to resources that make higher education possible, the road toward education has often been unwieldy.

What would it look like if the church today imitated Jesus’ affirmation of the full dignity and God-given potential of all women and men—especially those who’ve historically been assigned to the world’s margins? On World Communion Sunday, October 1, your giving can help to provide scholarships for national and international graduate students whom God has gifted to learn and to serve.

As a small child, Mary Grace Galapon labored as a housemaid in exchange for food and clothing. Yet, allowed to attend church, she found hope. As a member of The United Methodist Church, your giving on World Communion Sunday has allowed this deaconess, of the Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference, to pursue an education that is now changing her community as she works to eliminate poverty. Mary Grace’s work, and the impact of hundreds more like her, are possible because you give.

You can give your gift on World Communion Sunday to make education and vocational impact possible for more students, like Mary Grace. You can help to equip gifted and qualified students from around the globe to become the world-changers God created them to be.

Your gift for World Communion Sunday can be given on October 1 or any other time during October with your regular offering by check or electronically. Offering envelopes will be with the announcement sheets as you enter the sanctuary and at the Welcome Center in the Gathering Space.



The Memorial Committee has been actively working during the past year, receiving donations in memory of several persons who have passed away. The committee has notified the families of the deceased of the gift and has sent a note of appreciation and acknowledgment to the donor. Informational folders for the Memorial Fund can be found in the sanctuary pews and the Gathering Space.

Gifts to the Memorial Fund can be designated for a specific use or project or undesignated to be used as needed by the church. Currently, the Memorial Committee has projects for consideration and welcomes any additional ideas from individuals and groups in the church.

Gifts to the Memorial Fund can also be made to the church to honor a person(s) for a birthday, anniversary, notable achievement, etc. Also, people planning their estates and wills can include a gift to the church for a designated use or as a memorial.

Memorial Committee: Caroline Schneggenburger (Chp) and Dianne Caldwell, Judy Engberg, Karen McClure, and Barbara Meader


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 for 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.



After a summer break, the Retired Men’s Fellowship of Hamburg UMC will have their monthly lunch gathering on Tuesday, September 19, at Noon at ZJ’s Restaurant in the Hamburg Village Plaza. All retired men are invited. Come and bring a friend for food and fellowship. Any questions? See Dick Caldwell.



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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