Monthly Newsletter



First United Methodist Church

8210 Buffalo Avenue

Niagara Falls, New York 14304

Celebrating 164 Years in Ministry

1855 – 2019

8:45 am Sunday Morning Bible Study


             A Blended Service of Traditional & Contemporary Styles

Holy Communion served

Lori Gondek – CLM

Pastor Sherry Mahar

Pastor Lisa Taylor

Senior Pastor Thomas Kraft

Church Office - 283-3370

Email -

Our Sister Church - Pendleton Center UMC Office- 625-8306



“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God”          Acts 2

Do Christians need the church anymore?

In the last century, people started to conceive of the Christian faith as a belief system set of life philosophies or morals. We began to see our life as all about “me,” and lost the concept of “we.” Our knowledge and ideas became more important than anything else. We were taught, “A good education is the key to everything!” Soon people were saying we don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. But that is a part of the Christian faith, and a misunderstanding of the church.

Church seems like a lot of other places where we participate. We go to meet our friends, eat together, support each other and do something good with our lives. But the church is different. Instead of being centered on us, or even other people and their needs, it is centered on God. We do learn about God to know how to love God with all our minds. But we also gather to break bread with other Christians to show our love for God in our hearts. We look for ways to help people and contribute to God’s work in the world, loving God with our strength. And we worship God. Praising him and praying to him because we love him with all our soul.

The church is the body of Christ on earth. Ephesians says we are supporting ligaments that do our individual part to make the body whole. It is where we find our gifted purpose in the body of Christ.

Without the church, our relationship to God is incomplete at best, and cut off at worst, like a branch cut from a tree, or a part of the body without the body. God created us for each other. And the command was to love God with more than just our mind. (Actually, loving God with our mind was added, after heart, soul and strength.)

Every one of us should be connected to a church so we have a complete faith the way God intended.        

See you at the family gathering,

Pastor Tom

From: LORI Gondek, CLM

  He remembered us in our low estate. . . His love endures forever. — Psalm 136:23

 “Count your blessings, name them one by one. . .” These words are part of an old hymn Christians have sung for more than 100 years, and the message is still important today. Cen­tral to the pilgrim journey we travel is taking stock of the gifts God has given us.

Psalm 136 has reminded people of this fact for well over 2,000 years, and it urges us to remember God’s goodness. “His love endures forever.” Again, and again they would recount what God had done for them—from freeing us, to feeding us, to remembering us with His Grace. And as we count our Blessings, we can say, “His love endures forever.”

A few weeks ago, my Sister was assisting a friend who has been diagnosed with a disease that requires support and care. They went to Bob Evans for lunch and then to the DMV for paperwork.  During this process my sister realized her purse must have fallen out of the car when she was positioning her friend’s wheelchair in the back of her vehicle.  Worried that her money in her purse was lost, they went back to Bob Evans to retrieve her purse; if possible.  To my sister’s amazement, someone had turned in her purse, with all her money and identification, to the staff at Bob Evans. She immediately called to let me know how blessed she was to serve a Mighty God that provided her with her lost purse. These are the many blessing that happen daily.

His steadfast love reminds us of the many blessings he delivers. Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

As we recognize every good thing we see, hear, and hope for as coming from a generous heavenly Father, our lives will be filled with gratitude and praise.

Lori Gondek CLM                


Worship Committee News

It is our hope and prayer that you will join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:00 am because…

It’s Fall…

The grass withers…the flowers fade…

But the word of the Lord will stand forever!

With the return of the fall season comes the New Beginnings Bible Study each Sunday morning in the conference room. We start at 8:45 am.

Come and join us!

Our next Worship meeting will be held on Thursday, October 10th at 6:45 pm. We will be discussing the upcoming Advent and Christmas season.

Our All Saint’s Day service will be held on Sunday, November 3rd at 10 am. Names for this service can be submitted by Sunday October 13th. Please see Sherry Hess or call her at 283-1976 for further details.

We are always seeking those of you who would like to take part in the worship service. If you would like to be an usher, liturgist, communion steward, or greeter…please let Lori, Sherry or Dan know. These jobs are not too demanding and the rewards are awesome!

The Worship Committee


Trustee Project Update

Your trustees have been very busy this summer.  We have installed the new air conditioner compressor, and then after a month or so, the conduit containing the power line for the air conditioner melted and we had to have that replaced and the air conditioner is now working again.

The framing around the stained glass windows has been repaired and all wood areas have been covered with vinyl siding making them maintenance free.  This has improved the appearance of our church.

We had the drain tile installed at both the church and the mission house to correct water entering both facilities and causing damage.  We have had no further water in the church.  At the mission house, we have found that there is still more water flowing from the side porch and entering at the area where the electrical power enters the house.  Additional work is going to have to be done to correct the flow direction from the porch and replace the electrical wiring into the house.  We are obtaining quotes for this additional work.  This is an expense that we were not anticipating.

We had some leaks to the dishwasher in the church kitchen repaired.  Luckily, we were able to get help to do this work by someone from our sister church in Pendleton.  We had to have some electrical work done in the church kitchen to a shorted ceiling light and to a switch that was damaged.  This work requires a licensed electrician which we had done.  We have now been made aware that the large refrigerator in the kitchen has not been cooling and the outlet that it is plugged into needs to be rewired/replaced. 

Then we found that someone has hit two of the posts that hold up the roof at the portico moving them slightly off their bases.  We will be getting the repairs quoted and contacting our insurance company to make a claim.

Keeping our property up has been very costly this year but necessary.  If anyone would like to help us keep up our property by helping do repairs or helping with the costs it would be greatly appreciated.

Nancy Walek, Trustee Committee Chairperson


History Corner 

   Back in 1968 the church allowed the use of the church for dances. I’m not sure how many dances they had.  The requirements seemed quite involved.  First you had to fill out an application, which was turned into the Pastor or the President of the Trustees two weeks ahead of time.  You had to have insurance amounting to between $25,000 and $50,000.  You had to have two sets of parents to chaperone.  You had to get a license from the city to hold a dance.  You, also, were required to pay for two uniformed policemen for the whole dance.  Young people attending the dance were required to stay inside the building.  If they left, they couldn’t come back into the building. The chaperones could use the phone only in the event of an emergency.

The Annual Report alluded to worries over the drop in population.  Young people were leaving Niagara Falls for other states where they could find employment.  As a result, the enrollments in the Nursery and Kindergarten classes had fallen.  Rev. Fred House stated his disappointment that more evangelism had not taken place.  He worried that our programs were not so attractive to families outside the church.  However, he was hopeful that new classes with a focus on the Gospel and its relevance in the world would be included in the new year. 

In May a Family Sunday was planned.  Everyone was urged to bring food for the potluck dinner.  They, also, asked those in the congregation who had a camper/camping equipment to bring them along and set up in the parking lot.  Owners of the campers were encouraged to relate camping stories for the congregation. 

Renovations made in 1967 to the church amounted to $89,400.00.  The old mortgage was $1,671.00.  New expenses for the parking lot, the architect, and contractor amounted to $5,000.00.  The amounts were combined into a 14-year mortgage.  The mortgage was paid off in 1982.

(From FUMC Archives)


If you are interested in participating in caregiving ministries - whether it be visiting the sick or home bound, or providing a meal, or making calls, or sending cards, or many other ways to care for others, please contact Pastor Sherry.  As a team working together we can ensure that the church family is well cared for, living into the call to be the body of Christ.  


Prayer is an essential and foundational part of our Christian faith.  A prayer team could meet for intercessory prayer, go on prayer walks in the community, hold prayer vigils, and pray for the concerns of church members.  If anyone would like to create or participate in a prayer team, please contact Pastor Sherry. 


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