Monthly Newsletter

FIRST FACTS

MARCH 2020 EDITION

First United Methodist Church

8210 Buffalo Avenue

Niagara Falls, New York 14304

Celebrating 165 Years in Ministry

1855 – 2020


SUNDAY WORSHIP: 10:00 AM

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 - theoffice@niagarafirst.church

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

Email - theoffice@pcumc.org

From: LORI Gondek, CLM

”For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17, NLT

Jim and I have been truly blessed by the prayers and support of our congregation of the body of Christ with the prayers that have been poured over me during the past 2 months. The Lord puts the most important people in your lives as such a time as this. My cancer diagnosis came as a surprise and we immediately knew the body of Christ would have a major part of the team of prayer warriors. God is good and has provided our family with a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness.

My Motivation through this most difficult time was knowing that I can cast my anxiety on the Lord, who calms my fears. This comforted me and provided me with the Joy that maintained in my heart.

There is a famous expression in English: When the going gets tough, the tough get going – meaning when the situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge. Thank-you church family for praying for me and especially encouraging me, to fight this battle with no fear. God is on our side. The words to the Hymn What a Friend we have in Jesus sums it up:

Can we find a friend so faithful

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness

Take it to the Lord in prayer

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…

This Lenten season…

Look closely because the blessings

of God are in each of your moments!

It’s time once again for the fabulous Fish Fry dinners at Pendleton UMC. They are held each Friday during the Lenten season. Fish is not your dish? They also have other dinners available. The dinners are served from

4:00 – 7:00 pm and all are invited to come for dinner and bring a few friends!

Judy Kutis will be heading up a Lenten study on the Gospel of John which will be held on Sunday mornings at 8:45 am. All are welcome to attend.

We are still seeking anyone in the congregation who would be interested in serving communion, serve as an usher, or greeter, or be liturgist. If you have thought about serving the church in any of these ways, please see

Sherry or Dan Hess.

Our next Worship meeting will be held on Thursday, March 5th at 6:45 pm.

The Worship Committee


History Corner

Last month I began to talk about some of our early leadership. I thought it might be interesting to flesh out some of our early pastors. Though I mentioned Rev. W. O. Peet, I thought you might like to know more about him. W. O. Peet was born on September 9, 1850 to Silas and Eliza Jane Simpkins Peet in West Webster. Wilbur’s father helped start the Methodist Episcopal Society in West Webster. He was one of four children. He only served our church for one year before relocating to Illinois where he attended Northwestern. While attending school he married Eliza Jane (Jennie) Frackleton. After graduating from seminary there he returned to the Genesee Conference. He served the conference for 43 yrs.

As you already know, Dr. Albert Osborn came to us in 1877 at the age of 28. While I mentioned in my last article that Dr. Osborn joined Bishop John Fletcher Hurst in founding the American University after leaving LaSalle, he would go on to serve the Genesee Conference until 1890. He was born in 1849 to Ransom and Amanda Osborn. Dr. Osborn attended Drew Seminary and also Cornell University where he graduated in 1872. He married Phebe Jane Rosekrans. They had six children. However, one son died in infancy. After serving the conference in several appointments, he moved to Washington D. C. in 1891 where he became the registrar for the American University. He gained a reputation as the father of the science of questioned document examination. Dr. Osborn died on November 28, 1944 at the age of 94.

Not much is known about H. N. Barnhart, who served the church in 1879. If anyone is aware of a place more facts may be found out about him, let me know.

Lorren Stiles was assigned to our church in 1880. He was the son of Rev. Lorren and Maria Stiles, Jr. on November 27, 1855. Rev. Stiles was with us until 1881. Rev. Stiles is not to be confused with his father, who helped to found the Free Methodist Church and was expelled from the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1859. He married Grace Martin on July 28,1887.

(From FUMC Archives)

First Facts by E-mail

Would you like to receive your monthly FF on your computer or laptop ? Just let us know by calling the office, sending an email, filling out a Friendship Card or visiting our webpage. Save paper, Save the planet !!


Our Daily Bread

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and founded by M. R. DeHaan, Our Daily Bread is a devotional calendar-style booklet published by Our Daily Bread Ministries (formerly RBC Ministries) in over 55 languages. The booklet is one of the most widely read Christian devotionals in circulation today. It was first published in April 1956, and includes writing about the Bible and insights into Christian living. The booklet's title originates from a line of the Lord's Prayer.

Each quarter the contents include a Bible passage, and a relevant article for each day. Each article is written by a different author.

We have copies for those that are interested, located in the front and rear of the Sanctuary. It is the March, April and May 2020 issue.


First Church/Joshua Connection “Community Easter Egg Hunt"

We will be holding our annual Easter Egg Hunt Palm Sunday. Sunday, April 5 at 1:00 pm. Be sure to invite all the children you know! Donations of candy and prizes would be greatly appreciated and there is a basket in the Narthex for them. Volunteers to help with the event, please contact Gidget Meland (gidgetmeland@pcumc.org) or for more information.


Lenten Bible Study

Beginning on March 1, we will be holding a Lenten Bible Study on the book of John. All are welcome to attend as often as you are able. We will be meeting in the conference room just outside the Sanctuary. We will have coffee at 8:30 am. The study begins at 8:45 am. and will end promptly at 9:30 am. Join us in making this Holy Season a time of loving preparation.