From the Pews

Estonia Mission

posted Oct 5, 2019, 6:41 AM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Oct 5, 2019, 6:41 AM ]

Greetings From Estonia!
Seven year-old Kalev about to run a 5K.
Greetings from Estonia! 

This morning, our eleven year old son Karl, currently busy with church, dance, and a fairly new school year, commented that time flies fast. How true these words are especially when you are busy. It has been a little over four months since our last newsletter, however, it seems like just yesterday due to all that has taken place since that time. 

Below are listed a few of the ways we have hastily been at work advancing God's kingdom in Estonia. 

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary 25th Anniversary Celebration

On May 24th, Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary celebrated it's 25th anniversary. For a quarter century BMTS has offered undergraduate education to students of the former Soviet Union in Estonian, Russian, and English.

Over 150 people attended to celebrate. The celebration included a trip to the Apteegi street building where the seminary first gathered, official congratulations from the other Christian schools (including the Lutheran and Baptist seminaries), a renewal of a memorium of understanding with Asbury Theological Seminary, a dinner with awards ceremony, and worship.

The school was also blessed with the presence of the founder of the school, Wes Griffin and his wife Joy (pictured above).
On May 24th the graduation seminary was held at Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary. We greatly enjoyed being a part of their three (plus) year educational journey. We consider them not only former students but friends. May God bless them in their present and future ministries!
August 1-4 the Estonian Methodist Church held their annual summer conference. There were over 200 in attendance. Doug presented on John Wesley's works of mercy and works of piety. it was the fourth year in a row that Doug was asked to present (as well as the fourth year in a row that Kull was asked to translate for him 😊). We are grateful that God uses us in this important ministry and that the Estonian UMC values our continuing contribution.
The English-speaking ministry picked up again on August 25 after taking part of the summer off. We had eleven adults and four children at the first meeting representing five countries and four continents. The group is modeled after Acts 2:42 where scripture relates, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Each meeting we follow this model and study scripture, fellowship, share food, and pray. We are personally blessed by this fellowship and feel that continues to be a blessing to those who gather from far and near. 
Students, faculty, and staff pose for a photograph. 

New Students and School Year
There were many applicants this fall. 14 new students were admitted to Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary with a very diverse group: 
Study language: 7 Russian, 4 Estonian, 3 English; 
Gender: 7 male and 7 female 
Country: 5 from Estonia, 3 from Russia, 2 from Ukraine, 2 from Finland, 1 from Belarus, 1 from USA

Opening session was buzzing with excitement. Many talented and interesting people all sensing a call to ministry, many are already active in churches. We look forward to an amazing year.

This semester, Doug is teaching three courses: Church history (Enlightenment to Today), theology of worship, and practice of worship. He is also coordinating the student chapels and prayer times.

Kulli is only teaching systematic theology II because she has had many duties added related to being rector of the school.
Thank You!
Thank you for continuing to support us through your prayers and financial assistance. It helps us in our work to know that there are people like you who support us in our ministry. May God bless you and your church!

Doug and Kulli 
If you would like to support Kulli, Doug, or the Seminary, please go to the following links.

Kulli Toniste

Advance #3022133

Douglas Robb Childress

Advance #3022134

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary Scholarships

Advance #15021b 

For the Children and Children at Heart

posted Sep 30, 2019, 11:57 AM by Bowmansville UMC

How many times have you lost something important to you? A stuffed toy, your favorite pair of shoes, a journal, or a keepsake that was given to you by a close friend. How long would you spend looking for that item? A few minutes? A couple hours? Weeks? We likely have other toys, and more shoes, and more journals to write in, but we would probably keep looking for as long as it took to find it. This reminds me of the parable of The Lost Sheep. Jesus leaves the flock of ninety-nine to look for the one that was lost. When he finds it he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and carries it back home. Just like the sheep, sometimes we get lost or stray from our relationship with Jesus. But remember no matter how long we’ve been away and missing Jesus never stops looking for us. He NEVER gives up on us. When he finds us, He always welcomes us back with open arms and rejoices.

by Andrea McCarthy

October Birthdays and Anniversaries

posted Sep 30, 2019, 11:32 AM by Bowmansville UMC

05 – Al May
05 - Sheryl & Dennis Ziolkowski(ANNIV.)
07 – Jeff Creighton 
09 – Steve Siekman 
11 – Melissa (Stoos) Gilroy 
11 - Ted & Carol Janicki (ANNIV.) 
13 – Sheryl Ziolkowski 
        Bonnie Skare 
14 – Phoenixx Walters 
17 – Chris & Tracy Barnosky (ANNIV.) 
20 – Crystal Creighton
26 – Chris Barnosky

Message from Andrea McCarthy, our new Messenger Editor

posted Sep 30, 2019, 11:22 AM by Bowmansville UMC

It’s that time of year again! The kids have already gone back to school. The weather is getting cooler. It’s football season (Go Bills!). The leaves haven’t started to turn their beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red quite yet, but it won’t be long before they do. We are itching to make a big pot of chili, and enjoy apple cider and everything pumpkin spice.

All signs it’s the season of AUTUMN! Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun.”

Whether this fall season you have the chance to take in the wonder, or you are frantically trying to get through each day, or you are living in a time of brokenness and uncertainty, it is God’s desire for you to invite Him into your experience with you. Trust. Have Faith. Give Thanks.

Project Hope

posted Aug 23, 2019, 2:19 PM by Bowmansville UMC

The Hope Project of WNY, Inc was the recipient of the July and August communion offerings. In total, $105 was collected. BUMC Sunday School is adding $195 to bring the total to $300. We will be purchasing and donating school supplies for the upcoming school year. The mission of Hope Project is to provide temporary assistance with clothing, toiletries and household items to families who are struggling to make ends meet due to recent job loss, catastrophic event, in transition from domestic violence, legally disabled or unable to work due to terminal or serious illness, families taking in kids in an emergency situation and all veterans. You can learn more about this organization and what they are doing on their facebook page. Search their name, or use this website:  You can also visit their website at

September Birthdays and Anniversaries

posted Aug 23, 2019, 2:06 PM by Bowmansville UMC

02 – Kathy Schell

04 – Aaron Stenzel

06 – Grace Creighton

10 – Ken May, Mike King

16 – Bill King

17 – Milly Whittaker

18 – Wilma Taylor, Darlene Stoos

22 - Carl Lathrop, Sharon Wilde

25 – Austin Stenzel

20 – Ed & Nancy Wierbowski

Third Annual Lemonade Stand

posted Aug 23, 2019, 1:50 PM by Bowmansville UMC

The McCarthy sisters, Kylie age 10, and Shawna age 8, held their 3rd annual Lemonade Stand in their front yard on August 8th . This year they chose to raise money to purchase school supplies for local students in Alden and Depew, and to fill backpacks for local children being placed in foster care. Over 100 cups of lemonade were sold, along with brownies, rice krispy treats, cookies, and zucchini bread. Total amount raised: $775.00! Thank you to everyone that came and donated. 

BUMC is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our pastor, our teacher, our mentor, our friend.

posted Jul 7, 2019, 12:46 PM by Bowmansville UMC

Posted July 06 2019 in the Orleans Hub
James E. Brown
MIDDLEPORT –  James E. “Jim” Brown, 63, died unexpectedly on July 5, 2019. He was born January 26, 1956 in Medina, a son of the late Ernest and Charlotte (Porter) Brown and had lived in this area most of his life.

Jim was a lifetime member of the Middleport United Methodist Church and was also the Minister at the Bowmansville United Methodist Church. He was a volunteer fireman with the Middleport Fire Department and had worked for the Sweet Home School District for 34 years as an IT Specialist. Jim was a Batavia Muckdogs baseball fan, an avid hunter and loved animals, especially dogs.

In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by his granddaughter, Maya.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 18 years, Cheryl; step-son, Matthew (Nicole) Althoff; 3 grandsons, Brandon, Noah and Remington; sister, Judith Brown; and several aunts, uncles, cousins.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, July 13, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Middleport United Methodist Church, 9 Park Ave. Middleport NY 14105, where his Memorial Service will follow at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Asbury United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 743, Getzville NY 14068 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 435 E. Henrietta Rd., Rochester NY 14620. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Bates, Wallace & Heath Funeral Home. To share a special memory of Jim, please visit

July and August Birthdays and Anniversaries

posted Jul 3, 2019, 8:52 AM by Bowmansville UMC



02 – Andrea McCarthy

03 - Tracy Barnosky

11 - Deanna Skare


05 – Joan Miller

10 - Joshua Walters

12 – Bob MacPeek

19 – Dustin Skare, Tyler Siekmann

28 – Conner Brown


02 - John & Jeannette French

03 - Jim & Phyllis Hoskins

23 – Greg & Darlene Stoos

27 – Pastor Jim & Rev. Cheryl Brown


01 – Al & Sandy May

10 – Bob & Jane MacPeek

June Birthdays and Anniversaries

posted May 30, 2019, 8:32 AM by Bowmansville UMC

07 – John French

11 - Bud & Judy Martin ..... Happy Anniversary to Bud and Judy!

14 – Sandy Bittermann

28 – Ken Kowalski

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