From the Pews

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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Estonia Mission

posted Apr 29, 2019, 1:41 PM by Bowmansville UMC

Happy Easter From Estonia!


Happy Easter! Estonians say, Häid ülestõusmispühi!, which literally means, “happy rising out of bed”. Hopefully you rose up on Easter and proclaimed with Estonian Methodists the famous call and response, “Kristus on üles tõusnud. (Christ is risen). Ta on tõesti üles tõusnud! (He has risen indeed!). Christ is truly risen!  

              As we celebrate the reality of the risen Christ in our lives and churches during the season of Easter, here are a few updates related how we are serving our risen Lord in Estonia.

              Doug is teaching three history classes this semester: The Early and Medieval Church, The Reformation, and The Enlightenment to Today. Kulli is teaching Systematic Theology. This year, we have an amazing group of students who are highly engaged and ask a lot of good (and sometimes difficult!) questions.

What Would Wesley Preach Conference

              March 15-16 was the Estonian pastor’s conference held in Parnu. About 40 pastors, lay preachers, and students gathered. This was a continuation of the What Would Wesley Preach project the church began last September where a workshop was given on how to preach effective sermons. This session, over dozen pastors and students presented sermons inspired by messages found in Wesley’s Standard 52 Sermons which had recently been translated into Estonian. The preacher then received feedback from the group on a host of criteria to assist them to grow. Kulli  contributed by giving feedback to each speaker and delivering a presentation on What Would Wesley Read? She went over some of the books which are known to have either been read or owned by John Wesley and his opinions on certain works. Kulli had a large part in organizing this event. The main point was to give pastors new  ideas and tools for preaching but connecting them strongly to Wesley's theology at the same time.


Palm/Passion Sunday

            On April 21, Doug preached the Tallinn Methodist Church for Palm/Passion Sunday. It was an amazing time of worship as there was a group who was visiting from various parts of Northern Finland and Russia who are ethnically related to Estonians. These are people groups who have had contact with missionaries from the seminary in the past.  Their songs and colorful costumes added to the atmosphere of celebrating Palm/Passion Sunday.


Methodist Youth Conference      

On April 26-27 Approximately 40 Estonian youth gathered for a four-day youth conference at a camp in Southern Estonia. Doug was selected to share with the group on the topics, “What is Forgiveness?” and “What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?” Kulli translated. On Saturday night, following a prayer walk, the youth had a time where they could come up and pray about various needs in their lives or those they loved. We both prayed with several youth as did others. All told, at least 2/3 of the participants came up for prayer. It was a privilege and a joy to be a part of this ministry and to see how young people truly are hungering after a deeper knowledge of their faith with Christ at the center!

New Seminary Logo

On May 24th, the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary where we serve will celebrate its 25th anniversary! The seminary has invited all previous graduates, current students and others to attend this important milestone. It will be a time of celebration and worship. We will share the history, celebrate the present, and share the exciting vision of what God has done and will do in our midst!

              Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Happy Easter once again to all of you who are interested in our ministry and supporting us through your gifts and prayers.

In Christ,

Doug and Kulli

May Birthdays and Anniversaries

posted Apr 18, 2019, 3:07 PM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Apr 28, 2019, 2:47 PM ]

01 – Alice Davies 
03 – Kristin Siekmann 
15 – Ed Wierbowski, Rev. Cheryl Brown  
17 – Amanda Beaver  
24 – Sue Kostorowski 
25 – Ann Sikora  
31 – Bud Martin, Shawna McCarthy

16 – Joe & Ann Sikora
23 – Bill & Linda King
29 – Ken & Marybeth

Where are your communion offerings going?

posted Apr 18, 2019, 2:44 PM by Bowmansville UMC

April/May/June: WNY Hero’s
July/ Aug./Sept.: Hope Project 
Oct./Nov./Dec.: Trinity Pantry

April Birthdays and Anniversaries

posted Mar 31, 2019, 2:23 PM by Bowmansville UMC

06 – Penny Stenzel

14 – Kylie McCarthy, Judy Martin

16 – Arika Buckley, Carol Janicki

24 – Linda King

28 – Kevin Janicki

29 – Amy MacPeek (50th)

30 – Angel Stenzel

19 – Bob & Sharon Wilde

March Birthdays

posted Feb 23, 2019, 11:54 AM by Bowmansville UMC

07 – Mary Lee Wright

18 – Ted Janicki

25 – Cullen Brown

30 – Phyllis Hoskins

Estonia Mission - Article about Kulli from General Board of Global Ministries website

posted Jan 19, 2019, 7:29 AM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Jan 27, 2019, 1:27 PM ]

Kulli Toniste

Serving At: Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary

Location: EstoniaEurope and Eurasia

Home Country: EstoniaEurope and Eurasia

Spouse: Douglas R. Childress

Kulli Toniste.JPGKulli Toniste is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as assistant professor of biblical studies and theology at the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Baltic seminary needs qualified professors to meet European educational standards. It serves students from eight countries and offers instruction in Estonian, Russian, and English. Estonia is part of the Estonia Provisional Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church that includes districts in Latvia and Lithuania. The church in Estonia was never closed during the years the country was dominated by the Soviet Union, but it was closely controlled under communism. Kulli was born in Estonia and taught on both the college and the seminary level while living in the United States. Her husband, the Rev. Douglas Childress, is also a missionary in Estonia.

Kulli became a Christian in Estonia during the period of the Soviet Unions collapse and was for a time the only Christian in her family. “In 1988, we were able to celebrate Christmas again openly. I was 10 years old when I heard the song ‘Silent Night’ for the first time.” She had found a Bible in a closet, likely belonging to a grandparent, and she found fellow Christians at the Estonian Christian Pentecostal Church. Her family was initially suspicious, especially when, after high school, she attended a Bible college rather than a “proper” university.

From the Bible college, she went to Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary, where she earned the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts degree and worked with mission volunteer groups within Estonia and from outside. She next enrolled in Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, where she received a Master of Arts degree in biblical studies, and where she met her husband. Kulli earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in biblical theology through London School of Theology in the United Kingdom. In the US, she taught at Houghton College, Houghton, New York, and Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York.

Kullis first contact with mission was in college in relation to volunteer mission teams and she had a real interest, but the course of her life took another route at that point. After 15 years in the US, she was initially unsure about returning to Estonia as a missionary, but the doubt and any obstacles cleared away. “I can see now that the experiences that I gathered in the USA are valuable ground work for serving in Estonia. Nothing is wasted. I believe that God has been at work preparing us for this mission and has called us to Estonia.”

She sees Gods hand in developments and hopes that God will use her to help educate future pastors and laity in Estonia. She wants to see theological education in Estonia flourishing and answering the needs of todays church. Above all, she wants to follow Christ and put her credentials and talents to work for the benefit of the Estonian Christians that once nourished her faith.

Kulli and Douglas have three small children, Karl Robert, born in 2008; Kristofer Martin, 2010; and Kalev Douglas, 2012.


Doug & Kulli's address:  Kulli Toniste, Nomme tee 65-6, Tallinn, 11311 Estonia

The church as a whole should send cards and letters to them to support their missionaries. Their Advance Special number is: #3022133 BMTS #15021B

February Birthdays and Anniversaries

posted Dec 30, 2018, 3:32 PM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Feb 18, 2019, 9:24 AM ]

04 – Justin Brown

05 – Jane MacPeek

11 – Todd Skare

11 – Lindsey Siekmann

16 – Jean Meyers

28 – Todd and Bonnie Skare

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