Our Minister

Or Minister - Rev. Robert Hamm

Greetings in faith.

How good it is to be joining with you in ministry!

It’s only appropriate that I share some of my story. My wife, Sandy, and I share a home in Keene, NH, with four laying hens and (as I write) about 20 thousand honeybees. Assuming the hive survives the winter, its population will expand to approximately 60,000 by early summer. We’re empty-nesters
— the parents of three adult children, of whom two live in relative proximity.

We also enjoy gardening, and use our less-than-a-quarter-of-an-acre in Keene to grow as much as we can of our food. With the Spring comes asparagus, followed by ripening strawberries, then, of course, the blueberries will ripen across the summer from July through August, and raspberries, apples, and more. This is the season for making plans for this summer’s annual vegetable and flower gardens, preparing to start our seedlings in stages through late-winter into early spring.

My story begins in the Philippine Islands. My parents were missionaries, sent to the Philippines to start in a school on the island of Mindanao. Born in a Baptist mission hospital on a neighboring island, my childhood experience in what is now called “the Islamic City of Marawi” is filled with memories of playmates both Muslim, Catholic and Protestant. In that context, I grew to appreciate and enjoy a world that is full of rich diversity.

I’m coming to Newfane with eight rich years of experience in hospital and hospice chaplaincy. This was preceded by 28 years of pastoral ministry through churches in New Jersey and New England — most recently in Keene, NH, and Marlboro, Vermont. I graduated Elmhurst College (near Chicago, IL) in 1969, and earned a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1974.

Pastoral ministry and the task of spiritual care has always been my calling. I experience life as essentially rich and beautiful. Most of us have had learn and grow in order to navigate the complexities of our many journeys. The life of a congregation makes possible the sharing of the stories of our living in ways that enrich us all when we’re gifted with the opportunity to listen and grow with each other.

Again, I look forward to coming to know you, and to minister with you in Newfane.