2020 Celebrating Christmas in the middle of a Pandemic and a Planetary warming crisis

As I sat down to update the article published in the December 2019 newsletter at [Jill’s request], I could not help but wonder at how fast time has flown! Today as we prepare to celebrate Christmas again, we find ourselves in the midst of a raging viral pandemic, an unsettled political situation and a climate crisis. As people of faith with the mandate to love God, love neighbors and to be responsible stewards of creation, in light of the challenging situation we find ourselves in, we all need to find ways to celebrate Christmas in ways that respond to God’s call as best we can. Once again, I am offering some suggestions to help us meet the challenges: First, to get COVID-19 under control so we can celebrate Christmas safely, let us set aside our political and ideological differences … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2020 December

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. – Luke 2:9-11 Merry Christmas! I love the Christmas season.  It’s filled with wonder unlike any other time of the year.  Decorations come out of their boxes to adorn our homes for just this one month.  Spirits soar as people get into the Christmas mood and dash away all of those “bah humbug” moments.  Special food and drink come out of the woodwork.  Peppermint sticks, gingerbread, and more turkey than you can shake a stick at! … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving 2020

Ten Things I’m Grateful For… In any list of gratitude, of course God will be at the top.  Without God, none of the rest of this would be possible.  But it’s good to get down to specifics once in a while and even though this is not an exhaustive list, here are ten things I’m grateful for this year: For our kids – Emma, Justin, Ethan, Tetsuo, Kazumi, Arlo, Cami, and Brandon.  Thank you for just being you. Of all the people of our church who are feeling the effects of the pandemic, we have not been able to meet your needs most of all.  For our staff – Naomi and Jill impress me every week.  They have done so much to hold our church together and to keep coming up with new ways of doing things. I’m thankful for everything they do.For our Worship Team – Wow. We are … [Read more...]

Pastor Appreciation!

Our District Superintendent Staci let us know that October is Pastor appreciation month, and the SPRC planned a special thanks for Rev. Craig. We asked that as many people as possible attend zoom worship on 10/25. We also asked each person to prepare a sign to hold up for about 30 seconds saying thank you and/or what they appreciate about Craig. The SPRC met on October 14th to discuss the pastoral appointment for 2021-2022. After much discussion, prayer, and thoughtful deliberation, our recommendation to the bishop is for Craig to return. The SPRC is committed to supporting Craig and the congregation in nurturing a collaborative and grace-filled place where Christ's love can continue to flourish and grow. We look forward to working together with Craig for the glory of God and his … [Read more...]

Christmas Greetings

This festive service saves you time by sending a group Christmas card to each participant. If you would like to join in, please send $10 to BMUC with “Christmas Greeting” in the memo line by 12/6. … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2020 November

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15 May the peace of Christ be with you. By the time you read this, the election will be near or just completed.  Either way, we likely won’t know yet who the President will be for at least a short while.  Still, no matter which way you voted or who is elected, I hope we remember these two lessons from Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae – peace and thankfulness.   As human beings, we are prone to sin – however you want to categorize that in your brain.  And this sinful nature has been brought out in force (on both sides mind you) as some have become irreconcilable in their attitudes toward their fellow Children … [Read more...]

BMUC Supports the Black Community

THANK YOU! Because of your thoughtfulness and love of Christ, BMUC was able to raise $6,288 toward our support of the Black community! As we promised, 50% will go to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and 50% will go to OCCUR in Oakland and their Black Business Relief Fund. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), established in 1987, is one of the largest organizations exclusively representing the Black College Community through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships. It distributes 98% of its assets exclusively to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Their web site is requesting donations to a COVID-19 HBCU Emergency Fund. OCCUR, founded in … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2020 October

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:33-34 This may be the most important election of our lifetime. This coming November we will have the opportunity to vote for who we believe best represents our country.  I will be in prayer over this and I hope you will, too.  Our elected leaders should represent the values and ideals we hold as a country.  They should reflect what we hope to achieve.  And hopefully, that person will understand that the United States is one among many nations and we are dependent on one another to make the world a better place. … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2020 September

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,    the world, and all who live in it;2 for he founded it on the seas    and established it on the waters. – Psalm 24:1-2 What does giving mean to God? I hope you’ve been following along with us this past month (August) as we have been exploring what giving if all about (Hint: It’s NOT about money).  We realize that it already all belongs to God anyway and nothing is permanent in this world.  The hope we have for the future lies in Jesus Christ and his promise for us of a life beyond this one.  Giving is just one way to bring us closer to the life God wants for us.  Giving is a discipline that helps us to let go of the material so we can focus on the spiritual.   We’ve been talking about it for the past few … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2020 August

What does giving mean to you? Giving is a central tenet of our faith.  Not because “the church needs money” but because giving is part of our faith and trust in God.  More than the amount we give (re: The Widow’s Mite), it’s really about our heart for giving.  As Paul wrote to the church in his letter to Corinth, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).”  We’re going to explore that during the month of August as we challenge ourselves what it means to give.   I hope we truly will embrace the challenge, not only in our personal giving to BMUC but more importantly to our heart for giving and letting go of the fear of not having enough.  Back in … [Read more...]