Craig’s Corner 2021 October

We’re coming back!!! Our COVID Task Force has been working diligently to have in-person worship safely, and together with our Trustees and Worship Team we have a date for our first worship in the church building in nearly a year and a half.   Our target date is October 17 @10:30am It might seem like a way off, but it gives us time to install some new equipment, to work on new patterns of worship, and to smooth out the details about cleaning and social distancing.  When we come back it won’t be every week right away.  We will stagger our opening so we can make sure everything is running as smoothly as we can expect.  Our schedule for in-person worship will be: 1st in-person worship – October 17 (soft opening)Online – October 24 and 312nd worship – … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 August

And so…we wait. As we are preparing to return to in-person worship, the world around us continues to surge in COVID cases.  While certainly not as bad as it was back in January, the trend we had seen curving down has gone back up.  We had hoped to re-open for in-person worship this coming month (August) but instead we are planning on an October opening tentatively.   Over the next few weeks, your COVID Task Force will be considering how we can best open safely.  We will be examining trends in COVID cases, reading up on the best advice from health officials and the CDC, and continuing our work to prepare the church for our return. Right now, the Trustees are coordinating efforts to give the church a deep cleaning. Our Worship Team is hard at work assessing our needs for … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 July

FINALLY!!! Just this week, the United Methodist Church decided to make a small but BIG change in our denominational reporting.  Every year, we have to report how many persons are members of the congregation.  On this statistical form, they ask us to identify both the ethnic heritage AND gender identity of each person (not by name, but in aggregate).  The group in charge of this form, the General Council on Finance and Administration or GCFA, decided to make one small change for next year.  They decided to include “non-binary” as a category in the gender report.   It may seem to be a small change, but it’s a first for our denomination to recognize that how people identify themselves is important.  For those who feel the labels  of male and female … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 June

Coming Attractions… When I was a kid, the previews were almost as cool as whatever movie we were seeing.  There was always something more to be excited about, something we could look forward to even after the film was completed.  So I thought for this edition of Craig’s Corner we would have some “coming attractions” of our own to help you to look forward to what’s coming at BMUC!  Most of these things are still in the planning stages so just like in the movies there might be parts that will change before you see it in church, but here goes. Imagine in your head that deep movie voice… He needed to find the perfect gift!  But where could he go?THE CHRISTMAS BAZAAR (rated G) coming to BMUC in December She was looking for hope and it came upon her in the … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 May

I’m excited about our future! Our Easter outreach was more successful than we had hoped for, reaching about 50 kids in our community – almost none of them from our church.  We even had a few join us for Easter worship which was great, and we continue to touch people’s lives for Christ.  Our Flowering of the Cross gave us a chance to see old friends and new for the first time in a long time at the church.  And we hope that as we continue our outreach efforts we will see more people asking deep and meaningful questions. In the meantime, we have a few questions for you!   If you would help us out and answer a short survey about coming back to in-person worship, it would be a great benefit to our Worship Team, our COVID Task Force, and hopefully to you as well. … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 April

Moving On… As we approach Easter, I’m very excited!  With conference approval, we will have some limited gatherings on site at the church.  Like our upcoming Easter Egg Hunt and Flowering of the Cross!  Please come and invite family and friends to join us as we slowly test the waters for a safe return.   For more information go to www.bmuc.org/easter. Coming back will require much planning and hard work.  Getting the church ready after over a year of being empty is more than just turning the lights back on.  We have to thoroughly clean and sanitize the whole area.  We have to fix things that need fixing.  We need to inventory our “stuff” and figure out what needs to be taken care of.  And we have to do all of this in a safe and socially … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 March

It’s been a year… As hard as it might be to believe, it’s been nearly a year now since we’ve been able to worship together.  The last time we were able to shake hands, give hugs, and eat together was March 8, 2020.  Who knew it would be the final Chow Mein Sunday of 2020?  Who knew it would be the end of choir practice at the church for 52 weeks?  Who knew it might be the last time we saw certain smiling faces?  We’ve lost family and friends.  We’ve gone through political chaos.  And we’ve had to face racial and social injustice on a level some of us have never had to face and others hoped we had left behind.   But as tough as it has been, and even though we still have a ways to go, I am hopeful. We have proven that you don’t need a building … [Read more...]

UMCOR Sunday 2021

Join us in giving to UMCOR from 3/14 to Easter On March 14 it will be one year since we met in person.  To mark this unprecedented moment, let us join together in supporting the United Methodist Committee On Relief.  The United Methodist Committee on Relief helps thousands if not millions of people each year, but it is made possible by our giving on UMCOR Sunday UMCOR Sunday is one of the special Sundays observed by the United Methodist Church and provides all the funding for the entire year to support their ministry - from salaries to utilities.  It seems appropriate that we mark the occasion with a donation to UMCOR for all the work they have done around the world, not only in helping with relief during the pandemic, but for the relief they have brought to … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 February

What are you giving up for Lent this year? You always know its Lent when McDonalds starts pushing HARD for the Filet-O-Fish sandwich.  And while I don’t do the “no meat on Fridays” thing, I do traditionally give something up for Lent.  I’ve given up red meat, soda, French fries – all sorts of different stuff.  This year I’m giving up sweets.  Partly because it truly is a sacrifice.  Cassie knows what kind of a sweet tooth I have, and that means no cakes, no candy, no cookies, no ice cream, no pie until Easter.  And partly because I seriously need to lose the weight so I can get on the kidney transplant list!  Technically, you CAN splurge on Sunday since that is the day we celebrate Christ, but other than my birthday, I’m going to try to go the whole … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 January

State of the Church 2021 Below is the report I gave to our charge conference about the events of this past year as we head into the New Year.  Some of you have already read it, but for those who haven’t, I hope it will give you encouragement as we move forward.  We’ve gone through a lot this year, but you all have been so faithful in maintaining our strong bond together.  Thank you for your support as we adapt to our ever-changing circumstances and stay safe in 2021!   Peace in Christ, Rev. Craig The journey of faith goes on… When the pandemic hit us in March, life in the church was rolling along.  Our worship team had big plans for Easter!  We had just had our Day of Remembrance Spam Musubi Cook-Off where Jill Israels’ Green Eggs and Spam was … [Read more...]