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...]

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...]

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...]