Pastor’s Letter 2022 November

Dear Siblings in Christ,In mid-October I joined other clergy of JAUMCs in visiting the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.  We went to see the special exhibit Sutra and Bible, showcasing altars, statues, prayer books, and - accidentally found stones with Lotus Sutra inscriptions and handwritten annotated bi-lingual Japanese and English Bibles, called the Kitaji Bibles.  We were blessed to be led through the exhibit by one of the curators, Emily Anderson.  The exhibit displayed the power that religion both Buddhism and Christianity, faith, ritual, and community carry in all circumstances, but especially in the most heartbreaking of times.It was my first visit to the JANM, so I was not only viewing the special exhibit, I was also … [Read more...]

Mission in Action

Mission and Outreach Team(Pauline, Greg, Lee, Naomi, Pablo, Hailey, Pastor Pam)Following our weeks of preparing for our first mission project in worship, we finally did it!  During worship this past Sunday, Sep 18, we made 50 Period Packs to be sent to our UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) distribution center, Sager Brown Depot in Louisiana.Setting up outside for worship and Period Pack making was not so challenging, especially with the many folx who came early for set up.  The challenge came when it began to rain – do we stay outside, or to we head inside into the Fellowship Hall?  By 10:00, the rain had stopped and we decided to stay outside.  We were blessed with a few new folx joining us for worship and Period Pack making.  Two people came following … [Read more...]

Holy Land Pilgrimage Opportunity in 2023

Meeting at BMU on Sunday, 9/25 at 1:30PM We’re happy and relieved to announce that Friends of Wadi Foquin are renewing our Holy Land pilgrimages beginning in spring 2023 after a break of five years (whew!).  You’re getting this email because members of your congregation have expressed interest in the past in joining us. We have three possible departure dates.  We’ll select the date that is most convenient to the most people and announce it around Labor Day.  Here are the choices:     April 17, 2023    May 1, 2023    May 8, 2023. Our current intention is to return either April 28, May 12, May 19, respectively.  We might extend the trip one or two days, depending on pilgrim interest. Please announce this within your … [Read more...]

Pastor’s Letter 2022 August

Dear Siblings in Christ, I recently went to the movie theaters.  Angled two rows behind me were two people chatting during the trailers for upcoming movies.  I looked back to see who was talking; not annoyed at that moment, just curious and hoping (the wishful kind of hoping, not the faith kind of hoping) that they would stop chatting when the movie began.  I like chatting to be kept to a whisper, if at all, so as not to distract from the movie experience, as it is a public space and not my living room.  I also own that I am not very good at tuning out extraneous noise when I am trying to focus on something.  I also noticed that the two folx appeared older than me. I gave a lot of grace - maybe hearing issues for at least one of them; this was their occasional … [Read more...]

Pastor’s Letter 2022 July

Hello My Siblings of Berkeley Methodist United, I am humbled and pleased to begin my pastoral ministry with you in July.  I look forward to worshiping God in Christ with you; hearing your stories, the history of BMUC and what you are hearing from God about BMUC’s future ministry in Berkeley and in the world. I love all types of music and music styles and am pleased that BMUC is quite diverse in its music and music video styles for worship. I want to share a bit about myself so that you might have some context about who I am today and how I listen for God’s call on my life and my ministry as pastor. I have been a Christian for almost/most of my life, having been raised as a Catholic.  I left organized religion for a few years in my latter university years.  As I … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2022 June

The Last Newsletter… Pam’s Pontifications?  Pam’s Place?  Pastor Pam’s Point-of-View?  I have no idea how Pastor Pam will approach this opportunity to communicate with you, if she’ll use alliteration the same way, or even if she’s the newsletter writing type.  But for me, I’ve been so glad to have this chance to share my thoughts and vision with you all these past four years.  And it meant a lot to me that you took the time to read it.   So I want to leave you with one Scripture.  My favorite. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 Everything I’ve taught, everything message I … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2022 May

Now it’s time…to say goodbye…to all our company…again… If you missed last Sunday’s worship (4/24) you may not have heard but the Bishop and Cabinet are appointing me to a new church.  If this sounds like a flashback, it is.  In an unusual circumstance, my appointment to Wesley UMC did not work out and instead I will be appointed to Evergreen Valley UMC, also in San Jose but on the East Side.  My appointment begins July 1 so until that time, I will still be your pastor and will still be journeying with you in faith.   If you’re unfamiliar with the process in the UMC, a pastor is only guaranteed to serve a particular church from year-to-year.  BMUC was fortunate to have been under the leadership of Rev. Naomi for so long, but typically a pastor is at a church … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2022 April

Craig’s Corner Now it’s time…to say goodbye…to all our company… If you missed last Sunday’s worship (3/13) you may not have heard but the Bishop and Cabinet are appointing me to a new church.  I will be joining the people of Wesley UMC in San Jose (not too far) beginning July 1.  Until that time, I will still be your pastor and will still be journeying with you in faith.  We have some exciting things coming up (including Easter!) so it’s not over yet!  As we reopen to the public, I hope you will take the opportunity to come by the church and take part in all we are doing.   If you’re unfamiliar with the process in the UMC, a pastor is only guaranteed to serve a particular church from year-to-year.  BMUC was fortunate to have been under the leadership … [Read more...]

Worship resumes online-only

With the support of our Council of Ministries and our COVID Task Force, we are temporarily suspending in-person worship effective this week, 1/16/22. We hope to resume in-person worship as soon as possible, but will keep a careful watch on the developing situation with COVID and the pandemic, but at least through the end of the month, worship will ONLY be online.  You can find details to visit us online through our website at www.bmuc.org/live.If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.  We hope to see you online this Sunday!Peace in Christ, Rev. Craig … [Read more...]

News from your Trustees/January 2022

Happy New Year!!!! from The Board: Joy Goto, Randy Hill, Lee Marrs, Michael Williams, Rev. Craig Yoshihara I. Another year begins with the promise of better days to come. Yes, though the COVID virus is not through with us yet, we have learned a lot about it over the past two years, and know better how to guard ourselves and our community against infection. We will continue to adhere to our health guideline protocols, adjusting them as needed. Thank you all for your flexibility, understanding and cooperation as we strive to keep everyone healthy. II. Cheers to the New Year, to new hopes, new goals, new resolutions, and also, to renewed energy, renewed commitment, and renewed dedication in ourselves for our community and for our beloved Berkeley Methodist United Church. III. … [Read more...]