Craig’s Corner 2020 January

My hopes and dreams for 2020… This is the month of new beginnings!  It is also the month which we celebrate that lauded humanitarian, visionary, and civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  So in that spirit, I wanted to share with you my hopes and dreams for our church in the year 2020.   Increase in outreach – The mission of every church is to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  And our church vision which we crafted together of “Transforming Lives Through Christ’s Love” is part of that mission.  To do that, we need to reach out into the community more often and in new and different ways.  It will mean embracing our community and its people with love and kindness, celebrating their differences and realizing … [Read more...]

Celebrating Christmas in a Warming Planet

Pastor Craig’s sermon on November 17, generated a specific response from me. The result is this article I am offering to encourage us all to prepare for the Christmas season in ways that are mindful of how we can all do our part to lessen our ecological/carbon footprints during the Christmas season. We all associate the celebration with a lot of things and activities. The idea is not to totally deprive ourselves of their enjoyment but to alter the way we use them so we can all celebrate Christmas while at the same time remaining faithful to our God-given mandate to be stewards of Earth, our common home. Here are some practical suggestions collated from my own practice and observations and with the help of various online sustainability sources. Please feel free to add your own. … [Read more...]

Christmas Greetings

Christmas Greetings If you would like to send and receive a Christmas Greeting, please give/send $10 to Jill by December 8. Participants will receive a Christmas card from each other. … [Read more...]

Cocoa and Carols

Our upcoming Cocoa and Carols is our next great outreach event Wednesday, 12/18, 7-8pm so please come on out and help.  Let us know if you can help in any or all of these ways: Cookie bakers or cookie bringersServe cookies and cocoa on the night of the eventInvite friends and family, come and sing! … [Read more...]

New Baby Care Policy

Dear BMUC Family, It is with great sadness and much thought that we have made the decision to stop offering baby care during service.  The baby care model that we have set up for our church requires that there is a good-sized group of volunteers that can commit to coming on their assigned Sunday and not have any other commitments on that day.  Many of the people that attend regularly are already committed to several other committees and serve in many ways, sometimes on the same day.  Because of this, we do not have the volunteers that we need at this time to continue this "service". We acknowledge that this is not an ideal decision, especially if we want to attract young families. However, given our "workforce", we felt it was best to make this decision.  As … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2019 December

It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year! I can’t argue with that sentiment.  I LOVE Christmas.  When I was little, I loved it because of the anticipation of Santa, the annual Mattel Electronics game or die-cast metal Japanese toy my parents would give to me, and my early morning experiments at cooking breakfast for me and my sister Karen.  What an eclectic menu!  Beef and potato burritos, bologna and blue cheese on toast, and peanut butter and butter on toast were among my specialties.  Now, I look forward to the season maybe even more than just the specific day.  I love the cool winter weather (when we lived in Georgia, we might actually see snow!), decorating the house with family, excursions to see Santa, driving through the neighborhood and seeing … [Read more...]

Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry Position Open

Do you have a passion and desire to help children and youth know the love of Christ?  Would you like to help shape the church for the next generation?  We at BMUC are looking for energetic, creative, insightful individuals who are looking to explore a career in ministry with our youth and children.  We are looking for people unafraid of new ideas, who can relate to the younger generation, and who are persons of integrity.  You do not need extensive prior experience in ministry, but can exhibit organizing skills, keep on task, and have a positive attitude.  Salary will be related to experience and knowledge. Youth Group Night at the Escape Room Under the general direction of the Pastor, the Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry (DYCM) will recruit and … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2019 November

Who Are The People In Our Neighborhood? Can you imagine a time when you were FORCED to live in a certain area because of your racial identity?  When you didn’t have the freedom to live where you wanted to live?  I know some of you can because you lived it.  Not that long ago, the laws in the Berkeley area segregated Japanese and Japanese-Americans to a specific section of the city.  Good ol’ progressive Berkeley.  This church was within the boundaries where “people like us” were allowed to live. Can you imagine that?  We were graciously allowed to live in this neighborhood away from those who didn’t want us.  But God didn’t let that stop the work for the Kingdom.  Instead, God planted a church right here through the work of our Issei loved … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2019 October

The Next 90 Years… As we approach our 90th anniversary celebration, we will be reflecting on the past and praising God for what God has done through us and in us for those around us.  We will lift up the ministries that have brought us to this day and give thanks for their success and for the people who made it a success.  We want to honor the work of our pastors and our church members who have tirelessly given of themselves to create so many disciples for Jesus Christ right here on this property in the middle of Berkeley, CA.  We will give thanks for the many inspirational leaders who have come out of this church because of our love and dedication; leaders such as Bishop Grant Hagiya, DS Rev. Mark Nakagawa, DS Rev. Derek Nakano, and so many more that honestly I … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2019 September

ChangesA little over a year has gone by and it has been a whirlwind of change.Under normal circumstances, change is difficult.  And these have not been normal circumstances.  As you can imagine, after having the same pastor for 20+ years, having a new one assigned to your church can be quite a culture shift. Some of our members have never known another pastor!  So regardless of who came in, it was going to be a challenge for everyone.  There are people who have embraced the change and some who have had a tough time with it, but no matter how we faced it, change was here.  And it seemed to keep coming.Any time there is a shift in church leadership, things get re-examined as fresh eyes look at familiar situations.  Maybe something we’ve grown used to is seen in … [Read more...]