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...]

Bring Treats for the Easter Egg Hunt!

We need your Easter eggs! Drop off filled eggs / Easter treats at the church before Saturday 4/3!Drop off by appointment; just contact Rev. Craig (craigy@bmuc.org)Each child / family will receive about 8 eggs / treats eachPlease stuff your eggs with individually wrapped items only We need your eggs! We are hoping for a great turnout for our traditional Easter egg hunt and want to make sure we have enough eggs for however many kids show up. It's okay if we have "too many" eggs. Can you really have too many by the way? Any extra eggs we have, we will donate to a local shelter. So don't be afraid to bring eggs to the church! Just make sure you drop them off before Saturday 4/3 so we have them in time for the event. https://youtu.be/oXwtKvkRyzs How to fill an Easter … [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...]

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...]

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...]