Craig’s Corner 2022 January

As has been the tradition the past few years, our first Craig’s Corner of 2022 is taken from the Pastor’s report to our annual charge conference. Not everyone gets to attend, especially this past couple of years when we’ve had to limit attendance, and even though this report is available to anyone who asks for it, I know not everyone gets a chance to read it so here it is (with some updates from when I wrote it back in October). Please enjoy! Pastor’s Annual Report The journey of faith goes on… Who would have guessed that a year after my last annual report we would still be doing virtual worship? The pandemic is still the backdrop against which everything else is measured in 2021. However, things have gotten better. With the vaccine readily available, everyone who wants it … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 December

Being prepared… But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. – Matthew 24:43-44 Advent is a time of waiting…but not idle waiting.  Just as the early Jews were preparing for the coming of Christ, so we too are preparing for his eventual return.  Whether that happens during our lifetime or not is beside the point.  It’s the journey that’s important.  I’m especially reminded at this time of the story of the Ten Virgins.  Five of them were prepared for a long wait and five were not.  The ones who were prepared … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2021 November

What I did forsummer vacation Sabbatical Having the opportunity to take time for education is a blessing!  I love learning and sometimes it’s hard to take time out from our regular routine to pursue new interests.  But it is important because when we have time to explore new ideas and new ways of thinking we have the chance to grow in new directions.   During my time away, I attended two different conferences.  The Experience Conference was all about worship and I really enjoyed it.  Not only was it well done, but they had a good slate of topics and smaller workshops to attend.  I went to one about copyright use in the streaming age, one on how to use social media effectively, and “Be Our Guest” – The Value of Positive First Impressions on … [Read more...]

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 September

“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.” – Leviticus 23:3 Sabbath. Most of us don’t take enough of it and when we do, we often don’t rest as God intended.  But rest is important.  As much as our bodies need to rest to recharge and refresh, our spirit does, too.  We rest our bodies every night and hopefully on the weekend, and scientists who study this still say it’s often not enough.  I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night!  Sleep quality is as important as sleep quantity and the more studies they do, the more they realize how much poor sleep quality can affect … [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...]