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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]