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...]

Craig’s Corner 2022 March

Getting ready for Easter! Although the mask mandate has been lifted state and county wide, our COVID team decided to remain worshipping online to get a better feel for how the infection rate will be affected by the change.  We all remember last summer when mandates were first lifted before we discovered Delta and Omicron variants to the virus and the need to shut down again because of the rapid spread of the infection.  We definitely wanted to avoid that scenario and decided to play it safe for now.   The good news is we plan to reopen on Palm Sunday – April 10.  Just in time for Easter Sunday.   We hope that the COVID infection rate and the relatively low number of cases will remain low and there won’t be a need to do anything differently.  But just … [Read more...]

Craig’s Corner 2022 February

Help Wanted! The proverb goes, “Many hands make light work.”  And it’s true.  The more hands we have, the more we are able to do together.  The saying is also true we shouldn’t “burn our candle on both ends.”  Which we seem to be doing more and more of.   It’s a delicate balance to run and maintain a church and its property.  It requires skills and knowledge that encompass a wide range of talents.  From keeping financial records, to project management, to facilities maintenance – those are just fancy words for the tasks we need to have done on a routine basis.  The more people we have who can do those jobs, the easier it is for us to do all the exciting and meaningful things we do together. The wonderful thing about BMUC is we often have … [Read more...]

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...]