Craig’s Corner 2019 September


A 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 a new light.  Maybe something we’ve been doing turns out not to be the best way to do it.  And sometimes old policies need to be updated to keep the church safe.  That’s what happened to us over this past year as we took a deeper look at our finances, our property, and our children.  But thankfully, in large part to the wonderful folks who have been taking care of these things, we are moving in a direction which will make our church stronger and more secure.  But again, more change.

And now this…

We watched as a group of our youth grew up before our eyes.  Along the way, we added even more until this June we celebrated as six seniors graduated from high school to pursue new ventures in life.  Overnight, our youth program changed drastically.  

Deacon Mike who had been working with our staff at BMUC left to pursue new challenges and new frontiers.  He had been at our church for over 15 years and we had watched him evolve in his faith as he went through seminary and became an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church.  No small feat to be sure.  And now he was leaving to help out our neighbors at Twin Towers UMC in Alameda.  We said our goodbyes and blessed his continued journey of faith.

And then Chai announced he would be leaving us beginning in September.  He has been hired as the Director of Student Life at Graduate Theological Union – the school he received his doctorate from!  This will be a full-time job and will be a wonderful opportunity for him and for Callie to grow together in their marriage and in life.  But we will miss him as we have missed Rev. Naomi, our seniors, and Deacon Mike before him.  So much change in just one year.  

Amidst all of this, our conference is taking a directional change in how we approach ministry.  It’s been said in the past that all church is local and that is never more true than it is today.  Our district in particular has been selected by Bishop Carcano to participate in a pilot program aimed at strengthening our church – through change.  And as you know, our denomination has struggled with how we will deal with the growing differences between us.  Big change might be on the horizon for the UMC and that unknown has been a source of stress for many.  

This month, we will be taking a long, hard look at change.  How we approach it and why it’s necessary.  Come and join us as we explore this difficult topic together and challenge yourself to look into the future and see what is possible!  

Peace in Christ,