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 to be “the church.”  We have found ways to be proactive even from our homes.  More people today are contributing to worship than ever before.  New people are lending their talents, new friends are joining us on this journey of faith, and old friends are reconnecting to our community.  We’ve learned new ways of expressing our faith while at the same time finding creative solutions to honor our traditions.  We did a virtual Flowering of the Cross for Easter.  The Virtual Choir Blast and Bento Box Dinner was a resounding success.  We still gave out candy on the street corner of Carleton and McGee for Halloween.  And we were able to commemorate the Day of Remembrance with churches from all over the country who share our historic Japanese roots.  

At the same time, we were still actively helping those around us.  We raised over $8000 for our friends in the Black community as we sought to do something to address racial injustice.  We also raised money for Thanksgiving dinners, COVID relief, and food distribution when it was sorely needed at the beginning of the pandemic.  And we spearheaded the reinstitution of the Kato Memorial Scholarship that went to two very deserving recipients.  

While we all miss the choir singing in person, we haven’t let COVID stop us from singing.  We’ve participated in a number of virtual choir performances – most of which our own Naomi Sanchez helped to lead including the Bay District Virtual Choir, singing for

Cont. on back

 our Christmas Eve worship, and singing for the NJAUMC Day of Remembrance.  We still enjoy the spirit of communion every month and memorialize those who have since passed into God’s arms.  

I am honored to serve as your pastor during this difficult time.  We really have come together to do a great many things in service to God and I know that when we return to worshipping in person, it will not stop us from being innovative for Christ.  It has been a difficult year, but we have risen to the challenge and I hope you will join me in prayer to continue seeking new, creative ways to honor the Lord.  See you at Easter!!!

Peace in Christ,

Rev. Craig