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 Worship Guests.  There were other workshops, too, but these were the ones that really caught my attention.  I still haven’t had a chance to listen to all the other workshops I wasn’t able to attend in person so I’m working on those.  I met Hosanna Wong while there.  She is incredible and so passionate about sharing the love of Christ.  She’s also from The City so it was great connecting with a fellow Bay Area person.  Her book How (Not) to Save the World just came out so I purchased that and over my sabbatical I started to read it.  Highly recommended for EVERYBODY regardless of their knowledge of the Bible.  It’s just a practical way of looking at how each one of us is equipped to share God’s love.

The other conference (Exponential Conference) was not worth talking about.  In the past, I had gone to one sponsored by the same people, but this one ended up having few good sponsors to talk with, few resources to actually use, and the speakers were not very good (for one reason or another).  I was hoping for a much better experience, but it happens from time-to-time.

Between conferences, I did a lot of learning.  Other than reading Hosanna’s book, I also worked on improving my social media skills focusing on my new website MouseChurch.  I’m hoping to create a different ministry to fuse my love of Christ with my fondness for Disney and hoping to help how we offer hospitality in the church today.  Hybrid church, online presence, social media are here to stay in one form or another, so learning about it, getting used to doing it on a regular basis, and having it augment our ministries is radically important for now and in the future.  I also signed up for some online classes to help me with writing and speaking and leadership as well as a new stewardship class about sharing your budget through narrative storytelling.  I’m only at the beginning of that one but it’s pretty interesting.

Having the time to pursue these interests, to help make me a more learned and well-rounded person and pastor, was such a blessing and one I 
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hope you’ll notice in the future.  I’m so grateful to work with a team that is talented and capable (Naomi, Jill, and Tak), for colleagues and friends like Rev. Michael Yoshii and the pastors of my Circuit Group, and for all of you.  You ARE the church!  

Peace in Christ,
Rev. Craig