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 shared, every event we’ve done comes back to this one Scripture.  Love one another. To me, that is the very essence of Christ.  His love was so great for us we are compelled to share that love with everyone.  Ultimately, it’s all about love and overcoming the obstacles that get in the way of that love.  I hope if you remember nothing else, that this will stick in your mind.  It’s all about love.

I want to challenge you to go deeper in your faith.  For some, that means leaning more on God.  For others, it means spending more time in prayer.  Still more of you might need time reading your Bible for yourself and seeing how God is speaking to you.  Invest in yourself and in your long-term future.  You are worth it.  

It’s strange to reflect on my time with you all as it comes to an end.  The highs.  The lows.  The struggles and the triumphs.  It’s hard to believe half my time spent with you has been virtual.  But even still we’ve been able to do some amazing things – like raising over $8000 to support the Black community, introducing hybrid worship, integrating online giving, doing outreach in the middle of a pandemic, restarting the Kato Scholarship program, and more.  I love the creativity we’ve had in worship!  The willingness of all of you to let us try new things as we grew together through this difficult time has been inspiring.  To everyone who participated, you are so appreciated.  Thank you for sticking with us and being open to new things.  Keep that open mind and that open heart for your new pastor so together you can grow in strength!

We only had the opportunity to do one Faith and Family Trip to Disneyland but it was so much fun!  Definitely a highlight for me.  Our Music Program under Naomi’s direction has stayed strong and experimented in new ways.  Every time I challenged her to do something different she not only exceeded my expectations but often inspired me.  And we couldn’t have done half of the things we wanted to without the skills and talent of Jill and Tak.  Working with the three of them has been just the greatest blessing.  Along the way, I had the chance to work with some other amazing people like Deacon Mike, Minister Chai, and Pastor Angel.  But none of us ccould have done any of these things without YOU!  For everyone who stepped up and took the challenge – thank you.  For everyone who walked out of their comfort zone – THANK YOU!  For all of you who had the patience to let me try something new in the hopes of adding to the legacy of this church – THANK YOU!!!  All the Halloween bags of candy, all the filled Easter Eggs, all the lights we strung outside the church – all of it was noticed and appreciated.  All the food you brought to potlucks, all the money donated to various charities, all the time you gave to volunteer – all of it was noticed and so appreciated.  And all the prayers you’ve lifted for me, for my family, for one another – all of it was noticed and appreciated.  This church is for you and because of you and for those who have yet to walk through our doors.  

May God continue to bless you and bless this church.  

As our time comes to an end, I hope you close this chapter remembering one thing – love one another. Turn the page.  It’s time for a new beginning!

Peace in Christ,

Rev. Craig