e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
Learning Event and Winter Rendezvous
Our Learning Event will be February 16-17, 2017 (Thursday 1:00 pm - Friday 3:00 pm) followed by the Winter Rendezvous (Conference committee meetings) on February 17-18, 2017 (Friday evening - Saturday afternoon). The Learning Event will focus on Creating New Places for New People and Nurturing Vital Congregations with Rev. Dr. Bill Gibson and Rev. Steve Ross as our main resource people.  You can find the event flier here.  You can register for the event here.

To prepare for the learning event, here's some homework for you:
1. Form a Vitality Team in your local church.
2. Read and study the following documents together
a.  Northwest Adventure: New Church Development in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area ( click here to download)
b. Renewal Northwest: Congregational Vitality in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area ( click here to download)
3. Access and study your mission field's demographics through  MissionInsite. Each church in the Alaska Conference has access to this demographic service. For more info on how to log-in, contact Crystal Feaster at the Conference Office.
4. Test the results of your demographics study by interviewing key people in your community. Guide questions for this will be made available soon.

You can register for the Winter Rendezvous committee meetings here.  For specifics about the Rendezvous schedule, look here
Celebration of Ministry for Fran Lynch
After 20 years of ministry to Willow, Anvik, and Grayling, Fran Lynch will be retiring on February 2nd. The congregation of Willow United Methodist Church would like to invite you to a Celebration of Ministry on Sunday, February 12th, from 2:00-5:00pm at the church, mile 67.5 Parks Highway in Willow.

This will be an open reception time, with a brief program at 3:30 pm. Whether you can attend or not, we invite you to send notes of thank-you, memories, or stories to
WillowUM@mtaonline.net , or Willow UMC, P. O. Box 182, Willow, AK 99688.
Final 2016 Apportionment Report
Money
Here is the  final apportionment report for 2016 .  24 of our churches paid 100% of their apportionments! Congratulations to you!
Prayers for the Conference Office
When I asked last week for prayers for the person or persons who broke into the building, I guess I should've asked for prayers for the conference office as well.  On Sunday of this week it was discovered that a zone valve had failed and there was a tropical rain forest occurring in two of the conference offices.  Once the water was shut off, crews were able to get in and do repair work on the zone valve and begin to remove the water that had accumulated everywhere.  We truly pray that these issues won't become a weekly occurrence!

During this time of "drying out," the conference office has relocated across the hall and is continuing to operate as best we can.  We do have phones and internet so there shouldn't be a problem getting hold of us.  This is getting to be a little too much for us to handle all at once, but we are persevering.  Thank you for your prayers.
Abundant Health Can Happen in Alaska
In the name of our Savior, Jesus the Christ, I greet you from Eagle River, Alaska. I'm looking forward to the next 4 years with you and know that we can meet the 10,000 Church Challenge for Abundant Health.
 
Approximately 16% of Alaska's children live in poverty, or 31,000 children across the state. The numbers vary across our state with Anchorage having the fewest children living in poverty (8%) to Nome having the most (34%).

Read the rest of the letter from Sandra Woods here.
NATIONAL NEWS
Dorothy Height Stamp Debuts February 1
Dorothy Height, a United Methodist who championed civil rights and women's rights over a long career, is the subject of a U.S. Postal Service stamp that goes on sale Feb. 1Read the story.
40 United Methodists in New U.S. Congress
The overall number of United Methodists in the U.S. Congress has dipped to 40, but at least two appointees to President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet are United Methodists.

Read the story

2017 Scholarship Applications Period Now Open
The Fall 2017 application for scholarships managed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry opened January 3, 2017. The application period closes March 1, 2017.

Visit the Scholarship Portal on UMC.org to learn more about scholarships that may be available for your students.

Learn more here
GBHEM Begins 2017 with Updated Mission and Vision
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) today announced the launch of a new mission and vision. The updated mission and vision simplify GBHEM's role as the primary leadership development agency for The United Methodist Church.
 
GBHEM's New Mission and Vision:
Mission
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's mission is to lead and connect the educational and ministerial life of The United Methodist Church.
 
Vision
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry will continue to transform the world through the power of education and ministry in the Methodist tradition. We will serve God and the worldwide Church in recruiting, nurturing, and educating lay and clergy leaders who seek wisdom and live ethically as God's peacemakers.

Read the rest of the press release here.
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
January
17-20: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
25-29: WJ Leadership meetings - Carlo attending
27-29: UMW Executive Team meeting in Anchorage
29-Feb 1: ADCM Meeting in Phoenix - Carlo attending

February
7-8: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
9: Charge Conference - UMC of Sitka
16-17: Conference Learning Event at Conference Center
17-18: Winter Rendezvous Meetings at Conference Center
27-March 3: GNW Cabinet in Seattle - Carlo attending

March
13-17: ASD Spring Break
Conference Office Email Address has Changed
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We have changed the conference office email from umc@gci.net to alaskaumc@gmail.com.  For workflow ease, we are consolidating everything to the Google platform (email, calendar, etc.).  Please update your address books/contacts lists and start using alaskaumc@gmail.com for your emails to the conference. Carlo's email ( carlorapanut@gmail.com) will remain the same.
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Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays
 
January 18: Karen Dammann

February 19: Steve Fisher



Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340
Submissions - If you have an article or event that you would like to share with the rest of the conference, submit it to the conference office by Monday evening for consideration.
AUMC Logo Mission Statement:
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  Held and supported by the transforming relationship with God through Christ, we of the Alaska United Methodist Conference seek to be a community that creates a home for all peoples, finds our hope through grace and journeys together into God's preferred future.
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