e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
Annual Conference Save the Date
In case you do not already have the date on your calendar, this year's Annual Conference will be held June 2-3 at UMC of Chugiak.  There will be a day of workshops on June 1, prior to the Annual Conference.

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky writes, "The theme for annual conference for the next four years will be "Do This and You Will Live!" taken from Luke 10:26-28. Jesus' instructions are a rich lesson, "...You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself."  In this short exchange with a legal expert, Jesus explains the why of our faith, and the mission of the church. The reason Jesus came, the reason we follow and love is so that we can live a truly abundant life."

Read more about the theme and logo.

In the weeks to come, more information about Annual Conference will be posted.
Western Bishops Share Messages of Lent
The bishops in the Western Jurisdiction will offer messages of faith each week of Lent, with the prayer that God will strengthen the Church for its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Bishop Minerva Carcaño offers the third in a series of Lenten messages.  Bishop Carcaño serves the California-Nevada Conference.  Reflecting on Psalm 21, she shares, "Recently I met a modern-day Psalmist; a woman who said, 'Let us pray to God to shield us so that those who seek to harm us will not be able to see us.' She is an immigrant, sojourning in a foreign land seeking to sustain herself and her family."  Read her Lenten message: The Lord is Your Keeper.
 
Last week, the message came from Bishop Grant Hagiya of the California-Pacific Conference.   Read his reflection on the Western Jurisdiction website.

The first message came from our very own, Bishop Elaine Stanovsky.  You can read her message here.
Corrected Thornberry Email Link
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We sent out news last week about the passing of Rev. Dr. Milo Thornberry.  We provided an email for his wife, Connie.  The link was inaccurate.  Here is the corrected email link for her.
Update Insurance Information by April 1
In a letter that was mailed out to each church on January 3rd, the Conference Treasurer has requested that each church and/or group that is covered under the Conference Group Fire and Liability Insurance program send updated information by April 1st.

It says, "The program is based on accurate reporting of values and contractual risk factors.  With it now being a few years since the program incepted, the insurer would like updated information on your congregation's operations.  We ask if you may complete the enclosed application and return it to us..."

This is a friendly reminder to make sure you begin working on the renewal with the updated information and get it sent into Van Vong with Marsh as well as Brant Henshaw, Conference Treasurer.
Anchorage First UMC Foundation Grant
The First United Methodist Church Foundation (Anchorage) is accepting applications for grants to be used for educational benefits, scholarships, outreach to the community and the world, and capital projects for the First United Methodist Church, Anchorage. Applications are available at the First United Methodist Church or click here Applications should be concise and fit within the one page application. Submissions must be received by 31 March, 2017 .

The First United Methodist Church Foundation was formed on January 13, 1991. It was formed from the First United Methodist Church Endowment which began in 1989. The purpose of the Foundation was to distribute dividend profits to various charity organizations. Grant requests can be used for educational benefits, scholarships, out reach into the community and the world, and capital projects for the First United Methodist Church.

Since currently this is a relatively small fund, all grant requests received will be prioritized by the committee in accordance with the bylaws and selected by the majority members of the Fou
ndation. Selected grant approvals will be notified and receive their funds in a short period of time afterwards. Unfortunately not all grants can be approved, but as the fund grows, this Foundation will be able to help others.
"Walk With Wholeness" - Spiritual Growth Retreat
Come Join Us for the 2017 Spiritual Growth Retreat hosted by United Methodist Women
 
"Walk With Wholeness"
March  31 - April 2, 2017
North Star Bible Camp, Willow Alaska
 
Registration is $160
Deadline Extended: ALL REGISTRATIONS ARE DUE BY  MARCH 22, 2017
 
We are excited to welcomPraveena Balasundaram from the United Methodist Women's National Office as our Retreat Leader and Rev. Lisa Talbott, from Homer UMC, as our Retreat Clergy.

You can download the registration form from our website.
  If you prefer, you can fill out your registration form online and then mail in your payment.
 
Please plan to join us for this wonderful spiritual growth opportunity!
Willow UMC Gives Strong Support to Prison Ministry
Paul Williams has a passion for prison ministry. Paul attended his first KAIROS retreat as a youth with his dad. An adaptation for prison ministry has proven to be effective for inmates as they prepare for release and reentry in to society.

A KAIROS event was held at the Wildwood Correctional Center the weekend of February 10-11. This was the 6th occasion that Paul has participated as a mentor/friend.  Paul shares, "the emphasis was LLLL - Listen, Listen, Love, Love. 36 residents participated including those who wanted to explore their spiritual life from the general population and a group that would soon be released for reentry into the broader community.

There were over 30 churches involved with United Methodist participation from Kenai, N. Star, St. Peter the Fisherman (Ninilchick) and the Willow UMC.  Since this is a religious event in a state facility, all meals for the weekend have to be paid for with private funds. Walt Hays was able to bring $530.00 from his church and community to pay for meal tickets. One generous person gave $500.00! In addition, 900 dozen cookies were baked by church groups as a special treat for the weekend - 100 dozen came from Willow UMC!

Paul is an active member of the Willow UMC, has participated on mission teams that served in Tonga and Guatemala and has been the Alaska Conference representative to the triennial national United Methodist Men's (UMM) Gathering. The UMM of St. John help provide travel funds for Paul for this experience.

Clear Appointment Openings
A list of churches that are open for appointment can be found on the Greater NW Area website. As appointments are announced and the appointment process unfolds, new clear openings will be added to the list. See the latest.
NATIONAL NEWS
Karen Oliveto's Election as Bishop Was a Movement of the Holy Spirit
During the Western Jurisdiction meeting in Scottsdale Arizona last July, Bishop Karen Oliveto was elected.  She became the first open lesbian bishop to be elected in the United Methodist Church.

It's time for The United Methodist Church to learn the real story behind the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto from the perspective of Western Jurisdiction delegates that elected her in July 2016.

Read the message here.
Women in Ministry Find Shoulders to Stand On
Women in The United Methodist Church often draw inspiration from those who have helped pave the way for them, from historical figures to more recent ground breakers like Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly, the denomination's first African-American female bishop. Even today, however, clergy and laywomen are challenged simply because of their gender. A few women share their thoughts for Women's History Month.

Read the story

UMM to Host Transformational Gathering this Summer
One thousand men are expected to come together for worship, workshops, service projects and fellowship at the  National Gathering of United Methodist Men on July 7 and 8. Held at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, the event will inspire attendees to embrace new possibilities for ministry and discipleship.

"This is not an event to just have a good time and learn things - it will change your life and change the lives of people around you," said Gil Hanke, general secretary of the General Commission on United Methodist Men (GCUMM). "This gathering challenges men to change their behavior, encouraging them to become more Christ-like in their daily lives. Men will be transformed into a more disciplined disciple."

Read the rest of the press release here
UMW 3rd Annual Day of Giving - March 23
United Methodist Women will have their 3rd Annual Day of Giving on March 23, 2017.

The money received from A Day of Giving goes to The Legacy Fund, a permanent endowment fund, established to support the mission outreach of future generations of United Methodist Women.

The March 23 Day of Giving honors the women at Tremont Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts that first organized for missions in 1869. The Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, a predecessor of United Methodist Women was established and women around the country raised money to send a doctor, Clara Swain, and a teacher, Isabella Thoburn, to India as missionaries to serve the women of that nation.
 
You can donate through any of these options: 
  • Online at  www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/legacyfund.
  • Phone: 800-278-7771 (8 a.m.-6 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday).
  • Text Legacy150 to 41444.
  • By check to Office of the Treasurer, United Methodist Women,
    475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115.
    Write "The Legacy Fund" in the memo section.
 
Consider a $15, $150, or even $1,500 contribution, in recognition of the upcoming 150th anniversary, or $18.69, $186.90, or even $1,869, in recognition of the year of United Methodist Women's founding.
UMCOR Sunday - March 26
UMCOR Gifts to UMCOR Sunday lay the foundation for all United Methodist Committee on Relief work by covering the costs of doing business. This means all contributions designated to specific programs can go 100 percent to these programs because UMCOR's basic expenses are covered.
Heritage Sunday is May 21
Heritage Sunday
This year's theme is: "MILESTONES - Calling Local Churches to Discover and Celebrate Their History." Resources to guide and assist planning your local church Heritage Sunday celebration are available on the GCAH website. Heritage Sunday (para. 262, 264.1) calls every congregation to remember United Methodist heritage as a source of inspiration for ministry in the present and shaping vision for the future.
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
March
13-17: ASD Spring Break
18: Leadership Team meeting
23: UMW Day of Giving
31-April 2: Women's Spiritual Growth Retreat

April
16: Easter
18-20: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
20-22: GBGM Board Meeting in Atlanta - Carlo attending
23-24: UMDF Board Meeting in Austin - Carlo attending

May
6: Leadership Team meeting
21: Heritage Sunday
22-25: GNW Cabinet meeting in Seattle - Carlo attending
29: Memorial Day - Office Closed
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
 
March 21: Nico Romeijn-Stout
March 25: Evelyn Erbele
March 29: Doug Handlong

April 3: Tim McConville
April 12: Robert Hicks
April 22: Melissa Engel
April 23: Karen Martin Tichenor



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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