e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
Register now for the Faith-based Community Organizing learning event
This interactive workshop engages participants in tools used in faith-based organizing models across the country in ways that will revitalize leadership, develop meaningful ministry, and strengthen relationships within both the local congregation and throughout a community. This one-day seminar will offer workshops on building relational power, "one-to-one's," building effective teams, accountability, and evaluation.
 
The (2) one-day seminars will be led by Kelly Marciales, Executive Director of Valley Interfaith Action (VIA). VIA is a faith-based community organization that seeks to develop and empower leaders to surface local concerns and work together with public officials toward alleviating systemic injustice. VIA has eleven member congregations in its membership in communities across the Mat-Su Borough. Kelly is currently a Deaconess candidate in the United Methodist Church and is a member of Christ First UMC in Wasilla.
 
The first opportunity to participate in the Building Relational Churches: Faith Based Community Organizing for Congregational Renewal will be February 16 from 9 am - 5 pm.  Lunch will be included in the first option.  The second opportunity will be February 17 from 1 - 8 pm.  Dinner will be included in the second option.  Please only select one of the options during the registration process.
 
Anyone attending either of these options needs to register.  The earlier survey does not count as your registration.  The conference will pay for the travel of the clergy and one lay person from each church to attend the learning event. 
 
Winter Rendezvous committee meetings registration is now open
You can now register for the upcoming conference committee meetings. There are various events scheduled during February 15-17 so make sure you know what they are.
 
The Leadership Team will hold a retreat February 15th from 10:30 am - 6 pm.
 
Conference committee meetings will begin with dinner at 5:30 pm on February 16 and then break into committees at 6:30.  If your committee needs more time than allotted on the 16th, they will continue meeting at 9 am on February 17.
 
Anyone attending either of these events needs to register
 
Alaska Forum on a Way Forward
Anchorage's St. John UMC will host a Forum on a Way Forward for conversation on a way forward for United Methodists.  The forum will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, in the sanctuary of St. John UMC, 1801 O'Malley Rd., Anchorage AK 99507, from 2pm to 4pm.

The forum will feature a panel of six, each of whom will deliver a short presentation, followed by responses and questions from the audience.  The panel will include the following people: 
Lonnie Brooks, Lay Member of St. John UMC and Secretary of the Alaska Conference Leadership Team 
Elaine Stanovsky, Bishop of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area, which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho 
Donna Pritchard, Senior Pastor of Portland, OR First UMC and Member of the Commission on a Way Forward 
Carlo Rapanut, Superintendent of the Alaska Conference and Clergy Delegate to General Conference 2019 
Jo Anne Hayden, Alaska Conference Lay Leader and Lay Delegate to General Conference 2019 
Susan Williams, Lay Member of Anchor Park UMC of Anchorage and a Director of United Methodist Women Inc.

Andy Bartel, Lead Pastor of St. John UMC of Anchorage, will be the Forum Moderator.

We anticipate that the first hour of the forum will be consumed by the presentations with the second hour being devoted to open conversation.

This will be the first event of its kind in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area and, likely, one of the first in the entire Church.  It might be unique, up to now, in including on its panel an active member of the Council of Bishops as well as a member of the Commission on a Way Forward, both of whom will be fielding questions on the work of those two bodies related to human sexuality and how the Church will be in ministry with people who are LGBTQ.

This forum is intended to prepare people in Alaska to engage in the "Table Talks" or round table conversations about human sexuality that will happen across the Alaska Conference from March-May 2018. The forum will be made available throughout the State of Alaska electronically for those who are unable to attend in person.
 
UMW draws attention to the Super Bowl and Human Trafficking
Like any big sporting event, the Super Bowl can lead to increased demand for trafficking in persons for labor and sexual exploitation.  This Super Bowl Sunday, help us stop modern-day slavery.  Let's intercept the traffickers and reverse the momentum.

Your Alaska United Methodist Women leadership "Stand in the Red Zone" to show the desire to protect those who are vulnerable and prosecute those who commit the crime of human trafficking. Stand in a Red Zone to celebrate the potential, courage, and heart of trafficking survivors. Stand in the Red Zone so that all who have been victimized by trafficking see the United Methodist Women's Red Zone - for we will be with them from trauma to victory.

More information is available by visiting the website: https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/intercept

Please consider using the bulletin insert to share with your congregation on Super Bowl Sunday.
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
Commission moderators emphasize mission as key to way forward
The moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward are urging United Methodists to engage in reflections on where they see mission at the heart of the denomination as well as seeing mission as significant for resolving conflict. Below is the statement from Bishops David Yemba, Sandra Steiner Ball, and Ken Carter:
At the conclusion of the recent meeting of the Commission on a Way Forward, the members were asked to share three words that expressed their prayer for the church in the present moment. The 32 persons reflect the global nature of the church and a profound diversity of gender, age, theological perspective. They are laity, deacons, elders and bishops. The three words each shared then helped to create a word cloud. The more often a word is named, the larger it becomes in the word cloud (picture).

Continue reading here
Bishops, agency respond to #MeToo movement
As allegations of sexual misconduct rock Hollywood, the media and the U.S. government, United Methodist leaders acknowledge that the church also has seen such abuses of power. The Council of Bishops and Commission on the Status and Role of Women have released a statement responding to the #MeToo movement.  

Read the story
Read the statement
Way Forward fleshing out 3 possible futures
The Commission on a Way Forward is fleshing out the details of three possible models for how the denomination treats LGBTQ inclusion. Heather Hahn reports.  

Read the story
Commission prepares updated report to bishops 
Denomination's membership tops 12.5 million
The United Methodist Church's global membership exceeds 12.5 million, according to the most recent figures available to the General Council on Finance and Administration. Heather Hahn reports on numbers used to calculate General Conference delegations.
    
Read the press release on General Conference delegates
2020 General Conference delegate distribution by annual conference available
In December 2017, the Secretary of the General Conference publicly released information about the number of delegates assigned to the annual conferences within each jurisdiction and central conference for the 2020 General Conference. As directed by The Book of Discipline 2016, delegate counts for individual annual conferences were sent to the bishop and annual conference secretary of each. The full list was not made available at that time pending the completion of notifications and acknowledgements of receipt. The distribution of delegates by annual conference is now  available online.

The 862 delegates for the 2020 General Conference were proportionately distributed among annual conferences by applying a statistical formula based on the number of clergy and professing lay members of each annual conference.  These numbers are reported in the annual conference journal and confirmed through data comparisons.
Fifth-graders help right 60-year-old wrong
About 60 years ago, the Rev. Gilbert Caldwell and his wife, Grace, were denied their reservation at their honeymoon destination because they are black. Fifth-graders heard about the United Methodist couple's experience and began a letter-writing campaign to right the wrong. Steve Hartman reports.  

Watch the video
Local churches to be listed on Guidestar
Local churches and other United Methodist organizations will soon have new avenues to receive donations. The General Council on Finance and Administration has worked to get Guidestar, a respected database of nonprofits, to list these United Methodist groups. That means that United Methodist churches and organizations can be recognized as charitable organizations by Guidestar partners such as Amazon Smile, Network for Good, Facebook and Google for Nonprofits. 

Read press release
To sign up
UMW announces 2018 Assembly speakers
Speakers for the 2018 Assembly of United Methodist Women will include a Nobel Peace Prize winner from Liberia, the author of a critically acclaimed book about mass incarceration, and a scientist who is bridging the gap between science and religion. The theme of the May 18-20 meeting is "The Power of Bold." The event will mark the official celebration of UMW's 150th anniversary. 
 
Read the press release
Scholarships offered for 2018 UMEIT and NWCU events
The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults (age 21-35) to attend the 2018 United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT:USA) and the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) this Spring.

UMEIT is the annual training in the United States for United Methodists engaged in ecumenical and inter-religious ministry through the church. The NWCU is an opportunity for Christians who care about ecumenical and inter-religious ministry to learn and network.

The 2018 sessions will be in Silver Spring, Maryland, from April 16-19, 2018.

United Methodist scholarship applications open
The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry has opened scholarship applications for college, university and seminary studies in Fall 2018. You need only to submit one application per year. That application will be screened for all possible eligible programs. The applications are due by March 7.

Learn more
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
January
29-31: ADCM meeting in Atlanta - Carlo attending

February
3: Alaska Forum on A Way Forward @ St. John UMC Anchorage
15-17: AUMC Winter Rendezvous & Learning Event
20-22: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending

March
2-3: GNW "Table Talks" Facilitator Training event - Carlo attending
8-11: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
24: AUMC Leadership Team meeting
New Office Hours
Office Hours
The Conference Office has new hours!
 
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:00 am 
happy_birthday_candles.jpg

Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays
 
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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