e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Episcopal Address Part 2 | Becoming Anti-Racist - Dismantling Racism

In faithfulness to Jesus’ model of inclusive love and justice, as Bishop of the Greater Northwest Area of The United Methodist Church, I am committed to leading United Methodists in the Alaska Conference, Oregon-Idaho Conference and Pacific Northwest Conference to make dismantling  systemic racism within the church and throughout society a long-term missional priority.

The Original Sin is taking what isn’t yours

After studying the scriptures and observing how people abuse their power in many inventive ways, I have come to believe that the original sin is taking what isn’t yours. Think of Adam and Eve in the garden abundant with food, animals, plants, provided by a generous Creator. Good climate. Good company. And all God asks of them is to leave one tree alone. You can have it all. Enjoy everything in this garden -- just don’t eat the fruit of this one tree. But they couldn’t resist temptation. They picked the fruit that wasn’t theirs and ate it. By this one small act, the entire balance between creator and human creatures was disrupted.

Taking what isn’t yours is not only the original sin, it is the pervasive sin throughout the human family. What is rape or sex trafficking if not an invasion and claiming of rights to another person’s body, privacy, autonomy? What is the refusal to acknowledge a person’s self-knowledge and identification as LGBTQ? Doesn’t child abuse rob the child of innocence, trust, security? What is the confiscation and removal of Native Americans from their ancestral lands and repression of their languages and cultures if not a taking? The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Armed invasions and occupations. Think of the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Employers callously take workers’ health by exposing them to pesticides, coal dust or COVID-19. Human beings are cunning in the ways they deny each other the fullness of life Jesus came for us to enjoy (John 10:10). The thing about original sin is that it is hard to give up the sweet taste of the stolen apple.

Today I want to talk with you about the original sin of enslavement and its enduring legacy of racism, especially, though not exclusively, anti-Black racism in America ...

Annual Conference Registration Closed
The Virtual Annual Conference Session registration is now CLOSED. If you missed the registration deadline, please contact the conference office directly.

GUESTS are invited to join via livestream.

The livestream link will be provided soon.
Annual Conference Working Agenda
The working agenda has been posted to the conference website.

Pre-Conference Handbook Available for download
The Pre-Conference Handbook is complete and available for download. MEMBERS, please review this material prior to the Annual Conference Session.

***A petition was inadvertently left out. It has been included now.
GNTV Practice Sessions scheduled for THIS WEEK!
MEMBERS of the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Annual Conferences are encouraged to participate in a practice session to gain familiarity with the Zoom Webinar platform and the online voting system that will be used for Annual Conference this year. 
This webinar will be led by staff from GNTV who will be helping to facilitate the technical aspects of the webinars and voting processes.
GUESTS do not need to attend this practice.
 
Practice Sessions will be offered on the following dates/times: 
 
Tuesday, September 8, 7 p.m. PT — https://bit.ly/ACpractice1
Wednesday, September 9, 1 p.m. PT — https://bit.ly/ACpractice2
Thursday, September 10, 7 p.m. PT — https://bit.ly/ACpractice3
Sunday, September 13, 6 p.m. PT — https://bit.ly/ACpractice4
 
Registration is quick, free, and required in advance.
Save the Date: Celebrating the Greater Northwest Area on Sept. 20

ANNUAL CONFERENCE AFTER PARTY IN THREE TIME ZONES!

After the Greater Northwest Annual Conferences have met September 15, 16 and 17, let’s all come together to share our challenges and triumphs as we celebrate who we are as the Greater Northwest Area on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 3 pm Alaska Time, 4 p.m. Pacific Time and 5 p.m. Mountain Time.
 
Join Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky and other guests as we reflect on this moment in the life of our churches and communities – fighting COVID-19, Dismantling Racism and Re-Imagining Life Together – and hear plans for the year ahead.
 
More details to come.
Questions can be sent to communications@greaternw.org
What of agencies in post-separation church?

Two reserve delegates to General Conference 2021 argue that the current church agency structure isn't sustainable if The United Methodist Church splits. Lonnie D. Brooks and Kelly T. Marciales write that it is time to develop a sustainable framework that enhances the church's mission.

Online worship permissions extended to Dec. 31

The United Methodist Publishing House is extending full permission to all churches for use of its copyrighted worship materials through December 2020. The Publishing House recognizes the need for easy access to key worship aids as the COVID-19 crisis persists and local churches strive to serve their communities.

Anti-racism book study

Alaska UMW has asked me to lead a book study as a member of the conference Racial Justice Committee. I have chosen Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad. I am attaching the flyer for the virtual 6-week event. We will begin Friday, September 25 and meet each Friday for 1 hour to discuss our learnings and ask questions in a safe, brave space. I hope that we can expand this to clergy and beyond UMW circles. I offer this book study to anyone who wants to engage in anti-racism work and desires a caring community to journey with them.

The link to register is: https://bit.ly/AUMWBook

Those who register will receive a link to the Zoom meeting directly from me. The registration form is also a covenant, a commitment to join and attend for 6 weeks. It is because of the sensitive nature of this topic that only those who commit to the 6 weeks will receive a link to the Zoom gathering.

Please keep this work in your prayers.

Peace to all,
Sr. Kelly Marciales
UWM Virtual Annual Conference

The theme this year is "Ignited for Justice." As we all know this year has been a lot different. We are not able to gather in person, but we will still gather. Our Annual Gathering will be held over Zoom September 18-19. We will begin the event on Friday night at 6:00 pm with a Zoom orientation. This will give us all a chance to get used to gathering in a new way. Now I know some are worried about the traditional things that we must not exclude, and don't you worry we will be ending our first evening in the traditional way with a "Bring Your Own" ice cream social and unit sharing time.

Saturday will bring special guest, Carol Barton, National Social Action Coordinator to help us see the links within our systems that have direct effect on the economic inequality and how we can continue the justice work that United Methodist Women is doing by focusing on this in our community. Vice President Jennifer Miller invites you to join in for a weekend like they have never done before. No driving, no flying, no lost luggage.

Church/Charge Conference paperwork now online

Every year, churches across the denomination have church/charge conferences with the Superintendent. Superintendent Carlo has already begun scheduling those with each of the Alaska churches. The forms are now posted on the conference website for download. Paperwork from each church is due at least two days prior to your meeting. Please send the completed paperwork to the Superintendent and the Conference Office.

Certified Lay Ministry Classes

Have you felt God nudging you to a deeper discipleship? Have you wanted to serve the church and community in a more focused way that uses your talents and God-given gifts? The United Methodist Church has a certified leadership program that equips church members to use their gifts in service to others through the church and in the world.

There are three tracks of certification available– Certified Lay Servant, Certified Lay Speaker, and Certified Lay Minister. All three tracks begin with the BASIC course, and have follow up advance coursework. Many of the advanced classes can be taken online through www.beadisciple.com.

St. John UMC will be offering the BASIC coursework on September 19 and 26 from 1pm-5pm. Attendance at both classes is required for completion.

To register for the BASIC class CLICK HERE.

To purchase your required reading, Certified Lay Ministry BASIC Participant Book CLICK HERE.

Contact the Rev. Andy Bartel with any questions. (907)344-3025 or stjohn.sjumc@gmail.com
Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course

The "Introduction to Lay Ministry: The BASIC Course" is the foundational course for Lay Servant Ministries. This is the gateway course for those who are called to be Certified Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, and Lay Ministers. And can also be part of a person's discipleship plan to acquaint you with their gifts, calling, and responsibilities as followers of Christ.

Time: Tuesdays 2-4 pm PDT September 29 through October 27
Location: Online Zoom Course
Instructor: Emilie Kroen, Oregon-Idaho Associate Lay Leader
Cost: the cost of the book
Register by September 20 - email ekroen@yahoo.com or call Emilie at 503-312-4138. Provide your Name, Address, Phone #, and your local church setting.
National News
Dotson to convene top executives' group

The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, has been elected to serve as convener of the General Secretaries Table, which comprises the chief executives of the 13 boards and general agencies of The United Methodist Church.

Women's Leadership Summit 2020

The registration site is now open for the Women’s Leadership Summit.  This global event will be held virtually on October 8-10, 2020.
 
RE-Launch offers a free resource for visioning ministry post-COVID

With the pandemic expected to rage through the coming school year, with hot spots liable to pop up almost anywhere, many churches are feeling discouraged. But with vaccines in 2021 and expected progress in defeating the disease, it is important that churches emerge from the many months of distancing and limited assembly with a plan to rev up ministry.

RE-Launch is a two-part series. Each part includes a one-hour video conversation and a guide for another hour or more of conversation with your team. It is critical that we use these months to get ready to hit the ground running in ministry. The COVID-19 disruption offers a great opportunity for jumping out of a ministry rut!

Tell the world you're taking a stand

Display your commitment to racial justice by ordering a United Methodists Stand Against Racism t-shirt – or order enough for your group! Wear the shirt to worship services, events, community gatherings and demonstrations. Sizes S - 3XL are available, in both long- and short‑sleeved styles.

Committed people of God

During the month of September, the People of God campaign will focus on our commitment to stand against racism and injustice. Bring the campaign to your church’s social media pages, worship services and other communications by downloading a suite of digital resources. Learn more about this vital work at UMC.org/EndRacism.
Meharry receives $34 million gift

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded $34 million to Meharry Medical College, one of the historically Black schools supported by The United Methodist Church's Black College Fund. The gift will provide scholarships for medical students to help increase the number of Black doctors in the U.S. by significantly reducing their debt burden.

Seminary offers tuition-free military chaplain degree

Wesley Theological Seminary is offering a tuition-free doctor of ministry program for military chaplains. Wesley plans to have the first cohort meet on its Washington campus the first week of March 2021, depending on COVID-19 policies at that time. All other coursework will be online.

Church leads storm recovery in Iowa

Church volunteers are coming from all over Iowa and other states to help after an Aug. 10 derecho that left a 700-mile path of destruction.

Conference Calendar
15: Alaska Annual Conference Session (6-9PM)
20: Greater Northwest Area-wide Celebration with Bishop Stanovsky
31: Halloween
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

September 11 -
Emily Carroll

September 17 -
Autumn Krueger

September 22 -
Won Jea Keum

September 28 -
Darla Bradley
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 Tuesday at 9:00 am for consideration.
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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 in God's preferred future.