A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
CrossOver to Life! | Week Four
Boundary Crossers
By Rev. Shalom Agtarap
CrossOver reflection for Week Four · Beginning December 23, 2018

A spiritual mentor gifted me the book, "Soul Sisters" by Edwina Gateley, poetry inspired by the surprising women who show up in scripture. This book is one of the few physical gifts from my ordination that continues to bless me in its probing invitation to experience God through the perspective of dear ones on the margins.

Both Brian McLaren and Edwina Gateley shine the spotlight on the surprising people who show up in Jesus' genealogy. McLaren takes special note of the bold women, low-ranked shepherds, and the impoverished in Jesus's story while the poetry from "Soul Sisters" highlights the messiness and even violence present in the lives of marginalized people.

Who are the marginal people in our communities today? Who are those crossing boundaries that define them as stranger, "receiver of hand-outs" and "needy?" I try to imagine labels-"refugee," "alien," "immigrant," "foreigner,"-and how they might feel when said about me. I let the uneasiness creep in and the discomfort fill me. On a deeper level, I am transported to personal experiences my family has endured as strangers in a new land. I notice the anger at how my parents were treated and if I stay with these emotions long enough, I also notice gratitude. I notice those who crossed boundaries with us.

It is in these moments where I steady myself in the promise of the One who accompanied my migrant family and continues to accompany landless masses, half a world away or right outside on my sidewalk. The hope present in Mary's story is that she, and all who are "othered" with her-are called "highly favored one" by God.

Who else in your life and community are pushing through, fleeing violence, clutching their babies, "to feed the Son of God?" May we be bold like all the surprising people in Jesus' life who, through daily acts of courage and deep faith in God, feed, clothe, and raise the incarnate of God in our midst.
Pop up mission project for AK Child & Family
AK Child & Family Would you like to help make t-shirt pillows for each resident at AK Child and Family?  Well, come to the United Methodist Church of Chugiak on January 16b and/or 17, 2019.

Each shirt will have the resident's name printed on it. On January 20, the pillows will be distributed during a Naming Ceremony.

Last year we assembled 60+ t-shirts. So, if we have lots of machine operators and stuffers, one day might suffice. Stay as long as you are able. Lunch is included.

More details to come.

Jan Wachsmuth
United Methodist Church of Chugiak
Apportionments to date
Money Here is the apportionment report as of December 20.
Youth Mission Immersion
This Mission Immersion weekend will offer opportunities to grow in our faith as we serve our local community.  We  will gather in fellowship with youth from across Alaska for this Mission Immersion Experience.  Some of the places we've served at in past Mission Immersions include Habitat Restore, FISH, Pioneer Home, Anchorage Rescue Mission, Beans Cafe & Habitat for Humanity.  We'll meet on Friday night and have time of worship & fellowship.  We stay overnight at St. John and then go out into Anchorage and serve all day Saturday!

January 18 at 7 p.m. - January 19th at 4:30 p.m.
Register online at: stjohneagle.com/youth
For more information, contact Robbie Brawner or Danna Larson 
Holiday hours
The Conference Office will be closed December 28 and December 31-January 1.  We will have normal hours on December 26-27 and January 2-4.  We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Christmas greetings from Bishop Carter and the Council of Bishops
In a Christmas message to the people of The United Methodist Church on behalf of the Council of Bishops, Council president Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr., encourages us, with a message from Isaiah 11, to be a sign of God's peaceable Kingdom.
2018: Remembering influential Christians
United Methodists in 2018 marked the deaths of multiple trailblazing women, a Holocaust survivor and a world-changing evangelist who transcended denominational lines. 
Read the story
Information about the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference
The the Greater Northwest Area website has a page displaying collected information from a number of sources about the Special Session of the General Conference which will be held in St. Louis this February. Hopefully it is a helpful launchpad for those who want to refresh their understanding, get a better grasp upon some of the moving pieces, or dig deeper into the materials delegates will consider.
Check it out! Content will continually be added as new things are presented.
2019 Standard Mileage Rates
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be 58 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3.5 cents from the rate for 2018.

See the news release
New year, new name
"Communication Essentials" will be headed your way in 2019! The "Resources for Ministry" e-newsletter will have a new look and name next year, but it will continue to provide resources, tools, ideas and information to support your church's communication and outreach efforts. 

28: Office Closed
31: New Years Eve - Office Closed

1: New Years Day - Office Closed
7: Charge Conference - First UMC Anchorage/First Samoan UMC of Anchorage
8: Charge Conference - Anchor Park
13: Charge Conference - First UMC Fairbanks
15-17: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
18-25: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
20: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
22: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
25: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
27: Charge Conference - Northern Light United Church

Clergy Birthdays
  January 5 -
Janice Carlton

January 18 -
Karen Dammann

Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo
Office Hours
Office Hours
The Conference Office hours are:
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:30 am 
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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