A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
A Tale of Two Churches | Seward Memorial UMC
It’s like those old jokes, “There are only two seasons in Alaska. Winter’s coming and winter’s here.” Or, “Company’s coming and company’s here.” Or, “Snow and construction.” Also, some of our communities are very different between summer and winter. And that shapes our ministry. It shapes what you find when you walk through our doors.

During the summer, the City of Seward is an attractive tourist destination on eastern side of the Kenai Peninsula. It sits at the foot of the mountains holding back the Harding Ice Field, right on the waters of Resurrection Bay. From the first whiff of salmon in the air, the town comes to life and becomes a playground for people from across Alaska and around the world.

Annual Conference Registration is OPEN
Annual Conference is coming up May 31 - June 1 at Christ First UMC in Wasilla. There will be workshops held on Thursday, May 30th at Christ First UMC as well. Please make sure these dates are on your calendar if you are the Lay Member to Annual Conference from your church. An email went out to all clergy and voting delegates. You can view that email here .

There is one CORRECTION to announce: the Fact Sheet had an incorrect date (should say May 30: Pre-Conference Workshops - not May 31).

Early registration discount ends APRIL 2, so save money and register now!
A written report is expected from all committees, units, and ministries of the conference. We are asking for a half page report to be put into the Pre-Conference Handbook. The report request has already been sent out. The reports are due to the office by April 9.

Action items to be brought to the floor of Annual Conference for a vote need to be submitted to the conference office by April 9.

If your ministry would like to have a table at Annual Conference, you will need to fill out a request form. Our space is limited so plan your display accordingly. Requests are due by May 1.

Each year we ask for nominations for two awards. The first is the Outstanding Lay Person of the Year award. The second is the Harry Denman Evangelism Award (individual Lay, Clergy & Youth nominations). If you know a deserving person, nominate them by May 1.

CrossOver to Life! | Week 17
Boyle, Boyle, Toil and Trouble
By Rev. Cara Scriven
CrossOver reflection for Week Seventeen • Beginning March 24, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading the news, when I came across a familiar name—Susan Boyle. Boyle was a contestant on Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. In that episode (which you can watch here ), Boyle, an eccentric middle-aged woman, appears in an average dress and messy hair. When Cowell asks her what her dream is, she replies that she wants to be a professional singer. The television camera then pans to the audience where you see a young woman give a face that clearly implies Boyle is delusional to have this dream.

Special double issue of Methodist History available for checkout
Methodist History is available for checkout from your conference research room.

This academic journal has the following papers from that conference.
  • Merging the Streams: Pietism and Transatlantic Revival in the Colonial Era and the Birth of the Evangelical Association and the United Brethren in Christ
  • Repairing Episcopacy by Tracking that of Bishop Christian Newcomer
  • Unpopular Religion: Bishop Milton Wright and the United Brethren Schism of 1889
  • The Other Temperance Churches: The Evangelical United Brethren Tradition and Alcohol
  • Maintaining the Tradition: The Ordination of Women in the Evangelical United Brethren Church--What Really Happened?
  • "If God Calls, Dare We Falter?": The Strategic Founding and Independence of the Woman's Missionary Association of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, 1869-1877
  • Non-Merging Streams: The Continuing Problem of Race in American Methodism; and lastly, The United Methodist Church Union Fifty Years Later: The Abiding Problems of a Modernist Vision of Union.

Merging the Streams was an event held in Dayton, Ohio in July 2018 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UMC with the unification with the Evangelical United Brethren denomination.
Let's make a difference!
The UMCOR Special Sunday is this Sunday, March 31st, and we want to remind you that even though writing a check or putting cash in the offering doesn’t feel exciting, you really ARE making a difference. 
Your donations to UMCOR on this Special Sunday help:
  • In numerous disasters in the Western Jurisdiction
  • Deliver food, water, shelter, and long-term recovery assistance to help many of the 68.5 million people displaced by war, persecution, and natural disaster. 
  • Distribute relief kits to those in need following U.S. disasters

There are countless other stories about seeing God’s work in action through UMCOR. We want you to know that​ it is something we can do together to help​ give relief and spread God’s love throughout the world.

Your gifts on UMCOR Special Sunday underwrite UMCOR’s “costs of doing business.” This helps UMCOR keep the promise that 100% of any gift to a specific project will go toward that mission, not administrative costs.

This is such an important gift and one that we can do together. ​Let’s make a difference, together.

Clergy Wellness Corner: Burnout, Part Three
For the final installment of a three-part series on burnout, Rev. Lisa Talbott offers four key strategies that have helped her to recover from a ministry "stall."

While acknowledging that recovery can be a slow process, she argues that "burnout does not get the last word."

Pre-tax giving
At the beginning of each calendar year, retirees calculate their Required Minimum Distributions and begin to plan accordingly. Plus, we're all thinking about taxes. So this seemed like a good time to send out an article on pre-tax giving from traditional IRAs.

Alaska Disaster Response mini-academy
The first Alaska Disaster Response Mini-Academy will be happening on April 26  th  and 27  th  at Birchwood Camp. This will be an opportunity to receive Basic Early Response Team (ERT) training and certification, as well as training as an Volunteer In Mission Leader. Plus extras! Cost is $75 for those staying, and $50 for those commuting. For more information or to register, please check out our registration page: Alaska Disaster Response Mini-Academy . For any questions, please contact Disaster Response Coordinator, Daniel Wilcox at 907.414.7078 or danielpwilcox@gmail.com .
UM Federal Credit Union can help you refinance debt
At income tax time it is natural to review personal finances, monthly budget and any outstanding debt. Knowing interest rates on your debt will empower you to make key decisions for improving your financial future. Automobile refinancing, debt consolidation and transferring credit card balances to lower interest rates can save you money and reduce debt more efficiently.

UMFCU also offers home equity line of credit as well as mortgage lending assistance. Call the UMFCU loan department at 800-245-0433 today to talk about how your credit union can improve your financial future. Not yet a UMFCU member? Email sandra@umfcu.org to request a membership packet.
National News
United Methodists responding to Midwest floods
Every square inch of Nebraska may be hit with flooding before the waters recede, said a disaster response coordinator for the Great Plains Conference. Some people have been rescued using a tractor scoop, and cowboys from a nearby rodeo helped a local rancher round up his cattle after his fence was destroyed. The church is responding in nearby states, too.

Summer program teaches children about service
Most churches each summer offer a week of vacation Bible school filled with music, games, snacks and typical childhood activities. But at North Naples United Methodist Church, the emphasis is a little different. With the idea that "no one is ever too young to serve," the church created Serve Your World Camp. Last year, 48 campers logged 288 hours of service.

UMCOR grants aid initial cyclone response
United Methodists are starting to respond to those affected by Cyclone Idai, which left devastation in parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The United Methodist Committee on Relief has allocated three $10,000 grants to meet immediate basic human needs.

Women who shaped the United Methodist Church
Since the time of Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, women have been shaping The United Methodist Church.
In 2019, United Methodist Women marks 150 years of commitment to issues that affect women and children around the world. Videos tell the stories of some of the pioneering women in the church.

Conference Calendar
24-27: ADCM meeting
8-10: Methodist Missions Bicentennial Event
10-12: GNW Cabinet Meeting
11-12: GBGM Board Meeting
12-13: GNW Stakeholders Summit 2.0
14: Palm Sunday
15: Tax Day
21: Easter Sunday
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

April 3 -
Tim McConville

April 23 -
Karen Martin Tichenor
Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo
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 Tuesday at 9:00 am for consideration.
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.