A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Post-GC2019 Webinar with Bishop Elaine
A webinar with Bishop Elaine Stanovsky will be held tonight, March 19 from 6:00-7:00 pm via the Zoom platform. Information will be shared about the actions of the recent Special Called Session of the General Conference and the impacts on mission and ministry in Alaska, the Greater Northwest Area and the Western Jurisdiction.

The list of participating locations are: Anchor Park UMC. Christ First UMC, First UMC Anchorage, First UMC Fairbanks, First UMC Ketchikan, Homer UMC, Northern Light United Church, Palmer UM Fellowship, Seward Memorial UMC, Soldotna UMC, St. John UMC, UMC of Sitka, Willow UMC.

Contact the conference office before 3 pm today if your church is not listed but is able to host.
Western Jurisdiction Progress Report
Yesterday we sent out a special email giving a progress report from the Western Jurisdiction in response to the action of GC2019. If you missed it, here is the link.
Tsunami Hospitality | Homer UMC
In Homer, Alaska, a traffic jam is when four cars pull up to the flashing red light at the same time, or when a moose decides to walk down the middle of the road instead of sticking to the sidewalk, or when a float plane is pulled out of Beluga Lake and towed to the airport down the street. These are some of the charms of small town life in Alaska, but on the morning of November 30, 2018, I found myself in a very different kind of traffic jam. As I pulled out of my street with my husband in his truck behind me, we were met with almost a mile of cars lined up heading into town away from the Homer Spit and the coast. A 7.1 earthquake had just hit South Central Alaska, and a tsunami warning had been issued. We were evacuating.

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 on Thursday of last week. 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).
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 .
CrossOver to Life! | Week 16
Valley of Grieving
By Rev. Todd Bartlett
CrossOver reflection for Week Sixteen • Beginning March 17, 2019

While on a hike after a very painful experience, TJ encountered a sign along the trail that read: “Valley of Grieving.” Curious, TJ headed down the trail. There were others on the trail, some were zooming past TJ, still others allowed TJ to pass them. Eventually, TJ realized that all of them were bent over. The load was invisible, yet the evidence of that burden was clear. TJ’s own condition of weariness became clearer with shoulders slumped and eyes looking at the ground.

After trudging uphill for what seemed an interminable length of time, going past those who had decided to stop, TJ pushed on toward the Valley of Grieving. Finally, the trail crested a ridge and headed downward.

The trail eventually settled in along a small creek. Tears welled up in TJ’s eyes. This surprised TJ because tears were not something that came easily, nor were they welcomed. The hillside oozed with its own tears.

National News
Task force to investigate GC2019 voting
General Conference organizers have appointed a task force to investigate possible improper voting at the recently completed special session of The United Methodist Church's top lawmaking body.

NCC calls for global effort to combat racist violence
In the wake of the mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand, the National Council of Churches issued a statement calling for a worldwide effort to combat racist violence. "The events in Christchurch are part of a pattern of racist and anti-immigrant shootings at mosques, synagogues, churches and other houses of worship. We remain faithful to interfaith dialogue and to solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers," the statement reads.

Guiding local church conversations following GC2019
A resource to help United Methodists process their emotions following the tumultuous special called General Conference is available from Discipleship Ministries. The resource, a two-session sample outline to guide discussions, is part of Courageous Conversations, an ongoing project to help church members move from skepticism to curiosity and even openness to encounter God’s grace. The first session focuses on participants’ emotional responses to the General Conference decisions, which will then help them engage in more thoughtful and discerning conversations in session two. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/2EM0DYA .
How do we pray when we are divided?
Divisions abound in the United Methodist Church family following the special called General Conference. To create safe space – holy ground – for the healing and transformation that is needed, The Upper Room recommends a series of resources for church members on this journey of healing and transformation. The resources include “How Do We Pray When We Are Divided?” an article by Stephen V. Doughty to help to grapple with the uneasiness of conflict as we continue to pursue prayer. For a complete list of resources, go to https://bit.ly/2STXniE .
Grief 'in one of New Zealand's darkest hours'
Expressing “deep shock and indignation,” the World Council of Churches called the killings of 49 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, an “attack on all believers” and pledged to stand in solidarity with all Muslims. The Rev. Ray Coster, a WCC Central Committee member from Aotearoa, New Zealand, said of the March 14 mosque attacks, “We share with sisters and brothers in the wider ecumenical family our pain and grief in one of New Zealand’s darkest hours and crave their prayers for the many Muslim families grieving at this time. Some of these families may be migrants or refugees. They are part of us. What we have seen today has no place in our culture.”

German church won't impose Traditional Plan bans
Stipulations in the Traditional Plan approved by General Conference 2019 are unacceptable, said the executive committee of The United Methodist Church in Germany. The committee said the church in Germany will not impose the stricter penalties on the church's provisions on homosexuality.

Episcopalians, United Methodists ponder full communion
United Methodists and Episcopalians still have scheduled votes on a full-communion agreement in 2020 and 2021. But after the special General Conference, dialogue between the denominations is in prayerful pause.

Pacific Islanders at GC 2019...Something to Celebrate
The Pacific Islanders National Caucus of the United Methodist has a newsletter they want to share with everyone of their time at GC2019. You can read it here.
A pastor's legacy: roadmap for all churches
Before he died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the Rev. Norman Tendis, a Lutheran pastor from Austria, completed a practical congregational guide to caring for the environment. Grieving staff at the World Council of Churches publicly shared the downloadable resource March 12 and spoke of his commitment and legacy.

Upper Room plans to end prayer call-ins
The Upper Room Prayer Center plans to end its live call-in ministry at the end of April and shift its focus to prayer requests posted on the online Upper Room Prayer Center Wall. United Methodist Men provide much of the volunteer time, and some say they want to find a way to continue the ministry.

Conference Calendar
19: General Conference Webinar with Bishop Stanovsky
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.