A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
The Sanctuary Doors | Birchwood Camp
Birchwood Camp’s mission is to build community on common ground. We strive to offer hospitality to all, and we open our doors to groups both religious and secular. Guests are invited to retreat to a place of tranquility, a place apart from the everyday world to experience renewal and inspiration. A year-round camp and retreat center in Chugiak, nestled between the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet just 30 minutes north of Anchorage. The camp, which has been in operation since 1961. Guests and campers enjoy scenic views, beautiful Psalm lake, idyllic log cabins, multi-purpose meeting spaces, hiking trails & outdoor spaces, opportunities for outdoor recreation, education, & team building, and much more on the 160 acre property. The serene setting invites guests to take a break, to let go of the stress and chaos of everyday life and retreat to a place of peace, tranquility, personal growth, and learning. We offer rental and program opportunities for community groups, schools, churches, businesses, and private events. We have facilities available for rental for groups up to 100 people and we are open year-round. We also offer team building opportunities on our low-ropes challenge course.

CrossOver to Life! · Week 47
Rivalry or Reconciliation
by Nancy Tam Davis
CrossOver reflection for  Week 47 • Beginning October 27, 2019

Chapter 8 of Brian McLaren’s book  We Make the Road by Walking  addresses the choice of rivalry or reconciliation. When faced with a loss, or even the fear of loss, we make a choice. Sometimes that choice is conscious; often, it is not. The loss can be something I would consider trivial, like losing a game of checkers. Other losses can be life-threatening. What is a substantial loss for me may be insignificant to you. The issue is that we reach a point of choice, a decision to enter into rivalry, or we find a way to reconcile the loss.

Change your clock!
Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour Saturday night. If you do forget, and find you've shown up at church an hour early, join in on one of the Sunday School classes that might be occuring!
Memorial service for Aleen Fison
Aleen Fison passed away on October 20, 2019.

A graveside service presided over by Rev. John Shaffer occurred today, October 29th in Ferndale, WA. A memorial service will take place at St. John UMC in Anchorage, AK led by Rev. Andy Bartel on Saturday, November 16th at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to AK Child & Family and St. John UMC . If you would like to send a card of condolence to the family, send them to Jayne Mason at 25005 SE 384th St. Enumclaw, WA 98022.
Birchwood Camp
Annual auction this Sunday
You are cordially invited to the Annual Auction and Dinner at Birchwood Camp, the Lodge, on Sunday, November 3, 2019 beginning at 5pm. Please feel free to invite friends and family. Please RSVP to info@birchwoodcamp.org
Anchor Park's annual holiday auction
Anchor Park's Annual Holiday Auction organized by the United Methodist Women is scheduled for Saturday, November 9th! Join friends for this year's fun event from 10:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. The lunch cost is $17. Please call the church office at 277-0152 to RSVP by November 7.

They welcome donations of home crafted/baked items and want to encourage receipt of all donations by November 7th.

This is a great way to have fun and support mission projects focused on women, children, and youth in Alaska, the United States, as well as the world.
First UMC Anchorage to celebrate 75th anniversary
Come and join the celebration of First UMC Anchorage and their 75 years of faith. Their special worship service will be at 10:00 a.m. on November 10th with Rev. John Tindell leading the service; followed by a potluck to celebrate at 11:30 a.m.

They could not be where they are today without the stories of all who have been there. Share your story! Please send copies of pictures and stories to the church office so they can have them on display to share.
Youth Mission Immersion 2020
The 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, and Habitat for Humanity. We'll meet on Friday night and have a time of worship and fellowship. We stay overnight at St. John UMC and then go out into Anchorage and serve all day Saturday!

January 17th at 7 p.m. - January 18th at 4:30 p.m.

Register online starting November 1st at stjohneagle.com/youth

For more information, contact Robbie Brawner or Danna Larson.
Are you an electrician?
Girdwood Chapel is looking for a volunteer electrician to help them troubleshoot a small exterior lighting problem. Lunch at the Bake Shop provided as a thank you! Contact Pastor Nico if you are willing to help.
National News
Top court to look at church disaffiliation rules
An amended request from the Council of Bishops now asks the denomination's top court to consider the implications of the General Conference Commission's finding that four ineligible voters cast a ballot during votes on disaffiliation legislation. The amended request is part of the 18-item docket when the United Methodist Judicial Council meets Oct. 29-Nov.1.

Purple scarves for GC2020
Every person involved in the 2020 General Conference will get a purple scarf for comfort and as a symbol of the radical hospitality the Minnesota Conference intends to give to visitors. About 13,000 scarves were knitted by folks at more than 215 Dakotas and Minnesota churches.

Conference charts 'way forward' with LGBTQ people
The Greater New Jersey Conference voted to allow churches to include and affirm LGBTQ people by forming covenant relationships, while still giving congregations the right to agree to disagree.

All Saints Day: A holy day John Wesley loved
On November 1, we celebrate people of faith who have gone before us. Who will you remember? The journal of the Methodist movement’s founder and a hymn by his brother Charles remind us why it matters.

Revised Social Principles introduced to church
Legislation for the revised United Methodist Social Principles has been submitted to the 2020 General Conference and is online in seven languages for review and discussion. A writing team of more than 50 church members — from the central conferences in the Philippines, Congo, West Africa, Central and Southern Europe, Northern Europe and Eurasia and the five U.S. jurisdictions — worked on the document.

UM News to host Pre-General Conference briefing
United Methodist Communications and the UM News team will host the Pre-General Conference Briefing Jan. 23-24 at the Omni Hotel in Nashville in preparation for the 2020 General Conference. The briefing aims to help delegates, communicators, agency and annual conference staff and other interested parties prepare for the denomination's legislative body when it meets in Minneapolis May 5-15.

What does the UMC say about Halloween?
At this time of year, stories circulate about this odd holiday. But did you know that All Hallows’ Eve actually has its roots in the church?

United Methodist works to preserve Native American heritage
A United Methodist of Cherokee descent encourages better understanding and appreciation of Native cultures. As the U.S. begins Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate this rich heritage.

In US, Christianity's decline continues
Christians are still the majority in the United States, but a shrinking one. Pew Research Center telephone surveys in 2018 and 2019 found 65% of U.S. adults identify as Christian, down from 77% a decade ago. Meanwhile, the percentage of the religiously unaffiliated continues to rise.

New resource for discussing giving
A new Generosity Pastor and Leaders' Kit is now available to help church leaders talk to their congregations about generosity and giving, highlighting the impact their giving makes in the lives of individuals around the world. The kit features customizable bulletin covers, sermon starters and offering slides, which could be especially useful during fall stewardship campaigns.

Give love, joy, hope and peace
Global Ministries, the worldwide mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church is inviting members to give love, joy, hope and peace through their year-end giving campaign.

Starting November 1, the agency will share stories of the transformational work and the ways financial gifts through The Advance impact lives.

Podcast helps clergy with preaching
“Word on the Street,” a biweekly podcast aimed at preaching excellence, is designed to help clergy think about unusual ways to use the lectionary text and other relevant passages of the Bible. The first episode launched Oct. 21. Participants are ordained and provisional elders and deacons, licensed local pastors and a few guests.

Conference Calendar
31: Halloween
3: Charge Conference - Christ First UMC
7: Charge Conference - Willow UMC
10: Charge Conference - Girdwood Chapel UMC
10: Charge Conference - Jewel Lake Parish
11-13: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
14-16: WJ Summit - Carlo attending
16-17: WJ Mission Cabinet - Carlo attending
18: Charge Conference - First Anchorage/First Samoan UMC
19: Charge Conference - Palmer UM Fellowship
20: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
21: Charge Conference - UMC of Chugiak
23: Charge Conference - Kenai UMC
23: Charge Conference - North Star UMC
23: Charge Conference - St. Peter the Fisherman UMC
24: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
26: Charge Conference - Anchor Park UMC
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

November 6 -
Fa'atafa Fulumu'a

November 9 -
Murray Crookes
Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo

The NEW Conference Office hours are:

Monday - Friday: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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.