A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
AUMC Leadership Team asks Bishop to call Special Session
During the 2016 session of the Alaska Annual Conference, General Secretary Thomas Kemper of the General Board of Global Ministries made it known that his intent was to cease the designation of “Missionary Conferences” within the geographic boundaries of the United States.

According to ¶ 587 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline only the General Conference can create a missionary conference or change a missionary conference to a provisional annual conference or an annual conference.

Because Alaska is not large enough to become either an annual conference nor a provisional annual conference, it appears our best path forward under the Discipline is as a Mission District, as described in ¶415.4 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline.

In order that United Methodists in Alaska might have some agency over their own future and which annual conference we might be aligned with, the Leadership Team voted on December 7 to ask the Bishop to call a special session of the Alaska Conference to vote on a petition to General Conference asking for Alaska to be released from missionary conference status at the close of the 2020 Jurisdictional Conference, so that the Western Jurisdiction can include Alaska within the boundaries of another conference in the same Episcopal Area.

While a district must meet one of the requirements listed in ¶415.4, Alaska definitively meets all four. In order for United Methodists in Alaska to continue in our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ, we believe becoming a mission district is in the best long-term interests of Alaska, the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area, and the denomination.
First UMC Anchorage looking for Nursery Care provider
First United Methodist Church in Anchorage is looking to hire a nursery care provider. If you are interested, please contact FUMC directly at 272-2112. They can provide the position description and the specific details.
A moment in history
History tidbit from your Conference Historian, Larry Hayden:

2020 will be the 126th anniversary of Vacation Bible School. It started in 1894 by Mrs. D. I. Miles, the wife of a Methodist pastor in Hopedale, Illinois.
November apportionment report
The Treasurer's office has sent us the apportionment report for November. Churches have less than a month for sending in the remainder of their amount to be counted for 2019.

Disaster Preparedness
Disaster Response training opportunities
Does your church has a disaster plan in place that allows for a quick way to check on your most vulnerable parishioners? Those who are disabled, the elderly, the young, the pets, etc. Do you know what role your church plays when there are power outages, flooding, fires, high wind, no service on phones, etc? There are two different training opportunities available to you from the conference if your congregation wants to strengthen your disaster preparedness.

Connecting Neighbors
This training gives you an overview of disaster response in the conference and what role your congregation can play. It also gives information about what ways your congregation can work on preparedness before a disaster hits. What neighboring congregations or non-profit connections can strengthen your response when a disaster hits?

Early Response Training
This training is for those who might be interested in responding to disasters. It is a day-long training that will prepare individuals to respond either in-state or out of state to a variety of disasters. Those completing this training will be certified and badged to respond anywhere in cooperation with UMCOR.

If you have any interest in sponsoring or hosting either of these trainings, please contact Daniel Wilcox, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator: danielpwilcox@gmail.com, or 907.414.7078.
National News
Nativity depicts Holy Family as refugees
Claremont United Methodist Church's Nativity scene, depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph in separate cages to demonstrate the Trump administration's separation of families at the border, has drawn criticism and support. The Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, pastor of Claremont, said, "We wanted the Holy Family to stand in for those nameless people because they also were refugees." James Queally reports.

Jurisdictional conference sues SMU
The South Central Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church is suing Southern Methodist University, claiming the school's board improperly moved to sever ties with the conference and denomination. SMU said it "cherishes" its relationship with the denomination but updated governance documents recently to make clear that its own board controls the school.

Coalition launches effort to resist Traditional Plan
A coalition of United Methodist groups has launched an effort called #ResistHarm to provide solidarity with LGBTQ church members and oppose the Traditional Plan, which will take effect in the U.S. on Jan. 1. The effort includes prayers, rallies and clergy support with information on ResistHarm.com.

Scripture key to first draft of WCA guidebook
The Wesleyan Covenant Association posted the first draft of a guidebook for a potential new expression of Methodism. The primacy of Scripture and clear language against the acceptance of homosexual marriage and gay clergy are contained in the document.

Conference Calendar
10-12: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
15: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
18: Charge Conference - First UMC, Ketchikan
24: Christmas Eve - Office closed half day
25: Christmas Day - Office closed
31: New Year's Eve - Office closed half day
1: New Year's Day - Office closed
9-11: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
12-14: UMC Lead - Carlo attending
20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Office Closed
20-22: ADCM Meeting - Carlo attending
23-24: Pre-General Conference Briefing - Carlo attending
26: Charge Conference - Northern Light United Church
30-Feb 1: Winter Rendezvous
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

December 10 -
David Hall

December 23 -
Christina DowlingSoka
Curtis Matz

January 5 -
Janice Carlton

January 18 -
Karen Dammann
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.