e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
When Your Doors Are Like Hatches | Unalaska UMC
Fishing boats have holds. After they pull nets or long lines or pots from the Bering Sea onto the deck and sort the catch, the abundant resources of the sea fall through a hatch into the hold. The front doors of the Unalaska United Methodist Church are like a hatch to a hold. Nearly everyday, as people transition off the island, household goods, clothes, beds and cribs, appliances and furniture make their way to the arctic entry of the church. Volunteers sort and organize the materials and store them in sections of the church like reuse/recycle holds. 

People transition onto the island nearly everyday, too. Oftentimes they move with only the most essential of items, such as a week’s worth of clothes, lawn furniture, a pot and a pan, and sleeping bags. I know because that is what my family and I did! The good news is that Unalaska United Methodist Church has holds full of stuff to help set up a home.

CrossOver to Life! · Week 39
God in the End
Rev. Daniel Miranda
CrossOver reflection for  Week 39 • Beginning September 1, 2019

About 12 years ago, while serving a church in central Washington, I experienced one of the worst times in ministry — seven funerals in eight weeks! It was exhausting and depressing. There was a sense of dread as the congregation and I navigated through each of these weeks. And yet, these were not simply funerals; they were celebrations of faithful women and men who had served, worked, loved, and made a difference in our community. Every so often, I remember those months and recall both the sadness and the promise of homecoming for those faithful people to their Lord. I hold on to some good memories and wish there had been more time with these dear friends.

From this side of existence, it is impossible to know what it will be like in the end. Brian McLaren says that some anticipate “catastrophe” and “collapse” while others imagine “a Big Celebration.” Like our author, I dream of a celebration where you and I are welcomed by God, even though we are prodigal children. Then, we will finally understand the fullness of love and grace.

Alaska Conference Special Sunday
September 8, 2019
The Alaska United Methodist Conference is a Missionary Conference in the United Methodist Church and has relied upon the support of churches around the denomination as it has been in ministry with the people of “The Last Frontier.”

In continuing this tradition of partnership, September 8, 2019 is being celebrated as an Alaska Conference Special Sunday, with an offering to support the continuing work of the Alaska Conference. Your gifts will help our 28+ churches and ministries continue to bring the love of Christ in some challenging and wonderful environments–spread over 650,000 square miles.

Donate to Alaska Disaster Preparedness and Response fund!
As the fires burn throughout our state, and recovery from the Nov. 30 earthquake continues, please remember Conference Advance Number 310 for Disaster Preparedness and Response established this year at Annual Conference. If your congregation would like to help earthquake or fire recovery and response, monies collected with this number will help support our training, deployment, and undergirding work for our Early Response Teams, the Shower Trailer, and other direct assistance offered throughout the state. If you have any questions about what work is happening, please contact Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Daniel Wilcox at either 907.414.7078, or danielpwilcox@gmail.com.
Help North Star celebrate 50 years!
North Star United Methodist Church is celebrating 50 years as a church and serving the community of Nikiski, Alaska! The celebration will be at the church on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Communion will begin the celebration at 2pm and will conclude at 4 pm. Please consider joining them or sending them a note that can be shared at the event. You can send notes to Nora Ribbens.
Fall Rendezvous meeting
Please find this reminder that the Fall Rendezvous meetings are scheduled for October 3-5, 2019. If you are in an appointed position or are on a conference committee, please put these dates in your calendar. You should have received an email with registration information last Thursday. You can register here.
Apportionment report
The apportionment report for August has been sent by the Treasurer's office. It has been posted to the conference website or you can view it here.
Looking for Housing Volunteers
With the upcoming conference meetings, we will be looking for home stays for some of our attendees. If you are able to house one or two people for a few days in early October, please contact the conference office. Thank you!
Charge Conference paperwork
Our office is working on the 2019 Charge Conference paperwork. Once it is finished, it will be posted to the conference website. An email will be sent to all of the UM churches and Pastors. It is expected that all churches fill out ALL the paperwork completely.
Victorian High Tea | September 18
Come celebrate United Methodist Women’s legacy with a Victorian High Tea at Anchor Park UMC September 18 th , at 5:30 to 6:30pm. The event will include fun foods, games, and a sharing by Shannon Priddy, United Methodist Women National President and Kenya Roberts, from UMW national office. Hear about what UMW is currently doing and ways to assure the mission work continues 150 years into the future. Bring your favorite teacup. Email your reservation to smwilliams@gci.net . If you have questions, contact Susan Williams at 317-0406.
Mission u coming to you!
Mission u events take place across every United Methodist Conference and are organized by conference United Methodist Women leadership. At our Mission u events in Alaska we will grow in our understanding of the mission of the church in the current world context. Events include worship, singing, interest groups around current issues, audio visual presentations, food and fellowship! Please join in embracing the opportunity to grow, share and advocate for others!

Aldersgate UMC: October 4-5
Soldotna UMC: November 1-2
UMC of Chugiak: November 22-23

Annual Gathering registration open! September 20-22 - Solid Rock Bible Camp
“League of Extraordinary Women” is
our theme this year and the weekend will be
bursting with leadership development
activities, sharing time for local units, worship,
opportunities to engage in social action
activities, and best of all, we will be celebrating
our history and 150th Birthday! Rally the women
you know who are interested in bettering the
community and bring them with you for a
weekend of fellowship and discovery of the
resources United Methodist Women have to
offer. We will begin with our evening meal
together at 6 PM on Friday and end at noon on
Sunday. Check in will open at 4 PM.

National News
Register now for Pre-GC2020 Briefing
Early-bird, discounted registration is open for the Jan. 23-24 Pre-General Conference Briefing in Nashville, Tennessee. The briefing, sponsored by United Methodist Communications, will help delegates and communicators prepare for The United Methodist Church's top lawmaking assembly in May. Sessions will be offered on major proposals affecting the church as well as basic information on the assembly. The discounted rate of $199 is good through Oct. 31. The full rate is $249.

Mission Volunteer Video Series!
A new video series has been made to empower, equip, and resource individuals and couples interested in long term service by engaging in God’s mission in the world. Released over the next few weeks, this video series will cover program information, training topics, and more. Stay tuned!

To view this video series and more, visit the Mission Volunteer website.
WJ Job Opening
The Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church is looking to hire a part time Project Manager/Organizer. This position will be available for 11 months only.

If you are interested in applying or would like to know more, visit the Western Jurisdiction job site for details.
Clergymen use photos to raise money for causes
Two United Methodist clergymen are using their photography skills to raise money for various causes — including helping hungry children in Arkansas and paying for a freshwater well in the North Katanga Conference.

WJ youth leaders invited to retreat in Oregon-Idaho Conference
More often than not, the young people who walk into their weekly or monthly youth group meetings are carrying a lot on their heart.

More often than not, the youth leaders assigned to work with their local youth feel isolated and alone in their work as they try to provide meaningful spiritual development for kids who have higher-than-ever rates of anxiety and depression.

With support from other youth leaders, West Portland Pastor Christy Dirren has worked to put together a youth workers' retreat Sept. 22-25 at Suttle Lake Camp that either paid or volunteer staffers from across the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church can attend.

Christian flag turns 112
Almost every church sanctuary displays the Christian Flag for all to reflect upon. It's design is one of the oldest unchanged flags in the world. Its anniversary is celebrated every September 26-27 in over 240,000 churches in the United States. The idea for a "Christian" flag emerged from a Sunday-school rally in 1897 at Brighton Chapel, Coney Island, New York. Charles C. Overton challenged his congregation to make a flag suggesting that it would have a red cross on a blue field in the upper left hand corner with the rest being white. The following Sunday the design was presented but there is no record of who made the flag. It was not until 1907 that the flag was manufactured on a commercial basis.

There is a Pledge to the Christian Flag and it goes as follows:

I Pledge Allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands.
One Savior Crucified, Risen, and Coming again with Life and Liberty for all who Believe.
Conference Calendar
3-5: WJ Mission Cabinet - Carlo attending
10-12: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
20-22: UMW Annual Gathering - Solid Rock Camp
25-27: UMC Next - Carlo attending
30-Oct 4: Crystal on vacation
3-5: Professional Church Workers & Fall Rendezvous meetings
10-12: GBGM Board Meeting - Carlo attending
31: Halloween
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

September 11 -
Emily Carroll

September 17 -
Autumn Krueger

September 22 -
Won Jea Keum

September 24 -
Selusi Tuiolemotu

September 28 -
Darla Bradley
Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340

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.
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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.
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