A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
#GivingTuesday: Connect your passion with God's mission
One of the great things about The Advance is that it allows you to invest your resources where your passion answers specific needs in the world.

UMC #GivingTuesday is two weeks away. I hope you'll join with thousands of United Methodists in giving generously to the work of Global Ministries missionaries and projects through The Advance.

Now is a great time to start thinking about where you want your UMC #GivingTuesday gift to go. Visit UMCmission.org/give and select from more than 600 UMC-related projects and more than 300 United Methodist missionaries who bring hope and healing to a world in need.

At UMCmission.org/give, you can search for UMC-related projects and missionaries that align with your passion. When you specify a destination for your gifts, that's exactly where every dollar goes; not one dollar of your gift goes to overhead.

The #GivingTuesday toolkit offers ways to get friends and family involved, including asking them to make an early Christmas gift in your honor to your favorite Advance project or missionary on Nov. 28. You also can make a gift in honor of those on your Christmas list.

Search Advance projects
Alaska missionaries and projects
  • Evelyn Erbele - 10832Z
  • W. Terence Erbele - 10831Z
  • Alaska Churches - 931027
  • Birchwood Camp - 931068
  • Downtown Ministries, First United Methodist Church Ketchikan - 3020487
  • Girdwood Chapel UMC - 931007
  • Unalaska UMC Outreach & Community Ministry - 931855
  • Willow UMC - 931511
  • Willow Church & Community Ministry - 931520
Calling all Alaskan women to Assembly 2018
Calling all Alaskan women.....young and experienced and all in between. Early registration for UMW Assembly ends November 30th.  We need 13 more people and we will reach our 30% increase goal. If you know of women who are interested in social justice invite them. If you know people who love great music, invite them. If you know people who want to change the world, invite them. If you know people who like to party and celebrate invite them. UMW is 150 years old! Invite your mom, your sister, your daughter or pastor.  All are welcome to attend Assembly.
If we reach our 30% goal before all the other conferences, members of our conference will get to meet Leymah Gbowee Nobel peace prize winner. This Assembly will be awesome. You will not want to miss it! It will be life impacting. Awesome music, drama troops sharing scripture, international choirs will rock the house. If you need CEU credits what a great way to earn them. 
Key note speakers
Michelle Alexander is author of the critically acclaimed "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," a stunning account of millions of African Americans imprisoned and then relegated to a permanent second-class citizenship and legally denied enfranchisements won in the Civil Rights Movement. A legal scholar and civil rights litigator, Ms. Alexander has taught at a number of universities.  Her background is vast and too much to list here.  If you would like, you can watch her speak here.
Leymah Gbowee received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women's peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Ms. Gbowee shared the prize with Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Yemen native Tawakkol Karman. Ms. Gbowee and President Sirleaf became the second and third African women to win the prize, preceded by the late Wangari Maathai of Kenya. Ms. Gbowee is the founder and president of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa based in Liberia. Her foundation provides educational and leadership opportunities to girls, women and youth in West Africa.  See her speak here.
Don't wait. 
Bonnie Miller is the person to contact about the Alaska block of hotel rooms. If you have any questions about assembly call me, Susan Williams, at 907-317-0406
I  hope to see you in Columbus!
Holy Land Tour
Greetings in Christ,
As a Host, through E.O. Tours, I have scheduled a Holy Land Tour, Journey Through the BibleOctober 15-25, 2018.
View a copy of the brochure.  The brochure includes a printable registration form that can be mailed in.  

Click here for a direct link to the tour.  It provides more information and the option of electronic registration.
Early registration saves you $150 prior to November 15, 2017. 
There will be upcoming informational meetings at First UMC in Anchorage.  Please contact Lynn Kile, 696-5453, or myself (Pastor Steve Fisher) 272-2112, to let us know of your interest and we will keep you updated on informational meetings.

Many Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Steve Fisher
Free Public Lecture at APU
God's Mechanics... the popular idea that somehow religion and science are at war, ignores the fact that an awful lot of scientists and engineers are also churchgoers. How do they do that? What does religion look like to someone immersed in technology? And what can their viewpoint tell the rest of us? 
The Cardinal Newman Chair at APU will host Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Ph.D., the Director of the Vatican Observatory (Rome Italy and Tucson, AZ), for a free public lecture "God's Mechanics: The Spiritual Life of Techies" on Tuesday November 28, 2017 (7:00-8:30 p.m. at St. Patrick's Church on Muldoon Road). Consider taking advantage of this unique opportunity.
Call for 2018 Mission u Certified Study Leaders
The Leadership Team of the Alaska United Methodist Women is receiving applications for two study leaders to teach at Mission u events throughout the Alaska Conference.  The time frame for teaching is mid-summer through the end of 2018.
The studies that they are recruiting teaching leaders for are:
ISSUE STUDY: What About Our Money? A Faith Response
SPIRITUAL GROWTH STUDY: Seeking Health and Wholeness 
Extended deadline till December 1st! 
T-shirt pillows for AK Child & Family
AK Child & Family
Jan Wachsmuth is organizing a group of women to make 50+ t-shirt pillows for AK Child & Family.  They will be gifts for the children.

The event will be on Thursday, December 7 from 10 am - 3 pm at the Conference Center (1660 Patterson Street, Anchorage).

Lunch will be provided.  If you have questions or want to let Jan know you will be there, give her a call (862-0194) or send her an email
Christmas Cookie Baking Party
You are invited to Birchwood Camp's 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Party.  It will be held December 17th from 1-5 PM in the main lodge.  Registration is $15 and all supplies are provided.  Please go to www.birchwoodcamp.org for more details and to register.
Winter Youth Break Away Camp
Middle School and High School Students are invited to this year's Winter Youth Break Away camp which will be held January 2 - January 6, 2018.

Bring your sleds, skates, snowshoes, and helmets...play in the snow!!!  Excellent food, fun and fellowship! Join them for Water is Life!

Registration fee: $240
Registration Open: October 1, 2017
***NEW*** Extended Camp Hours!
Check-in/drop-off 11 AM, Tuesday, January 2
Pick-up at 11 AM, Saturday, January 6

Need a Volunteer in Mission team?
UMVIM We have a number of VIM teams interested in coming to Alaska next summer to work at churches and in our communities.  Planning needs to happen now if a team is to come next summer.  We have at least two teams that are primarily youth, so please consider the skill level necessary for the work that needs to happen.  Please contact Conference UMVIM Coordinator Dan Wilcox at danielpwilcox@gmail.com if your congregation is interested in hosting a team.
Bishop Carter elected as president of Council of Bishops
Florida Area Bishop Kenneth H. Carter was officially elected as the next president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church. Bishop Carter will take over from Dakotas-Minnesota Area Bishop Bruce R. Ough effective at the end of the May 2018 meeting. 
"The True Meaning of Christmas Tour"
Sixteen states, 21 cities, 23 days, 500+ volunteers, 16,400 cups of cocoa, a truckload of Christmas spirit and just one purpose: to help people unwrap the true meaning of Christmas. The United Methodist Church is hitting the road in December in a gift-wrapped touring truck, decked out to share fellowship from city-to-city.
United Methodist churches will host a come-and-go event in each city at a location bustling with holiday foot traffic. The festivities include free hot cocoa, a chance to join in a community service project, such as donating coats or canned goods, and an invitation to join local congregations for Christmas services and events. You can even share prayer requests or engage in a conversation about the true meaning of Christmas.
"This tour is a unique way for the church to reach out to people who are experiencing loneliness or who want to give back to the community at this significant time of year," said Dan Krause, chief executive of the denomination's communication agency. United Methodist Communications is coordinating the month-long expedition in partnership with local churches. "We want to invite everyone to visit a United Methodist church and join with others to continue to explore the true meaning of Christmas." 
A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2013 indicated that the activities that people least liked at Christmas time are the commercialism/materialism, money/expense, and shopping/crowds. What they most look forward to is spending time with family and friends (69%) and religious reflection/church (11%).
Throughout December, The United Methodist Church will utilize television and digital advertising to explore the true meaning of Christmas as part of a national advertising campaign, "Their words. Our beliefs," which features children discussing faith. The holiday messages ask, "Children know the true meaning of Christmas. What if we all did?"
Follow the tour online at UnwrapChristmas.org.
United Methodist congregations will host hot cocoa fellowship events in many cities across the U.S. where the tour truck is not able to visit. These mini-events will extend a warm holiday invitation to connect with a local community of faith.
Pastor offers tips to protect churches from gun violence
The deadly church shooting during the Sunday morning service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, recently is a reminder that while no one can ever be prepared for such an incident, churches can take steps to protect themselves. The Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter talked with the Rev. Derrek Belase, a former police officer, about some practical tips for churches. Simon-Peter is director of Creating a Culture of Renewal.

Read the commentary
Celebrate United Methodist Student Day
United Methodist Student Day is Nov. 26. On this Special Sunday, congregations around the country will join to provide scholarships for deserving United Methodist students. For resources to help celebrate the special offering, download the United Methodist Student Day Pastor and Leader's Kit.
Building bridges with Methodist Church in India
Bishops from the Methodist Church in India traveled to the U.S. this month to learn more about The Upper Room's programs and resources. They also took part in a five-day Academy for Spiritual Formation in partnership with the Wisconsin Conference. The visit was a learning experience for both churches, said the Rev. Im Jung, who helped organize the initiative.
Read the story

16: Charge Conference - UMC of Chugiak
19-20: UMDF Board Meeting - Carlo attending
23: Thanksgiving - Office Closed
24: Office Closed
26: United Methodist Student Sunday
26: Charge Conference - Anchorage Korean UMC
27: Charge Conference - First UMC Fairbanks
28: UMC #GivingTuesday
28: Charge Conference - Palmer UM Fellowship
29: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
30: Charge Conference - First UMC Anchorage/First Samoan UMC of Anchorage

2: Leadership Team meeting
3: Global Migration Sunday
3-7: GNW Cabinet Meetings in Seattle - Carlo attending
7-17: GBGM Round Table Conversation in the Philippines - Carlo attending
24: Christmas Eve
25: Christmas Day - Office Closed
31: New Year's Eve
New Office Hours
Office Hours
The Conference Office has new hours!
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:00 am 
Clergy Birthdays
November 17 -
Jean Bruscia

December 10 -
David Hall

December 23 -
Christina DowlingSoka
Curtis Matz

Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo
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 Monday evening for consideration.
AUMC Logo 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 into God's preferred future.
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