A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Advent 2 - The Animals
Last week  I wrote about the star in the Christmas story. Today I'm thinking about the animals around the baby Jesus. Donkey, camel, cow, sheep, dove.

"O Magnum Mysterium," says that the animals seeing Jesus in their manger was a sacrament! A sacrament is a sign of the presence of God, which is often hidden and spiritual. We say that sacraments are a means of grace. How do the animals fit into our theology, or our spiritual lives? Maybe they call us out of our heads, and into our hearts. Maybe they call us out of human society and into the community of creation? Or, do they draw our attention away from a distant light, shining from heaven, to the warmth and intimacy of earthy, furry, pawing, neighing relationships?

Continue reading the rest of the Bishop's message here.
November Apportionment Report
Here is the link to the November 2016 Apportionment Report.  A lot of churches have already paid 100% of their apportionments.  Congratulations!  You have until the end of the month to get your final payments in.  If you have any questions, please contact the treasurer's office at 1-800-755-7710.

November Apportionment Report 
A Day Worth Celebrating
On November 29th, we came together as one. More than 2,550 persons in 19 countries contributed a total of $853,909.78 to United Methodist missionaries and mission projects! Congratulations!!!
You can read the official press release here.
VIM Teams Needed!
We are still needing VIM Teams for 2017 for several of our churches.  If you know mission-minded people in your home conference, or even your VIM coordinator, please check with them about the potential for bringing a team next summer. At this point, teams are needed in Juneau and Fairbanks.  In Fairbanks, we especially need teams that only consist of 18+ year old participants. 
If your church is still interested in hosting a VIM team for next summer, or if you are aware of a team that might be available, please contact Conference VIM Coordinator, Daniel Wilcox at danielpwilcox@gmail.com, or 907.414.7078.
Upcoming Camps at Birchwood
Winter Youth Break-Away
An awesome winter camp for students in grades 6-12. Enjoy four days full of  fantastic fellowship, food, snow and ice activities! Online registration is now open for Winter Youth Break-Away (WYBA).
December 27-30, 2016
Winter Family Camp
        Adult - $100
        Children (4-17) - $60
        Children under age 4 - Free
Register by December 15 to avoid a $20 late fee.
December 30, 2016 - January 1, 2017
Ough: Christians Must Stand Against Hatred, Discrimination  
Council of Bishops President Bruce R. Ough, in a pre-holiday, post-election letter to The United Methodist Church, called upon all Christians to "remember who we are" in this time of tension and anxiety and work to overcome hatred and discrimination. "We must stand for what is best in us as people of God," he wrote.

Read Ough's message
Federal Judge Blocks U.S. Overtime Rule
A U.S. federal judge on Nov. 22 put on hold a new rule making millions more Americans, including church workers, eligible for overtime pay. The move indefinitely pushes back the Dec. 1 effective date while the judge weighs a challenge to the requirement.

Read USA Today Story on Ruling
Read Missouri Conference Story on Church Impact
7: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
8: Charge Conference - First Anchorage UMC/First Samoan UMC
9: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
9: Charge Conference - St. Peter the Fisherman UMC
10: Charge Conference - Soldotna UMC
11: Charge Conference - Anchorage Korean UMC
12-15: GNW Cabinet meeting in Seattle - Carlo attending
24: Christmas Eve
25: Christmas Day
26-Jan 6: Carlo on vacation
31: New Year's Eve

1: New Year's Day
8: Charge Conference - Anchor Park UMC
8: Charge Conference - First UMC Ketchikan
8: Charge Conference - Ola Toe Fuataina Samoan Fellowship
10: Charge Conference - Willow UMC
12: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
15: Charge Conference - First UMC Fairbanks
15: Charge Conference - New Hope Methodist Presbyterian Church
17-20: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
25-29: WJ Leadership meetings - Carlo attending
27-29: UMW Executive Team meeting in Anchorage
29-Feb 1: ADCM Meeting in Phoenix - Carlo attending
Conference Office Email Address has Changed
We have begun the process of changing the conference office email from umc@gci.net to alaskaumc@gmail.com.  For workflow ease, we are consolidating everything to the Google platform (email, calendar, etc.).  Please update your address books/contacts lists and start using alaskaumc@gmail.com for your emails to the conference. Carlo's email ( carlorapanut@gmail.com) will remain the same.
Clergy Birthdays
December 10: David Hall
December 23: Curtis Matz

January 5: Janice Carlton
January 18: Karen Dammann

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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