e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Winter Rendezvous dates changed to February 20-22, 2020
AUMC Special Called Session to be held during that time
In response to the Leadership Team’s request in December, Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky intends to call a special session of the Alaska United Methodist 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. The specific details of the call will come out in a letter from the Bishop’s office later this week.

The special called session will be held in conjunction with the Winter Rendezvous Meetings which have now been moved to February 20-22, 2020 . This would allow for the timely distribution of materials pertinent to the decision at hand and the holding of information gatherings (in-person and Zoom) to process the content in the materials, clarify issues and respond to further questions. Here’s a link to a page on our conference website that has the Rationale for Alaska becoming a Mission District as well as the proposed Petition to General Conference.  Other materials (FAQs, Comparison of Missionary Conference vs. Mission District, etc.) will also be made available shortly. We apologize to those who have already made travel arrangements and will need to make changes.

Continuing information sessions, conversations and committee meetings will be held on Thursday and Friday, February 20-21.  The actual called session itself will likely be on Saturday, February 22. Registration information will come out soon.

Lay members or alternates “who were last seated in the annual conference, shall be seated in a special session of the annual conference when convened.”  If the last seated lay member or alternate is unable to be present, another lay member may be elected by the charge conference. If it is necessary for your church to elect a new lay member, please notify the Conference Superintendent immediately to schedule a special charge conference in time for the newly elected member to be present. (Book of Discipline ¶ 251.2, ¶ 602.5)

Clergy members of the special session shall include clergy members of the Alaska Conference and those in affiliated relationship with the Alaska Conference and eligible at the time of the special session (Book of Discipline ¶ 586).
Conference News
Name Change: Nome Community UMC
In their Charge Conference on December 2nd, our United Methodist siblings in Nome voted to officially change their name from Community United Methodist Church to Nome Community United Methodist Church.
BeADisciple.com recognizes top learners
Congratulations go out to David Means, member of Aldersgate UMC in Jueanu, for completing more than 5 courses from BeADisciple.com which is online christian education.. He is one of 58 people to have done this in 2019. This is a great accomplishment!

To learn more about BeADisciple, visit their website.
First UMC Anchorage offering grants again
The First United Methodist Church Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be used as educational benefits, scholarships, out-reach to the community and the world, and capital projects of First United Methodist Church, Anchorage. Applications should be a concise request using the form provided by First United Methodist Church, Anchorage and can be found on the FUMC website or the church office. Submissions must be received by February 21, 2020 at the street address given below. Award recipients will be notified in March 2020.
 
FUMC Foundation - Grants
725 W 9th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501

907-272-2112
New Methodist History available
A special double issue of Methodist History has just arrived in your conference resource room library highlighting 200 years of global ministries.

Academic chapters are titled: The Virtues of Mission; John Dempster and the Missionary Origins of Methodist Theological Education; Clementina Rowe Butler: Co-founder f the Methodist Church in India and Mexico; The Founding of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society and the Beginnings of Boston University; Camping Missiology: Camping to Promote Holiness and Missions; Rosetta Sherwood Hall and Women's Medical Mission in Korea; The Twentieth-Century Methodist Mission to the Malays: Faithful Mission at the Complex Boundary of Religious Diversity, Ethnic Rivalry and Political Aspirations; Marketing Mountain Missions: The Changing Context of Race and Class in Southern Appalachian Methodist Missions; along with many book reviews and minutes of the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church. 

This publication comes from the General Commission on Archives and History and previous issues can be found on the website www.gcah.org
National News
Reaction aplenty to separation plan
United Methodists are reacting to a major new plan — offered by a diverse team of church leaders — for getting past the denomination's long struggle over how inclusive to be of LGBTQ persons. Support, criticism, heartbreak, caution — all were voiced.

Clergyman retires 'under complaint' of abuse
The Rev. Donald "Bud" Heckman reached a resolution with the West Ohio Conference after facing formal accusations from four women of sexual misconduct and abuse. However, the women who filed the complaint expressed concern about the resolution.

Progress Report from Fresh Summit Working Group
The following report is being shared on behalf of the WJ Fresh Summit Working Group:

A working group of the Western Jurisdiction was elected by the 200+ United Methodists who came together at the Fresh United Methodism Summit in Los Angeles in November. This working group’s charge at the close of the Summit was to continue and expound upon the work the Summit yielded. We have taken that charge to heart as we embark on that work.

The working group met in Denver January 2 – 4. We would like to share how the Spirit’s presence at the Summit has continued to guide us as we discern our next steps.

Human Relations Day | January 19
We have been asked to love one another like members of our family. Knowing how hard this request would be, God sent Jesus to show us how. Jesus walked with those in the margins during his life and shared the message that everyone is valuable and loved. This is the message we celebrate on Human Relations Day.

On Jan. 19, across the United Methodist connection, we come together to help bridge the gap between church and community. We do this by participating in an offering set aside for Human Relations Day.

Download worship ideas, social media graphics and other resources from the Human Relations Day Pastor and Leader's Kit.
UMW looking for a Corporate Secretary
United Methodist Women is seeking a dynamic Corporate Secretary who will be an active member of the Senior Leadership Team, nominated by the General Secretary/CEO for election by the Board of Directors. The successful and highly detail-oriented candidate will serve under general direction from the General Secretary/CEO and support the Treasurer regarding execution of legal matters as needed. The Corporate Secretary is responsible for the execution of board meetings and acts as a recording secretary to the Board of Directors, UMW Senior Leadership Team and is responsible for performing a wide variety of responsible, confidential and complex duties as outlined in the organization’s Bylaws and related to the Office of the General Secretary. 

Australian churches respond to fire crisis
Churches have been at the forefront among the responders in both prayers and deeds as Australians in four states deal with killer fires engulfing towns and communities, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded.

Conference Calendar
9-11: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
12-13: 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: Annual Meeting - Northern Light United Church
27-28: GNW AC Planning Core Team Retreat - Carlo attending
4-9: WJ Leadership Meetings - Carlo attending
10-12: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
14: Valentine's Day
20-22: Winter Rendezvous and Special Session
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

January 18 -
Karen Dammann

February 19 -
Steve Fisher
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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