e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
CrossOver to Life! | Week Three
Keep Herod in Christmas?
By Rev. Gregg Sealey, CPCC, ACC
CrossOver reflection for Week Three · Beginning December 16, 2018

How many of us have a nativity scene or crèche decorating our home this Advent?
Nativities include some powerful symbols in this season of waiting, even outside of the Christ child (that incidentally should be absent until Christmas!).
  • The shepherds are a powerful reminder of those who are looked down upon as they were the first to see and worship the incarnation of God.
  • The wise men/"stargazers" are symbolic of the government representatives who have to travel long distances to celebrate this Good News and are transformed along the journey
  • Joseph had three opportunities to bail on Mary but remained steadfast and faithful
  • Mary, God's chosen one, is an unwed, pregnant teenager of all people.
We often see animals that are clean and happy in nativity scenes, but I wonder if we lose some of the message of Christmas (and in fact the message Jesus himself brings to us as Emmanuel/"God with us") if we keep our holy season completely sanitized. Does the season speak to the world today as richly when we don't realize the importance of keeping Herod in our awareness during Advent and Christmas.

Continue reading
Blue Christmas Run...for those who can't
I'm resurrecting a blogpost from three years ago for those whose Christmas this year won't be "merry and bright".  Read here.

Friend, whatever darkness you are in right now, know that I am running for you, walking with you and holding you in prayer and in my heart.

Your fellow disciple, Carlo
Holiday hours
The Conference Office will be closed December 24-25, 28 and December 31-January 1.  We will have normal hours on December 26-27 and January 2-4.  We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
'Tis the season to be vigilant
'Tis the season to be vigilant (with your online communication)!
 
This article provides some helpful links to learn how to spot the most common email fraud and an overview of the ways the Alaska Conference and the Greater NW Area will communicate with you.
 
Youth Mission Immersion
This Mission Immersion weekend will offer opportunities to grow in our faith as we serve our local community.  We  will gather in fellowship with youth from across Alaska for this Mission Immersion Experience.  Some of the places we've served at in past Mission Immersions include Habitat Restore, FISH, Pioneer Home, Anchorage Rescue Mission, Beans Cafe & Habitat for Humanity.  We'll meet on Friday night and have time of worship & fellowship.  We stay overnight at St. John and then go out into Anchorage and serve all day Saturday!

January 18 at 7 p.m. - January 19th at 4:30 p.m.
Register online at: stjohneagle.com/youth
For more information, contact Robbie Brawner or Danna Larson 
NATIONAL NEWS
Delegation chairs look toward General Conference
If any group has a finger on the pulse of the United Methodist public, it's the delegation chairpersons for the special called session of General Conference, set for Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis. They have heard the hopes and fears in the run-up to a legislative meeting aimed at preserving denominational unity.
Korean leaders wary of One Church Plan
It would be difficult for Korean United Methodists to accept a gay bishop if that were made possible by the church adopting the One Church Plan, Korean leaders said during a recent meeting with bishops. But the top executive of the denomination's Korean Ministry Plan said if the plan would put the conflict to rest, he thinks Korean United Methodists could live with it.  

Read the story
'Little interest' for Connectional Conference Plan
Patricia L. Miller, executive director of unofficial advocacy group the United Methodist Confessing Movement and member of the Commission on a Way Forward, submitted the legislation for the Connectional Conference Plan to General Conference. Though Miller thinks the plan has many merits, she says it likely has the least support of the three plans submitted by the commission. Miller spoke with UM News as part of "Seeing a Way Forward," a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. 
 
Watch the videos
Watch Seeing a Way Forward videos
Bishops' website spotlights One Church Plan
A group of bishops has debuted a website to provide information on the One Church Plan, one of multiple proposals heading to the special General Conference. The new site is getting pushback but also support.
Blue Christmas honors grief, loss
The Rev. Nathan Mattox says Christmas isn't "the most wonderful time of the year for everyone." Mattox, pastor of University United Methodist Church, says Blue Christmas or Longest Night services are a way to minister to those who are experiencing loss or grief during the holiday season.

Read the story
 
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
December
24-25: Christmas Eve/Day - Office Closed
31: New Years Eve - Office Closed

January
1: New Years Day - Office Closed
6: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
7: Charge Conference - First UMC Anchorage/First Samoan UMC of Anchorage
13: Charge Conference - First UMC Fairbanks
15-17: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
18-25: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
22: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
25: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
27: Charge Conference - Northern Light United Church
happy_birthday_candles.jpg

Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays
 
  December 23 -
Christina DowlingSoka
Curtis Matz

January 5 -
Janice Carlton

January 18 -
Karen Dammann



Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340
Office Hours
Office Hours
The Conference Office hours are:
 
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:30 am 
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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