A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
"Who Is My Neighbor?" | Christ First UMC
“Who is my neighbor?”

When Jesus is asked this question, he replies in a way that challenges the cultural, ethnic, and religious sensibilities of his listeners. We call the story “The Good Samaritan,” emphasizing the role of the one who helped the man who had been beaten and abused. Jesus ended the story as he asked, “which of these three do you think was a neighbor?” The response? “The one who showed mercy.” Jesus’ final response is, “Go and do likewise.”

This parable, told in Luke 10, should challenge every congregation to ask who in the neighborhood needs mercy. This can be difficult in normal time, but after an earthquake, it becomes pretty clear: who are those in our neighborhood who are hurting? Who has experienced loss of their home? Who is feeling frightened during aftershocks? What are people struggling with as they work to clean up, repair, assess and rebuild? 

After the Cook Inlet Earthquake of November 30, 2018, Christ First UMC in Wasilla started receiving calls: I need help with a place to stay. I don’t have any firewood, and my oil stove is damaged. Can I get help with food?

CrossOver to Life! • Week 21
The Gospel in First Person
Kristina Gonzalez
CrossOver reflection for Week 21 • Beginning April 28, 2019
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8, NRSV

I was doing housework—or something—with half an ear to my local National Public Radio station. The story was about a father and his children, a Latinx family. I didn’t catch the father’s country of origin, but he was undocumented. He had been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a time, separating the family.

The story was not so much about the father’s experience as about his children’s. The children were so traumatized by the separation that, once released, they would not allow their father to run a simple errand without one of them accompanying him. Their father indulged them, taking with him the child that was ready first, knowing that the next child would be in tow on the next errand. Ah…

Annual Conference
Annual Conference is May 31 - June 1 at Christ First UMC in Wasilla. There will be workshops held on Thursday, May 30th at Christ First UMC as well. Please make sure these dates are on your calendar if you are the Lay Member to Annual Conference from your church. An informational email went out to all clergy and voting delegates. You can view that email here .

If you have not registered, please do it soon! Late registration begins on May 1 so don't wait! REGISTER NOW

The Fact Sheet had an incorrect date: it should say May 30: Pre-Conference Workshops - not May 31.
A tentative schedule (subject to revision) is now available on the conference website.

The Pre-Conference Handbook is finished! Download it here. It has been mailed to those who requested that option. Please make sure you read through it before Annual Conference!
If your ministry would like to have a table at Annual Conference, you will need to fill out a request form. Our space is limited so plan your display accordingly. Requests are due by May 1 .

Each year we ask for nominations for two awards. The first is the Outstanding Lay Person of the Year award. The second is the Harry Denman Evangelism Award (individual Lay, Clergy & Youth nominations). If you know a deserving person, nominate them by May 1.

April Apportionment report
The April apportionment report has been posted to the website. You can view it here.
Annual Conference deadlines
TODAY, April 30 is the deadline for registering for Child Care, Home Stays, Transportation requests, and the General Registration. After this date, we can not guarantee these things for you. If you have any of these needs, please make sure to request it before the deadline.

Housing for incoming clergy
Dear Friends,
Girdwood UMC will be welcoming Pastor Nico Romeijn-Stout and his soon to be wife, Laura, in July. We are actively searching for housing in Girdwood. If you or someone you know have a cabin or second home you would consider renting, please contact me.

Jody Clingenpeel
Pastor Parish Relations Committee Chair
Yard Sale at Anchor Park UMC
We all got our "Kondo" on! Come on over to Anchor Park UMC (2300 Oak Drive, Anchorage) for their annual yard sale. This year it will be Saturday, May 18 from 8 am-4 pm.

Huge selection of everything.
  • Man Cave items /tools/fishing camping. Furniture/ chairs/hutch/file cabinet
  • Electronics/speakers/tv/computer
  • Tons of CD's/DVD's/collector's Reader's Digest LP albums from 70's & 80's
  • Kitchen/ blender/ knife set/ new microwave/lamps/baskets/ flower pots
  • Sheet sets/towels/blankets/ comforter
  • VINTAGE baby clothes/linens/doilies/ beaver hat/martin furs/ mink scarf/mink collar/ even a mink coat
  • Puzzles/ games/ toys / books ( including Louis L'Amour & Zane Grey)
  • Quality clothing sizes small- XXXL/ shoes/boots/ purses/ travel bags
National News
Court OKs part of Traditional Plan, exit plan
The United Methodist Church's top court has ruled that while some provisions of the newly adopted Traditional Plan remain unconstitutional, the rest of the plan is valid as church law. The Judicial Council also found constitutional 2019 General Conference legislation that provides an exit strategy for local churches wishing to leave the denomination.

Court rulings escalate talk of church split
Rulings by The United Methodist Church's top court on General Conference 2019 action have some church members celebrating and some planning exit strategies. Heather Hahn and UMNS staff report on reactions to the rulings and what they might mean for the church's future.

Board recommends revised Social Principles
The board of directors of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society voted to recommend a major revision of the Social Principles to the 2020 General Conference.

Notre Dame fire sparks local church reviews
When was the last time your church held a fire drill on Sunday morning? The recent fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has led Baltimore-Washington Conference leaders to encourage churches — many of them also historic by U.S. standards — to review plans for preventing and responding to fire.

Heritage Sunday 2019: 'Bold Women, Audacious Faith'
United Methodist Heritage Sunday, on May 19, 2019, will focus on the 150th anniversary of United Methodist Women. Use this day as an opportunity to discover and recognize all that women have accomplished in the last 150 years in the church and beyond. A wealth of resources is available to help you celebrate!

Study gives snapshot of Native American ministries
May 5 is Native American Ministries Sunday! As your church gets ready to celebrate the unique ministries of Native peoples , review a study on the state of Native American ministries within The United Methodist Church. Encourage support for these vital ministries by using the stats on latest trends and information about how Act of Repentance services have positively impacted Native American ministries since 2012.

6 characteristics of people who make planned gifts
If your church appreciates the importance of planned giving and is giving its members regular, gentle reminders , you’re already ahead of the curve. But there’s one more thing you can do to greatly increase your church’s chances of receiving a bequest. You can identify those individuals in your church who may be most receptive to planned giving concepts and initiate a one-on-one conversation. This varsity-level technique is incredibly powerful. But what makes a person a good candidate for planned giving?

Speaking opportunity for young people at GC2020
United Methodists ages 12-35 are being sought to deliver their messages to the church at General Conference 2020 in Minneapolis. Chris Wilterdink has details on how to apply to give the Young People’s Address.

Conference Calendar
5: Cinco de Mayo
11: Leadership Team meeting
12: Mother's Day
14-16: GNW Cabinet meeting
27: Memorial Day - office closed
30: Office closed - staff in Wasilla
30: Pre-Conference Workshops @ Christ First UMC, Wasilla
30: Lay & Clergy Session @ Christ First UMC, Wasilla
31-June 1: Annual Conference @ Christ First UMC, Wasilla (office closed)
7-9: PNW Annual Conference - Carlo attending
7-17: Office closed
7-17: Crystal on vacation
12-15: Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference - Carlo attending
16: Father's Day
24-26: GNW Cabinet Retreat - Carlo attending
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

June 8 -
Jim Doepken

June 10 -
Carlo Rapanut

June 13 -
Bailey Brawner

June 15 -
Matt Reinders
Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo
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 Tuesday at 9:00 am for consideration.
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.