A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
CrossOver to Life! | Week Six
Coming of Age as a Couple
By Rev. Wendy Joy Woodworth
CrossOver reflection for Week Six • Beginning January 6, 2019
Can you come of age more than once? How many times did Jesus “come of age?” Was it a one-time thing when he was 12 and stayed back in the temple to hang out with the religious scholars and teachers? Or, was it when he entered into the muddy Jordan River to be baptized like all the others by John and communicate that he too needed to be touched by waters of grace and hear of God’s love? Perhaps Jesus came of age when he encountered the Canaanite woman as she asked for her daughter to be healed and was challenged to realize his ministry is to share God’s love and grace with all people.

Jesus came of age all of these times and more. Each time he delved deeper into the realization of God’s deep love for him and his call to live out that love, he had a coming of age moment.

I have had various moments in my own life. There was a time in my life when I would approach communion with the thought, “make me worthy to receive this sacrament.” Through much interpersonal work and prayer, one day the narrative changed, “through God’s love and grace I am worthy, I am God’s beloved.” It was a coming of age time, into both my worthiness as a child of God and hearing God’s call into ministry.

Coming of age is not solely an individual endeavor, it is also something that can be experienced within a family, a relationship and a community. For Lori and I, we experienced a coming of age moment when we got married on May 20, 2017. It was a moment over 24 years in the making.

Conference News
Cross-Cultural Competency Learning Event | February 7-8, 2019
Kristina Gonzales, Director of Innovation for an Inclusive Church of the Greater Northwest Area, will be leading a workshop on Cross-Cultural Competency and Inclusivity during our Winter Learning Event for the Alaska United Methodist Conference. All are welcome to attend! The conference will pay for clergy and one lay member from each congregation to travel in for the event.

The general schedule is as follows: Thursday, February 7, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Friday, February 8, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Lunches will be provided.

Please look for a detailed description of the workshop and registration information in next week's e~Aurora.
Winter Rendezvous is coming | February 8-9, 2019
Please save the date for the upcoming Winter Rendezvous meetings which will be held at the Conference Center (1660 Patterson Street, Anchorage). Conference committee meetings will take place on Friday, February 8 starting with dinner at 5:30 pm. Committees will begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m. Committees that will need to continue meeting will start up again on Saturday, February 9th at 9 a.m. The Leadership Team will meet from 12:00 p.m. until 3p.m.

Please make appropriate plans to attend. Committee members can look for an email tomorrow, Wednesday, January 9, for registration information.
Annual Conference Workshop Proposal Form
It does seem early to think about Annual Conference but we are doing it! Do you have a topic you want to present as a workshop before Annual Conference? Do you know someone else who does? Well, now is the time to fill out our Workshop Proposal Form! This helps us plan for the Pre-Conference workshops. Submit your form by Tuesday, February 12th to be considered.

Housing & Transportation for our February meetings
During our meeting times we are always looking for people that could house someone or help with transportation. We have meetings coming up in February. If you could help out between February 6-9, please contact the conference office and let us know! We always appreciate those that can help.

alaskaumc@gmail.com or 333-5050
AK Child & Family
Pop up mission project for AK Child & Family
Would you like to help make t-shirt pillows for each resident at AK Child and Family? Well, come to the United Methodist Church of Chugiak on January 16 and/or 17, 2019.

Each shirt will have the resident's name printed on it. On January 20, the pillows will be distributed during a Naming Ceremony.

Last year we assembled 60+ t-shirts. So, if we have lots of machine operators and stuffers, one day might suffice. Stay as long as you are able. Lunch is included.

Jan Wachsmuth
United Methodist Church of Chugiak
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 a 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
Burnout, Part One
"I learned how to fly before I learned how to drive." In this blogpost, read wise words from our very own Rev. Lisa Talbott as she draws parallels between flying a plane and engaging in ministry, particularly as it relates to burnout.

National News
New Year's message from the moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward
As we turn to the new year and the approaching February meeting of the called Special Session of General Conference, the moderators would like to encourage delegates to the General Conference, as well as all spiritual leaders in The United Methodist Church, to read and consider the report of the Commission in its entirety. There are key values which ground the report which can be found in both the theological and missional statements included in the report and we commend this work to you for study and reflection. The report includes an important narrative that sets the context for understanding the three plans included in the report, legislation for three different plans, and four appendices.

Scholarship application window opens
The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2019-2020 school year.
A variety of scholarships are available for United Methodist students who need help with tuition expenses at United Methodist-related colleges, universities, and seminaries. Some of the scholarships even benefit students planning to serve in ministry, persons planning to become a military chaplain, and numerous others that are specific to a certain state, conference, region, school, or area of study. UMHEF even has a scholarship that benefits a student who is deaf, blind, or hard of hearing.
Applications and all additional required materials must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2019.

Pacific Islanders focus on divide over sexuality
More than 100 Pacific Islanders gathered recently at Claremont School of Theology for a two-day conversation about the human sexuality issues that divide The United Methodist Church. The event was sponsored by the denomination's Pacific Islander Ministry Plan.

Unity struggle is major story of 2018
The struggle to hold The United Methodist Church together despite longstanding division over homosexuality was the denomination's top news story of 2018, as chosen by church communicators and United Methodist News staff.

8 ways to a more spiritual new year
Many of us feel bad when we make and break resolutions quickly. But striving to be more spiritual is an ongoing practice and a decision you can re-make daily. A writer has some quick tips.

Hospital reaches out to Sierra Leone's poorest
United Methodist Mercy Hospital's outreach program is transforming the lives of the poorest of the poor in Sierra Leone. The program targets pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under age 5 in remote communities where availability of health care and the power to pay is a challenge.

Partnerships enable hurricane response
When disaster occurs, the United Methodist Committee on Relief helps people recover, partnering with annual conferences to train volunteers from local congregations as disaster responders and providing grants for direct support, goods or services to survivors. The relief agency approved 53 grants totaling more than $53 million for its 2017-18 hurricane response.

Native young adults to march for indigenous peoples
Young adults from the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference will travel to Washington to participate in the Indigenous Peoples March to bring awareness to injustices experienced by indigenous people around the world. The Rev. David Wilson will lead the group and invites other United Methodists to join them on Jan. 18.

LGBTQ churchgoers wary of bishops' letter
At the prompting of some church members, the Council of Bishops published a letter lamenting harm to the global LGBTQ community. A number of LGBTQ United Methodists said the letter falls short.

Latest UMFCU Newsletter
The winter 2019 newsletter for your United Methodist Federal Credit Union is now available to read online .

Read about how to avoid debt. 

A wealth of additional information on credit union products and services can be found at www.umfcu.org .

To receive a membership packet for yourself or your church call 800-245-0433.
Conference Calendar
8: Charge Conference - Anchor Park
13: Charge Conference - First UMC Fairbanks
15-17: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
18: Charge Conference - UMC of Sitka
18-25: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
20: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
21: GC 2019/2020 Delegation Meeting
22: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
23: Charge Conference - Palmer UM Fellowship
26: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
27: Charge Conference - Northern Light United Church
7-9: Winter Rendezvous meetings
11-12: GNW Cabinet meeting
23-26: General Conference Special Session
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

January 18 -
Karen Dammann

February 19 -
Steve Fisher
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.