A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Opening the Basement Door | Palmer UM Fellowship
Basements are a way of life in Southcentral Alaska: many houses here are built with a foundation well below the ground, as a means of adding square footage and a little extra stability for the earthquakes we experience on a regular basis.  Basements are functional and flexible: they can be places for storage, for entertainment, for extra living space, or for ordinary activities like doing the laundry.

Most Alaskans don’t expect a church to meet in a basement, but that’s just where Palmer United Methodist Fellowship makes its home. And like every other basement, “functional and flexible” are the perfect adjectives to describe our small-and-mighty community.

CrossOver to Life! · Week 37
Hospice Moments
Rev. Deena Wolfe
CrossOver reflection for  Week 37 • Beginning August 18, 2019

“It’s time to consider hospice.” 

My heart sank when I heard those words. My dad had been declining for two years, but I was not ready for the reality of what those words meant. I felt both fear and sadness, and I knew that his days on this earth were short. I was preparing to begin work as a hospice chaplain, and over the next 3 ½ weeks, orientation became personal.

For ten days we sat in vigil for him, and a little over four years ago he stepped off this earth and into glory. It was a beautiful and very emotional time as we went from brief moments of conversation together to him slipping into a coma and then taking his last breath.

Alaska Conference Special Sunday
September 8, 2019
The Alaska United Methodist Conference is a Missionary Conference in the United Methodist Church and has relied upon the support of churches around the denomination as it has been in ministry with the people of “The Last Frontier.”

From the first Methodist missionary work in Wrangell in 1877, through the expansion during the Klondike Gold Rush, to the first Annual Meeting in 1904, and on through the booms of World War II and oil discovery…the work of Methodists in Alaska has been the work of Christians near and far, many of whom never set foot in the Territory or State.

In continuing this tradition of partnership, September 8, 2019 is being celebrated as an Alaska Conference Special Sunday, with an offering to support the continuing work of the Alaska Conference. Your gifts will help our 28+ churches and ministries continue to bring the love of Christ in some challenging and wonderful environments–spread over 650,000 square miles.

More resources and information to come.
St. John announces recipient of Susanna Wesley Award
Diaconal Minister, Jimette “Rose” McLean, was honored with the Susannah Wesley Award by the Alaska Conference United Methodist Men (ACUMM) and her contribution to the ministry of St. John United Methodist Church was recognized by the congregation with a stained glass window on Sunday, August 4, 2019, during a return visit.
The Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence from the United Methodist Men’s Foundation is named after the mother of John and Charles Wesley, founders of the Methodist Movement. Jim LaBau, Co-President of the ACUMM, presented the award and cited Rose for possessing many of the same characteristics of the “Mother of Methodism” – a keen intellect, a nurturing spirit, and unwavering devotion and perseverance in the faith.

The congregation honored Rose with a stained-glass window that hangs above the main church doors to honor her 24 years of service to the congregation. The window measuring 3 x 5 ft is an Alaska variation of the scripture verse from Matthew 9:35 – “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (a verse treasured by Rose.)

Congratulations Rose!
Mission u coming to you!
Mission u events take place across every United Methodist Conference and are organized by conference United Methodist Women leadership. At our Mission u events in Alaska we will grow in our understanding of the mission of the church in the current world context. Events include worship, singing, interest groups around current issues, audio visual presentations, food and fellowship! Please join in embracing the opportunity to grow, share and advocate for others!

Aldersgate UMC: October 4-5
Soldotna UMC: November 1-2
UMC of Chugiak: November 22-23

Annual Gathering registration open! September 20-22 - Solid Rock Bible Camp
“League of Extraordinary Women” is
our theme this year and the weekend will be
bursting with leadership development
activities, sharing time for local units, worship,
opportunities to engage in social action
activities, and best of all, we are celebrating
our history and 150th Birthday! Rally the women
you know who are interested in bettering the
community and bring them with you for a
weekend of fellowship and discovery of the
resources United Methodist Women have to
offer. We will begin with our evening meal
together at 6 PM on Friday and end at noon on
Sunday. Check in will open at 4 PM.

Please be mindful of spam emails that may be coming from "Leaders" of our conference. One was recently received from "Carlo" but was not in fact from him. If an email sounds phishy, hover over the senders email address and verify that it is in fact sent by the correct address.
National News
UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions
The UMCNext coalition has released a plan that would remove restrictions against same-sex weddings and ordination of LGBTQ clergy. The plan also would let local churches vote to leave the denomination. Meanwhile, bishops from central conferences held talks among theologically diverse United Methodists, acknowledging some form of separation appears inevitable due to division over homosexuality.

Diverse group of United Methodists explores separation
A group of theologically diverse United Methodists met at Floris United Methodist Church in Virginia on Friday and Saturday to continue seeking a way to resolve the impasse on the ordination of LGBTQ members and the blessing of same-gender marriages in the denomination.

Organized by bishops from Central Conferences, the meeting was attended by Tom Berlin and Junius Dotson, representing Centrists; Jan Lawrence and Randall Miller, representing Progressives; and Patricia Miller and Keith Boyette; representing the Conservatives.
Also, in attendance were Bishop John Yambasu, Bishop Christian Alsted, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and Bishop Thomas Bickerton. Bishop Gregory Palmer and Bishop Ciriaco Francisco were invited to the meeting but were unable to attend.

UMC Bishops agree to ask Judicial Council to review Special Session votes
The Council of Bishops, in response to the request from the Commission on General Conference, has voted to ask the Judicial Council to rule on the implications of the invalid votes discovered during the independent investigation of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference held last February.

Group drafts separation plan for denomination
The United Methodist Church's conflict over homosexuality is irreconcilable and calls for amicable separation into different denominations, says a 12-person group of centrists, traditionalists and progressives. They met first in Indianapolis and have drafted the "Indianapolis Plan" for separation, to be considered by the 2020 General Conference.

Iowa clergyperson to face trial
The Rev. Anna Blaedel will face a church trial after an Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation certified charges against Blaedel. The clergyperson is charged with violating The United Methodist Book of Discipline as a "self-avowed practicing homosexual."

Biblical comparison shapes GC2020 theme
General Conference organizers chose "… and know that I am God" as the theme for the gathering in May. Along the way, they discovered the psalm's words and even its verse numbers vary significantly by translation.

Tools for dealing with racism and violence
The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race is offering resources to model the divine love of Christ in response to racism and violence. The commission said it is especially important for laity and clergy in white congregations and other predominantly white spaces to "learn, act and speak clearly in opposition to hate speech and violence."

More stewardship resources
With fall rapidly approaching, we sit on the cusp of another busy ministry season. Last week we published a review of seven popular stewardship campaigns . They fell into two broad categories: the small group study campaigns, and the commitment Sunday campaigns. Choosing the right campaign for your context is important. But the financial culture that your congregation develops year-round is even more important.

Conference Calendar
23: Crystal out of the office
30: Crystal out of the office
2: Labor Day - Office Closed
3-5: WJ Mission Cabinet - Carlo attending
10-12: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
20-22: UMW Annual Gathering - Solid Rock Camp
25-27: UMC Next - Carlo attending
30-Oct 4: Crystal on vacation
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

September 11 -
Emily Carroll

September 17 -
Autumn Krueger

September 22 -
Won Jea Keum

September 24 -
Selusi Tuiolemotu

September 28 -
Darla Bradley
Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo

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.
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.