e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Episcopal Address Part 1 and COVID-19 Notice no. 8

Bishop Stanovsky’s address to the September 2020 online Annual Conferences will be issued in written form in three parts before the sessions scheduled for September 15, 16 and 17. Part 1, which is also COVID-19 Notice #8, was sent out on Friday to the lay delegates to Annual Conference. It will be followed in coming weeks by Part 2 – Dismantling Racism, and Part 3 – Reimagining United Methodism: Alaska, the Greater Northwest, the Western Jurisdiction and The United Methodist Church. The bishop will offer an online overview during the conference sessions. Please send comments or questions to her at bishop@greaternw.org with the subject line: “Episcopal address.”

Annual Conference Registration Open for voting members
The Virtual Annual Conference Session registration is now OPEN. MEMBERS of the Annual Conference need to register in order to participate. GUESTS are invited to join via livestream. No registration required for guests. The livestream link will be provided within 7 days of the conference. Deadline for registration is TODAY, SEPTEMBER 1.

Pre-Conference Handbook Available for download
The Pre-Conference Handbook is complete and available for download. MEMBERS, please review this material prior to the Annual Conference Session.

***A petition was inadvertently left out. It has been included now.
GNTV Practice Sessions scheduled
MEMBERS of the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Annual Conferences are encouraged to participate in a practice session to gain familiarity with the Zoom Webinar platform and the online voting system that will be used for Annual Conference this year. 
This webinar will be led by staff from GNTV who will be helping to facilitate the technical aspects of the webinars and voting processes.
GUESTS do not need to attend this practice or register for the Annual Conference Sessions. Each will be livestreamed for guests with more information released closer to the date.
 
Practice Sessions will be offered on the following dates/times: 
 
Tuesday, September 8, 7 p.m. PT — https://bit.ly/ACpractice1
Wednesday, September 9, 1 p.m. PT — https://bit.ly/ACpractice2
Thursday, September 10, 7 p.m. PT — https://bit.ly/ACpractice3
Sunday, September 13, 6 p.m. PT — https://bit.ly/ACpractice4
 
Registration is quick, free, and required in advance.
Save the Date: Celebrating the Greater Northwest Area on Sept. 20

ANNUAL CONFERENCE AFTER PARTY IN THREE TIME ZONES!

After the Greater Northwest Annual Conferences have met September 15, 16 and 17, let’s all come together to share our challenges and triumphs as we celebrate who we are as the Greater Northwest Area on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 3 pm Alaska Time, 4 p.m. Pacific Time and 5 p.m. Mountain Time.
 
Join Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky and other guests as we reflect on this moment in the life of our churches and communities – fighting COVID-19, Dismantling Racism and Re-Imagining Life Together – and hear plans for the year ahead.
 
More details to come.
Questions can be sent to communications@greaternw.org
Anti-racism book study

Alaska UMW has asked me to lead a book study as a member of the conference Racial Justice Committee. I have chosen Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad. I am attaching the flyer for the virtual 6-week event. We will begin Friday, September 25 and meet each Friday for 1 hour to discuss our learnings and ask questions in a safe, brave space. I hope that we can expand this to clergy and beyond UMW circles. I offer this book study to anyone who wants to engage in anti-racism work and desires a caring community to journey with them.

The link to register is: https://bit.ly/AUMWBook

Those who register will receive a link to the Zoom meeting directly from me. The registration form is also a covenant, a commitment to join and attend for 6 weeks. It is because of the sensitive nature of this topic that only those who commit to the 6 weeks will receive a link to the Zoom gathering.

Please keep this work in your prayers. 

Peace to all,
Sr. Kelly Marciales
UWM Virtual Annual Conference

The theme this year is "Ignited for Justice." As we all know this year has been a lot different. We are not able to gather in person, but we will still gather. Our Annual Gathering will be held over Zoom September 18-19. We will begin the event on Friday night at 6:00 pm with a Zoom orientation. This will give us all a chance to get used to gathering in a new way. Now I know some are worried about the traditional things that we must not exclude, and don't you worry we will be ending our first evening in the traditional way with a "Bring Your Own" ice cream social and unit sharing time.

Saturday will bring special guest, Carol Barton, National Social Action Coordinator to help us see the links within our systems that have direct effect on the economic inequality and how we can continue the justice work that United Methodist Women is doing by focusing on this in our community. Vice President Jennifer Miller invites you to join in for a weekend like they have never done before. No driving, no flying, no lost luggage.

Church/Charge Conference paperwork now online

Every year, churches across the denomination have church/charge conferences with the Superintendent. Superintendent Carlo has already begun scheduling those with each of the Alaska churches. The forms are now posted on the conference website for download. Paperwork from each church is due at least two days prior to your meeting. Please send the completed paperwork to the Superintendent and the Conference Office.

Missionary Salary Support

An important part of the work of Missions within the UMC is the support of our missionaries. It is not uncommon for local churches, Sunday School classes, UMW or UMM groups, individuals or you to covenant with a missionary. This means you provide financial support to pay the salary and commit to pray for the missionary on a regular basis. In turn the missionary commits to pray for you and to provide you with information about the ministry and how its presence makes a difference in the lives of those with which it serves. Generally every 3 to 5 years the missionary itinerates to speak with the supporting churches. This is very difficult to do in Alaska since the cost of getting a missionary here generally out weighs the financial benefits and to make good use of the missionary's time and resources he/she needs to speak in several churches. This means unless several of our churches support the same missionary he/she will not be able to visit with us in person. We have an even larger influence on the ministry when we Alaska churches support the same missionaries that are supported by our sister churches in the GNW and have a better chance of having the missionary visit our Alaska churches.
 
With the pandemic, itineration of missionaries happens virtually which opens up a whole new world for us in terms of learning about missionaries and the work they do for and with the UMC. The following flyer provides information about Emily Everett who is just such a missionary. I encourage you to zoom in on September 3rd at 10 AM PDT, invite others to do so and learn about her work in Brazil. Then I hope you will prayerfully consider supporting her ministry with salary support. View the information here.

If you need more information about Covenant Relationships with missionaries go to the website for the General Board of Global Ministries or contact me as the Conference Secretary for Global Ministries: Fran Lynch flynch@mtaonline.net
Certified Lay Ministry Classes

Have you felt God nudging you to a deeper discipleship? Have you wanted to serve the church and community in a more focused way that uses your talents and God-given gifts? The United Methodist Church has a certified leadership program that equips church members to use their gifts in service to others through the church and in the world.

There are three tracks of certification available– Certified Lay Servant, Certified Lay Speaker, and Certified Lay Minister. All three tracks begin with the BASIC course, and have follow up advance coursework. Many of the advanced classes can be taken online through www.beadisciple.com.

St. John UMC will be offering the BASIC coursework on September 19 and 26 from 1pm-5pm. Attendance at both classes is required for completion.

To register for the BASIC class CLICK HERE.

To purchase your required reading, Certified Lay Ministry BASIC Participant Book CLICK HERE.

Contact the Rev. Andy Bartel with any questions. (907)344-3025 or stjohn.sjumc@gmail.com
Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course

The "Introduction to Lay Ministry: The BASIC Course" is the foundational course for Lay Servant Ministries. This is the gateway course for those who are called to be Certified Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, and Lay Ministers. And can also be part of a person's discipleship plan to acquaint you with their gifts, calling, and responsibilities as followers of Christ.

Time: Tuesdays 2-4 pm PDT September 29 through October 27
Location: Online Zoom Course
Instructor: Emilie Kroen, Oregon-Idaho Associate Lay Leader
Cost: the cost of the book
Register by September 20 - email ekroen@yahoo.com or call Emilie at 503-312-4138. Provide your Name, Address, Phone #, and your local church setting.
National News
#30DaysAntiRacism

Join us starting today for 30 Days of Anti-Racism. Each day we will engage in an activity that helps us to become more anti-racist in the ways we think and act. Share your progress with a picture or a reflection using #30DaysAntiRacism.

Encourage your friends, members of your congregation, Sunday school class, pastors, and community partners to join this 30 day effort.

Board gets update on giving, online worship

The spread of COVID-19 has made an impact on United Methodist finances and online worship attendance. At its August meeting, the board of the denomination's finance agency got an update on both. The board also named a new general counsel.

Louisiana churches hit by Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura may not have brought the widespread devastation that was feared, but southwest Louisiana was clobbered by its powerful winds. Pastors reported damage, some of it extensive, to a handful of United Methodist churches in and near Lake Charles.

Day of prayer addresses racism

Michigan Bishop David Bard told participants in a National Day of Prayer that the killing of George Floyd reveals that "under a veneer" of Midwestern niceness, there is lingering and persistent racism. He prayed God would "work your work in us," and help "leave racism in the dustbin of history." The Rev. Rich Peck has more on the three-hour online gathering for United Methodist Men sponsored by the North Central Jurisdiction.

Supporting the church amid pandemic disruptions

One United Methodist top executive characterized the COVID-19 pandemic as "pulling back the curtain" to reveal society's most vulnerable communities. The denomination's general agencies are finding new ways to support the church's mission and its members during this time.

Church has the tools to dismantle racism today

Four young United Methodists leaders discussed the history of racism in the church and ways the denomination can "move the needle" toward eradicating racism. The internet broadcast was part of a series of United Methodist town hall meetings on race.

Creation care rises in the time of COVID-19

While St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Florida has put some ministries on hold, the church has expanded its gardening ministry to tackle food insecurity in its community.

Tell the world you're taking a stand

Display your commitment to racial justice by ordering a United Methodists Stand Against Racism t-shirt – or order enough for your group! Wear the shirt to worship services, events, community gatherings and demonstrations. Sizes S - 3XL are available, in both long- and short‑sleeved styles.

Called to Witness, Care, and Act

Facing a dual pandemic consisting not only of the COVID-19 virus, but of more and more systemic racism, clergy and laity are learning ways to minister differently. During these uncertain times, God calls us to lead courageous conversations.
How can we be supportive while isolated?
How can we see and understand the systemic racism that is so deeply rooted?
The AACLL Executive Team shares a message for Laity in the UMC.

New anti-racism 101 online course


This online course centers on one big idea: the differences between anti-racism and defending oneself against charges of racism. As a 101 course, the content will focus on defining anti-racism as interrupting and dismantling racism; identifying which actions fall into categories of anti-racism (avoidance or defending oneself against charges of racism); and building resilience to white fragility. The three sessions will roughly fall under these categories: theory (big idea), practice (identifying the differences), and personal (internal work).

Pre-register now for a special discount!
Special price for the first 100 registrations: $34.99
Regular price: $39.99

Bishop J. Woodrow Hearn dies

Retired United Methodist Bishop J. Woodrow Hearn died last night (August 30, 2020) at home in Galveston, Texas, after a long battle with illness. 
 
He was elected to the episcopacy by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church in July 1984. He was assigned to the Nebraska Area for 1984-1992. In 1992, he was assigned to the Houston Area where he served until his retirement in 2000.
 
Funeral arrangements are not complete, but it is likely that there will be a family-only burial in Ruston, Louisiana. A memorial service in Galveston, Texas, will be scheduled when it is safe to hold one sometime in the future.
Praying for Change - sign up to receive a daily prayer for anti-racism

In these days of political division, COVID-19, heightened racial tensions and protests, and now yet another shooting that has occurred in Kenosha, Wisconsin, we turn to prayer once again. Prayer is the proper response during these times and is the centerpiece of the Christian life.
Discipleship Ministries has a free daily prayer crafted for just these times. Please take a moment to sign up, and we will send you a prayer each day by email that you can utilize in your daily life.
Thank you for letting us serve you during these times.

Conference Calendar
7: Labor Day - Office Closed
15: Alaska Annual Conference Session (6-9PM)
20: Greater Northwest Area-wide Celebration with Bishop Stanovsky
31: Halloween
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

September 11 -
Emily Carroll

September 17 -
Autumn Krueger

September 28 -
Darla Bradley
Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340
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.