e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
Register Now!
The first week of October will be filled with New Clergy Orientation (10/4), the Clergy & Professional Church Workers Retreat (10/5-10/6), and the Fall Rendezvous Meetings (10/6-10/7).  Information has been sent out to all of those that should be involved in these events.  Please make sure you register now for the Fall Rendezvous meetings so that those who are planning the events can have as accurate a number as possible.  We thank you!

Registration deadline is TOMORROW, Wednesday 9/27!
Bishop's Symposium is No Joke: A Rabbi, an Imam, a Pastor and Brian McLaren Walk Into...
The increasingly diverse communities we live in can provide great opportunities for personal learning and spiritual growth. Whether our goal is to foster better understanding of our neighbors, or to pursue creative partnerships for the common good, we can only improve the likelihood of positive results through intentional preparation.
 
This year's Bishop's Symposium will focus on the need to develop our capacity for intercultural communication as we experience the possibilities of interfaith relationships. Through a variety of opportunities, we will glean from the wisdom of others to learn what can be gained, and dream a little about what we might ourselves do.
 
United Methodist clergy and lay persons across the Greater Northwest Area are invited to participate in this year's Bishop's Symposium. Individuals are invited to cross conference boundaries to attend the option that best fits their schedule.

Historical Site Dedication
On Friday, October 6th at 1:15 PM, a plaque unveiling and historical site dedication will occur on the campus of Alaska Pacific University.   The Board of Trustees of APU will be present during this event.  A reception will be held after the unveiling. 
 
During Annual Conference in June, the body voted to approve APU becoming an official United Methodist Historical site.  APU began its history as Alaska Methodist University.  You can read more about the Methodist connection here in Larry Hayden's book.  
 
Please let the conference office know if you plan on attending. RSVP here by September 30! 
Charge Conference Paperwork
Superintendent Carlo has scheduled most of the upcoming charge conferences.  As you prepare for your time together as a church with the superintendent, make sure you have ALL of our required paperwork filled out and ready to submit on or before your scheduled meeting date.  Forms can be found in PDF here.  If you need something in Word, please contact the conference office.
Birchwood Camp News
Winter Youth Break Away

Middle School and High School Students are invited to this year's Winter Youth Break Away camp which will be held January 2 - January 6, 2018.

Bring your sleds, skates, snowshoes, and helmets...play in the snow!!!  Excellent food, fun and fellowship! Join them for Water is Life!

Registration fee: $240
Registration Open: October 1, 2017
***NEW*** Extended Camp Hours!
Check-in/drop-off 11 AM, Tuesday, January 2
Pick-up at 11 AM, Saturday, January 6

Help Wanted: Volunteer Kitchen Assistant

Have you ever wondered how we serve 150 pancakes in the morning? Or wanted Berneita's tomato soup recipe?

Help Birchwood serve our weekend fall/winter guests.  They have a few weekends that the group sizes are 60+ and they need extra hands in the kitchen.  Help prepare food, wash dishes, and love their guests through food!

If you are interested in this unique volunteer experience, please contact Relena at director@birchwoodcamp.org or 907-688-2734.
Abundant Health in your Local Community
As I write this we continue to hear of the plight of our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean and Mexico. There is so much sadness in the midst of this and many of you may be reaching out to help. Thank you for your ministry.
 
I also want you to remember the neighbor you have in your local communities. School has started and soon there will be snow on the ground. Reach out to the local programs that provide food and coats to those children who otherwise would have to go without and partner with them. If your congregation is engaged in any service or program that improves the lives of children and families, then you are engaged in Abundant Health. Please go to the Abundant Health website and say, "Yes, we are engaged in ministry."
 
 
Grace and Peace, Sandra Woods
Who is my Neighbor?
Your conference archive/resource room at the Conference Center was given a DVD by presenters at a recent conference at Drew University.  Who is my Neighbor? highlights some of the story of Native American Methodism in Oklahoma. Just like all our other resources, it is available for short-term check out.
 
Please contact Larry Hayden if you are interested. 
Mission u Registration Open for Juneau
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. The studies give particular attention to the responsibilities of women in the fulfillment of the mission work of the church. Mission u events also include worship & singing, interest groups around current issues, audiovisual presentations, food and fellowship! Please join in embracing the opportunity to grow, share and advocate for others!

To learn more about the studies, leaders, and to register, click here
ERT Training - October 21st & 22nd
If you are interested in volunteering to respond to Texas or other areas of disasters as part of an Early Response Team (ERT), this is an opportunity to get the necessary training.  Anyone wanting to be deployed from Alaska must have this training.  The full ERT training will be on October 21st from 9:00am-5:00pm, and then advanced courses specific for hurricane responses will be on the 22nd from 2:00pm-6:00pmBoth will be held at Anchor Park UMC (2300 Oak Drive, Anchorage, 99508).  If you are interested in more information, please contact Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Daniel Wilcox, at danielpwilcox@gmail.com, or 907.414.7078.
NATIONAL NEWS
Volunteers in Mission Sunday Launched
UMVIM
The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries is inviting United Methodist churches and annual conferences to participate in United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Awareness Sunday on a date of their choosing. The 2016 General Conference approved UMVIM Awareness Sunday as a time to recognize the ministry of "those who have served in short- and long-term missions and the work of UMVIM throughout the world."  

Read press release
UMCOR is there for the Long Haul After Disasters
Being the last to leave after a disaster is a calling card for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and a sign of hope for those starting the recovery process in the wake of Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Save the Date!
November 28 - UMC #GivingTuesday
We hope you will join United Methodists around the world to support Global Ministries missionaries and Advance projects on UMC #GivingTuesday Nov. 28.

Frederick Buechner once described "calling" as the place "where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." One of the great things about The Advance is that it allows you to invest your resources where your passion answers specific needs in the world.

The UMC #GivingTuesday theme this year is "Connect Your Passion with God's Mission." One hundred percent of your gifts made online through The Advance goes to the missionary or project of your choice.

In 2016, more than 2,550 people from 19 countries gave gifts of more than $850,000 toward missionary support and Advance projects. The countries or territories represented included Argentina, Austria, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Fiji, Guam, Ireland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This was truly a global effort.

Now is a great time to start thinking about how you want to connect your passion to God's mission on Nov. 28. Visit umcmission.org/give to learn more about missionaries and projects. Your gift on UMC #GivingTuesday will help bring hope and healing to a world in need. 
New Group to Church: Let's Stay Together
The new group Uniting Methodists Movement is getting under way with the message that different views of same-gender marriage and gay ordination need not be church-dividing. Two of the group's leaders are members of the Commission on a Way Forward.
 
Read the story
Churches, Ministry Hit by Earthquake
 Methodists are among those affected by and responding to the devastating Sept. 19 earthquake in Mexico. Some church buildings and parsonages of the Methodist Church of Mexico were damaged, as was a campus of Give Ye Them to Eat, a ministry supported by United Methodists. Methodists are joining in relief efforts. Sam Hodges reports.
 
Read the story

Still with West Virginia in Flood Recovery
UMCOR It's a sad reality that most disasters drop out of the news cycle quickly. The June 2016 flood that devastated parts of West Virginia has long faded from the headlines, but The United Methodist Church is still helping those trying to rebuild homes and lives.
 
Read the story
See before-and-after photos

A team from Anchor Park UMC will be headed to West Virginia next month to help in the rebuilding efforts.
MTSO Seminary Professor Seeks Insights from Congregations that Share Space
Many congregations share their facilities - either with outside groups or among multiple internal groups - using the spaces at different times in ways that meet each group's specific needs. What are the experiences, benefits and challenges encountered by congregations that have forged these relationships?
 
Paul Numrich, professor in the Snowden Chair for the Study of Religion and Interreligious Relations at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, has set out to answer these questions through a research project funded by the Louisville Institute. His intent is to identify factors that lead to relatively conflict-free space-sharing arrangements.

Numrich is inviting leaders from congregations that have shared space to contribute to his research - and learn about others' experiences - by visiting www.mtso.edu/sharingspace. He will post responses to his questions on the website.
Global Migration Sunday set for First Sunday in Advent, December 3
Every minute, an average of 20 people worldwide flee their homes because of war, famine and persecution. To prayerfully remember the plight of migrants, Global Migration Sunday has been set for December 3, the first Sunday of Advent. On this date, all United Methodist churches are asked to gather an offering dedicated to responding to human suffering caused by migration.

"The facts are staggering," said Thomas Kemper, chief executive, General Board of Global Ministries. "There are more than 65.6 million displaced people in the world today, more than at any time since World War II."

The millions of migrants include children and their families fleeing to escape war and persecution, violence and extortion activities associated with criminal and gang organizations, economic hardship and poverty, forced displacement, and a distrust of local government. In most instances, the journey is treacherous as people traverse continents and the world. Thousands have died while crossing oceans and seas in ill-equipped boats; disease and starvation kill others. Those who make it to a new place are not guaranteed that they can stay and many are turned back.
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
September
26: Charge Conference - Community UMC

October
4-7: New Clergy Orientation, Clergy Retreat, Fall Rendezvous Committee Meetings
6-8: United Methodist Women Annual Gathering at First UMC Anchorage
9-11: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
12-14: GBGM Board Meeting - Carlo attending
13-14: Mission u Southeast at Aldersgate UMC
21: Charge Conference - Ola Toe Fuataina UM Samoan Fellowship
22: Charge Conference - Girdwood Chapel UMC
25: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
28: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
28: Charge Conference - St. Peter the Fisherman UMC
29: Charge Conference - Soldotna UMC

November
4: Charge Conference - North Star UMC
4: Charge Conference - Kenai UMC
5: Charge Conference - Seward Memorial UMC
5: Charge Conference - Moose Pass UMC
8: Charge Conference - Willow UMC
9: Charge Conference - Christ First UMC
12: Charge Conference - UMC of Sitka
13: Charge Conference - Aldersgate UMC
13: Charge Conference - Douglas Community UMC
16: Charge Conference - UMC of Chugiak
19-20: UMDF Board Meeting - Carlo attending
26: Charge Conference - Anchorage Korean UMC
27: Charge Conference - First UMC Fairbanks
28: Charge Conference - Palmer UM Fellowship
30: Charge Conference - First UMC Anchorage/First Samoan UMC of Anchorage
New Office Hours
Office Hours
The Conference Office has new hours!
 
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:30 am 
happy_birthday_candles.jpg
Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays
 
September 28 -
Darla Bradley

October 8 -
Andy Bartel

October 10 -
Luke Jones

October 18 -
Dan Wilcox



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 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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