A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Fresh United Methodist Summit
More than 200 laypersons, clergy, and bishops gathered in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 14-16 for the Western Jurisdiction’s Fresh United Methodism Summit to help prepare for the denomination’s 2020 General Conference and the ensuing Jurisdictional (Regional) Conference.

The Western Jurisdiction’s Leadership Team, which called for the gathering, concluded that the summit was a “movement moment in The United Methodist Church. The future of the church will come out of the vision of our younger people, leaders who stepped into the forefront of work of the summit.”

CrossOver to Life! · Week 50
Jesus Followers Rewrite Stories of Past Pain
by Rev. Jenny Smith
CrossOver reflection for  Week 50 • Beginning November 17, 2019

I glanced down at my phone with shaky hands. I found the door code in a text and punched it into the keypad. The door clicked open and I stepped cautiously inside a home turned therapist’s office. As I sat nervously on her couch, I fidgeted with my keys and water, honestly wishing I could head right out the door I just entered.

But no. I was brave when I made the appointment and I would try to summon that courage again. It was time. So for the next hour, I talked through my feelings and pain from a previous season of life. I cycled through a variety of emotions and my therapist made it feel safe to get curious about them.

Restoring Hope
Caused by a changing climate, the salmon catch for the Chignik fisheries in Alaska has plummeted. To help the community survive this loss of livelihood, UMCOR funds a program to source, transport and deliver food and pantry items through the winter months.

Video: WJ Bishops declare Safe Harbor for LGBTQ+ clergy, candidates
In just over a week, more than 6,300 United Methodists signed the Safe Harbor Declaration, supporting our Bishops' stand for a fully inclusive UMC! It has continued to grow since. Will you join them?

National News
Central Conference Bishops wholeheartedly support proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference
At last week's Council of Bishops Meeting, the United Methodist Central Conference College of Bishops stated that they will promote and solidly support the Connectional Table's (CT’s) legislation to General Conference 2020 that will create a new structure for churches in the United States. This structure will be called the United States Regional Conference.

The central conference bishops made this decision at their meeting on November 1, then shared the decision with the entire Council of Bishops on November 6 following the CT's presentation to the full Council. The full council had previously affirmed the CT proposal. In addition, the central conference bishops asked their steering committee to invite representatives of the CT to present their proposal to central conference delegates to General Conference.

Group of bishops calling for 'deeper conversations'
Eight United Methodist bishops are calling for a new form of unity amid differences over human sexuality that seem to be pushing The United Methodist Church toward a split. The bishops, four active and four retired, signed a statement and offered it to the church, calling for "deeper conversations regarding new expressions of Methodist witness."

CST hiring Director of Admissions and Enrollment Services
Claremont School of Theology is in the process of hiring a new Director of Admissions and Enrollment Services for its new campus in Salem, OR. If you are interested in learning more or applying, visit their website .
Bishops encouraged to break down barriers
United Methodist bishops celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall and agreed to work toward helping refugees overcome modern-day roadblocks to settling in the U.S.

Pockets, devozine magazines to cease publication
Pockets and devozine, devotional magazines for children and youth, will shut down after their January-February 2020 issues, The Upper Room announced. The Rev. Stephen D. Bryant, publisher, says that new technologies have caused circulation losses and The Upper Room will look for new ways to reach these audiences.

Carter reports on bishops' meeting
Council of Bishops President Kenneth H. Carter has released his summary of the council’s recent meeting, including actions taken and reports received. Some of what he describes occurred in closed session. Carter also addresses the bishops’ priorities as discussions continue about the future of the church.

Complaint against gay Iowa elder resolved
A just resolution has been reached in a complaint against the Rev. Anna Blaedel, the Iowa Conference announced Nov. 13. Blaedel has faced several complaints after publicly embracing the description "self-avowed practicing homosexual" at the 2016 Iowa Annual Conference. The Iowa elder faced a church trial in the latest complaint. The Rev. Art McClanahan has the story.

A Fully Inclusive Church
World AIDS Day is on Sunday, December 1st this year, but for 37 million people around the world, living with HIV and AIDS is an everyday reality. Millions who don’t know their status are at risk of infection or spreading infection, which also affects the millions they support and nurture through family and community life. The United Nations theme for World AIDS Day 2019 is “Communities make the difference.” Let’s remember our brothers and sisters as we meet on this special Sunday, the first day of Advent, and let us form the community that makes a difference for people living with AIDS.

UM Student Day | November 24
Did you know the United Methodist scholarship and loan programs award United Methodist students an average of $5.5 million each year? United Methodist Student Day, a Special Sunday that is Nov. 24 this year, helps make such financial aid a reality.

Another opportunity for young people from the Council of Bishops
There will be a Stewards Program for the World Council of Churches Central Committee meeting in Geneva, Switzerland this coming March. The program brings together 20 young people from different church traditions, backgrounds and regions all over the world. For the time period of 12 to 25 March 2020 they will serve at the central committee meeting, bringing their knowledge, their experience and their faith to an ecumenical encounter of togetherness and friendship. 

The program is open to active United Methodists aged 18-30.   The deadline for application is 5 December 2019.

For more information and to access the application guidelines, please visit: 

You may also contact  youth@wcc-coe.org for more information.
Conference Calendar
19: Charge Conference - Palmer UM Fellowship
20: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
21: Charge Conference - UMC of Chugiak
23: Charge Conference - Kenai UMC
23: Charge Conference - North Star UMC
23: Charge Conference - St. Peter the Fisherman UMC
24: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
26: Charge Conference - Anchor Park UMC
28: Thanksgiving - Office closed
29: Office Closed
1: Charge Conference - Anchorage Korean UMC
2: Charge Conference - Community UMC (Nome)
7: Leadership Team meeting
7: Charge Conference - Ola Toe Fuataina UM Samoan Fellowship
8: Charge Conference - First UMC, Fairbanks
10-12: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
13: Charge Conference - First UMC, Ketchikan
15: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
24: Christmas Eve - Office closed half day
25: Christmas Day - Office closed
31: New Year's Eve - Office closed half day
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

December 10 -
David Hall

December 23 -
Christina DowlingSoka
Curtis Matz
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.