e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
Apportionment Report through December 14
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The treasurer's office has sent us the latest apportionment report that goes through December 14.  There are several churches that are just one payment away from reaching 100% paid.  Make sure your payments get into the treasurer's office in Washington on time.  If you have any questions, please contact Brant Henshaw or Carlo Rapanut.
 
January 6th is the deadline for 2017 Apportionment payments.
 
Report 
Save the dates...
Save the Date Winter Rendezvous meetings will be held February 15-17.  This will include a learning event.  More information will be published in the following weeks.  These meetings will be held at the Conference Center (1660 Patterson Street, Anchorage).

Annual Conference will be held in Seward in 2018.  A pre-conference event will take place May 31.  The conference session will be June 1-2.

Watch for a couple of electronic surveys so that we can poll you all on various needs.
First UMC Foundation grants available
The First United Methodist Church Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be used as educational benefits, scholarships, out-reach to the community and the world, and capital projects.  Applications should be a concise request using the form provided by First United Methodist Church, Anchorage and can be found on the FUMC website or the church office.  Submissions must be received by January 31, 2018 at the street address given below.  Award recipients will be notified in March 2018.
 
FUMC Foundation - Grants
725 W 9th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-272-2112
Shower trailer to assist VIM teams in Alaska
Finding lodging for Early Response Teams (ERT) and Volunteers in Mission (VIM) teams is always a challenge. The teams frequently find themselves sleeping on cots or air mattresses in a church, a school, or other facility with minimal amenities. The Conference ERT and VIM Coordinators in concert with the team leaders do their best to find lodging that is clean, climate controlled for the season, and provides adequate accommodations necessary to meet safe sanctuary requirements. Fortunately, our volunteers tend to be flexible and willing to deal with whatever is thrown at them.
 
The greatest challenge is finding facilities that have showers. Very few of our churches have them so we often have to find places like fitness centers, motels, or schools that will allow our teams to use their showers during their stay.   Read more 
Winter Youth Break Away Camp
Birchwood Camp
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

www.birchwoodcamp.org/camps
2018 Youth Mission Immersion
Join us January 12-13, 2018 as we explore what it means to be a servant of God through service to others. 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 Café & Habitat for Humanity. We'll meet on Friday night and have a time of worship & fellowship. We stay overnight at St. John UMC and then go out into Anchorage and serve all day Saturday! Cost is $30; scholarships are available!  All youth and their friends are invited to join us. We also need adults to help on Saturday as we go out into the community.  To find out more about this experience and to register, click here
 
Quotes from last years participants...
"Today 'my team' spent part of the afternoon handing out care packages to homeless. I saw God in the faces of my group. The reactions of seeing how happy we were to serve others. I am thankful for these opportunities to serve. "
"While distributing food at the Mobile Food Bank, I enjoyed watching how those receiving food shared-when someone else needed something, another person in line would give away that food item to help someone else. "
 "Today was fun! We helped elderly people and entertained them with music and BINGO"
"It always feels great to give back to our community. Not everyone is blessed to have the life we get to live every day. "
"today I felt like a servant of God. I was helping, loving and giving back to the people of the community."
Summer Camp dates and Internship Applications
Birchwood Camp
Birchwood Camp is pleased to announce their 2018 Summer Camp brochure and Internship Applications are live!
 
 
If you want to apply for one of the summer internships at the camp, or would like to learn more, fill out the internship application here
NATIONAL NEWS
Bishops offer Christmas message
In a Christmas message to the people of The United Methodist Church on behalf of the Council of Bishops, Council president Bishop Bruce Ough encourages us to re-ignite the longing for the birth of Christ in our lives.  

Read the message
Watch the video
Commission on Way Forward booklet
In a November press release from the Commission on a Way Forward and the Council of Bishops, there was a promise to provide a booklet that listed some of the resources that the Commission has been using as part of its preparation for an interim report to the Council of Bishops.  The press release has been updated whit the link to the booklet.

Updated press release
Booklet
Attack on Methodist church in Pakistan condemned
The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, World Methodist Council and World Council of Churches are among those condemning a Dec. 16 attack on Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in western Pakistan that killed at least nine people and injured more than 50 attending a worship service. Thomas Kemper of Global Ministries called upon authorities in Pakistan "to increase security for Christian churches and community in the face of threats from the self-declared Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorists." Bethel Memorial Methodist Church is a congregation of the Church of Pakistan. 
 
Read Global Ministries statement
World Methodist Council statement
Read WCC story
Church spreads Christmas cheer to storm victims
Imagine losing almost everything and having to start over with just the essentials. Now imagine it's Christmas, and the cheerful tree and festive decorations are absent, lost to mold and muck and other flood-related devastation. Jessica Brodie tells how one United Methodist church in South Carolina responded. 
 
Read the story
Human Relations Day is January 14
Turn on the news or drive around the outskirts of your town and you will find what Jesus called "the least of these." Those living in the margins of society, struggling to survive.

Over and over Jesus served people like this, embracing them. And that's what we want to model as the people of The United Methodist Church. To continue the ministry of Jesus we established Human Relations Day as a Special Sunday that calls all of our churches to participate in helping all God's children to realize their potential.
 
Will You Support the Ministry of Christ Among Those on the Margins?

Will you continue to support Human Relations Day? Will you continue nurturing at-risk youth, strengthening communities' self-improvement efforts and advocating for the oppressed?

Human Relations Day is Sunday, January 14 and you can give in the offering plate.  You can also give now through electronic means.

Celebrating Christmas around the world
Congregations across the globe celebrate Christmas with their own customs and cultures.  Take a photo tour to see what the holiday is like in a a variety of countries.  United Methodist Communications is grateful to the United Methodist churches and photographers who contributed their photos to their first "Christmas Around the World" slideshow. Share your photos from this year's Christmas and Advent celebrations for inclusion in next year's slideshow. Send photos to kbarry@umcom.org and write CHRISTMAS SLIDESHOW in the subject line.  

View slideshow
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
December
24: Christmas Eve
25: Christmas Day - Office Closed
31: New Year's Eve

January
1: New Years Day - Office Closed
7: Charge Conference - First UMC Ketchikan
8-10: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
11: Charge Conference - Christ First UMC
12: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
16: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
18: Charge Conference - Anchor Park UMC
26-28: UMW Leadership Team meetings at Conference Center
New Office Hours
Office Hours
The Conference Office has new hours!
 
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:00 am 
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Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays
 
December 23 -
Christina DowlingSoka
Curtis Matz

January 5 -
Janice Carlton

Karen Dammann -
January 18



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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