A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Apportionments & Submission Deadline
Here is the   new apportionment report as of January 6th.  22 of our churches have paid 100% of their apportionments! Congratulations to you! For those that haven't reached 100% yet, you have a few more days.  The last day of acceptance, IN HAND (NOT mailed-by date), is January 11th.  TOMORROW!!!
Learning Event and Winter Rendezvous
Save the Date
Our Learning Event will be February 16-17, 2017 (Thursday 1:00 pm - Friday 3:00 pm) followed by the Winter Rendezvous (Conference committee meetings) on February 17-18, 2017 (Friday evening - Saturday afternoon). The Learning Event will focus on Creating New Places for New People and Nurturing Vital Congregations with Rev. Dr. Bill Gibson and Rev. Steve Ross as our main resource people.  The registrations and detailed schedules for both events will be completed this week so watch out for it by next week's e~Aurora.

To prepare for the learning event, here's some homework for you.
1. Form a Vitality Team in your local church.
2. Read and study the following documents together
a.  Northwest Adventure: New Church Development in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area ( click here to download)
b. Renewal Northwest: Congregational Vitality in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area ( click here to download)
3. Access and study your mission field's demographics through  MissionInsite. Each church in the Alaska Conference has access to this demographic service. For more info on how to log-in, contact Crystal Feaster at the Conference Office.
4. Test the results of your demographics study by interviewing key people in your community. Guide questions for this will be made available soon.
Youth Mission Immersion VI
Soon St. John UMC in Anchorage will be taken over by highly energetic teens who will be exploring what it means to be a servant of God through service to others. Youth from across Alaska will gather in fellowship for this Mission Immersion Experience. Some of the places they have served at in past Mission Immersions include Habitat Restore, FISH, Pioneer Home, Anchorage Rescue Mission, Beans Café & Habitat for Humanity. Mission Immersion runs Jan. 13-14. The youth stay overnight  at St. John 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. We also need adults to help on Saturday as we go out into the community. Contact Robbie for more info at youth.sjumc@gmail.com or go to their info page about the event.  Be in prayer for all those that will be participating this weekend.
Conference Office Break-In
Sometime between Thursday evening, January 5th and Saturday afternoon, January 7th, the Alaska UM Conference office was broken into.  Items were taken.  Some emails and documents that occurred prior to July 2016 may not be recovered.  As we get things back in working order here in the office, please pray for the person or persons who felt the need to do this.  As we have learned, we all need to be diligent in our surroundings and making sure we do all that we can to keep our churches safe and secure.
Your UMFCU Can Help You Refinance Debt
January is a good time to review your personal finances, monthly budget and any outstanding debt.  Knowing interest rates on your debt will empower you to make key decisions for improving your financial future in 2017.  Automobile refinancing, debt consolidation and transferring credit card balances to lower interest rates can help you save money and reduce your debt more efficiently.  UMFCU also offers home equity line of credit and mortgage lending assistance.  Call the UMFCU loan department at 800-245-0433 today to talk about how your credit union can improve your financial future.  Not yet a UMFCU member?  Email sandra@umfcu.org to request a membership packet.
Holway Memorial Set
Dennis Holway
Mark your calendar now for June 17, 2017.  The Holway family will be up in Alaska to share memories of Dennis Holway and spread his ashes at the chapel on Psalm Lake.  The event will take place at Birchwood Camp and anyone who knew him are invited to attend.  More details will come as the event gets closer.
Reclaiming the Common Good
On January 20, 2017, United Methodists around the United States are encouraged to host or join house/church parties from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for an evening of fellowship and food to discuss and engage in ways to Reclaim the Common Good. These conversations will be biblically and theologically grounded, affirm our core Wesleyan values, explore challenges in this moment as they impact our communities and nation, and offer opportunities to name ongoing faithful conversations as United Methodists. We hope you'll join.

Five United Methodist agencies - Church and Society, Commission on Religion and Race, Commission on the Status and Role of Women, Higher Education and Ministry, and United Methodist Women -  are working together to provide resources for hosts to use to facilitate meaningful conversations.

If Friday (Jan. 20) does not work well for your community, consider hosting an event another time in January. And if you already have plans that fit with this theme, think how you might incorporate Reclaim the Common Good into your program. 

United Methodists participating in conversations for the Common Good share visions using the hashtag #UM4CommonGood.

2017 Scholarship Applications Period Now Open
The Fall 2017 application for scholarships managed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry opened January 3, 2017. The application period closes March 1, 2017.

Visit the Scholarship Portal on UMC.org to learn more about scholarships that may be available for your students.

Learn more here
2016: The Year in Photos
From General Conference to natural disasters to community outreach, United Methodists were active across the world in 2016. Images of the global connection at work in the past year are captured in this photo slideshow.

View the slideshow
Epiphany Message from the Moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward
Epiphany means manifestation. This festival comes after Christmas and following the "Twelve Days of Christmas" to celebrate the manifestation of Christ to the world as Lord. Advent, Christmas and Epiphany are the first three events in the church year to celebrate the life of Jesus Christ, the center of the faith of the Church.

Read the rest of the message here.
10: Charge Conference - Willow UMC
11:  DEADLINE for ALL Finances for 2016
12-13: UMDF Board Meeting in Austin - Carlo attending
15: Charge Conference - First UMC Fairbanks
15: Charge Conference - New Hope Methodist Presbyterian Church
17-20: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
25-29: WJ Leadership meetings - Carlo attending
27-29: UMW Executive Team meeting in Anchorage
29-Feb 1: ADCM Meeting in Phoenix - Carlo attending

7-8: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
9: Charge Conference - UMC of Sitka
16-17: Conference Learning Event at Conference Center
17-18: Winter Rendezvous Meetings at Conference Center
27-March 3: GNW Cabinet in Seattle - Carlo attending

13-17: ASD Spring Break
Conference Office Email Address has Changed
We have changed the conference office email from umc@gci.net to alaskaumc@gmail.com.  For workflow ease, we are consolidating everything to the Google platform (email, calendar, etc.).  Please update your address books/contacts lists and start using alaskaumc@gmail.com for your emails to the conference. Carlo's email ( carlorapanut@gmail.com) will remain the same.
Clergy Birthdays
January 18: Karen Dammann

February 19: Steve Fisher

Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo
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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