A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Western Bishops Share Messages of Lent
The bishops in the Western Jurisdiction will offer messages of faith each week of Lent, with the prayer that God will strengthen the Church for its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
This week, the message comes from Bishop Grant Hagiya of the California-Pacific Conference. Reflecting on Matthew 4:8, he looks at the power struggle between Christ and Satan and sees a parallel to the political processes of the current day. Read his reflection on the Western Jurisdiction website.

The first message came from our very own, Bishop Elaine Stanovsky.  You can read her message here.
Update Insurance Information by April 1
In a letter that was mailed out to each church on January 3rd, the Conference Treasurer has requested that each church and/or group that is covered under the Conference Group Fire and Liability Insurance program send updated information by April 1st.

It says, "The program is based on accurate reporting of values and contractual risk factors.  With it now being a few years since the program incepted, the insurer would like updated information on your congregation's operations.  We ask if you may complete the enclosed application and return it to us..."

This is a friendly reminder to make sure you begin working on the renewal with the updated information and get it sent into Van Vong with Marsh as well as Brant Henshaw, Conference Treasurer.
Choir Robes Available
St. John UMC has 13 choir robes that they are willing to give away free.  They are in good condition.  They look mostly like the picture to the right but they do not have the long stole with the cross on the left chest and the sleeves are plain with no cuff. Teri Inch  would be glad to show them to you or deliver them anywhere in Anchorage.  You can contact Teri Inch at 382-4262 or inchteri@gmail.com if you are interested.
UMW Newsletter
The Alaska United Methodist Women have published their latest newsletter.  There is recap from the Annual Gathering as well as highlighting of events to come.  Please read it and share it with your church!

Read it here!
Anchorage First UMC Foundation Grant
The First United Methodist Church Foundation (Anchorage) is accepting applications for grants to be used for educational benefits, scholarships, outreach to the community and the world, and capital projects for the First United Methodist Church, Anchorage. Applications are available at the First United Methodist Church or click here Applications should be concise and fit within the one page application. Submissions must be received by 31 March, 2017 .

The First United Methodist Church Foundation was formed on January 13, 1991. It was formed from the First United Methodist Church Endowment which began in 1989. The purpose of the Foundation was to distribute dividend profits to various charity organizations. Grant requests can be used for educational benefits, scholarships, out reach into the community and the world, and capital projects for the First United Methodist Church.

Since currently this is a relatively small fund, all grant requests received will be prioritized by the committee in accordance with the bylaws and selected by the majority members of the Fou
ndation. Selected grant approvals will be notified and receive their funds in a short period of time afterwards. Unfortunately not all grants can be approved, but as the fund grows, this Foundation will be able to help others.
"Walk With Wholeness" - Spiritual Growth Retreat
Come Join Us for the 2017 Spiritual Growth Retreat hosted by United Methodist Women
"Walk With Wholeness"
March  31 - April 2, 2017
North Star Bible Camp, Willow Alaska
Registration is $160
Deadline Extended: ALL REGISTRATIONS ARE DUE BY  MARCH 22, 2017
We are excited to welcomPraveena Balasundaram from the United Methodist Women's National Office as our Retreat Leader and Rev. Lisa Talbott, from Homer UMC, as our Retreat Clergy.

You can download the registration form from our website.
  If you prefer, you can fill out your registration form online and then mail in your payment.
Please plan to join us for this wonderful spiritual growth opportunity!
First Apportionment Report of 2017
The January and February report of the Apportionment giving has been posted to the conference website.  To see how your church is starting off the year, view the report here.
United Methodist Men
By a margin of 80% to 20%, the General Conference of 1996 approved the creation of the General Commission on United Methodist Men (GCUMM), effective January 1, 1997. The GCUMM assumed the responsibilities of the former Division of United Methodist Men of the General Board of Discipleship.

This General Commission publishes a nice journal and back issues are available to see on their website: www.gcumm.org. Look under Resources and then in box on right.  Of course, the website has all the information you could imagine about UMM. Subscriptions are available. 

As for Alaska, Jim LaBau and Charles Brower have been leading a small group of men, mostly from St. John UMC. Other churches can certainly have their own group.

The winter 2017 UMM magazine issue has great articles on vital congregations, finding focus for the church, Toastmasters helping in prison ministry, and many other interesting stories. See Larry Hayden to borrow it.
Clear Appointment Openings
A list of churches that are open for appointment can be found on the Greater NW Area website. As appointments are announced and the appointment process unfolds, new clear openings will be added to the list. See the latest.
Miracle-Themed Ads and Resources will Extend Easter Invitation to Seekers
Miracles, and what children have to say about them, will be the focus of The United Methodist Church's national Easter advertising campaign and accompanying local church resources this spring. Running late March through mid-April, the ads are the second phase of the 2017 campaign, "Our Beliefs. Their Words," which features children sharing about their faith.

"A miracle is an everyday extraordinary. It's when you find the strength that you didn't think you had, when you find hope when you thought all was lost. It's something that happens every day," said Alisyn, an 11-year-old United Methodist who was interviewed for the campaign.

Jennifer Rodia, chief communications officer at United Methodist Communications, said, "Sometimes as adults we lose sight of the fact that God never leaves our side. And I wish that everybody seeing this campaign could have a glimpse of that again."

At the conclusion of each advertisement, viewers are encouraged to rediscover miracles in their own lives with the statement, "Children believe in miracles. What would the world be like if we all did? We believe that together, we can make it happen this Easter."

The ads will run on multiple platforms, including digital and cable television, and will encourage viewers to visit RethinkChurch.org to learn more about the denomination as well as locate a local United Methodist church. Now is the time for all churches to update their Find-A-Church profile with current contact and worship information so that potential visitors can gather details about churches in their zip code. To get started, church leaders should visit the Find-A-Church website, search for their local church, select their church's profile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Update Church Information."

Local churches can utilize a variety of resources that relate to the campaign; orders will be accepted until March 20 or until supplies run out. Available resources include:
  • Up to 1,000 free postcards, customized with information about the local church and mailed within a radius of the church's address. Multiple design options are available.
  • 250 free door hangers with customizable space, offering a warm and welcoming front door greeting from the local church.
  • 250 free invitation cards, providing a simple, yet heartfelt way for church members to invite friends and family members to attend a worship service or church event.
  • Free downloadable worship graphics, social media assets and bulletin covers.
Additionally, a free suite of resources that feature non-seasonal messaging and denominational branding is available for download in both English and in Spanish. The suite includes postcards, invitation cards, door hangers, worship service imagery and social media assets, all of which can be customized for digital and print use.
Way Forward Group Looking to Get Feedback
The Commission on a Way Forward is still in its early stages, but the group already is talking about how to gather feedback for eventual proposals related to church unity. Commission members expressed optimism about the work  ahead.

Read the story
Heritage Sunday is May 21
Heritage Sunday
This year's theme is: "MILESTONES - Calling Local Churches to Discover and Celebrate Their History." Resources to guide and assist planning your local church Heritage Sunday celebration will appear on the GCAH website beginning March 1. Heritage Sunday (para. 262, 264.1) calls every congregation to remember United Methodist heritage as a source of inspiration for ministry in the present and shaping vision for the future.
UMW 3rd Annual Day of Giving - March 23
United Methodist Women will have their 3rd Annual Day of Giving on March 23, 2017.

The money received from A Day of Giving goes to The Legacy Fund, a permanent endowment fund, established to support the mission outreach of future generations of United Methodist Women.

The March 23 Day of Giving honors the women at Tremont Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts that first organized for missions in 1869. The Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, a predecessor of United Methodist Women was established and women around the country raised money to send a doctor, Clara Swain, and a teacher, Isabella Thoburn, to India as missionaries to serve the women of that nation.
You can donate through any of these options: 
  • Online at  www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/legacyfund.
  • Phone: 800-278-7771 (8 a.m.-6 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday).
  • Text Legacy150 to 41444.
  • By check to Office of the Treasurer, United Methodist Women,
    475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115.
    Write "The Legacy Fund" in the memo section.
Consider a $15, $150, or even $1,500 contribution, in recognition of the upcoming 150th anniversary, or $18.69, $186.90, or even $1,869, in recognition of the year of United Methodist Women's founding.
12: Daylight Saving Time
13-17: ASD Spring Break
18: Leadership Team meeting
23: UMW Day of Giving
31-April 2: Women's Spiritual Growth Retreat

16: Easter
18-20: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
20-22: GBGM Board Meeting in Atlanta - Carlo attending
23-24: UMDF Board Meeting in Austin - Carlo attending

6: Leadership Team meeting
21: Heritage Sunday
22-25: GNW Cabinet meeting in Seattle - Carlo attending
29: Memorial Day - Office Closed
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
March 21: Nico Romeijn-Stout
March 25: Evelyn Erbele
March 29: Doug Handlong

April 3: Tim McConville
April 12: Robert Hicks
April 22: Melissa Engel
April 23: Karen Martin Tichenor

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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