A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Born of Mission | Fairbanks First UMC
The missionary work of the superintendent and members of the Visitation-Evangelism team of the Alaska Missionary Conference over 67 years ago birthed the current incarnation of a United Methodist Church in Fairbanks, known as First United Methodist today.

The first worship service was held at Carpenter’s Hall on March 23, 1952. Reverend A. E. Purviance arrived shortly thereafter, in June of 1952. The first hymnals, Sunday School supplies, church envelopes, communion set and altar-ware were supplied through the generosity of churches in Ketchikan, Seward, Anchorage and Juneau. In September 1952, First Methodist Church, known as “America’s Northernmost Methodist Church”, was officially organized with 80 members, and just two years later reported a total of 320 members.

CrossOver to Life! · Week 36
Three Promises Amid Violence
Rev. Katie Ladd
CrossOver reflection for  Week 35 • Beginning August 11, 2019

Like a lot of pastors, I had to change my sermon at the last minute last Sunday because of yet another shooting—wait, no, two mass shootings, one in El Paso, TX and one in Dayton, OH. Of course, these were not the only shootings around the country last weekend. In Chicago, one article I read said there were five shootings. There was even a shooting Sunday morning in Seattle. At the least, the shooting in El Paso was fueled by white supremacy. It's hard. The soul gets so weary. What can we do with the weary soul? How do we believe in God's good vision with so much violence all around us?

In chapter 49 of Brian McLaren's book We Make the Road by Walking , he focuses on the role of judgment in bringing about reconciliation, harmony, and healing.

New Methodist History available
Methodist History, the official academic journal of the General Commission of Archives and History, has arrived in the Reference Room at the Alaska Conference Center.

The July issue contents discuss:
  • "The Secret Mind Infallible": The Cast of Lots Among Leaders of Eighteenth-Century English Methodism
  • Introduction to "Susanna Wesley's Spirituality: The Freedom of a Christian Women" by Rachel Cope.
  • "Susanna Wesley's Spirituality: The Freedom of a Christian Women" by Charles I. Wallace, Jr.
  • Remembering the Significance of My Home Church, La Trinidad Iglesia Metodista, Sequin: Personal Memories and Reflections. 

Book Reviews were the focus by D. Bruce Hindmarsh, The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism: True Religion in a Modern World; and the second one was by Editor John Coffey, Heart Religion: Evangelical Piety in England and Ireland, 1690-1850.

Your Conference Historian, Larry Hayden, encourages everyone to use the Conference's resources which can be used to celebrate your church's history and for one's spiritual growth.
Nome Community Center
Mission Team needed in Nome
The Nome Community Center had a mission team lined up to help them install metal siding onto the Boys and Girls Club building later this summer, but as sometimes happens, they had to cancel. They have all the materials already on site and some of the tools needed for the job. They are interested in 3-6 skilled persons to help them with the installation. The building is two story (plus its on 3’ stilts) so ladders and some type of scaffolding will be necessary. They haven’t secured that yet. The siding is 36” wide x 12’ long and will be installed horizontally. The building is 40’ x 60’ and is 28’ tall on the gable end. It’s a large project, but with good weather, they think they can knock it out in a week, as most of it will go quickly. They can usually accommodate groups of any size as needed.

They also have a project to rebuild the existing deck/ stair platform, and to rebuild the entrance to move the door to a new spot on the building, so there is room for a larger team if that was available.

If you have questions or are interested in helping out, please contact Greg Bishop, Property Manager at the Nome Community Center (907-443-5259)
Dear Alaska United Methodists,

As many of you know, our conference streams of revenue have been declining over the past many years. From declining funding from the General Board of Global Ministries, to reduced Advance Special giving, to declining local church apportionment support, our conference revenue streams are shrinking.

Our conference has been making up the difference through reserve spending, which is a finite and dwindling resource. The Leadership Team, the elected body authorized to act in between sessions of Annual Conference, has formed a task-force to evaluate and propose some changes to our structure and staffing to help realign our mission, income, and expenses for a more sustainable future as a church.

The task force members so far are the Rev. Carlo Rapanut, Lonnie Brooks, Joe Talbott, the Rev. Lisa Talbott, and one more laywoman to be named later. They will be discussing the possibility of new revenue streams, including an Annual Conference Special Sunday and/or increasing Advance Special Giving among other ideas. They will also be talking about ways to reduce expenses, including the possibility of reshaping our conference staffing from a full-time Superintendent/Director of Connectional Ministries, to other creative ways to structure, staff, and pay for these functions. The team will also be considering our status as a Missionary Conference and if we might be better served by being a Mission District of another Annual Conference. The Task-Force would welcome your input and suggestions as they create proposals for the Leadership Team to consider, and then forward on to the Annual Conference.

Please be in prayer for the members of this Task Force, that God would grant them wisdom and clarity of vision for how United Methodists in Alaska can be in mission and ministry for the next 100+ years.

Your fellow disciple,

the Rev. Andy Bartel
Leadership Team Chair
Alaska Apportionments
The apportionment report through July has been completed and posted to the conference website. Each church should be past the 50% mark at this point. Is yours? Check out the report here.
Save these dates
Just a reminder for those of you that missed it, the Fall Rendezvous meetings will be held October 3-5. More information will follow. Also, the Winter Rendezvous meetings are scheduled for February 6-8, 2020. Mark your calendars now!
National News
Improper voting at GC2019 voids key vote
General Conference organizers have determined enough improper voting likely took place at the 2019 special session to nullify a key vote on how congregations can leave The United Methodist Church.

Plans canceled for GC2024 in Philippines
The United Methodist Church's top lawmaking assembly won't be held in the Philippines in 2024, General Conference organizers have decided.

Lutheran body declares itself a sanctuary church
The 2019 Churchwide Assembly, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, voted Aug. 7 to declare itself a sanctuary church body — making a commitment to serve and support migrant children and families in communities across the country. Earlier in the day, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, the ELCA's presiding bishop, joined more than 700 assembly members and others in a march and prayer vigil to the Milwaukee Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.

Register for Leadership Institute now and save
It is not too late to get in on Super Early Bird pricing for  Leadership Institute 2019 , held at Church of the Resurrection September 25 - 27!
In the last few days, the  General Session topics  and two keynote speakers have been finalized. We wanted to provide you more time to determine who from your church might come to represent your congregation, now knowing more details about the conference.

Super Early Bird pricing is extended through tomorrow, Wednesday, August 14  - so register today to take advantage of the best pricing and availability.
Join with United Methodist leaders from across the connection for this historic and important gathering as we, together, help shape the future.

50 become international Global Mission Fellows
The 50 young adults recently commissioned in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as Global Mission Fellows represent 26 countries and will serve in 33 other countries. Their places of assignment and types of service range from a lab scientist at Ganta Hospital, Liberia, to a youth minister in Russia.

Despite hard truths, there is hope in Baltimore
The Rev. Rodney Hudson, pastor of Ames United Methodist Church, said President Donald Trump's recent statements about Baltimore were offensive but not completely untrue. He said life for the residents in his poor African-American community hasn't improved under the past several administrations. That hasn't kept Hudson from seeing hope in his ministry in the midst of that community.

Tools for dealing with racism and violence
The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race is offering resources to model the divine love of Christ in response to racism and violence. The commission said it is especially important for laity and clergy in white congregations and other predominantly white spaces to "learn, act and speak clearly in opposition to hate speech and violence."

Jump into stewardship season
It’s August! With people returning from vacation, Sunday schools starting up, choirs beginning rehearsal, and committee groups reconvening, our churches will soon be buzzing with activity. Amidst this there is, of course, the 2019 annual giving campaign that must be planned.

Small churches, significant discipleship
What small-membership churches lack in size, they tend to make up for in unique and effective discipleship practices. Many are welcoming, personally connected and volunteer-driven. They also have much to teach their larger counterparts .

Respond to gun violence with new resources
Whether a singular homicide or mass shooting, the effects of gun violence are tragic and call Christians to respond. Several United Methodist agencies have created resources to help individuals and congregations go beyond thoughts and prayers to prevent these violent acts and their outcomes.

Get inspired in 20 minutes
If you don’t have time to enroll in a full online training course, perhaps a micro-training opportunity will better fit your schedule. These 20-minute “bursts of knowledge” offer inspiration, practical tips and information about topics such as Facebook outreach and sharing your church’s story through photos and videos.

Wespath using financial clout for climate change
Officials with the agency that administers United Methodist pension funds and benefits programs are touting its efforts to be environmentally friendly. But some say the progress is happening too slowly.

Conference Calendar
14: Crystal out of the office
2: Labor Day - Office Closed
3-5: WJ Mission Cabinet - Carlo attending
10-12: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
20-22: UMW Annual Gathering - Solid Rock Camp
25-27: UMC Next - Carlo attending
30-Oct 4: Crystal on vacation
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

August 13 -
Bennie Grace Nabua

September 11 -
Emily Carroll

September 17 -
Autumn Krueger

September 22 -
Won Jea Keum

September 24 -
Selusi Tuiolemotu

September 28 -
Darla Bradley
Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo
The Conference Office hours are:

Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:30 am

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.