A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
When The Doors Open to the Whole Community | Willow UMC
You will find us at mile marker 67.5 on the Parks Highway. We are 30 miles from the nearest UMC church south in Wasilla. Going north the next UMC church is some 290 miles away. We are the only mainline Protestant church in the community. Willow covers an area that is large, some 20 to 30 miles, with only 2000 some residents. Willow is known for being the place of the Iditarod re-start most winters. Some have named us the “dog mushing capital” of the world.  We have wonderful traditions like our Willow Winter Carnival, when we have a festive community celebration, complete with fireworks over the frozen lake, a community dinner, musical groups, sporting events and contests like the annual Outhouse race, or snowshoe softball. In Willow, poverty and wealth exist side by side. On the one hand we are a place for weekenders from Anchorage and for retirees with means from the lower 48 living in beautiful retirement homes on our many lakes.  On the other side there are persons living off gravel roads in tiny dry cabins, in buses, yurts or camper trailers. Many live off the grid. Many are unemployed. Many face food and heat insecurity.  We are thankful for the gift of being a United Methodist presence in this place, thankful for opportunities to pour faith into life, to share the light of God’s love in a community that is largely unchurched, to make disciples and meet human needs.

CrossOver to Life! · Week 33
When Up is Down, and Down is Up
Nancy Tam Davis
CrossOver reflection for  Week 33  • Beginning July 16, 2019

A small group of us, clergy and laity, talked about chapter 46 of Brian McLaren’s book We Make the Road by Walking. The Spirit of Service, what does that mean? The author draws our attention to a concept of verticality. Up is better than down.

Our culture promotes the idea that it is good to climb to the top or die trying. We assign both power and privilege to those at the top with high salaries, deference, corner windows, and close parking spots. We believe they have a broader vision, more wisdom and must be smarter than the rest of us. We assume they deserve the privilege they have.

Be diligent about spam emails
There has been a rash of spam emails again supposedly coming form Bishop Stanovsky. This is just a reminder that any correspondence from the Bishop's office would come from the official bishop@greaternw.org address and to disregard and delete emails from other addresses.
Superintendent out on vacation
Carlo will be on vacation from July 26-31.
Billy Still is the former pastor of the North Star UMC, Anchor Park UMC and superintendent of the Alaska Missionary Conference. He is the author of The Jawbone of a Carnivore - Praying the Pathway to Peace, a book for people with spiritual questions and an interest in adventure. Billy has spent his life as a pastor, husband, father, adventurer, wilderness traveler, ultra-athlete, and one who struggles to identify prayer in the ways we move through life. He is recently retired and in his retirement has earned the Solstice MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Pine Manor College. Billy and his wife, Ann, have spent their life together in Mississippi, Alaska, and Arizona, where they currently live.

The Jawbone of a Carnivore will fill your imagination with tales of adventure, friendship, eccentric people, success and failure, as well as encounters with life and death. Billy says, "While I explore the adventurous life and the pathway to peace that can come from it, I do not offer instructions on how to pray. I will encourage you to believe that the way we live can become a prayer. This memoir of life on the edge of the unknown trusts that you will strike out on your own audacious exploration of the world and the spirit that surrounds it. Perhaps, through this, you will identify your pathway to peace and in so doing find yourself saying on some cold and snowy morning, "This is a prayer."

National News
Connectional Table approves legislation creating new U.S. structure
The Connectional Table approved sending legislation to General Conference 2020 that will create a new structure for churches in the United States, called a regional conference, during an online meeting July 18, 2019.

The proposed legislation stipulates that the U.S. Regional Conference will have geographic boundaries congruent with the territory of the U.S. annual conferences. Jurisdictions will continue to function with their current powers and duties, including their process to elect bishops.

Growing up as a child of immigrants
Falisha Hola, a young person from Seattle First Tongan United Methodist Church, spoke at Youth 2019 about growing up as a child of immigrants. She told of living in fear her family would be taken from her because they are not U.S. citizens.

Apportionment collection rates down after GC2019
The General Council on Finance and Administration board, meeting here July 18-19, learned that financial support for general church work is down compared with last year. Some churches have withheld funds to protest passage of the Traditional Plan at the 2019 General Conference. The board decided to keep bishops' salaries for 2020 at the 2019 level.

Diverse group addresses impasse in church
Three United Methodist bishops from the central conferences in Africa and Europe convened a meeting of United Methodist leaders who identify as progressives, conservatives and centrists to discuss the impasse regarding full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the denomination.

Conferences mull denomination's future
U.S. United Methodist conferences meeting this summer had passionate discussions about the future of the denomination.

Bishops plan to strengthen conferences
The bishops of The United Methodist Church will seek to strengthen annual conferences in 2019 through the ministries of sending and missional strategy, Bishop Kenneth Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, said after the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops.

Gardens connecting churches, communities
Churches are finding that community gardens are cultivating involvement as well as food and increasing connections with the communities. Joanne Utley reports on five churches in the New York Conference.

Urgency needed to combat climate change
Everything from green-friendly investing of pension funds to ways to connect with church and government officials was discussed at the 2019 United Methodist Creation Care Summit. One panelist said the world has 11 years to reverse global warming, or it will be too late.

Conference Calendar
22-23: WJ Summit Design Team - Carlo attending
26-31: Carlo on vacation
3: Leadership Team meeting
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

August 13 -
Bennie Grace Nabua
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.