A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Registration OPEN for Learning Event & Winter Rendezvous committee meetings
You can now register to attend the upcoming Faith-based Community Organizing learning event and the conference committee meetings. There are various events scheduled during February 16-18 so make sure you know what they are.
The Leadership Team will hold a retreat February 16th from 10:30 am - 6 pm.
The first opportunity to participate in the Faith-based Community Organizing learning event will be February 17 from 9 am - 5 pm.  Lunch will be included in the first option.  The second opportunity will be February 18 from 1 - 8 pm.  Dinner will be included in the second option.  Please only select one of the options during the registration process.
Conference committee meetings will begin with dinner at 5:30 pm on February 17 and then break into committees at 6:30.  If your committee needs more time than allotted on the 17th, they will continue meeting at 9 am on February 18.
Anyone attending any of these events needs to register.  The earlier survey does not count as your registration.  The conference will pay for the travel of the clergy and one lay person from each church to attend the learning event. 
Dignity & Degradation - A Puzzle
Bishop Elaine's Dignity & Degradation - A Puzzle was shared over the weekend to the Greater Northwest Episcopal area.  It was shared via our social media account but we wanted to make sure we shared it here. 
Alaska Forum on a Way Forward
Anchorage's St. John UMC will host a Forum on a Way Forward for conversation on a way forward for United Methodists.  The forum will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, in the sanctuary of St. John UMC, 1801 O'Malley Rd., Anchorage AK 99507, from 2pm to 4pm.

The forum will feature a panel of six, each of whom will deliver a short presentation, followed by responses and questions from the audience.  The panel will include the following people: 
Lonnie Brooks, Lay Member of St. John UMC and Secretary of the Alaska Conference Leadership Team 
Elaine Stanovsky, Bishop of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area, which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho 
Donna Pritchard, Senior Pastor of Portland, OR First UMC and Member of the Commission on a Way Forward 
Carlo Rapanut, Superintendent of the Alaska Conference and Clergy Delegate to General Conference 2019 
Jo Anne Hayden, Alaska Conference Lay Leader and Lay Delegate to General Conference 2019 
Susan Williams, Lay Member of Anchor Park UMC of Anchorage and a Director of United Methodist Women INC.

Andy Bartel, Lead Pastor of St. John UMC of Anchorage, will be the Forum Moderator.

We anticipate that the first hour of the forum will be consumed by the presentations with the second hour being devoted to open conversation.

This will be the first event of its kind in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area and, likely, one of the first in the entire Church.  It might be unique, up to now, in including on its panel an active member of the Council of Bishops as well as a member of the Commission on a Way Forward, both of whom will be fielding questions on the work of those two bodies related to human sexuality and how the Church will be in ministry with people who are LGBTQ.

This forum is intended to prepare people in Alaska to engage in the "Table Talks" or round table conversations about human sexuality that will happen across the Alaska Conference from March-May 2018. The forum will be made available throughout the State of Alaska electronically for those who are unable to attend in person.
Annual Conference Housing Survey
We are pleased to announce that we will be traveling to Seward Memorial UMC in Seward, Alaska for Annual Conference this year.  It will be held June 1-2, 2018 with pre-conference workshops on May 31st.
Please fill out the following survey to help us and our local hosting committee plan for our housing needs.
The hotel rate is unknown at this time.  It will be based upon how many rooms are needed.
Please complete the survey by January 25. 
Pastors/Churches: It is important that the conference office has accurate Lay Delegate information as we start preparing for Annual Conference.  If information has changed since your charge conference or the information you submitted was incomplete, please send the updates to the conference office ASAP.  We strive to make sure delegates are kept informed but we can't do that if we don't have accurate contact info. 
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.
Closure dates
The conference office will be closed January 22-25, 2018.  Crystal will be away on vacation and Carlo will be working remotely.  Crystal will be back in the office on January 26th.

There will be a condensed e~Aurora on January 23.
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
Bishops condemn Trump's remarks
The United Methodist Council of Bishops has condemned President Trump's reported remarks about immigrants from Haiti and Africa. "We will not stand by and allow our brothers and sisters to be maligned in such a crude manner.  We call on all United Methodists, all people of faith, and the political leadership of the United States to speak up and speak against such demeaning and racist comments," Bishop Bruce R. Ough, the council's president, said on behalf of the bishops.
Read the press release

Tax Reform - What You Need to Know Webinar
The new tax law has implications for employers, non-profits, churches, and individuals. On Wednesday, January 24th, GCFA will sponsor a one-hour webinar on Tax Reform. This webinar will be presented by Blake Harrison, CPA, who is the Senior Manager of Tax Services, at LBMC, GCFA's internal audit firm.  In his presentation, Blake will break down the details of the new law and help you to understand its impact.

If you have a specific question about how your work with the church could be affected, email it to sharedservices@gcfa.org. Your question will be submitted to the webinar leader and every attempt will be made to answer your questions during the presentation.  

WHAT:  Tax Reform - What You Need to Know 
OUTLINE: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is now in place.  It is wide-ranging tax reform that will impact ALL taxpayers including individuals, and churches.  In this presentation, we will break down the details of the new law in order to understand its impact.  We will also address questions individual taxpayers and non-profits should be asking.
WHEN:  Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 11:30 am CST
WHERE:  Participate online using WebEx
HOW:  To register, click here. (Limited to the first 500 registrants.)  

GCFA's looking forward to hosting this webinar on a topic of concern for the people of The United Methodist Church.  

*Please note if you are unable to attend, the recording will be posted on the  GCFA website after the Webinar.
Blind artist beats odds, gives back
A legally blind artist who taught himself to paint while undergoing chemotherapy as a child has raised millions for charity with his art. Celebrities like Elton John and Billy Joel are among those who have bought paintings by Jeff Hanson, a young United Methodist.

Watch the video

Scholarships offered for 2018 UMEIT and NWCU events
The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults (age 21-35) to attend the 2018 United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT:USA) and the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) this Spring.

UMEIT is the annual training in the United States for United Methodists engaged in ecumenical and inter-religious ministry through the church. The NWCU is an opportunity for Christians who care about ecumenical and inter-religious ministry to learn and network.

The 2018 sessions will be in Silver Spring, Maryland, from April 16-19, 2018.

United Methodist scholarship applications open
The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry has opened scholarship applications for college, university and seminary studies in Fall 2018. You need only to submit one application per year. That application will be screened for all possible eligible programs. The applications are due by March 7.

Learn more
16: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
18: Charge Conference - Anchor Park UMC
19-25: Crystal on vacation & OFFICE CLOSED
24-28: WJ Leadership meetings in San Diego - Carlo attending
26-28: UMW Leadership Team meetings at Conference Center
29-31: ADCM meeting in Atlanta - Carlo attending

15-17: AUMC Winter Rendezvous
20-22: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending

2-3: GNW "Table Talks" Facilitator Training event - Carlo attending
8-11: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
24: AUMC Leadership Team meeting
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 
Clergy Birthdays
Karen Dammann -
January 18

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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