A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Bishop Stanovksy offers candid insights on episcopal responsibility and authority amid COVID-19 church closures
Click on the video above to watch an excerpt from the May 13 webinar with Bishop Elaine Stanovsky as she offers a candid response on her leadership and decision-making process for churches during the coronavirus pandemic.
Join Wednesday Webinar on May 20 - Ministry in the New Normal: Our church life beyond the COVID-19 crisis, part 3
For the third installment of this webinar series, we will continue to discuss the practical steps, and questions churches and ministry settings should be asking as we move toward returning to our facilities.

As per usual, Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky and Alaska Superintendent Rev. Carlo Rapanut will help to guide our time of prayer and discussion.

The webinar is anticipated to last up to 90 minutes. It begins at 8 am AKDT, 9 am PDT, 10 am MDT.

New deadlines for Annual Conference related items

As you read in a previous letter from the Bishop, the shared session of three Annual Conferences has been canceled. In anticipation of a virtual meeting in the fall (date to be determined), please see the updated due dates(May 26) for all submissions.
Birchwood Camp
Can you donate to Birchwood Camp?

It has been more than 8 weeks since Birchwood Camp temporarily closed its doors to guest groups due to COVID-19. It is still uncertain when they can safely welcome them again to use their facilities. With the cancellation and postponement of reservations, our income has completely stopped. Even though events were cancelled, there are still bills to pay to keep camp running. Now, more than ever, they need your help.

Pray for them and with them. Donate your stimulus check or part of it to Birchwood Camp. Let your friends know.
Missionary Speakers

It is evident that in the midst of this strange time our church's ministry goes on in full force. Our local churches are continuing to respond to needs and our global church is continuing in the same manner.

Missionaries around the world continue to be in place and serve as God has called them to serve and the church has sent them to serve. The General Board of Global Ministries needs us to continue to support our missionaries and hear their stories. As the Conference Mission Secretary I encourage you to register for this experience to see what our church was already doing in mission and continues to do. You may find yourself called to support a missionary or to ask your church to support a missionary.

Fran Lynch
Digital opportunities through UMW

During these different times, Alaska United Methodist Women is providing ways for all to stay connected. We currently have two opportunities, Daily Devotions and a Weekly Bible Study. The daily devotions are posted live on their Facebook page,  AlaskaUMW . The Bible Study is on zoom as well as posted on our Facebook page.

Daily Devotions
Each morning, at 7:00 a.m., the UMW Vice President provides a daily bible reading and prayers. Right now they are reading though the book of Psalms.

Bible Study
Wednesdays, at 3:00 p.m., they are using the United Methodist Women’s Program Book and other special programs! To participate in this weekly meeting please feel free to join on Zoom or on their Facebook page,  AlaskaUMW . Those on Zoom can participate in the discussions in real time.

Special Bible Study
On June 10 th at 3:00 p.m. they will have a special Bible Study that will be only on Zoom . They have been given special permission to screen the movie “ Zero Weeks ”. The United States and Papua New Guinea are the only countries in the world that do not have paid family leave national policies, 14% of workers in the US have paid leave though their employers, and 60% of all workers in the US do not have access to FMLA. What does this mean for those who are currently without work due to Covid19? What does that mean for the future of caring for those that are ill or have elderly family members? What happens when a baby is born or adopted? Please join us to view this great documentary and then we will discuss Paid Family Medical Leave.
One of the four missional priorities for United Methodist Women is “A Living Wage for All”, paid family and medical leave is essential to this priority.
Elnora is turning 100!
Many of you in the conference know Elnora Ouding from her many years as a lay member to Annual Conference from Anchor Park. Let us celebrate Elnora Ouding as she turns 100 on June 15!! Please send cards to her at 8211 Del Street, Anchorage, AK 99502. Elnora likes royal blue, rainbows, and flowers.
National News
Plans vary to get annual conference business done

Even with COVID-19, United Methodist annual conferences around the world need to get business done by the end of the year. The regional bodies of the denomination will do that in a wide variety of ways: in-person meetings, virtual get-togethers and combinations of the two.

Georgia shooting sparks call to end racism

Church leaders are calling for all United Methodists to work for the complete eradication of racism in light of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed while jogging in his neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia, on Feb. 23.

Young adult global mission class canceled for 2020

The 2020 international class of Global Mission Fellows, a popular United Methodist program for young adults, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Current candidates can reapply for next year through an expedited process. The annual US-2 class is not expected to be affected in the same way.

Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Free guide for pastors on the move during pandemic

Pastoral transitions this year will be like no others before. To help during this challenging time, the Lewis Center for Church Leadership is providing a free guide for pastors beginning ministry in a new congregation during the pandemic.

Clergywoman also nurse on COVID-19 front line

The Rev. Diane Dyson is a United Methodist deacon and registered nurse. For two months, she's been caring for COVID-19 patients at a New Jersey hospital. It has been an intense, fearful stretch, but she's also felt great support, including from United Methodists.

Discipleship Ministries eLearning now offers Continuing Education Units!

Required in many fields to ensure professionals keep their skills current. Now is the time to learn new ideologies and best practices, all while demonstrating your dedication to your calling.

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

United Methodists join others across the United States in observing Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race has put together an infographic highlighting the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the church in the U.S.

Preserving Native language and culture

United Methodist Marcus Briggs-Cloud is racing against time to revive the Maskoke Seminole language he considers key to his tribe's culture, history and identity. He has helped create an ecovillage on 577 acres of Alabama woods, "where we can be good to the earth, keep our language and culture alive and be able to live as a full-time Indian," he said.

Conference Calendar
25: Memorial Day - office closed
21: Father's Day
26: Leadership Team meeting
28-30: GNW Cabinet Retreat
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

June 8 -
Jim Doepken

June 10 -
Carlo Rapanut

June 15 -
Matthew Reinders
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 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.