e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
CrossOver to Life! | Week Nine
More Than Cheesemakers
By Rev. Dan Wilcox
CrossOver reflection for Week Nine • Beginning January 27, 2019
In a memorable scene from Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian,’ several individuals are so far back during the Sermon on the Mount that when Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” they mishear him, hearing instead, “Blessed are the cheesemakers.” One woman responds, “Ah, what’s so special about the cheesemakers?” Another responds, “Well, obviously, this is not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.” While I would only recommend this movie if you happen to be comfortable both with cursing and sacrilegious humor, it offers uncomfortable truths to people of faith.

Conference News
Cross-Cultural Competency Learning Event | February 7-8, 2019
Kristina Gonzalez, Director of Innovation for an Inclusive Church of the Greater Northwest Area, will be leading a workshop on Cross-Cultural Competency and Inclusivity. All are welcome to attend! The conference will pay for clergy and one lay member from each congregation to travel in for the event.

A key component of this workshop is a discussion of our group intercultural competency profile based on the participants’ response to the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). This assessment needs to be ordered before it can be administered to each one of the participants so PLEASE REGISTER THIS WEEK so that the instruments can be ordered, a link can be sent to you for you to fill-out and also giving time for Kristina to collate and interpret the group data before our workshop.

The general schedule is as follows: Thursday, February 7, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Friday, February 8, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Lunches will be provided.
Winter Rendezvous Committee meetings | February 8-9, 2019
The upcoming Winter Rendezvous committee meetings will be held at the Conference Center (1660 Patterson Street, Anchorage).

The committee meeting schedule is: Friday, February 8, 5:30 pm dinner, 6:30-9:00 pm committee meetings; Saturday, February 9, 9:00 am-noon committees continue as needed, 12:00-3:00 pm Leadership Team meeting.

If you are unable to attend, please notify the conference office.
Here you can find the letter that was emailed directly to clergy and members of the conference committees. The registration deadline for both events is TOMORROW, January 30th . PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO REGISTER . If you attend the learning event, there is an assessment that is required to be completed beforehand and it takes a few days to get the assessment sent to you.

Burnout, Part Two
Rev. Lisa Talbott, of Homer UMC, continues an important three-part series on burnout for the PNW Clergy Wellness blog. In this part, Lisa shares how burnout manifested, naming the "stall indicators" she encountered.

Bishop Stanovsky featured on One Church Plan podcast
The latest One Church Plan Podcast features an interview with our Bishop Elaine Stanovsky. It is now available to listen to on iTunes or on the One Church Plan website .

The podcast is one in a series where United Methodist bishops give insight to their support of the One Church Plan, which was the only plan supported by a majority of the Council of Bishops.

Annual Conference Workshop Proposal Form
It does seem early to think about Annual Conference but we are doing it! Do you have a topic you want to present as a workshop before Annual Conference? Do you know someone else who does? Well, now is the time to fill out our Workshop Proposal Form! This helps us plan for the Pre-Conference workshops. Submit your form by Tuesday, February 12th to be considered.

National News
Rural group lists concerns on plans before GC2019
A group representing the interests of United Methodist rural congregations has sent a letter of concern to delegates for the upcoming special General Conference, asking them to be aware of the "potential harms" in any plan for the denomination's future.

Email marketing for churches
Don’t miss the Live learning session: Email marketing for churches, tomorrow, January 30, at noon central time! We will discuss how to get started with email marketing, tools that make emails more engaging, and how to grow your email efforts into an ongoing, successful communication channel.

Click  here to learn more and to register.
Finding the pastor a new kidney
The Rev. Yuri Carralero's kidney disease had advanced to where he was spending 12 hours per night in home dialysis. Kathy Wilson, who attended the Spanish language service Carralero led at Greggton United Methodist Church, vowed to find him a new kidney. Sherri Gragg tells where that remarkable search led.

Backers say One Church Plan preserves unity
The One Church Plan puts trust in clergy, congregations and conferences to find their own way in the debate over LGBTQ inclusion in the church, supporters say. The plan is an attempt to accommodate conservatives, moderates and progressives while keeping all united within the same denomination. This is the second of a series of four stories briefly explaining each of the most prominent plans that will be considered at the February special General Conference in St. Louis.

European, Eurasian delegates unhappy with lobbying
Forty European and Eurasian delegates to the upcoming special General Conference met on their own recently. They expressed concern about “political maneuvering” by caucus groups and agreed to propose an amendment that would clarify when legislation passed at the Feb. 23-26 conference takes effect in the central conferences.

After record giving, mixed news in 2018
For four consecutive years, The United Methodist Church saw record-breaking numbers of U.S. conferences pay the full amount of requested church giving. That trend ended in 2018.

Your 2019 Special Session of the General Conference communications tool kit
As the Special Session of General Conference draws nearer (Feb. 23 - 26), you may have questions about what it all means.

United Methodist Communications has released this toolkit endeavoring to make the task of explaining what's happening easier.

Combining worship with a meal
Inspired by a charge from a new district superintendent, the Rev. Teresa Atkins McClure started what she calls “Dinner Church,” where members of New Life United Methodist Church sit down for a meal and worship service on Tuesday evenings at a local elementary school. McClure says the service is working as an outreach to the community.

Wesley verse and hymn project completed
The Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at United Methodist Duke Divinity School has completed a multiyear project to make accessible accurate transcriptions of all the known surviving verse of Charles Wesley, as well as collections of hymns published by John Wesley. The brothers were English clerics who founded the Methodist movement.

How to prepare for the church audit
The Book of Discipline requires every United Methodist congregation to conduct a church audit, but that doesn’t have to be a big expense or an insurmountable obstacle. Ken Sloane, director of generosity at Discipleship Ministries, will lead a free webinar that will walk you step by step through the Local Church Audit Guide. The guide, prepared by the General Council on Finance & Administration, is available free for United Methodist churches. The webinar, “The Church Audit: You Can Do This,” will be at 6:30 p.m. CST on Feb. 7. To register, go to https://bit.ly/2RBbX2U .
Conference Calendar
7-8: Learning Event
8-9: Winter Rendezvous meetings
11-12: GNW Cabinet meeting
14: Valentine's Day
18: Presidents' Day
23-26: General Conference Special Session
5-7: GNW Cabinet meeting
9: Leadership Team meeting
10: Daylight Saving Time starts
11-15: WJ Leadership meetings
17: St. Patrick's Day
24-27: ADCM meeting
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

February 19 -
Steve Fisher
Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340
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.
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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.
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