A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Mission District Info Session Update by Future Visions Task Force
Thank you to all who have participated in the Mission District Information Sessions! Over 50 people of the Alaska Conference from all over the state, plus the Bishop and Treasure in Washington, have Zoomed in or met in person at the Conference office to learn more about what it would mean to become a Mission District. Each information session followed the same format, led by the Alaska Conference Leadership Team’s Future Visions Task Force.
First, Rev. Lisa Talbott set the stage with historical information on the relationship between the National Board of Missions and the Women’s Division (predecessor bodies to the General Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Women, respectively). Significant decreases in funding from outside agencies began in the 1970s, and remaining funding from sources outside the Alaska Conference will end this year, with the final $60,000 block grant from GBGM, which represents about 10% of the Alaska Conference budget.
Then, Lonnie Brooks laid out the possible paths forward for the Alaska Conference. Since GBGM has announced their intention to eliminate Missionary Conferences from the United States, maintaining the status quo is not a reasonable option moving forward. The Alaska Conference could choose to disaffiliate from the denomination entirely, but acting alone we would not have the administrative or ministry resources to survive. The most feasible option for a secure future for the Methodist mission in Alaska is to petition General Conference to dissolve the Missionary Conference status of Alaska, leaving us free to petition the Western Jurisdiction to redraw boundaries to include Alaska as a District of another Annual Conference. The Bishop of that Annual Conference could then designate Alaska as a Mission District, and the Superintendent and his or her designees would define the mission status, nature, and goals of the district. 
Rev. Emily Carrol shared that this is a key time for the Alaska Conference to act. While we know that there is turmoil in our denomination, Alaska’s decision would need to be made this year, regardless of what was happening in the denomination as a whole. Since Alaska is a Missionary Conference, only the General Conference can release us from that status. Meeting only every four years, now is the opportune time. GBGM has also announced that it withheld legislation proposing to eliminate Missionary Conferences from this year’s General Conference because of the denominational conflict. That gives Alaska a chance to be proactive to determine our own future rather than wait for GBGM and the 2024 General Conference to make decisions on our behalf. Likewise, acting now to become a Mission District gives us agency in defining our relationship with the Annual Conference to which we will be attached, so we can further define our own purpose and mission in Alaska.
Lastly, Superintendent Carlo Rapanut presented the timeline in which these changes would be phased in over the next four to five years. It will be a slow process, but in order to get started, lay and clergy delegates will meet on February 20 and 21 to start to discern the future of the Methodist movement in Alaska leading up to the February 22 specially called session of the Annual Conference, at which delegates will vote on the petition to General Conference.
If you have not yet attended an information session, the final one will be on February 11, 2020, at 6 pm via Zoom . You will hear the full presentations of the Future Visions Task Force and have an opportunity to ask questions and explore the implications of this change.
Thank you all for being in prayerful discernment about how we can best serve our neighbors and communities.
AUMC Winter Rendezvous and Special Called Session
February 20-22, 2020
Call for Special Session

Click here for the  Resource Page .

Schedule and Registration
As announced, the special called session will be held in conjunction with the Winter Rendezvous Meetings February 20-22, 2020. The Rendezvous will be a pre-conference creative time of visioning, dreaming and discerning what God is calling us to be beyond 2020. Here’s a general schedule for purposes of travel planning:
Thursday, February 20 - Rendezvous Sessions 10 am to 8 pm
Friday, February 21- Rendezvous Sessions 9 am to 3 pm; Committee Meetings 3:30 to 8:30 pm
Saturday, February 22 - Special Called Session 10 am to 2 pm

Clergy and Deaconesses are required  to attend the pre-conference sessions beginning February 20. Please contact the Superintendent if you cannot attend. Understanding schedule challenges due to work, Lay members to Annual Conference are NOT required but highly encouraged to attend the pre-conference sessions beginning February 20.

Committee members, please check with your committee chairs about the schedule of your committee meetings.

The Conference will only pay for the travel expenses (airfare/mileage) of the clergy person, deaconesses and the lay members to Annual Conference.

With the upcoming meetings two weeks away, we are looking for housing and transportation volunteers. This is such a crucial part in making everything run smoothly. If you are able to help with either of these tasks, please contact the conference office ASAP! Thank you so much!
We are looking for someone or a group to cook dinner on Thursday, February 20. If you are interested, please contact the conference office or by phone: 333-5050
Conference News
A request for prayer from the first elected delegates of the Western Jurisdiction
The first elected Delegates to General Conference 2020 from the conferences of the Western Jurisdiction are seeking the support of prayer from members and friends as they continue their preparations.

This includes our first elected delegates: Jo Anne Hayden and Jim Doepken

Birchwood Camp
Plow truck needed at Birchwood Camp
It is time to retire the camp's aged, undependable truck and plow and replace it with a reliable one. Our DREAM is a 3/4 ton, 4 wheel drive truck, with a short-turning radius and in very good running condition. Other ideas are a 4 wheel drive farm tractor or a skidster.

Please call or email with your ideas, comments and suggestions!
Liz Ashlock
Board Member
Clear Appointment Openings
The appointive cabinets of the Greater Northwest Area and the Bishop are continuing the practice of sharing “clear openings,” those church appointments that are open due to retirements and other changes, as the appointment process unfolds.

On the Greater Northwest Area website you'll find a current list of clear openings which will be updated as new openings are created by announced appointments. You will also find instructions regarding the process. Please read these instructions carefully as it is expected that clergy will follow them as described.

First UMC Anchorage offering grants
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 of First United Methodist Church, Anchorage. 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 February 21, 2020 at the street address given below. Award recipients will be notified in March 2020.
FUMC Foundation - Grants
725 W 9th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501

National News
Revised Social Principles on new website
A new website to introduce the revised Social Principles to The United Methodist Church has been created by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. The site includes an introductory video, translations of the document in eight languages and additional resources. The revised Social Principles will be considered by delegates at the 2020 General Conference in May.

Jurisdiction recommends electing just 1 bishop
The North Central Jurisdiction's Committee on the Episcopacy and College of Bishops have proposed electing only one bishop in 2020. The General Council on Finance and Administration informed Bishop David Bard, current president of the jurisdiction's College of Bishops, that the jurisdiction had fallen below the membership threshold to sustain nine episcopal areas and that a reduction was possible.

Board officers discuss impact of proposals
The board officers of the General Council on Finance and Administration on Jan. 31 discussed the potential financial impact of various proposals related to the structure of The United Methodist Church. The officers decided that agency staff will engage various bodies on the potential impact of these proposals, including the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation.

Plans for late-arriving GC2020 legislation
The group that organizes General Conference held a special meeting to discuss the process for receiving legislation — such as the protocol — after the usual petition deadline. The group also received an update on challenges to delegates getting required visas.

Top court sets its pre-General Conference docket
The United Methodist Judicial Council has a 14-item docket to consider during its spring meeting, which will take place just before General Conference 2020. Five of the items are related to the October 2019 special session of the Greater New Jersey Conference. Also on the docket is the continuation of a request from the court's fall session regarding the issue of improper voting during the special General Conference in 2019.

Foretaste of what's on the table at GC2020
In a gathering that emphasized the denomination's impasse over homosexuality, United Methodists received a preview of some of the proposals that will be before General Conference delegates in Minneapolis.

Traditionalists' event draws big crowd
More than 1,000 people, mostly from Alabama but some from across the Southeastern Jurisdiction, attended a Jan. 25 meeting aimed at exploring a traditionalist denomination that would separate from The United Methodist Church.

Negotiators urge hold on trials, closures
Part of the new protocol for The United Methodist Church's separation calls for an immediate pause in closing churches and processing complaints related to LGBTQ restrictions.

Conference Calendar
4-9: WJ Leadership Meetings - Carlo attending
10-12: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
11: Pre-Special Session Information Gathering 3
14: Valentine's Day
17: Presidents' Day
20-22: Winter Rendezvous and Special Session
6-13: Carlo on vacation
7: Leadership Team meeting
8: Daylight Savings Time begins
15-17: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
17: St. Patrick's Day
18-20: NLI - Carlo attending
19-21: GBGM Board Meeting - Carlo attending
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

February 19 -
Steve Fisher

March 23 -
Bob Jones
Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo

The NEW Conference Office hours are:

Monday - Friday: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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.