A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Annual Conference
This year's Annual Conference will be held June 2-3 at UMC of Chugiak.  There will be a day of workshops on June 1, prior to the Annual Conference.

Read more about the theme and logo.

Annual Conference Registration
Housing/Transportation Registration
Child Care Registration


Pre-Conference workshops are still being finalized.  Please stay tuned for the pre-conference workshop registration in the near future.

Here are links to various information that pertains to the upcoming Annual Conference.  Please note the due dates if you wish to submit anything for consideration.

Western Bishops Share Messages of Lent
The bishops in the Western Jurisdiction offered messages of faith each week of Lent, with the prayer that God will strengthen the Church for its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The Easter message came from Bishop Grant Hagiya.  He shares a personal reflection on how he experienced God as a source of renewal.  Read Bishop Hagiya's post.

You can view all of the Lenten messages on the Western Jurisdiction website here.
Job Opening at St. John UMC
St. John UMC is looking for an Administrative Assistant to join their team!  You can view the specifics about the job on their website.

View it here.  They are accepting applications through April 20th.
Alaska Conference Appointments
All the new appointments have been made for the Alaska Conference.  If you missed any of the announcements, you can read them here.  There was a bad email link yesterday for Christina DowlingSoka.  Please use this new one instead if you would like to send welcome greetings to her.

March 20 - Robert Jones Jr.
March 27 - Dan Wilcox
April 3 - Jason Cornish
April 10 - Christina DowlingSoka, Erin Day, Autumn Krueger
WJ Commission on Archives & History Event
Archives & History
Alaska Conference Historian and Archivist, Larry Hayden, would like to invite everyone to attend the Western Jurisdiction on Archives and History Bi-Annual Meeting and the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church.  The event will take place June 26-29, 2017.  You can view the letter of invitation, program agenda, and the registration form on the conference website.  If you have any questions, please contact Larry at 222-1938 or lhaydennjuno@gmail.com.
Prayer Vigil for the Judicial Council and Bishop Karen Oliveto of the Mountain Sky Area
The Mountain Sky Area of the United Methodist Church is inviting Western Jurisdiction Churches to join them in a prayer vigil from April 23rd through April 30th for the Judicial Council and Bishop Karen Oliveto. If you or your church would like more information, you can find it on the Alaska Conference website HERE.
Birchwood's Women's Psalms Retreat
In this fast paced world of family responsibilities, career demands and social media, take a break to relax, slow, and grow at the Women's Psalm Retreat at Psalm Lake on Birchwood Camp.  We will be digging deeper into Psalms along the shores of Psalm Lake; the perfect place for God to speak peace and joy into our crazy busy lives!  Starting on Friday, April 28th at 7pm with welcoming and a restful evening; followed by Saturday, April 29th sunrise beside Psalm Lake praise, worship, meditation, prayer walk and much more! Leave around 8pm refreshed and renewed.  Visit www.birchwoodcamp.org for registration.
Seeking Photos that Depict Signs of Abundant Life in our Local Church and Ministry Settings
During the shared Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Session, which will be held June 14 - 17, those planning the gathering intend to highlight abundant life enhancing ministries taking place in local church and ministry settings.  They want to include some from the Alaska Conference as well since Alaska is part of the same Episcopal area (we share the same Bishop). Because they do expect to have a large number of submissions, a selection committee will make the final decision on which photos will be used.
If you would like to submit a digital photograph (and we hope you do as we would like to have the Alaska Conference represented), please:
  • Ensure that you have a completed and signed photo release form on file in your church for each person in the photo
  • Provide a short written description of the ministry depicted in the photo
  • Provide your name and contact information
  • Send the photo in the largest .jpeg file you have available
  • Send the digital photo with the other information requested to:  photos@greaternw.org and copy hayden@alaskan.net 
If you have any further questions please email Jo Anne Hayden at   hayden@alaskan.net.
All complete submissions received by May 1st will be considered.
Workshop: Make the Most of Retired Life - Together!
Recently retired? Retiring soon?  Join author and speaker Nora Hall on Saturday, May 6, for a workshop designed to help couples make the transition from work to retirement, peacefully!

From personal experience and research, Nora has identified the issues couples face when both retire-like sharing the home, privacy, creating an identity outside of work-and discovered positive solutions that not only keep the peace but actually enhance the relationship.

The workshop will be held at St. John UMC May 6th from 9:30 am-3:30 pm.  The workshop is free of charge and open to anyone.  A lunch will be available on site for purchase.

For more information or to register, phone Connie Quinley at 907-632-8045 or St. John UMC at 907-344-3025.  View the updated flier here
Bishops Say Pray, Don't be Afraid
Council of Bishops
Council of Bishops President Bishop Bruce Ough has called on all United Methodists to pray unceasingly, intentionally and earnestly for the unity of the church as the Judicial Council ponders its decision on the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto.

A petition requesting a declaratory decision on the election, consecration and assignment of Bishop Oliveto will be considered during the church's highest court's meeting April 25-28 in New Jersey. The petition was from the South Central Jurisdiction.

Bishop Oliveto was elected, consecrated and assigned as a United Methodist bishop in July by the Western Jurisdiction.

In a statement to the nearly 13 million United Methodist Church members released two days after Easter Sunday, Bishop Ough said Easter is "the season of waiting for the Holy Spirit to come among us and make it possible for us to hear one another, to understand one another, to know the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

He urged the members not to be afraid. "We are Easter People and we are not afraid!  Come Holy Spirit!  Come and grant us ears to hear and hearts to discern your wisdom and will for "such a time as this."Bishop Ough pointed out that the Judicial Council's actions are always specific to particular circumstances and its decision will not change The Book of Discipline.

Read the full statement from Bishop Ough here
Commission Ponders Structural Changes
The 32 members of the Commission on a Way Forward are getting down to the business of doing what their name says - finding a way for a denomination deeply divided over homosexuality to move forward together. On the table are looser ways to be in connection.

Read the story
Test Your Knowledge About Our Church History
We have an anniversary coming up. The United Methodist Church was formed on April 23, 1968. How much do you know about the church's story? We have a fun way to learn more about The UMC with our history quiz.

Try your luck! 
Pastor on Going Green: Smaller Footprint, More Room for Jesus
Earth Day is observed on April 22.  United Methodist Now talks with the Rev. Rebecca Rutter who believes living simply not only benefits our planet, it can deepen our spiritual lives. She challenged herself to build a 98-square-foot tiny house, which gave her big ideas about stewardship.

Read more, watch a video, and listen to a podcast here
Religion & Race Announces 2017 CORR Action Fund Grant
The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), The United Methodist Church's racial justice agency, announced that the CORR Action Fund (CAF) will be releasing the United States Program Grants for 2017-2020 with $750,000 in available funding. Applications will be accepted starting May of 2017 with a deadline of August 2017.

GCORR is seeking to fund innovative and bold initiatives that will support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, xenophobia, and systemic equity.

UMC churches and other UMC entities in the United States are invited to apply for funding to disrupt racism and xenophobia by working with a community partner or alliance to:
  • Identify and change at least one racist and/or xenophobic system, policy, or practice in the wider community.
  • Engage UMC people with diverse community partners in frequent vital conversations about racism and xenophobia.
  • Build understanding and trusting relationships among diverse people in the wider community.
Learn more about the CORR Action Fund grant here.  
April is National Financial Literacy Month
April is National Financial Literacy Month.  United Methodist Federal Credit Union has financial literacy tools for you and your congregation.  The Financial Education tab of  www.umfcu.org  offers a variety of savings and lending calculators in addition to educational articles and other financial literacy resources.

Here are direct links to two items:
 3 Steps to Financial Freedom - paper copies can be requested for free from UMFCU
 Budgeting Worksheet - it does the math for you!
Native American Ministries Sunday - April 30
There are so many reasons to celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday on April 30.

On this day, United Methodists focus on the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans, both in the church and in communities.

The special offering received during the celebration supports Native American outreach ministries and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.

When our churches support Native American Ministries Sunday, we empower Native American congregations to minister to their communities with the love of Christ.

Download the  Native American Ministries Sunday Pastor and Leader's Kit.

Let's all do our part to support the gifts and contributions of our Native American brothers and sisters. 
Heritage Sunday is May 21
Heritage Sunday
This year's theme is: "MILESTONES - Calling Local Churches to Discover and Celebrate Their History." Resources to guide and assist planning your local church Heritage Sunday celebration are available on the GCAH website. Heritage Sunday (para. 262, 264.1) calls every congregation to remember United Methodist heritage as a source of inspiration for ministry in the present and shaping vision for the future.
18-20: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
20-22: GBGM Board Meeting in Atlanta - Carlo attending

6: Leadership Team meeting
14: Mother's Day
21: Heritage Sunday
22-25: GNW Cabinet meeting in Seattle - Carlo attending
29: Memorial Day - Office Closed

1: Pre-Conference Workshops, TBD
2-3: Annual Conference session at UMC of Chugiak
15-17: PNW-OI Joint Annual Conference in Oregon - Carlo attending
26-29: Western Jurisdiction Commission on Archives & History/Historical Society of the United Methodist Church meeting at Alaska Pacific University
Conference Office Email Address has Changed
We have changed the conference office email from umc@gci.net to alaskaumc@gmail.com.  For workflow ease, we are consolidating everything to the Google platform (email, calendar, etc.).  Please update your address books/contacts lists and start using alaskaumc@gmail.com for your emails to the conference. Carlo's email ( carlorapanut@gmail.com) will remain the same.
Clergy Birthdays
April 22: Melissa Engel
April 23: Karen Martin Tichenor

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.
Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.