A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Dr. LaVerne Lewis joins Innovation Vitality Team as Assistant Director of Innovation for a New Church
Dr. LaVerne Lewis is the newest member of the Innovation Vitality Team (IV Team) for the Greater Northwest Area of The United Methodist Church . Serving in a part-time role as the Assistant Director of Innovation for a New Church, Lewis joins forces with Rev. Dr. William Gibson in the work of resourcing planters/innovators in the area of entrepreneurship, social enterprise, financial sustainability, and intentional multiplication.

“We are incredibly excited about LaVerne joining the ongoing work of the IV Team,” said Rev. Dr. William Gibson, Director of Innovation for a New Church and Team Leader. “LaVerne brings a broad range of experience and gifts in an important area of concentration for our work this season — that of financial sustainability and entrepreneurship. Her experiences as a successful entrepreneur, tax consultant, and college professor are invaluable. She and I speak the same language, and I am over-joyed about our collaborative work moving forward.”

CrossOver to Life! · Week 51
Words Make Worlds
by Rev. Katie Ladd
CrossOver reflection for  Week 51 • Beginning November 24, 2019

Words make worlds. They are the DNA of meaning. Did someone you deeply admired ever highly praise you? How did you feel? Were you ever called a — as a child or as an adult — that left you feeling ashamed or like you were nothing? Words make worlds. Words make worlds beautiful, and they make them unbearable. It is genius that our origin story begins with God speaking creation into being. It is no coincidence in John’s Gospel that we have a new creation story that says, “In the beginning was the Word….” Words make worlds. String words together into stories and that is where we find deep and transformational meaning.

Valley Interfaith Action Director/Community Organizer position open
VIA (Valley Interfaith Action) is a faith-based community organization (FBCO) started in 2015.  We are looking for an energetic person to be the Director/Community Organizer for this organization made up of twelve congregations in the Matanuska Susitna Valley in Alaska. The Director will be responsible for day-to-day nonprofit administration and organizing in communities of faith throughout the Borough.  A willingness to be trained in VIA’s model of congregation-based community organizing is essential for any candidate interested in the position. Position will begin February 1, 2020.  Applications should be submitted before Jan 8, 2020. Additional inquiries will be accepted if the position is not filled. For job description see our website at www.valleyinterfaithaction.org . Send cover letter and resume to viaexcom@gmail.com
1,000 socks for Socktober in Seward
A group of religious organizations and healthcare providers on the eastern Kenai Peninsula have collected over 500 pairs of socks to be distributed to those in need. The socks came from a number of churches – Seward and Moose Pass United Methodist Church, the Catholic Churches of Seward and Cooper Landing, and Resurrection Lutheran Church – as well as Providence Seward Medical Center and the Seward Community Health Center, said Jim Doepken, pastor at the Methodist churches. 

The collection took place as part of Socktober, a national donation drive. The socks have been sent to the Seward Community Library, Qutekcak Native Tribe and the Closet for further distribution.

National News
Task force publishes report on agency reserves
The Reserves Task Force, appointed by the board of the denomination’s finance agency, has released its report on general agency reserves. The summary includes charts of agency net assets at the end of 2018 and projections for 2019. 

4 Bishops dispute planned budget cuts
Bishops in Europe object to reduced financial support for their offices budgeted for early next year. The United Methodist finance agency says such cuts are necessary. At heart, the dispute is about how to handle the denomination’s financial strains.

Wespath initiatives address opioid crises
The United Methodist Church's benefits agency is addressing the national opioid crisis by offering educational and recovery resources as well as holding companies in which it invests accountable.

Preparing to mark World AIDS Day
People around the globe commemorate World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 to highlight service and advocacy for people living with AIDS, as well as prevention of the disease. This year's theme is "Communities Make the Difference." The United Methodist Global AIDS Committee is offering dozens of resources to help communities highlight the role they have played.

GCORR Board of Directors joins the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference on a Native Immersion experience
On Oct 31, 2019, GCORR board of directors visited Washita “massacre” Battlefield Site and Clinton Indian United Methodist Church to learn about the history and reality of Native American United Methodists as part of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference immersion experience.

#GivingTuesday is December 3
With every Thanksgiving, you will also experience a Black Friday, a Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and of course Giving Tuesday. There are may United Methodist related organizations and projects around the world that you can take the opportunity to support. Don't forget about the Alaska United Methodist related projects as well.

Conference Calendar
26: Charge Conference - Anchor Park UMC
28: Thanksgiving - Office closed
29: Office Closed
1: Charge Conference - Anchorage Korean UMC
2: Charge Conference - Community UMC (Nome)
7: Leadership Team meeting
7: Charge Conference - Ola Toe Fuataina UM Samoan Fellowship
8: Charge Conference - First UMC, Fairbanks
10-12: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
15: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
18: Charge Conference - First UMC, Ketchikan
24: Christmas Eve - Office closed half day
25: Christmas Day - Office closed
31: New Year's Eve - Office closed half day
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

December 10 -
David Hall

December 23 -
Christina DowlingSoka
Curtis Matz
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.