e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
The Blog Series Ends. The Ministry Continues
We have had a wonderful year, highlighting many of the ministries and churches of the Alaska Conference. Through this series we have heard what the Tsunami Sirens sound like in Homer, what damage an earthquake did in Chugiak, and how a small church in the tiny town of Hope has become a respite for so many. And there are so many other stories; some you can find here and some are yet to be told.

You can check back to this blog to read up on, and learn about what ministry looks like in one of the “Missionary Conferences” of The United Methodist Church.

Thank you to all of the contributors.

Thank you to our friends in the Greater Northwest Area of The United Methodist Church who used these posts to help with their “Alaska Conference Sunday” offering.
National News
US dips below majority of membership
United Methodist leaders project that by now at least half of the denomination lives outside the United States. However, the General Council on Finance and Administration data for the U.S. isn’t solely a story of decline.

Bishops' group backs US regional conference
The effort to create a new structure for U.S. decision-making received a boost from bishops in Africa, Europe and the Philippines.

Denominational website will provide better user experience
UMC.org , the official website of The United Methodist Church, relaunched on December 2 with a new contemporary look and a more mobile-friendly design.

In addition, Find-A-Church --the site's most popular feature--is now international, with more countries continually being added. New geolocation technology makes it possible to display churches that are near the user's current location.

A big change is that the new UMC.org will combine with RethinkChurch.org, the United Methodist website for those who are looking for a spiritual home but are not yet part of a congregation.

Longtime United Methodist archivist to retire
Dale Patterson, archivist-records administrator for the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History for the past 26 years, will retire at the end of 2019. He's overseen the creation of databases and digital collections and raised United Methodist archival standards "to the highest possible level," said the Rev. Alfred Day III, top executive of the agency.

Conference approves 5% budget cut
The Northern Illinois Conference approved a 5% budget cut and apportionment formula changes during a special session Nov. 16. The conference also heard from the Exploration Team, a task force exploring a way forward for the conference that includes the possibility of a new Methodist expression. The 2020 budget was $4,574,255, a reduction of about $288,000. The chair of the conference finance council said the 2019 General Conference resulted in “many of our churches losing members and along with that, significant financial contributions.”

Year-end giving resources
December is one of the busiest seasons for church leaders, and it’s easy to put fundraising on the back burner. But the truth is, if you’re not making a year-end-appeal, you’re leaving money on the table. An appeal doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, you could:
  • send out a letter in the mail this week
  • print a brochure to use as a bulletin insert on December 15th and make a brief announcement about it during worship
  • send a reminder email on December 31st

Weavings writers together again
For several decades, Weavings journal was among the most beloved publications of The Upper Room. The 2020 edition of "Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions" features all new material from 53 writers who contributed to Weavings. Each week covers a different spiritual theme.

#GivingTuesday is TODAY
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
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
1: New Year's Day - Office closed
9-11: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
12-14: UMC Lead - Carlo attending
20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Office Closed
20-22: ADCM Meeting - Carlo attending
23-24: Pre-General Conference Briefing - Carlo attending
26: Charge Conference - Northern Light United Church
30-Feb 1: Winter Rendezvous
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

December 10 -
David Hall

December 23 -
Christina DowlingSoka
Curtis Matz

January 5 -
Janice Carlton

January 18 -
Karen Dammann
Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340

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.
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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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