e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Evaluation form
We are still looking for your feedback from our Virtual Annual Conference. Please fill out the evaluation form whether you were a participant on Zoom or an observer on the YouTube Livestream. We would like to know what we did well and where we can improve.

Keeping AUMC safer through proper mask use
Registered nurse Sheri Whitethorn, member at Anchor Park UMC, wrote an article for the APUMC newsletter about proper face mask wearing. Learning how to choose the right mask and use it properly is key. Since late spring, the general public has been in a position to need to wear masks to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, but there has been no comprehensive education done so that we would all wear masks properly.

Church/Charge Conference paperwork now online

Every year, churches across the denomination have church/charge conferences with the Superintendent. Superintendent Carlo has already scheduled those with each of the Alaska churches. The forms are posted on the conference website for download. The agenda has now been added. Paperwork from each church is due at least two days prior to your meeting. Please send the completed paperwork to the Superintendent and the Conference Office.

Anti-racism book study

Friday evening the "Me and White Supremacy" 6-week book study group met to begin their journey together. It has 20 members (with 5 who are waiting for a second 6-week session to open) who are United Methodist and ELCA members across Southcentral and Southeastern Alaska, diverse in gender and age groups, including clergy and laity, white and POC, and inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Please hold these folks in prayer over the next 6 weeks. They ask for prayers of spiritual protection and fortitude as well as prayers for this to be a life-transforming experience.

In peace,
Sister Kelly Marciales
World Parish available

A few dozen issues of the "World Parish" glossy color format newsletter of the World Methodist Council is available FREE from Larry Hayden.
 
The World Parish was first published in May 1948. Part of its purpose was to “aid in welding Methodism into a spiritual and fraternal unity based on the consciousness of a common origin, doctrine and heritage.” It was described as an “ecumenical Methodist news bulletin.”

Perhaps you would want to subscribe to it. If so, search for the World Methodist Council.

National News
Floor. Fire. Wind. COVID-19

What’s the one thing that is the same for every disaster?

The compassionate and caring response of God’s people.

For 80 years, and in this unprecedented time of one disaster after another, UMCOR has been swift to offer relief and is committed to the fullness of recovery.

Support the immediate needs of disaster response in the United States.

Welcome to General Secretary Roland Fernandes

Roland Fernandes began his term as general secretary of Global Ministries on Sept. 1. A layman originally from India, Fernandes has been with Global Ministries since 1995, filling key roles including leadership of UMCOR.

“The opportunity to serve as general secretary of Global Ministries is one I welcome with a sense of deep humility,” said Fernandes. “These are uncertain times for many and I am honored to lead this agency, which is so essential to our church’s faithful response to God’s grace in Jesus Christ."

Learn more about Fernandes in a five-question interview, including his thoughts about the mission of God and what it means to be a leader in challenging times.

Is the United Methodist Church involved in politics?

The people called Methodists have been actively involved in social and political matters since the church's founding in 18th-century England. Today, the United Methodist Social Creed and Social Principles express a commitment to fully participate in building a more peaceful and just world. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, answers more questions related to the church and politics.

Faith leaders call for release of United Methodist

The Baltimore-Washington Conference bishop, the top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and other faith leaders called for the immediate release of Binsar Siahaan. Siahaan, an undocumented Indonesian immigrant who is a member and caretaker of Glenmont United Methodist in Silver Spring, Maryland, was arrested on church property by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. "As a bishop … I find this breach of established practice unconscionable. How dare they enter upon our sacred grounds to violate their own policy," Bishop LaTrelle Easterling said at a news conference on Sept. 21.

Worries over human rights in Philippines

The U.S. National Council of Churches and United Methodist boards of Church and Society and Global Ministries are among the faith organizations signing a unity statement to protect and promote human rights in the Philippines. The statement cites "the worrisome heightening of human rights violations and intensifying curtailment of civil liberties" because of restrictions put upon democratic discourse.

Hispanic Heritage month

Established in 1988 and running from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of Hispanic history and culture in the U.S. Although observances are more subdued this year because of COVID-19, you are encouraged to continue to celebrate the many accomplishments Hispanics have made in recent years.

Conference backs replacing Cross and Flame

A pastor's call to replace the Cross and Flame as the insignia of The United Methodist Church has picked up the backing of the North Texas Conference. The Rev. Edlen Cowley says the insignia suggests to African Americans the cross burnings of the Ku Klux Klan.

Data provides snapshot of Korean United Methodists

A retired pastor has spent the past 10 years compiling data on the Korean United Methodist community. His research shows that Korean clergy are younger on average than previously thought and reveals a significant gender gap in appointments to Korean churches.

United Methodist Creation Justice Summit

On October 16 & 17, United Methodists from across the United States will gather online for the 2020 Online Creation Justice Summit. In four sessions, leaders from across the country will guide participants through this meaningful training that will equip and inspire action to build Creation Care ministries in their local churches and annual conferences and join with others to build a movement for creation justice throughout the denomination. Attendees will be encouraged to dream boldly of ways they can play a key role in healing the planet, dive deeper into advocacy and Green Team development training, gather wisdom from speakers and other leaders, and gain strength and inspiration by worshiping together.

Inaugural UM Global AIDS Committee Webinar

The United Methodist Global AIDS Committee has announced the panelists for their “COVID-19 and HIV & AIDS” webinar on October 1, 2020 at 1:00 PM CT.

This will serve as the first in a series of webinars planned for the coming months to educate, support and advocate for those affected by HIV/AIDS. The complimentary session will be made available online through Facebook.com/UMCglobalaidsfund and archived on their website.

The inaugural webinar will explore how COVID-19 is impacting the global effort to reduce HIV infections and AIDS deaths. Participants will come to better understand how global lock downs have resulted in malnutrition, missed treatments and lack of access to preventive medicine and testing.

McMurray gets $3 million STEM grant

McMurry University, a United Methodist-related school, has been awarded a five-year, $3 million federal grant for expansion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree programs. The grant will also help McMurry support Hispanic students in STEM studies.

Encouraging voter registration

John Wesley was a fan of voting. According to a 1774 journal entry, he urged Methodist Society members: "(1) To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy (2) To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and (3) To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side." In the U.S., Sept. 22 was national voter registration day. 

Conference Calendar
30: Charge Conference - Aldersgate UMC
1: Charge Conference - Douglas Community UMC
5: Charge Conference - St. Peter the Fisherman UMC
7: Charge Conference - Every Nation UMC
13: Charge Conference - Kenai UMC
14: Charge Conference - UMC of Chugiak
15: Charge Conference - North Star UMC
17: Charge Conference - Unalaska UMC
19: Charge Conference - Palmer UM Fellowship
21: Charge Conference - Christ First UMC
29: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
31: Halloween
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

October 8 -
Andy Bartel

October 10 -
Luke Jones

October 12 -
Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky

October 18 -
Dan Wilcox

October 19 -
Kristi McGuire
Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340
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.