e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
Clergy Retreat & Fall Meetings
The first week of October will be filled with New Clergy Orientation (10/4), the Clergy & Professional Church Workers Retreat (10/5-10/6), and the Fall Rendezvous Meetings (10/6-10/7).  Information has been sent out to all of those that should be involved in these events.  Please make sure you register early for the Fall Rendezvous meetings so that those who are planning the events can have as accurate a number as possible.  We thank you!

If you are able to house someone or help provide transportation, please contact the conference office.  We are always in need of these services!  Thank you in advance.
Charge Conference Paperwork
Superintendent Carlo has scheduled most of the upcoming charge conferences.  As you prepare for your time together as a church with the superintendent, make sure you have ALL of our required paperwork filled out and ready to submit on or before your scheduled meeting date.  Forms can be found in PDF here.  If you need something in Word, please contact the conference office.
Plaque Unveiling at APU - October 6
On Friday, October 6th at 1:15 PM, a plaque unveiling and historical site dedication will occur on the campus of Alaska Pacific University.  During Annual Conference in June, the body voted to approve APU becoming an official United Methodist Historical site.  APU began its history as Alaska Methodist University.  You can read more about the Methodist connection here in Larry Hayden's book.  Stay tuned for more information about this event in the coming weeks.  
 
Please let the conference office know if you plan on attending by RSVPing here by September 25! 
ERT Training, October 21st & 22nd
If you are interested in volunteering to respond to Texas or other areas of disasters as part of an Early Response Team (ERT), this is an opportunity to get the necessary training.  Anyone wanting to be deployed from Alaska must have this training.  The full ERT training will be on October 21st from 9:00am-5:00pm, and then advanced courses specific for hurricane responses will be on the 22nd from 2:00pm-6:00pm.  Both will be held in the Anchorage area in a location to be specified.  If you are interested in more information, please contact Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Daniel Wilcox, at danielpwilcox@gmail.com, or 907.414.7078.
Mission u Registration Open for Chugiak & Juneau
Mission u events take place across every United Methodist Conference and are organized by conference United Methodist Women leadership. At our Mission u events in Alaska we will grow in our understanding of the mission of the church in the current world context. The studies give particular attention to the responsibilities of women in the fulfillment of the mission work of the church. Mission u events also include worship & singing, interest groups around current issues, audiovisual presentations, food and fellowship! Please join in embracing the opportunity to grow, share and advocate for others!

To learn more about the studies, leaders, dates for each location, and to register, click here
New UMW Newsletter!
The fall issue of the Alaska UMW RESPONSE is now available to read.  It is packed full of information pertaining to the upcoming Annual Gathering event that will take place at First UMC Anchorage from October 6-8, 2017.
 
In addition to the business slated for delegate voting in October, you will read  articles about our Reading Program, M embership, Radical Welcoming and more! Inside you'll also find an invitation to participate in the 2018 Assembly of United Methodist Women in Columbus, Ohio.  Enjoy! 
 
Read the newsletter now!
Time to Plan for 2018 VIM Teams!
UMVIM With summer coming to an end, it is already time to start talking about what VIM needs your church or ministry may have for 2018.  We already have teams that have shown interest in coming to Alaska, and are looking for locations.  Please be talking about what ministry or building needs your congregation may have.  Contact UMVIM coordinator, Rev. Daniel Wilcox, danielpwilcox@gmail.com, 907.414.7078, for more information, or if you know what your needs will be.
NATIONAL NEWS
Waiting to Assess Impact of Hurricane Irma
UMCOR As Hurricane Irma continues its meandering path from the Caribbean to Florida, Georgia and other parts of the Southeastern U.S., United Methodists are providing shelter and preparing for relief work, with help from the United Methodist Committee on Relief. United Methodist News Service reporters have the story.
2017 Sexual Harassment Survey
Sexual misconduct has been a problem in all religions and denominations. Fortunately, The United Methodist Church has been addressing the problem for about three decades, but there is more to do. In our efforts to hear from those who work and worship in UM churches and offices, and to better understand the extent, nature and trends of this problem among both clergy and laity, we are inviting everyone in The United Methodist Church to participate in the "2017 Sexual Harassment Survey." 
 
The survey will take between 5 and 20 minutes depending on your experience with sexual harassment in the Church.  Since this survey is about sensitive information, it is totally voluntary and you are invited to skip over any questions that are uncomfortable.  However, the more complete your survey, the more we can understand from the data.
 
All of the responses from this survey are anonymous.  We have no means of tracking any individual respondent, and all of the data will be reported in the aggregate.  
The results of this study will provide important feedback about the frequency and response to sexual misconduct within The United Methodist Church and help the Church address abuse.  We hope to publish the findings later this year.
 
Here is the link to the survey:  UMC Sexual Harassment SurveyThe deadline for submitting surveys is October 3.
 
If you have any concerns about sexual misconduct in your ministry setting, or believe that you may be a victim of sexual harassment, please contact Becky Williams at the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, 312-346-4900.  If you have a question about the survey, please contact Gail Murphy-Geiss, Ph.D. at 719-389-6868.
 
Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.
 
Dawn Wiggins Hare                                              Bishop Sharma Lewis
General Secretary                                                 Virginia Annual Conference
The General Commission                                    Council of Bishops Representative to
on the Status and Role of Women                     Interagency Sexual Ethics Task Force
Churches Respond to Post-Harvey Needs
While communities assess damage and begin the long journey of recovery after Hurricane Harvey, Rio Texas Conference United Methodists have been quick to respond to the need for money and volunteers.
 
Read the conference story
Rio Texas church includes children in relief efforts 
Committing Long-Term to Sierra Leone Recovery
"This is the time we as a people are likely to fail the survivors, but I want the church to remain engaged in their lives when all the people are gone, including the government," Bishop John Yambasu told two communities hard hit by recent mudslides and flooding as he committed The United Methodist Church for the long-term. Phileas Jusu and Julu Swen have the story.
 
Read the story
Raising orphans among crises in Sierra Leone  
Commission on a Way Forward Prepares for Critical Meeting in Berlin
As the Commission on a Way Forward prepares for its next meeting, the moderators are asking all United Methodists to continue to pray for the Commission members as they work to discern options for a way forward for The United Methodist Church in the midst of disagreement regarding the disciplinary stance related to human sexuality. 
 
The moderators, Bishops David Yemba, Sandra Steiner Ball and Ken Carter, are urging people to continue praying as Commission members gather for their fifth meeting Sept. 18-20 in Berlin, Germany.
 
After the last meeting in Chicago in July, the 32-member Commission, appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in discerning a way forward, issued a status report in PDF form and in video form.
 
Among the things indicated in the report was the challenging nature of the global context of the church, noting that concerns and goals related to human sexuality vary widely across the globe and that Central Conferences, like the U.S. Jurisdictions, are not of one mind on ordination and marriage of LGBTQ persons.
 
The global context is complex due to differing cultural, civic, legal restrictions and freedoms. Some changes within the current disciplinary language pose a potential threat to the vital mission of our Central Conferences. Understanding and honoring the nuances of each central conference is critical, the status report noted.
 
The commission will likely complete its work in the later part of 2018 in readiness for the Special Session of General Conference, which is set for February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
 
Scholarship and Grant Opportunities
Council of Bishops
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church announces two exciting opportunities offered through their office:

1. Applications for a partial scholarship to attend The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey during the Fall 2018 Graduate Session are now available.  Seminary students who intend to vocationally serve The UMC are encouraged to consider this opportunity to engage in an ecumenical community for this 5-month, graduate-level course.  The application is due no later than September 15, 2017.  For more information about The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey go to www.institute.oikoumene.org.  For a copy of the COB scholarship application and guidelines contact Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst at jhawxhurst@umc-cob.org.

2. Applications for one of three annual "Local Initiative Grants" are now available.  These grants are for annual conference groups who are doing excellent ecumenical and/or interreligious ministries in their contexts.  Projects receiving grants should be carried out during the first half of 2018.  For more information about the Local Initiative Grants go to  www.ocuir.org.   For a copy of the COB grant application with guidelines contact Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst at jhawxhurst@umc-cob.org.
Registration is Open for "More Church Leaders - Stronger Church Leaders" Conference and Live Stream
Lewis Center for Church Leadership Registration is open for the More Church Leaders | Stronger Church Leaders Conference and Live Stream. Hosted by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary, the event will help churches leverage leadership potential within their congregations.
 
More Church Leaders | Stronger Church Leaders  is Saturday, November 4, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern time. Conference attendees may participate in person at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, or via live stream from their own computer or mobile device across the globe. The event is ecumenical and designed for both laity and clergy.
 
At More Church Leaders | Stronger Church Leaders, attendees will learn strategies to identify and support new leaders and build and maintain effective ministry teams. Clergy and lay leaders, in churches both large and small, will discover a more synergistic and fruitful way of being in ministry together.
 
Topics include: Finding the Leaders Your Church Needs to Thrive; Simple Strategies for Raising Up New Leaders; Benefits of the Team Approach to Ministry Leadership; How to Lead a Team Effectively; and Harnessing the Power of Synergy.
 
More Church Leaders | Stronger Church Leaders  is presented by Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr., Dr. Ann A. Michel, and Rev. Stephanie Remington. Dr. Powe is director of the Lewis Center and holds the James C. Logan Chair in Evangelism (an E. Stanley Jones Professorship) at Wesley Theological Seminary. Dr. Michel is associate director of the Lewis Center and teaches in the areas of stewardship and leadership. Rev. Remington is research manager of the Lewis Center and has a rich history of developing leaders for community outreach ministries.
 
Additional conference and live stream information and registration are available at http://www.churchleadership.com/register
Group Looking at Apportionments
A Church Apportionment Sustainability Task Force, which includes representatives from all five U.S. jurisdictions, is looking at the structure and impact of the requested giving that supports ministry across the denomination. The group recently met at the General Council of Finance and Administration office.
 
Read about the meeting
Read about last year’s denominational giving
Apply for the CORR Action Fund Grant
GCORR
Religion and Race understands that real change starts with you!  If you have an idea or project that will disrupt racism and xenophobia in your community and you are part of a UMC church or UMC organization in the United States,   apply for the CORR Action Fund grant today.
 
Learn more about past CORR Action Fund recipients.  Grants will be for up to $35,000 for up to 24 months beginning February 2018. Applications and all required documentation will be accepted online through September 15, 2017.
How to Hear a Sermon for all it's Worth
Bible
What is God speaking through the pulpit? The Rev. Larry Buxton, a United Methodist clergy coach and retired pastor, writes about how to be active listeners and get the most impact from a sermon.
Your United Methodist Federal Credit Union Church Visa® Program
UMFCU
Is your church relying on an inconvenient voucher and reimbursement process for monthly expenditures?  UMFCU church VISA® program can bring some ease to the process and relieve your church staff from unnecessary personal outlay.  Individual card limits can be set for each cardholder with separate statements for easy reconciliation.  There is no annual fee, no balance transfer fee and no cash advance fee.  UM affiliated organizations can also utilize this program.  Basic UMFCU membership with share savings account is required.  To learn more go to https://umfcu.org/umfcu-church-program/church-visa/  To request a UM church/organization membership packet contact your California Headquarters at 800-245-0433.
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
September
12-14: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
26: Church Conference - Community UMC

October
4-7: New Clergy Orientation, Clergy Retreat, Fall Rendezvous Committee Meetings
6-8: United Methodist Women Annual Gathering at First UMC Anchorage
9-11: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
12-14: GBGM Board Meeting - Carlo attending
13-14: Mission u Southeast at Aldersgate UMC
21: Church Conference - Ola Toe Fuataina UM Samoan Fellowship
22: Church Conference - Girdwood Chapel UMC
25: Church Conference - Turnagain UMC
28: Church Conference - Homer UMC
28: Church Conference - St. Peter the Fisherman UMC
29: Church Conference - Soldotna UMC
New Office Hours
Office Hours
The Conference Office has new hours!
 
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:30 am 
happy_birthday_candles.jpg
Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays
 
September 17 -
Autumn Krueger

September 22 -
Won Jea Keum

September 28 -
Darla Bradley

October 8 -
Andy Bartel

October 10 -
Luke Jones

October 18 -
Dan Wilcox



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 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.
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