e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
CrossOver to Life! · Week 49
Abundant Life Outside the Lines
by Rev. Mary Huycke
CrossOver reflection for  Week 48 • Beginning November 10, 2019

One of the human attributes that allow us to navigate daily life is the very attribute that enslaves us to unhelpful patterns of behavior and attitude.

A thousand times a day, we are beneficiaries of not having to stop to think deeply about the task in front of us. The simple act of getting a glass of water from our kitchen faucet is simple precisely because we don’t have to stop and wonder, where is there a water faucet in the house? How do I turn on the water? We grab a glass from the cabinet and fill it up all without pausing in conversation. Once mastered, driving a car is automatic. Upon seeing a stoplight, we don’t have to take the time at each intersection, pondering, “hmmm…what is the meaning of a red light, again?” The learned somatic pattern kicks in, our foot depresses the brake, and we stop.

Video: WJ Bishops declare Safe Harbor for LGBTQ+ clergy, candidates
In just two days, more than 5,000 United Methodists signed the Safe Harbor Declaration, supporting our Bishops' stand for a fully inclusive UMC! It has continued to grow since. Will you join them?

Western Jurisdiction contracts Gwen Bortner to serve as Project Manager through September
The Western Jurisdiction Mission Cabinet is pleased to announce that Gwen Bortner has been contracted as a project manager for the next 11 months. Serving in a part-time capacity, Bortner will collaborate with existing leaders to provide appropriate support and assistance to the Annual Conferences, Mission Cabinet, Leadership Team, and grassroots movements within the jurisdiction as they determine how best to embody a wholistic, inclusive expression of United Methodism. She was selected from a field of 37 candidates.

Alaskan who served in both WWII and Vietnam honored in Veterans Day ceremony
Walter Fergus, a 94-year-old World War II prisoner of war and Vietnam War veteran, was presented a folded U.S. flag honoring him for his 28 years of service during a Veterans Day ceremony in the Glenn Massay Theater in Palmer Monday.

Fergus was a gunner in a B-24 Liberator when his plane was shot down over Germany and he “became a guest of the German government,” as Fergus put it at the ceremony. Fergus was a POW for about nine months at Stalag 7A north of Moosburg, Bavaria near the end of World War II.

Walt Fergus is a longtime member of Christ First UMC in Wasilla and he served for many years as the church secretary.

Beyond Bequests: 3 Planned Gifts that Help Now
Most planned gifts don’t benefit the church until after a beloved member passes away. But as we enter a time of year associated with generosity and giving thanks, you should be aware that there are other types of planned gifts that can benefit your church immediately. These gifts can also have great tax advantages for the donor. If one of your members wants to make a planned gift whose impact they can see during their lifetime, continue reading .
UMVIM
Start thinking about VIM teams
Dear Friends,
I am Don Olson, the new Alaska VIM coordinator. If your church has a project and needs a VIM team, please e-mail me your contact information and I will e-mail you the paperwork to get started. I know some of you have hosted teams in the past, but, as I am new to this responsibility, I need all the aids available and I am still wedded to paper. Thank you.

Isaiah 57:14
Don Olson
Does your church need a piano?
Anchorage area: Does your church need a piano? St. John UMC has a piano that was gifted to the church many years ago and they no longer have a need for it within their programming. Is there a church in the conference that could use it? It plays fine and was given in memory of someone, so it would be nice to keep it within the UMC. If your church could use it, please contact the church at 344-3025 or stjohn.sjumc@gmail.com
National News
WCA looks toward new, traditionalist church
Leaders of the Wesleyan Covenant Association said a breakup of The United Methodist Church is inevitable and offered details of what a new, traditionalist Methodist church might look like. The group held its fourth global gathering, drawing about 1,000 to Asbury United Methodist Church, with an additional 2,000 watching by simulcast.

Jurisdiction repents of harm to LGBTQ people
General and jurisdictional delegates from the North Central Jurisdiction released a statement acknowledging and apologizing for harm to LGBTQ individuals in the past and for potential harm that could begin Jan. 1, 2020, when the Traditional Plan goes into effect. That plan strengthened church restrictions against ordination of gay clergy and same-sex unions. The delegates also called for a moratorium on complaints related to same-gender weddings and LGBTQ identity and credentialing, and said they want to elect bishops in 2020 who will join in these commitments.

Bishops warned their funding imperiled
Church financial leaders sounded the alarm at the fall meeting of the Council of Bishops. Without any changes, the fund that supports the bishops will run out of money in five years.

Comparing plans headed to GC2020
A new chart summarizes and compares proposals that have been submitted from various groups  to General Conference 2020 about the future of The United Methodist Church. The chart does not include plans from individuals and may be updated after all legislation is published.

Board, agency assignment of bishops announced
The Council of Bishops has announced the assignment of bishops to the boards and agencies of The United Methodist Church for the 2020-2024 quadrennium. The bishops will begin their assignments at the organizational meeting of each agency or board after the 2020 jurisdictional and central conferences.
 
Church ratifies women's equality amendment
After a revote, United Methodists around the globe have ratified an amendment to the denomination's constitution that proclaims: "Men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God." The amendment received a revote because of incorrect wording in what initially was sent to annual conferences. Heather Hahn reports.

Harvey to lead Council of Bishops
Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey was elected president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church during the bishops' meeting at Lake Junaluska Assembly. Other new officers include Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president-designate; Bishop Tracy Malone, secretary; Bishop Bruce Ough, executive secretary; Bishop Sally Dyck, ecumenical officer; and Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, past president.

A Fully Inclusive Church
A group of elected delegates from conferences across the Western Jurisdiction have submitted legislation for consideration by the 2020 General Conference. The 19-member team proposed 27 legislative changes to the Book of Discipline "to better equip the full church to say “All Belong.”"

To read the full text of the “All Belong” statement and to join us in speaking up for a fully inclusive church by signing the statement, visit:  https://forms.gle/95bh6Tf9381arWBX9
Discipleship Ministries produces official study guide for movie starring Tom Hanks
Sony Pictures invited Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church to produce the faith-based study guide to accompany the movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” The film stars Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys.

Discipleship Ministries produced the official faith-based discussion guide in collaboration with Sony Entertainment. It was written by staff from the Strategic Programming unit and the Office of Communications of Discipleship Ministries. The guide is designed to help groups learn to process feelings, understand forgiveness, talk about hard things, seek reconciliation, and practice positive spiritual discipline.

The discussion guide, as well as a trailer for the film, is available on the film’s website at http://resources.abeautifulday.movie.
Cokesbury acquires Bibles by the Case
The United Methodist Publishing House has acquired discount retailer Bibles by the Case, bringing it under the auspices of its Cokesbury retail division. The deal went into effect Nov. 1, and Bibles by the Case will continue as an independent division with its current management.

Conference Calendar
11-13: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
14-16: WJ Summit - Carlo attending
16-17: WJ Mission Cabinet - Carlo attending
18: Charge Conference - First Anchorage/First Samoan UMC
19: Charge Conference - Palmer UM Fellowship
20: Charge Conference - Turnagain UMC
21: Charge Conference - UMC of Chugiak
23: Charge Conference - Kenai UMC
23: Charge Conference - North Star UMC
23: Charge Conference - St. Peter the Fisherman UMC
24: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
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
13: Charge Conference - First UMC, Ketchikan
15: Charge Conference - St. John UMC
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
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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