A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Pre-Conference Workshops
Pre-Conference workshops are finalized.  There are two offerings this year:  Intentional Discipleship which will be led by Jeff Campbell from Discipleship Ministries and Clergy Benefits & Financial Wellness led by our own Conference Benefits Officer Bruce Galvin.  The workshop descriptions are on the registration link.  There will be a dinner offered between the two workshops for $10.

Register for Pre-Conference Workshops here!
Annual Conference
This year's Annual Conference will be held June 2-3 at UMC of Chugiak.  There will be a day of workshops on June 1, prior to the Annual Conference.

Read more about the theme and logo.


Annual Conference Registration
Housing/Transportation Registration
Child Care Registration  

Here are links to various information that pertains to the upcoming Annual Conference.  Please note the due dates if you wish to submit anything for consideration.

Celebration of Life for Steve Eldred
Retired pastor, Steve Eldred passed away on April 5th.  The celebration of his life will be held this Sunday, April 30th, at 1 PM at the Willow Community Center.  Everyone is invited to attend.  You can read his obituary here.
Come Explore the Impact of Federal Changes to Our Faith Communities
Nora Ortiz Fredrick and Laurie Wolf from The Foraker Group are hosting a breakfast discussion about standing together against the repeal of The Johnson Amendment & harmful changes to charitable giving deductions.

Come explore the impact of these federal challenges to our faith communities.

President Trump has pledged to repeal the Johnson Amendment - the tax code that prohibits charitable nonprofits, including faith communities, from endorsing political candidates. While some faith leaders hail this effort as religious freedom, many others have raised serious concerns about congregational unity, mission focus, and the financial implications of channeling political funds.

The President and Congress are also looking to overhaul the tax code to include dramatic changes to the charitable giving incentives. Thirty-five percent of all US charitable giving goes to religious organizations like yours. It is critical that faith leaders take a stand to stop these changes. The Foraker Group, Alaska's state nonprofit association, has prioritized these issues at the federal level. Let's work together and raise our collective voice to stand up for Alaska communities.

Join for a breakfast discussion
            When: May 9 from 8:30 - 10:30 am
            Where: The Foraker Group
            Mountain View Service Center
            161 Klevin Street - Suite 101
            RSVP to Maura at mwharton@forakergroup.org
WJ Commission on Archives & History Event
Archives & History
Alaska Conference Historian and Archivist, Larry Hayden, would like to invite everyone to attend the Western Jurisdiction on Archives and History Bi-Annual Meeting and the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church.  The event will take place June 26-29, 2017.  You can view the letter of invitation, program agenda, and the registration form on the conference website.  If you have any questions, please contact Larry at 222-1938 or lhaydennjuno@gmail.com.
Prayer Vigil for the Judicial Council and Bishop Karen Oliveto of the Mountain Sky Area
The Mountain Sky Area of the United Methodist Church is inviting Western Jurisdiction Churches to join them in a prayer vigil from April 23rd through April 30th for the Judicial Council and Bishop Karen Oliveto. If you or your church would like more information, you can find it on the Alaska Conference website HERE.
Birchwood's Women's Psalms Retreat
In this fast paced world of family responsibilities, career demands and social media, take a break to relax, slow, and grow at the Women's Psalm Retreat at Psalm Lake on Birchwood Camp.  We will be digging deeper into Psalms along the shores of Psalm Lake; the perfect place for God to speak peace and joy into our crazy busy lives!  Starting on Friday, April 28th at 7pm with welcoming and a restful evening; followed by Saturday, April 29th sunrise beside Psalm Lake praise, worship, meditation, prayer walk and much more! Leave around 8pm refreshed and renewed.  Visit www.birchwoodcamp.org for registration.
Seeking Photos that Depict Signs of Abundant Life in our Local Church and Ministry Settings
During the shared Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Session, which will be held June 14 - 17, those planning the gathering intend to highlight abundant life enhancing ministries taking place in local church and ministry settings.  They want to include some from the Alaska Conference as well since Alaska is part of the same Episcopal area (we share the same Bishop). Because they do expect to have a large number of submissions, a selection committee will make the final decision on which photos will be used.
If you would like to submit a digital photograph (and we hope you do as we would like to have the Alaska Conference represented), please:
  • Ensure that you have a completed and signed photo release form on file in your church for each person in the photo
  • Provide a short written description of the ministry depicted in the photo
  • Provide your name and contact information
  • Send the photo in the largest .jpeg file you have available
  • Send the digital photo with the other information requested to:  photos@greaternw.org and copy hayden@alaskan.net 
If you have any further questions please email Jo Anne Hayden at   hayden@alaskan.net.
All complete submissions received by May 1st will be considered.
Workshop: Make the Most of Retired Life - Together!
Recently retired? Retiring soon?  Join author and speaker Nora Hall on Saturday, May 6, for a workshop designed to help couples make the transition from work to retirement, peacefully!

From personal experience and research, Nora has identified the issues couples face when both retire-like sharing the home, privacy, creating an identity outside of work-and discovered positive solutions that not only keep the peace but actually enhance the relationship.

The workshop will be held at St. John UMC May 6th from 9:30 am-3:30 pm.  The workshop is free of charge and open to anyone.  A lunch will be available on site for purchase.

For more information or to register, phone Connie Quinley at 907-632-8045 or St. John UMC at 907-344-3025.  View the updated flier here
Special Session of the General Conference
Council of Bishops
The Council of Bishops (COB) has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

In announcing the call, COB President Bishop Bruce R. Ough said the Special Session will be held in accordance with Division Two - Section II - Article II of The Constitution of The United Methodist Church as recorded in Paragraph 14 of The Book of Discipline (2016).

The purpose of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference will be "limited to receiving and acting on a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward."

The 32-member Commission was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge to lead the church forward amid the impasse related to homosexuality. The Commission's task includes examining paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.

Per the Constitution of the Church, the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference shall be composed of the delegates to the 2016 General Conference or their legal successors or alternates, except when a particular annual conference or missionary conference shall prefer to have a new election.

Click here for the full letter sent to the Heads of Delegations to the 2016 General Conference (or successors), Secretary of the General Conference and the Chairperson of the Commission on the General Conference.
Why We Are Called United Methodists
There have been many nicknames for the band of believers who followed the lead of John and Charles Wesley in their early ministry in England. On April, 23, 1968, United Methodists got their current moniker on what was the denomination's official birthdate.
Read the story
Religion & Race Announces 2017 CORR Action Fund Grant
The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), The United Methodist Church's racial justice agency, announced that the CORR Action Fund (CAF) will be releasing the United States Program Grants for 2017-2020 with $750,000 in available funding. Applications will be accepted starting May of 2017 with a deadline of August 2017.

GCORR is seeking to fund innovative and bold initiatives that will support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, xenophobia, and systemic equity.

UMC churches and other UMC entities in the United States are invited to apply for funding to disrupt racism and xenophobia by working with a community partner or alliance to:
  • Identify and change at least one racist and/or xenophobic system, policy, or practice in the wider community.
  • Engage UMC people with diverse community partners in frequent vital conversations about racism and xenophobia.
  • Build understanding and trusting relationships among diverse people in the wider community.
Learn more about the CORR Action Fund grant here.  
April is National Financial Literacy Month
April is National Financial Literacy Month.  United Methodist Federal Credit Union has financial literacy tools for you and your congregation.  The Financial Education tab of  www.umfcu.org  offers a variety of savings and lending calculators in addition to educational articles and other financial literacy resources.

Here are direct links to two items:
 3 Steps to Financial Freedom - paper copies can be requested for free from UMFCU
 Budgeting Worksheet - it does the math for you!
Native American Ministries Sunday - April 30
There are so many reasons to celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday on April 30.

On this day, United Methodists focus on the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans, both in the church and in communities.

The special offering received during the celebration supports Native American outreach ministries and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.

When our churches support Native American Ministries Sunday, we empower Native American congregations to minister to their communities with the love of Christ.

Download the  Native American Ministries Sunday Pastor and Leader's Kit.

Let's all do our part to support the gifts and contributions of our Native American brothers and sisters. 
Heritage Sunday is May 21
Heritage Sunday
This year's theme is: "MILESTONES - Calling Local Churches to Discover and Celebrate Their History." Resources to guide and assist planning your local church Heritage Sunday celebration are available on the GCAH website. Heritage Sunday (para. 262, 264.1) calls every congregation to remember United Methodist heritage as a source of inspiration for ministry in the present and shaping vision for the future.
6: Leadership Team meeting
14: Mother's Day
21: Heritage Sunday
21-25: GNW Cabinet meeting in Seattle - Carlo attending
29: Memorial Day - Office Closed

1: Pre-Conference Workshops, TBD
2-3: Annual Conference session at UMC of Chugiak
15-17: PNW-OI Joint Annual Conference in Oregon - Carlo attending
26-29: Western Jurisdiction Commission on Archives & History/Historical Society of the United Methodist Church meeting at Alaska Pacific University
Conference Office Email Address has Changed
We have changed the conference office email from umc@gci.net to alaskaumc@gmail.com.  For workflow ease, we are consolidating everything to the Google platform (email, calendar, etc.).  Please update your address books/contacts lists and start using alaskaumc@gmail.com for your emails to the conference. Carlo's email ( carlorapanut@gmail.com) will remain the same.
Clergy Birthdays
No May birthdays

Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo
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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