e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
CONFERENCE NEWS
Lenten Listening, Table Talks, and A Way Forward
On Sunday Bishop Bruce Ough led us back to a principle that has guided Methodism throughout our history: God always leads Christians into ministry on the margins with the poor and outcast.

As the Council of Bishops meets to receive and consider the report of the Commission on the Way Forward, receive Bishop Ough's sermon as a message of courage and hope for the whole Church. Please hold us in prayer, as we seek to lead the church on a path of faithfulness and obedience to God.

Friday, nearly 50 leaders from the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences will gather to be equipped to lead "Table Talks" across the area where United Methodists can seek unity in the church that is deeper than our different understandings and attitudes about human sexuality. The differences are undeniable. They have strained the Church for more than 40 years. In these conversations we hope to understand what informs our differences from one another, so that we can respect one another, learn from one another, and continue to be members of one, undivided Church as we continue to listen to God's leading through these differences.

The Table Talks will occur throughout the spring. I hope to see you there, to hear your voice, and to prayerfully, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, see the ways to live together in peace.

This is powerful, difficult spiritual work - worthy of the sober self-reflection of Lent. Any time we pause, turn to one another and God, and pray, we live in the promise of new life, revealed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I pray that as we gather, humbly and prayerfully, there will be enough light to show us the way.

With hope in the resurrection,

Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky  | Greater NW Area
Free public lecture at APU
Alaska Pacific University is offering a free public lecture this Thursday, March 1 from 7-8:30 pm in the Earl. R. Brown Auditorium at Grant Hall.

Dr. Amy-Jill Levine will be the speaker.  Ms. Levine is a Vanderbilt Divinity Professor on New Testament and Jewish Studies.  Her talk is titled, "Jesus, Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations."

This is an event not to be missed!
AUMC Camp Sunday
Outdoor Ministries The Outdoor Ministries Committee has announced that the AUMC Camp Sunday will be March 18th or April 8th.  Your church can decide which day it wants to celebrate the camps in Alaska.

Here are the camp dates for Birchwood Camp and Eagle River United Methodist Camp:

BIRCHWOOD
God Seekers Camp June 6th-8th
Music, Art, Drama, & Dance (MADD) June 11th-17th
Woodlanders Camp: Session 1: June 5th-8th
Session 2: June 18th-21st Session 3: July 16th- 19th
Faith Adventure Camp June 18th-22nd
Youth Camp: June 24th- 29th
Junior Canoe Camp: Session 1: July 9th-13th
Session 2: July 23rd-27th
Adventure Canoe Camp July 30th-August 3rd
Family Camp: August 3rd-5th All Ages Welcome!
www.birchwoodcamp.org
registration@birchwoodcamp.org 907-688-2734

EAGLE RIVER
Discovery Camp: July 24-29
(for campers entering 3rd grade - completed 8th grade)
Contact: (907)789-3734 or manager@methodistcamp.org
www.methodistcamp.org
Have a workshop you would like to present?
Are you the leader of a United Methodist related entity and have a desire to teach the Annual Conference delegates more about what your organization does?  Do you have updated information that is important to relay to the members of the United Methodist Church and need more time than the floor of AC?  Is there a learning event or training that you would like to share?

Well, if you would like to host a pre-conference workshop on Thursday, May 31st in Seward prior to Annual Conference, please submit this worksheet by March 1st and email it to alaskaumc@gmail.com to be considered.  These pre-conference workshops can be great learning experiences for those that attend.  We look forward to your submissions!
First UMC Holy Land Tour
First UMC Anchorage will host an informational meet & greet for their Journey through the Bible, Holy Land Tour.  If you have an interest, please make sure you attend this event!

Informational Meet & Greet:
Who:   People signed up & People considering the trip
When:   Sunday, March 4, 12:30 pm (after 11:00 am worship)
Where:   FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 725 W 9th Ave, Anchorage 
What:   Lunch provided - Fellowship with the Group.   Learn more about the journey:  review the itinerary, upcoming requirements, travel tips, flight insights, travel & flight insurance, website updates, possible hotel accommodations, question & answer session and more...
Please contact First UMC (907-272-2112) if you plan to attend the Informational Meet & Greet or if you have further questions.
Latest edition of Methodist History available
Methodist History has arrived in the Conference Research Room.  The January 2018 issue of the General Commission academic journal has the following stories:  Miss American Methodist: Twentieth-Century Beauty Pageants as Christian Mission; The Rev. George S. Brown: Fiety Holiness Preacher, Missionary to Liberia and Renowned Stonemason; and "The Collisions Between Us and Them": Methodism's Internal Divisions on the Canadian Border During the War of 1812.  Most Research Room resources can be checked out like a library system.  Contact Larry or Crystal for details.
Annual Conference due dates
Annual Conference 2018 will be held in Seward from June 1-2 with a pre-conference workshop day on May 31.  Our office has set due dates for various things related to Annual Conference.  Please find all the important dates below.

March
  • 1: Workshop requests (if you want to hold a workshop, this is your opportunity.  See article in this e~Aurora.)
  • 15-April 17: Earlybird Registration

April

  • 17: Petitions, Policy Changes, Committee Reports, General Conference Delegate submissions (basically anything that needs to be in the Pre-Conference Handbook)
  • 18-May 15: Regular Registration

May

  • 1: Harry Denman Award nominations, Outstanding Lay Person of the Year award nominations, Display requests, Memorial lists, Worship packet
  • 1: Conference office will email/mail Pre-Conference Handbooks to Annual Conference voting delegates
  • 15: Housing, Transportation, and Child care requests
  • 15-day of AC: Late Registration

More information will be shared about these items as they become available. 

World Day of Prayer
World Day of Prayer is a worldwide, ecumenical movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service.
  • It is initiated and carried out by women in more than 170 countries and regions.
  • It is symbolized by an annual day of celebration observed on the first Friday in March to which all people are welcome.
  • It brings women of different races, cultures and traditions together in fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.
  • Through World Day of Prayer, women affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and have immeasurable influence in the world.
  • The motto of World Day of Prayer is "Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action."
This year's World Day of Prayer will be held on March 2 at 11:30 am at Leake Temple A.M.E. Zion Church (430 N. Hoyt Street, Anchorage).  All are invited to come.  If you have any questions, please contact Alice Owens at 360-2966.
Clear Appointment Openings
A list of churches that are open for appointment can be found on the Greater NW Area website.  As appointments are announced and the appointment process unfolds, new clear openings will be added to the list.  See the latest.
NATIONAL NEWS
Bishops to receive, discuss updated report from Commission on a Way Forward
Council of Bishops
With attention on the missional and theological foundations of The United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops (COB) is preparing to receive an updated report from the Commission on a Way Forward on possible models regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the global denomination.

The 32-member Commission met last month to rework sketches of possible models of the future of the denomination and will present that updated report to the bishops at a special meeting set for next week in Dallas.

The Council of Bishops normally meets twice yearly but an additional meeting was added this year to give more time for the bishops to digest and discuss the progress report from the Commission on a Way Forward.

Read the rest of the press release 
Graham influenced many United Methodists
United Methodists were among the many remembering the influence, including on their own lives, of evangelist Billy Graham, who died Feb. 21, at 99. "No voice or message in the past half century has been more powerful and faithful in pointing clearly to Christ," said the Rev. Eddie Fox, retired leader of World Evangelism for the World Methodist Council. 
 
Read the story
Commentary: The Billy Graham I know
Blog: 'A gift to the world' 
Gun violence prevention
The General Board of Church and Society has produced a number of resources to communicate and encourage the advocacy of The United Methodist Church's positions on "laws that prevent or reduce gun violence."

On this resource page you'll find a summary of the resolution (#3428) titled "Our Call to End Gun Violence" from the 2016 Book of Resolutions along with several downloadable resources that correspond to it and a three point action plan for congregations seeking to do more.
UM Global AIDS Committee will break barriers at 2018 conference
Saving lives, reducing stigma and increasing awareness will be core foci of the 2018 Breaking Barriers HIV/AIDS ministry conference, scheduled for October 25-27 at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. The gathering, hosted by the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee, will bring together leaders in HIV/AIDS research, advocacy and ministry.
 
"This conference is a unique opportunity for the Church to unite on the journey to create an AIDS-free world," said committee chair Bishop Julius C. Trimble of the Indiana Annual Conference. "We will join together to overcome stigma related to HIV and AIDS, offer comfort to those living with HIV and AIDS, stand alongside those working in education and prevention, as well as discover ways that we can become better in our ministry efforts."
 
Read more about this fall event
Northwest Leadership Institute (NLI)
When the leader grows, the organization grows. Join folks this March in Boise, Idaho at the Cathedral of the Rockies for a few days designed to inspire, strengthen, equip and renew church leadership teams.

NLI is one of the largest mainline leadership events in the Northwest.  This year the theme is Re-formation. Semper reformanda ("always reforming") is one of the enduring slogans often associated with the Protestant Reformation. Here we are, 500 years later, reforming again.

The training will feature Brian McLaren, Rev. Cedrick Bridgeforth, Rev. Duane Anders and the Rev. Shalom Agtarap. A pre-conference on the 7th will include extended teaching by McLaren and an evening with "No Joke Live!"

Learn more and register! 
World Council of Churches Internship Programme
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is inviting applications to an Internship Programme in 2018.

The application deadline is 15 March 2018.  The programme's overarching goal is to strengthen church and ecumenical relations with the churches and create benefits for young people through capacity building, ecumenical formation, regional relations, international and multicultural exposure, and leadership building for work in the churches.

The Internship Programme stretches over an 18-month period, for four young people aged 21-29. Each intern is assigned to work for 12 months at the WCC offices in Geneva, Switzerland, in one of our many programme areas. This is then to be followed by a six-month work placement in the intern's own country.

Available work areas include Communication, Health and Healing, Just Community of Women and Men, and Commission of the Churches on International Affairs.

For more information, and to access the application guidelines, please visit the WCC website.  You may also contact youth@wcc-coe.org  for more information.
UMCOR Sunday is March 11
In the wake of disasters, UMCOR is present among the devastation to provide relief and hope. All of us can make a difference in these times of need by participating in UMCOR Sunday (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing).

This Special Sunday covers the operating costs of UMCOR, which allows the relief agency to be where it needs to be, when it needs to be there, for as long as it needs to be there.  It allows UMCOR to funnel earmarked donations directly to the designated projects.

Encourage Generosity
Watch this wonderful video about UMCOR 
CONFERENCE CALENDAR
February

March
2-3: GNW "Table Talks" Facilitator Training event - Carlo attending
8-11: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
24: AUMC Leadership Team meeting

April
12-13: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
12-14: GBGM Board Meeting - Carlo attending
15: UMDF Board Meeting - Carlo attending

May
8-10: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
12: AUMC Leadership Team meeting
13: Mother's Day
28: Memorial Day - office closed
Office Hours
Office Hours
The Conference Office hours are:
 
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 11:00 am 
happy_birthday_candles.jpg

Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays
 
March 21 -
Nico Romeijn-Stout

March 23 -
Bob Jones Jr.

March 25 -
Evelyn Erbele



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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