e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Problems with Constant Contact
Hi folks! We have been having problems with Constant Contact, the platform we use to send out our correspondence to you which includes our weekly newsletter and prayer emails. So this version will be a little different than all the previous ones.
Coronavirus information
There has been a lot of information getting sent out about the coronavirus. If you have missed any of it, you can visit the Alaska United Methodist Conference blog page or the GNW Resource page .

As a reminder, the conference office is closed and the staff is working remotely from home. Feel free to contact us anytime through our regular phone and email.
The Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, & Pacific Northwest Conferences meet together in June!

The Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Conferences of The United Methodist Church will meet together in a Shared Annual Conference Session June 11-14, 2020 at the Showplex Center on the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Wash.

The Greater Northwest Shared Annual Conference Session (GNWAC2020) is expected to begin formally at 2:30 PM on Thursday, June 11 th and conclude with a service of commissioning and ordination starting at 10:30 AM on Sunday, June 14 th . As we learn of pre-conference meetings for different groups, we’ll work to add them to the preliminary schedule.

Home Stays - respond by March 31

There is someone in the host district working on providing home stays for Alaskans who need it. If you are interested in doing a home stay, please notify the Alaska Conference office ASAP. We need to know by March 31st how many people will be needing a home stay.

Email or call (907-333-5050) now.

If you would rather stay in a hotel, please visit the accomodations page of the GNWAC2020 website. Please bear in mind that the cost of your hotel room will be at your personal or local church expense. The conference will not reimburse hotel stays.
Other Lay Servant Classes offered

Lay Servant/Speaker Preaching Course: Rev. Joe-d DowlingSoka will facilitate the preaching course, March 26, through April 23, Thursday evenings at 7 -9 PM at Christ 1 st UMC in Wasilla. Exception: Maundy Thursday there will be no class. You will need a copy of the book, "From Pew to Pulpit", Clifton F. Guthrie, Abingdon Press, copyright 2005. We will take up an offering to offset Pastor Joe-d’s transportation costs from Willow to Christ First in Wasilla. 
 
Basic Lay Servant Course: Linda Haynes will facilitate, Tuesday evenings at 7 - 9 PM, at Christ 1 st UMC in Wasilla starting March 31, for five weeks, concluding April 28. All necessary materials and book will be provided. Linda asks that you make a donation to UMCOR Disaster Relief. Linda is an approved Basic Course facilitator for the Alaska UM Conference.
 
In the interest of safe-distancing, the courses at Christ 1st will be limiting the number of participants. Every precaution will be taken to insure the safety and health of each other. Should a participant or instructor test positive, we will re-evaluate the possibility of postponement or make any necessary arrangements to conclude the courses.
 
Contact Linda Haynes if you have any interest in taking either of these courses, or if you would like to know more about Lay Servant Ministries, Lindahaynes87@gmail.com or 907-355-8263
Certified Lay Ministry Classes Coming to Anchorage

Have you felt God nudging you to a deeper discipleship? Have you wanted to serve the church and community in a more focused way that uses your talents and God-given gifts? The United Methodist Church has a certified leadership program that equips church members to use their gifts in service to others through the church and in the world.

There are three tracks of certification available– Certified Lay Servant, Certified Lay Speaker, and Certified Lay Minister. All three tracks begins with the BASIC course, and have follow up advance coursework. Many of the advanced classes can be taken online through www.beadisciple.com

Two classes that cannot be taken online are BASIC and PREACHING. We will be offering the BASIC coursework as a one-day seminar at St John UMC in Anchorage on Saturday May 2 from 9am – 5pm.

We will offer the PREACHING course as a two-part class at St John UMC on successive Saturdays May 16 and 23 from 9am – 3pm. Participation in both days is required to complete the preaching course.

An important note: One does not need to preach to become a Certified Lay Servant. There are so many great advanced courses to choose from to help grow in your discipleship and develop you as a Christian leader. For a complete list of course offerings, visit the Certified Lay Ministries catalog here.
           
To register for the BASIC class visit CLICK HERE.
           
To register for the PREACHING class visit CLICK HERE.
 
Questions? Contact Pastor Andy Bartel 344-3025 or stjohn.sjumc@gmail.com
National News
GC2020 organizers to consider postponement

Amid escalating concerns about the coronavirus, General Conference organizers plan to meet March 21 to discuss possibly postponing the global legislative assembly. The Council of Bishops' executive committee urged postponement because of the virus.

Connectional Table affirms Christmas Covenant

The Connectional Table has received many questions about the relationship between its legislation to create a U.S. regional conference and the recently released Christmas Covenant legislation that seeks to create regional conferences around the world. In a statement, the Connectional Table affirmed that the Christmas Covenant accurately reflects its legislation.

Churches adapting to COVID-19 restrictions

As new developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak emerge, many local United Methodist churches and conferences are adapting as fast as they can — even when it means temporarily suspending all in-person worship, activities and events. Linda Bloom offers a snapshot of how United Methodist bishops, pastors and church leaders are handling the response.

8 bishops join in planning new denomination

A group of United Methodist leaders, including eight bishops, has issued a statement sharing its vision for a new traditionalist denomination. Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones helped convene the meeting that led to the statement. He said he wanted to provide good options should delegates to the 2020 General Conference vote for the protocol plan.

Top court asked to look at protocol legislation

The United Methodist Council of Bishops has asked the denomination's highest court, the Judicial Council, to decide whether the legislation implementing the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation is constitutional.

UMCOR Sunday is this Sunday, March 22

We make sustainable changes around the world when we partner in the work of UMCOR . Our support makes a difference in communities impacted by storms, wars, climate change and displacement. Be a part of this essential work by participating in UMCOR Sunday on March 22.

Houston megachurch pastor pleads guilty

The longtime pastor of The United Methodist Church’s largest congregation has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in what authorities called a multimillion-dollar investment scheme. The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, of Houston's 18,000-member Windsor Village United Methodist Church, entered his plea March 11 in federal court in Shreveport, Louisiana.

UMM
UM Men mull future

The upcoming 2020 General Conference was on the mind of participants at United Methodist Men's March 5-8 National Association of Conference Presidents meeting. With looming budget cuts and a potential denominational split, the group discussed plans on how to weather the financial impact to its ministry, as well as how to continue to minister to any new expression of Methodism that may arise.

Statement from United Methodist Women regarding Jurisdiction Events and Mission u

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, United Methodist Women today announced changes for two of its major program events scheduled for March through May 2020.
 
The organization will seek to reschedule four of its five quadrennial Jurisdiction events where members elect United Methodist Women’s Board of Directors and Program Advisory Group members. Also, the organization is exploring online distance learning resources for those registered for its annual national Mission u training events for conference study leaders. 
 
Additional information about these events is forthcoming.

Should you have questions in reference to the jurisdiction events, please direct them to  jurisdictions2020@unitedmethodistwomen.org. Questions about Mission u’s can be directed to  mission.u@unitedmethodistwomen.org.
UMW Day of Giving - March 23

On Day of Giving- March 23, 2020- let us honor our foremothers by giving to the Legacy Fund to ensure United Methodist Women can continue serving women, children, and youth around the world for the next 150 years.

Generous donors have already committed to matching a portion of our gifts received on Day of Giving.

Together, we are building our legacy!

WAYS TO GIVE
  • Online at
  • By phone: 800-278-7771 (8 am to 5 pm EST., Monday-Friday)
  • Text 41444 and enter Legacy150 in the message area.
  • By check to:
United Methodist Women
Attn: Development, Legacy Fund
475 Riverside Drive, 15th Floor
New York, New York 10115
Write "DAY OF GIVING" in the memo section .