A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Learning Event and Winter Rendezvous
The Learning Event is this Thursday (1:00 pm - 8:00 pm) and Friday (9:00 am - 3:00 pm) followed by the Winter Rendezvous (Conference committee meetings).  The Learning Event will focus on Creating New Places for New People and Nurturing Vital Congregations with Rev. Dr. Bill Gibson and Rev. Steve Ross as our main resource people.  You can find the event flier here.  You can register for the event here.  A few people have asked for the event schedule.  You can find the schedule here.
To prepare for the learning event, here's some homework for you:
1. Form a Vitality Team in your local church.
2. Read and study the following documents together
a.  Northwest Adventure: New Church Development in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area ( click here to download)
b. Renewal Northwest: Congregational Vitality in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area ( click here to download)
3. Access and study your mission field's demographics through  MissionInsite. Each church in the Alaska Conference has access to this demographic service. For more info on how to log-in, contact Crystal Feaster at the Conference Office.
4. Test the results of your demographics study by interviewing key people in your community.

You can register for the Winter Rendezvous committee meetings here.  For specifics about the Rendezvous schedule, look here
Housing & Child Care Workers Needed
There are currently 2 people that still need housing Thursday night.  If you are able to house one of these individuals, please contact the conference office at 333-5050 or email.  We appreciate the hospitality of those in the Anchorage area that are able and willing to help.
Child Care Worker
We are looking for one person who would be willing to help another worker entertain 7 kids aged 3 to 13 years old during the Learning Event this Thursday and Friday (February 16-17).  The worker will be compensated for their time.  If you are interested or know someone who would be, please contact the conference office at 333-5050 or email.

Anchorage First UMC Foundation Grant
The First United Methodist Church Foundation (Anchorage) is accepting applications for grants to be used for educational benefits, scholarships, outreach to the community and the world, and capital projects for the First United Methodist Church, Anchorage. Applications are available at the First United Methodist Church or click here Applications should be concise and fit within the one page application. Submissions must be received by 31 March, 2017 .

The First United Methodist Church Foundation was formed on January 13, 1991. It was formed from the First United Methodist Church Endowment which began in 1989. The purpose of the Foundation was to distribute dividend profits to various charity organizations. Grant request can be used for educational benefits, scholarships, out reach into the community and the world, and capital projects for the First United Methodist Church.

Since currently this is a relatively small fund, all grant requests received will be prioritized by the committee in accordance with the bylaws and selected by the majority members of the Fou
ndation. Selected grant approvals will be notified and receive their funds in a short period of time afterwards. Unfortunately not all grants can be approved, but as the fund grows, this Foundation will be able to help others.
"Walk With Wholeness" - Spiritual Growth Retreat
Come Join Us for the 2017 Spiritual Growth Retreat hosted by United Methodist Women
"Walk With Wholeness"
March  31 - April 2, 2017
North Star Bible Camp, Willow Alaska
Early Registration is $145 before February 28, 2017
Regular Registration is $160 after March 1, 2017

Scholarships are available!  The deadline is next week! 
We must receive your scholarship application no later then February 21st. 
Scholarship award letters will be mailed February 23rd.
We are excited to welcomPraveena Balasundaram from the United Methodist Women's National Office as our Retreat Leader and Rev. Lisa Talbott, from Homer UMC, as our Retreat Clergy.

You can download both the registration and scholarship forms from our website.
  If you prefer, you can fill out your registration form online and then mail in your payment.
 The Scholarship Application is also available to fill out online. 
Please plan to join us for this wonderful spiritual growth opportunity!
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.
Conferences to Consider 5 Constitutional Amendments
Annual conference voters will decide whether five amendments will become part of The United Methodist Church's constitution. Heather Hahn has an overview of the measures up for a vote.

Read the story
2 Big Churches Seek Exit from Denomination
The most-attended church and another large congregation in the Mississippi Conference have taken the first steps toward leaving the United Methodist connection. Church leaders cite the denomination's homosexuality debate. Mississippi Conference Bishop James Swanson Sr., who leads the conference, has hopes of the churches remaining.  

Read the story 
WJ Bishops Write President Trump Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Nation
Western Jurisdiction
Bishops of The United Methodist Church's Western Jurisdiction have written President Trump to express support for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in its opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Trump signed an executive order Jan. 24 to advance the pipeline project.

Read bishops' letter
In the Wake of ISIS
Many residents took to the streets to celebrate when half the city was liberated from the control of the Islamic State, yet some Christians no longer see a future there. The Rev. Paul Jeffrey, a United Methodist missionary who went to Mosul as part of a 10-day reporting trip to war-weary Iraq, has  the story for United Methodist News Service.
Understanding Lent
Need some help explaining the meaning of Lent? Use the article Lent 101, prepared by The Upper Room, as a helpful way to talk about ashes, prayer and fasting, and about preparing for Easter Sunday. The article also includes 10 ideas for spiritual practices that offer promise for experiencing a meaningful Lenten season. Get Lent 101 at www.upperroom.org/lent101.
16-17: Conference Learning Event at Conference Center
17-18: Winter Rendezvous Meetings at Conference Center
27-March 3: GNW Cabinet in Seattle - Carlo attending

12: Daylight Saving Time
13-17: ASD Spring Break
18: Leadership Team meeting

16: Easter
18-20: GNW Cabinet in Portland - Carlo attending
20-22: GBGM Board Meeting in Atlanta - Carlo attending
23-24: UMDF Board Meeting in Austin - Carlo attending
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
February 19: Steve Fisher

March 21: Nico Romeijn-Stout

March 25: Evelyn Erbele

March 29: Doug Handlong

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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