A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Doors Open in Agape Love | First UMC, Anchorage
2019 marks the 75 th Anniversary of the evangelistic zeal of Methodists in Anchorage Alaska. In the later years of WW II, the city began rapidly growing as a central hub in the Territory of Alaska. Of the civilians who traveled north to what is commonly called “The Last Frontier,” it became apparent there were several Methodists looking to establish a Christian community. On October 22, 1944, the first worship service was held with 33 people in attendance. A church school ministry began just a few weeks later.

Over the years this community of believers known today as, the First United Methodist Church, Anchorage, experienced major growing opportunities as a culturally and theologically diverse community of believers, by sharing the love of God in Jesus, the Christ. The people of First UMC have witnessed and supported the planting of no less than 3 Methodist Churches in the Anchorage area. Today this Body of Christ, continues to mirror the melting pot diversity of Anchorage and maintains a vital role in supporting the needs of various people in a variety of ways.

CrossOver to Life! · Week 45
An Rx for Abundant Life
by Emilie Kroen
CrossOver reflection for  Week 45 • Beginning October 13, 2019

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
- Psalm 145:9
"I am blessed to be a blessing."

This is my breath prayer from "Plotting Goodness." As I write this reflection:  "I am blessed to be a blessing."

"I am blessed" – Oh how blessed! 
Even when I feel unworthy, I am blessed. 
Even when I feel inadequate, I am blessed.
Even when my words hurt others, I am blessed. 
Even when I cry out in anguish, I am blessed.
Even when in my selfishness, I fail to help the hurting, I am blessed.
Even when my actions stray from God's will, I am blessed.
Forever and ever, God's goodness blesses me and you, and you, and you, and you, and you too.

How does this knowledge of being blessed move from head to heart? To foster a grateful heart, we must take time to acknowledge the goodness in our lives daily. I do it by keeping a gratitude journal. Others use music, meditation, or using a tactile reminder like carrying a rock, coin, cross, or another small object in their pocket.

Birchwood Camp
Birchwood Camp Annual Auction
You are cordially invited to the Annual Auction and Dinner at Birchwood Camp, the Lodge, on Sunday, November 3, 2019 beginning at 5pm. Please feel free to invite friends and family. Please RSVP to info@birchwoodcamp.org
Winter Rendezvous date change
There has been a CHANGE in the WINTER RENDEZVOUS dates. At the recent Leadership Team meeting, the Winter Rendezvous meeting dates were officially set and have been changed to January 30 - February 1, 2020. We know that is a change from our previous announcement. This is one week earlier than initially announced. So please UPDATE your calendars to reflect the change. Again, the new dates are January 30-February 1, 2020.
National News
Videos offer insight into the United Methodist-Episcopal Full Communion Dialogue
The United Methodist Church – Episcopal Church Dialogue Committee has released a series of videos highlighting shared ministries between the churches and discussing the current full communion proposal developed by the committee.

The videos include a conversation between Bishop Gregory Palmer (co-chair of the dialogue committee) and Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Curry, and take up issues related to baptism, joint celebration of communion, partnerships in theological education, and other relationships of full communion shared by The United Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church. The series of six videos can be viewed online by clicking here.

What exactly is going on in The United Methodist Church?
"It's a difficult time to be a leader, lay or clergy, in The United Methodist Church. I get that, I really do."

Patrick Scriven in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference writes that it is also a really important time to stay well-informed to initiate and lead essential conversations in local churches.

Power cuts remind survivors of deadly fires
Red-flag fire warnings and power outages across Northern California — aimed at preventing wildfires sparked by electrical lines — have brought back anxious memories for survivors of past deadly fires. Power was restored Oct. 14.

Bishops speak out on border crisis
Active and retired bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction have called for more attention to the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. They offer priorities in their joint letter, including "safe and humane care for undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers."

Investors for opioid accountability
There are three ways we use our money for good through Wespath. We invest in companies and projects that make the world a better place. We avoid certain sectors of the market for ethical reasons. And for companies on the middle ground-- neither superstars nor villains-- we engage with them and encourage them to do the right thing, especially when a specific ethical concern arises, such as the opioid crisis.

Mourners surprised by cut of estate
Dennis Valstad was a quiet, dedicated Ripon Emmanuel United Methodist Church volunteer who arranged one last good deed that stayed hidden until six weeks after his death — a bequest of $500,000 to be divided among those who attended his funeral. Jim Patterson has the story.

Litanies offered for Advent season
Advent will be here before you know it. To help churches prepare, the North Carolina Conference offers a litany for each Sunday of Advent that emphasizes children and takes inspiration from the hymn “What Child Is This?” Each Sunday includes Scripture readings, action items and the hymn.

Scholar who focused on Bible's diversity dead at 76
The Rev. Cain Hope Felder, who challenged Eurocentric interpretations of the Bible, died on Oct. 1. His research showed that Scriptures contain ethnic diversity that has been downplayed. Felder also was a voice for equality in The United Methodist Church and served as the first executive director of Black Methodists for Church Renewal.

Conference Calendar
19: Charge Conference - Soldotna UMC
20: Charge Conference - Seward UMC
20: Charge Conference - Moose Pass UMC
25: Charge Conference - UMC of Sitka
26: Charge Conference - Aldersgate UMC
26: Charge Conference - Douglas Community UMC
29: Charge Conference - Nome Community UMC
31: Halloween
3: Charge Conference - Christ First UMC
7: Charge Conference - Willow UMC
10: Charge Conference - Girdwood Chapel UMC
10: Charge Conference - Jewel Lake Parish
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
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

October 18 -
Dan Wilcox

November 6 -
Fa'atafa Fulumu'a

November 9 -
Murray Crookes
Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo

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.
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.