e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Conference News
Responding to Wildfires across the Greater Northwest Area

Friends in the Greater Northwest Area,

United Methodist leaders from across our area have been meeting to monitor and respond to the wildfires ravaging our land and threatening many communities across Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. People in many areas have evacuated or are preparing to evacuate from their homes. If you are not in immediate danger, you may be like many ­others who see and taste these wildfires in smoke-filled skies and with every breath we take.

A Call to Celebrate Alaska Conference Sunday by Responding to Wildfires

Friends,

In last year’s Annual Conference session, we designated the second Sunday of September as Alaska Conference Sunday where we can highlight and celebrate our ministries and take a special offering to support these missions and ministries. That is this coming Sunday, September 13.

However, with the focus of our work shifted to respond to the twin pandemics of COVID 19 and Racism, we confess that we have not made any preparations on how to celebrate this special Sunday.

Episcopal Address Part 1 &2

Bishop Elaine JW Stankovsky has published the first and second part of her Episcopal Address over the last two weeks. If you missed them, find the links below. The third part will be coming soon, so stay tuned.

Livestream for non-participants
Everyone is invited to watch the livestream of the Virtual Annual Conference Session of the Alaska Conference. You will find the livestream on the Alaska United Methodist Conference YouTube channel.

Zoom webinar invite sent to members
The Zoom webinar invitation has been sent via email directly to the registered members of the Annual Conference. Please contact the conference office via email if you have questions or have not received your email invite.
Voting numbers have been sent
Those registered members that have vote were sent their Voter ID on Friday. If you did not receive one or have questions, please email the conference office.
Annual Conference Working Agenda
The working agenda has been posted to the conference website.

Updated Pre-Conference Handbook available for download
An updated Pre-Conference Handbook has been uploaded to the conference website to include the 2021 Apportionment Report and the Nominations Report. MEMBERS, please review this material prior to the Annual Conference Session.

Just download the added reports - 2021 Apportionment Report, Nominations Report
Save the Date: Gathering the Greater Northwest Area on Sept. 20

As previously announced, after the Greater Northwest Annual Conferences have met September 15, 16 and 17, an area-wide virtual gathering is being planned on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 3 pm Alaska Time, 4 p.m. Pacific Time and 5 p.m. Mountain Time.
 
More details to come later this week. Stay tuned!
Church/Charge Conference paperwork now online

Every year, churches across the denomination have church/charge conferences with the Superintendent. Superintendent Carlo has already begun scheduling those with each of the Alaska churches. The forms are now posted on the conference website for download. Paperwork from each church is due at least two days prior to your meeting. Please send the completed paperwork to the Superintendent and the Conference Office.

Anti-racism book study

Alaska UMW has asked me to lead a book study as a member of the conference Racial Justice Committee. I have chosen Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad. I am attaching the flyer for the virtual 6-week event. We will begin Friday, September 25 and meet each Friday for 1 hour to discuss our learnings and ask questions in a safe, brave space. I hope that we can expand this to clergy and beyond UMW circles. I offer this book study to anyone who wants to engage in anti-racism work and desires a caring community to journey with them.

The link to register is: https://bit.ly/AUMWBook

Those who register will receive a link to the Zoom meeting directly from me. The registration form is also a covenant, a commitment to join and attend for 6 weeks. It is because of the sensitive nature of this topic that only those who commit to the 6 weeks will receive a link to the Zoom gathering.

Please keep this work in your prayers.

Peace to all,
Sr. Kelly Marciales
UWM Virtual Annual Conference

The theme this year is "Ignited for Justice." As we all know this year has been a lot different. We are not able to gather in person, but we will still gather. Our Annual Gathering will be held over Zoom September 18-19. We will begin the event on Friday night at 6:00 pm with a Zoom orientation. This will give us all a chance to get used to gathering in a new way. Now I know some are worried about the traditional things that we must not exclude, and don't you worry we will be ending our first evening in the traditional way with a "Bring Your Own" ice cream social and unit sharing time.

Saturday will bring special guest, Carol Barton, National Social Action Coordinator to help us see the links within our systems that have direct effect on the economic inequality and how we can continue the justice work that United Methodist Women is doing by focusing on this in our community. Vice President Jennifer Miller invites you to join in for a weekend like they have never done before. No driving, no flying, no lost luggage.

Certified Lay Ministry Classes

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 begin with the BASIC course, and have follow up advance coursework. Many of the advanced classes can be taken online through www.beadisciple.com.

St. John UMC will be offering the BASIC coursework on September 19 and 26 from 1pm-5pm. Attendance at both classes is required for completion.

To register for the BASIC class CLICK HERE.

To purchase your required reading, Certified Lay Ministry BASIC Participant Book CLICK HERE.

Contact the Rev. Andy Bartel with any questions. (907)344-3025 or stjohn.sjumc@gmail.com
Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course

The "Introduction to Lay Ministry: The BASIC Course" is the foundational course for Lay Servant Ministries. This is the gateway course for those who are called to be Certified Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, and Lay Ministers. It can also be part of a person's discipleship plan to acquaint you with your gifts, calling, and responsibilities as followers of Christ.

Time: Tuesdays 2-4 pm PDT September 29 through October 27
Location: Online Zoom Course
Instructor: Emilie Kroen, Oregon-Idaho Associate Lay Leader
Cost: the cost of the book
Register by September 20 - email ekroen@yahoo.com or call Emilie at 503-312-4138. Provide your Name, Address, Phone #, and your local church setting.
National News
Finding strength in the worldwide church family

After a decade of service, Thomas Kemper leaves the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries with stronger international ties. Kemper, who retired Sept. 1, was the first non-U.S. top executive of the mission agency.

Panel Discussion: The theological roots of racism and colonialism

As we continue our series of panel discussions, church leaders trace the theological roots of racism and colonialism, exploring questions, such as "How can we, as Christians, partner with God to bring about liberation from racism?"

Driver arrested in crash that killed bishop

The driver of the SUV that crashed into and killed Sierra Leone Area Bishop John K. Yambasu has been arrested and charged with seven counts, including speeding.
 
Faithfulness in tough summer for camping

The vast majority of the nearly 170 United Methodist camp and retreat ministries in the United States didn't have traditional summer camp for the 2020 season. However, even amid a pandemic, these ministries found creative ways to share the Gospel with campers at home.

Fundraising, assessments on tap for SBC21

The new national director of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century is prioritizing fundraising and getting information about the vitality of Black churches. SBC21 is dedicated to helping predominantly Black congregations become more effective in mission and ministry.

Living the racial justice charter

Getting to "us and we" instead of "they and them" will speak volumes in racial justice work, says Darlene Alfred, a United Methodist woman who is a racial justice advocate in her home state of Texas. Fighting racism in the U.S. is part of the longstanding work of United Methodist Women. The Charter for Racial Justice was created and adopted by the Women's Division (now UMW) of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in 1978, then adopted by the whole denomination.

Nearly 800 sign up for church historian school

Some 779 participants have signed up for the Local Church Historian School offered by the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History. This initial offering has drawn people from around the world — all attending from the comfort of their email inbox. Although registration is now closed, those interested in future offerings of the course can contact lchs@gcah.org.

Online panel takes on white supremacy

Wesley Theological Seminary's Center for Public Theology will hold a virtual panel on white supremacy and American Christianity at 4:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern time Sept. 17. Speakers include Obery Hendricks, adjunct professor of religion at Columbia University; Robert Jones, author of "White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity" and Kris Norris, author of "Witnessing Whiteness."

UMM
Men plan ecumenical day of prayer

In an effort to address racism and the continuing violence against African Americans, United Methodist Men will host a National Day of Prayer with leaders of men's ministries from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The event will be held via Zoom Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. Central time and is open to all.

Virtual gathering planned for Emmaus Ministries

A program that seeks to make better disciples of Jesus Christ through study and small-group support will hold its first international virtual meeting because COVID-19 has halted in-person meetings for now. Emmaus Ministries will provide spiritual support and launch a fundraising campaign during the Sept. 19 event.

United Methodist Global AIDS Committee set to host free webinar series

The United Methodist Global AIDS Committee has announced plans to host a series of educational webinars that will be made available at Facebook.com/UMCglobalaidsfund and archived on their website. The webinar series will be held during the following months: October 2020, November 2020, February 2021, April 2021 and June 2021. These webinars will serve to educate, support and advocate for those affected by HIV/AIDS. The webinars will be free, no registration required and will be archived for later viewing.

Rev. Gil Caldwell, civil rights pioneer, dies

The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell called himself a "foot soldier" in the U.S. civil rights movement. But many fellow United Methodists remember him as a general for justice. He died Sept. 4 at age 86.

Conference Calendar
15: Alaska Annual Conference Session (6-9PM)
16: Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Session (starting at 2 pm PT)
17: Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Session (starting at 3:30 PT)
20: Greater Northwest Area-wide Virtual Gathering with Bishop Stanovsky (3-4:30 pm AKT)
30: Charge Conference - Aldersgate UMC
1: Charge Conference - Douglas Community UMC
5: Charge Conference - St. Peter the Fisherman UMC
7: Charge Conference - Every Nation UMC
13: Charge Conference - Kenai UMC
14: Charge Conference - UMC of Chugiak
15: Charge Conference - North Star UMC
17: Charge Conference - Unalaska UMC
19: Charge Conference - Palmer UM Fellowship
20: Charge Conference - Anchor Park UMC
21: Charge Conference - Christ First UMC
29: Charge Conference - Homer UMC
31: Halloween
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

September 17 -
Autumn Krueger

September 22 -
Won Jea Keum

September 28 -
Darla Bradley
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 Tuesday at 9:00 am for consideration.
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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.