A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Learning Event and Winter Rendezvous
Our Learning Event will be February 16-17, 2017 (Thursday 1:00 pm - Friday 3:00 pm) followed by the Winter Rendezvous (Conference committee meetings) on February 17-18, 2017 (Friday evening - Saturday afternoon). 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.

Please register by February 9th!

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. Guide questions for this will be made available soon.

You can register for the Winter Rendezvous committee meetings here.  For specifics about the Rendezvous schedule, look here
Celebration of Ministry for Fran Lynch
After 20 years of ministry to Willow, Anvik, and Grayling, Fran Lynch will be retiring on February 2nd. The congregation of Willow United Methodist Church would like to invite you to a Celebration of Ministry on Sunday, February 12th, from 2:00-5:00pm at the church, mile 67.5 Parks Highway in Willow.

This will be an open reception time, with a brief program at 3:30 pm. Whether you can attend or not, we invite you to send notes of thank-you, memories, or stories to
 or Willow UMC, P. O. Box 182, Willow, AK 99688.

With her retirement, Fran will no longer have a home phone number.  You can reach her directly at 907-232-7100 which is her cell phone.  Please make note of this in your directories. 
"A Way Forward" Commission Faces Impossible Options
Former Alaska Conference Lay Leader, Lonnie Brooks, has contributed an article to United Methodist Insight.  His topic is A Way Forward.  You can read it here.
Bishop Ough Issues Statement on Trump Immigration Order
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued a statement regarding President Trump's executive order on immigration at a press conference sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Churches. The event, held at Hennepin United Methodist Church, gathered faith leaders to discuss the topic of immigration. Bishop Ough participated in yesterday's event in his role as resident bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church. The statement  maintains The United Methodist Church's unity in standing with other faith traditions to denounce the order, as well as calling all to remember Jesus' words from Matthew 10:40: "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me."

"I call upon the people of The United Methodist Church to see the face of Christ in the refugee," Bishop Ough said. "Say 'no' to the walling off of our country and our hearts and say 'yes' to their hope - our hope - for new life. Let us unite and work together to bring the soul of this country to a living birth!" 

Read the full text of Bishop Ough's statement here.
Disability Awareness Sunday is February 5
The United Methodist Church has designated the first Sunday in February as Disability Awareness Sunday. The Commission on Disability Concerns offers a downloadable kit to assist with worship planning and ideas for observing the day.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference website has useful information and links.
2017 Scholarship Applications Period Now Open
The Fall 2017 application for scholarships managed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry opened January 3, 2017. The application period closes March 1, 2017.

Visit the Scholarship Portal on UMC.org to learn more about scholarships that may be available for your students.

Learn more here
29-Feb 1: ADCM Meeting in Phoenix - Carlo attending

7-8: GNW Cabinet Meeting - Carlo attending
9: Charge Conference - UMC of Sitka
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

13-17: ASD Spring Break
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

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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