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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceFebruary 4, 2014
In This Issue
~Dave's Dibble
~Bishop's Blog
~Prayer Request
~$1.1 Million Given to INM
~Spiritual Life Minister Needed
~ERT Training
~Eco Palms
~Mission u Event
~Grants Available
~Limitless Retreat
~Scholarship Application

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Leading to God's New Horizons


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Dave Beckett
cell 907-250-9143 

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2013 Conference Journal
The Conference Journal is posted on our website and you can access it anytime you would like.  Download it onto your computer desktop for easy research.

David Beckett Dave's Dibble
I don't have a new blog for you this week but you can find all my previous posts here.

Grace Always,


Bishop Grant Hagiya New Blog Post 
The Bishop has written a new blog.  You can read A Way Forward and the challenges that the United Methodist Church is facing.
prayer hands Prayer Request   

Chuck and Julie Frost served Girdwood Chapel from 1996-2000 as their first full-time pastor. While in Girdwood, Jonah Frost was born.  Chuck and Julie now live in Virginia with Jonah (16) and Joshua (18)

On January 31, on his 16th birthday, Jonah was quite sick and in pain. He went to the emergency room the next day and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with a diagnosis of meningitis.  After seeing some improvement, Jonah was moved back to the ICU on Tuesday, February 4th when an MRI found an abscess below his frontal lobe. This is the result of a bacterial infection.  He will be undergoing an invasive surgery very soon to remove the abscess so antibiotics can work more effectively.

This is a challenging time for the Frost family.  Please keep Chuck, Julie, Jonah, and Joshua in your prayers.  You can send them words of encouragement to 4276 Toddsbury Drive, Vinton, VA 24179

Imagine No Malaria United Methodist Gives $1.1 Million to Fight Malaria

Imagine No Malaria will get a million-dollar-plus boost, thanks to a generous gift from a lifelong United Methodist who just wants to give back - the largest gift to date from an individual donor.


"I think it's important that we all give back in some small way to make this world a better place for folks to live," said Barbara Ferguson, a laywoman from Los Altos United Methodist Church, who is donating $1.1 million towards the California-Nevada Conference's efforts in the denomination's Imagine No Malaria campaign. "My heart was tugging and I believed that I needed to do it (give to Imagine No Malaria)," said Ferguson.


Ferguson decided to make the gift after hearing a presentation by Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. of the San Francisco Episcopal Area, upon his return from a trip to Angola.  "Barbara is a marvelous example of living into our calling to be disciples of Jesus. She faithfully looks for ways she can make a difference in people's lives," said Bishop Brown. "I am extremely encouraged by the creative ways in which people in the conference are getting involved in the initiative. Even prior to Barbara's commitment, we have saved more than 8,500 lives on the continent of Africa."


Just a few short years ago, statistics showed a child died every 30 seconds of malaria. Today, malaria's impact has been cut in half. According to the World Health Organization (World Malaria Report 2011), the disease now claims a life every 60 seconds.

The Alaska United Methodist Conference continues to work on it's goal of $150,000.  What has your church been doing to help out?  Let us know in the conference office!
AK Child & Family Spiritual Life Minister Needed
AK Child and Family is looking for a Spiritual Life Minister for their campus.  It is a 20 hour/week position with benefits.  The pay range is $15.13 - $16.53 and benefits DOE.  The scheduling needs for the position are: Sunday to Wednesday afternoons, various Saturday and Sunday hours, and holidays.  You can look at the job description here.  If someone has any questions about applying or the position, they may call Rachel Coulter at 348-9294.
Early Response Team Training Opportunity
First United Methodist Church in Fairbanks will be hosting its first Early Response Team (ERT) training workshop from March 28, 29 & 30, 2014 and conducted by a certified UMCOR trainer. This workshop is open to anyone, statewide, interested in providing a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of disaster.  Make your plans now to attend this wonderful opportunity.  Alaska does not currently have any certified ERTs. It would be awesome to see 30 certified ERTs so that at any one time 7 may be deployed to a disaster.  It is understood that we are all busy and not everyone can deploy to every disaster.

Registration cost is $35.00, which will cover training materials, background check fees and other costs involved in hosting the workshop.  Tuition assistance may be available upon request.  Childcare will, also, be provided upon request.  Assistance for those flying to Fairbanks is available for three (3) participants from remote towns/villages as well as transportation to and from the airport.

For an authentic experience, people are invited to stay on cots in the church.  If you do not wish to stay at the church, you may rent a room in town at your own expense. There are hotels and B&BS within walking distance of the church.  Meals will be provided.

Pastor Dyrenforth and I extend a challenge to Alaskan United Methodist Pastors.  A free ERT t-shirt will be given for every participant you bring to the training.
  I would urge Alaskan Methodists to take advantage of this training so we are onsite to do the Lord's work in helping others recover from disaster. For further information and/or registration please contact Debbie Ervin ( or First United Methodist Church (



Debbie Ervin

Eco-Palms Eco-Palms

Watch this informational video about Eco-Palm harvesting. It explains all you need to know about Eco-Palms-why we purchase them, the benefits of Eco-Palm premiums for small-farmer communities in Guatemala and Mexico, and the socially responsible harvesting techniques that protect the environment and the health of the palm.


Palm Sunday is April 13. Place your order for Eco-Palms by the March 21, 2014 deadline. Visit to learn more.


One Great Hour of Sharing is March 30, but contributions to this offering can be made all year around.

UMW Mission U Event in Southeast
Information is now out for you to register for the upcoming Mission U Event in Sitka.  All are welcome to attend.  Learn about the Roma of Europe, The Call, and Leaving Home Finding Home.  Two events have already occured and have been enjoyed.  Don't miss out on this opportunity if you are able to attend!
Information Flyer
Registration Form
Grants Available

The First United Methodist Church Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be used as educational benefits, scholarships, out-reach to the community and the world.  Applications should be a concise request of no more than 150 words that includes name of person and/or organization, specific request amount, why the grant is needed and how it will be used in 2014.  Submissions must be received by February 14, 2014 at the address below.  Awards will be posted in March 2014.


FUMC Foundation - Grants

725 W 9th Ave

Anchorage, AK  99501

UMW UMW Limitless Retreat
Young women in Alaska are invited to attend the Limitless retreat, March 21-23, 2014 at Kings Lake Camp in Wasilla.  If you are between the ages of 20 and 35, this is for you!  Come discover your power as a young woman, experience the meaning of service to others, take a break to recharge and refocus, celebrate your individual unique abilities, and meet other young United Methodist Women.  Learn more about the weekend and register here.
Scholarship Application

From now until March 5, 2014, United Methodist students enrolled in a degree program in the 2014-2015 academic year at an accredited college/university can complete a single on-line scholarship application at to be considered for a variety of scholarships available through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.  Check out what our church is doing to support students' pursuit of postsecondary education!


Please share this information with all of the members of your congregations.

Upcoming Events

     5-7: Clergy Retreat @ Anchor Park UMC
     7-8: Winter Rendezvous meetings @ East Anchorage UMC
     22-23: Mission u Event at UMC of Sitka
     3-5: Area Cabinet Meeting in Portland
     4-11: Crystal on vacation
     8-16: Dave on vacation
     21-23: UMW Limitless Retreat

     5: Leadership Team meeting
     24-29: Crystal attending UMW Assembly
If you have an article or event that you would like the rest of the conference to know about and participate in, feel free to submit them to me each week by Monday evening.  I ask that you type up what you want included and let me know how many weeks you want it published for.  Thank you!
Contact Info

Crystal Feaster
Administrative Assistant
907-333-5050 phone
907-333-2304 fax