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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceMarch 12, 2014
In This Issue
~Dave's Dibble
~Appointment Announcement
~Apportionment Report
~PLUME AMW Exploration
~Birchwood Camp Registration
~Prayer Request
~Death Notice
~SPRC Training
~Eco Palms
~Limitless Retreat
~ERT Training
~One Great Hour of Sharing

ACS Print  

20/20 Vision:
Leading to God's New Horizons


Upcoming  Clergy

March 25 -
Evelyn Erbele

March 29 -
Doug Handlong

April 12 -
Robert Hicks

April 16 -
Julie Wasser

April 23 -
Karen Martin Tichenor

Contact Information


Dave Beckett
cell 907-250-9143 

Ministry Quicklinks

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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 am on vacation right now and don't have a new blog this week but you can always read previous blog posts here.

Grace Always,


Appointment Announcement
It is the intention of Bishop Grant Hagiya to appoint Rev. Carl Landerholm to Unalaska UMC effective June 1, 2014.  Carl is returning to Alaska having served North Star UMC, Nikiski from 1986 - 1992.  You can welcome Carl at [email protected].
Apportionment Report 
The latest apportionment report has been posted to the conference website.  Each church should be at 16.67% paid to date.  You can read the report here.
Academy for Missional Wisdom PLUME AMW Exploration

Everyone interested in Missional Communities is invited to attend a free full day learning orientation called Exploring Missional Wisdom.  It will be at St. John United Methodist Church in Anchorage at 9:30 a.m. on March 28 and will feature Rev. Dr. Elaine A. Heath and Rev. Dr. Larry Duggins, co-founders of the Missional Wisdom Foundation. Hear their inspiring stories of forming a network of experimental new monastic communities, missional house churches, and the Academy for Missional Wisdom in Dallas, Texas. Learn about the way these kinds of communities can reorient the established church to its God-given missional vocation. Explore the biblical and theological foundations of this form of ministry. Find out how to become a part of the first PLUME cohort of the Academy for Missional Wisdom which will prepare women and men, both laity and clergy, to start and lead missional and new monastic communities in diverse settings. 


Contact Rev. Robert Hicks at [email protected] if you are planning to attend or for further information regarding schedule and content (schedule is subject to change).  If you are willing to house out of town folks attending, please contact the conference office at 333-5050 or [email protected]. 

Birchwood Camp Register for Birchwood Summer Camps
Online registration is now open for Birchwood Camp's Summer Camp programs! Birchwood Camp provides safe spaces for spiritual formation, genuine community, and character development for children and youth of all ages. An early registration discount is available before April 1. For more information & online registration, visit:
prayer hands Prayer Request

Claudette Curtis, lay member at Douglas Community UMC, had a heart valve replaced last Thursday, March 6th. Claudette has been doing great and was discharged from the hospital yesterday.  She will be staying at the Baroness Apt. Hotel for a bit and we are not sure when she will be able to travel back to Douglas.  Her home mailing address is below if you wish to send cards:

               Claudette Curtis

               600 St. Ann's, #9

               Douglas, AK  99824

She thanks everyone for their continued prayers of healing.

In Memory Death Notice

Gerald T. McCray Senior   June 11, 1930 - March 3, 2014


Retired pastor Gerald McCray, died March 3, 2014. He is survived by his wife Helen E. Mifflin McCray; daughter, Renay Taylor; step-children, Ronald Mifflin and Gail Mifflin-Phares; one grandchild and four step-grandchildren.


Reverend McCray served Inman-Broods in the North Georgia Conference; Missionary to Nome Alaska, Bowling Green United Methodist in the Florida Conference; Portland: Woodlawn, Salem: Leslie/Chemawa, Williamson River/Beatty, Sheridan/Willamina  in the Oregon - Idaho Conference. He retired in 1995.


A memorial service was held Friday, March 7, 2014, at McMinnville Cooperative Ministry, McMinnville, Oregon.


Friends may contact Helen Mifflin McCray at 775 NE 27th St. #119, McMinnville, OR 97128.

David Beckett SPRC Online Training Dates
Dave is offering two online trainings for SPRC chairs and committee members.  Included will be a discussion of the purpose of SPRC, best practices, and how to give feedback to your pastor.  Dates are March 19 or 20 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM.  Both nights contain the same content.  The platform will be FUZE.  Contact Crystal at [email protected] to register your attendance.
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.

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.
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.

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 further information and/or registration please contact Debbie Ervin ([email protected]) or First United Methodist Church ([email protected])
One Great Hour of Sharing

 For nearly 75 years, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has been offering the ministry of compassion, walking alongside survivors of disasters and meeting the most urgent needs. UMCOR stays with communities long after a disaster strikes and news of it has disappeared from the headlines.

Every day of the year, United Methodists have an opportunity to do a world of good and sustain UMCOR's legacy of hope. By contributing to One Great Hour of Sharing, United Methodists share in UMCOR's work to bring relief to thousands of people in more than 80 countries.

 One Great Hour of Sharing is an annual church-wide offering observed on the fourth Sunday in Lent (this year, March 30). This offering secures UMCOR's administrative costs, thus allowing 100 percent of all other donated funds to go directly to designated programs. It also guarantees the availability of unfettered funds when disaster strikes.

Continue UMCOR's legacy with your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing on Sunday, March 30, or at any time throughout the year.

UMW Mission U Events
Information is now out for you to register for the upcoming Mission U Event in Wasilla which will be held April 4-5.  All are welcome to attend.  Learn about the Roma of Europe, The Call, and Leaving Home Finding Home.  Three events have already occured and have been enjoyed.  Don't miss out on the opportunity if you are able to attend!
N Information Flyer
N Registration Form
N Poster
UMM UMM to Study Jonah at Annual Retreat

United Methodist Men (UMM) from South Central Alaska will gather at the Hope Retreat Center on Saturday, April 5th for their annual retreat. The theme of the retreat will be "Jonah: Dealing with Life's Interruptions" The retreat leader will be Bob Smith, pastor of Turnagain UMC.


The retreat is scheduled from 10AM to 5PM at the Hope Retreat Center. Men will meet at St. John to carpool @ 8:30 AM. The cost will be $35.00 and will include two meals, snacks and study materials. -Men should pre-register by contacting Jim LaBau, co-president of the AK Conf UMM @ [email protected] Payment can be made at the retreat.

Upcoming Events

     8-16: Dave on vacation
     21-23: UMW Limitless Retreat
     27-29: AMW Retreat and Coaching
     31-April 2: Cabinet Meeting in Seattle

     4-5: Mission u Event in Wasilla
     5: UMM Retreat at Hope Retreat Center
     5: Leadership Team meeting
     24-29: Crystal attending UMW Assembly

     14-18: Dave on vacation
     19-21: Cabinet Meeting in Seattle
     26: Memorial Day - Office Closed
     30-31: Annual Conference at Anchor Park UMC
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