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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceAugust 26, 2014
In This Issue
~Superintendent's Blog
~Fall Rendezvous
~Campus Ministry
~Music Director Needed
~New Website for GCFA
~Hollon to Retire
~YAR 2014
~Harriett Jane Olson
~Food Drive
~Christians for Equality
~ELCA Workshops

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


Upcoming  Clergy

Contact Information


Supt. Carlo Rapanut 
cell 907-854-8340  

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.

Reflections of a Running Reverend
My new blog for this week is Finishing Strong.  If you ever miss a week, you can read my previous blogs here.
Time to Register for Meetings
Fall Rendezvous meetings are quickly approaching.  If you are a part of a committee, please make sure you read the general information letter and fill out the registration form.

If you are able to house incoming members, please let us know.  Thank you in advance!
UAA Campus Ministry
The campus coordinator, Karen Dammann, is asking that churches send her their list of college students that are attending Alaska Colleges/Universities as well as outside of Alaska.  Please send her the students name, email, and phone number.  Karen's email is
Music Music Director Needed

Anchor Park UMC, with a multi-cultural congregation who loves their music, is seeking a Director of Music Ministry. The position requires approximately 10 hrs per week. Primary responsibilities include directing the adult volunteer choir (September - May), arranging for special music (year-round), and directing the handbell choir. Salary will be dependent on experience. For information, please contact Pastor Doug Handlong at 277-0152 or send an email expressing interest to

GCFA New Website for GCFA

The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) is committed to providing useful resources and information to local churches, annual conferences and agencies of the Church. To improve the easy accessibility to our resources, GCFA will, effective August 18, 2014, host its new redesigned website within the official website of The United Methodist Church:  At the new address,, you will find the same resources previously found at  Hosted by United Methodist Communications as a shared service, GCFA's new website will make the agency's resources and materials more easily available to more of the United Methodists who need them.


Moses Kumar, General Secretary and Treasurer, said "this is a new way of working to provide the information needed to do the administrative work of the Church.  The people of The United Methodist Church have many options to gain valuable resources.  Ministry is enhanced when United Methodist members have one online resource for the materials to help make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  We are excited about this collaboration of our work together with United Methodist Communications to provide valuable resources to the people of The United Methodist Church."

UMComm Hollon to Retire

The Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications, announced yesterday his plans to retire in the next 9-10 months. Rev. Hollon will reach the mandatory retirement age for elective and appointive staff of United Methodist general agencies.

Although the mandatory retirement age for clergy is not until age 72, there is a provision for mandatory retirement at 70, which applies to general secretaries of the denomination's agencies (paragraph 715.3, Book of Discipline).


"Leading The United Methodist Church into the digital age has been a meaningful and rewarding experience," said Rev. Hollon. "For me, communications is ministry. It provides a variety of methods for us to deliver messages of healing and hope and invite people into relationship with a faith community. I'm very proud of the many ways in which the work we do at United Methodist Communications is making a difference in people's lives."

"The United Methodist Church has experienced tremendous transformation in the area of communications under Rev. Hollon's leadership," said Bishop Sally Dyck. "We've made significant advancements in connecting the denomination around the world. We've raised awareness of the church through advertising campaigns inviting and welcoming seekers into our churches and we've taken that message out into communities. We've created a voice for the church in the world."

20s and 30s
Young Adult Retreat Coming October 24-25

All young adults in their 20s & 30s are invited out to Birchwood Camp in Chugiak for a retreat weekend. It's a good mix of downtime to relax and some scheduled time with fun things to do together. Pumpkin carving, bonfires, worship, discussions, great food, hot chocolate, a scavenger hunt, hiking and more. We're excited to welcome our Superintendent, Rev. Carlo A. Rapanut, to facilitate our worship & discussion on Saturday morning & evening! He'll work with us on themes in the book, "You Lost Me." It's a look at why many young adults don't connect with the church and where we go from here.

Childcare is provided during the worship & discussion portions. This year, we're offering a Saturday only option. Come out just for the day on Saturday if you'd prefer not to spend the night. More info at and registration at

You Are Invited!
You are invited to join the Alaska United Methodist Women for lunch on Saturday, September 27th where they will host special guest, Harriett Jane Olson, CEO of UMW Inc.  Ms. Olson will be the special guest speaker during the Annual Gathering of UMW during that weekend.  If you can't make it for the entire weekend but would like to hear Harriet speak, please RSVP to to attend the lunch.  The cost for the lunch is $15 and will be held at noon at St. John UMC.
Imagine No Malaria Imagine No Malaria

Our Alaskan churches are busy raising funds for Imagine No Malaria (INM), with 100% of our churches engaged. But, there is still more work to be done, more money to be raised, and more lives to save.  As we move forward, our Conference Coordinators, Lonnie Brooks and Tori Hicks are requesting FIVE BITS OF INFORMATION:


1)  If you've named an INM Coordinator, tell us who that is.
2)  If you've set a goal for your church to raise by May 2016, tell us what it is.
3)  If you know how much you've raised toward your goal, tell us how much that is.
4)  If you've sent to the conference some or all of the money raised, tell us how much that is.
5)  If you've had some fund raising events, tell us about them and why you think they worked or didn't work.

We want stories.  We want ideas. We want to celebrate our successes and support those churches that want to try something new. We want to work together and glorify Christ through our efforts on behalf of others.


Please send information to Lonnie Brooks ( and Tori Hicks (

Food for the Needy "Break the [Food] Bank" Food Drive - September 13

September is Hunger Awareness Month and the Interfaith Action Group is sponsoring a September 13 food drive and community BBQ event for all faith communities at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. The Interfaith Action Group emerged out of the Rasmuson Foundation faith leader gathering earlier this year. In addition to the Food Drive, they will also be doing advocacy work in support of Ballot Measure 2 to raise the minimum wage in Alaska. For more information about this group or to join the food drive, contact Nora at

Christians for Equality

Christians for Equality is looking for an Anchorage-based advocate to help educate Alaskans about the minimum wage initiative on the November ballot. If you or someone you know is:

*passionate about helping move hard working Alaskans out of poverty
*available part-time to full-time until November
*comfortable speaking to congregations across denominations/traditions 


please contact Nora at


Christians for Equality is a coalition of leaders, clergy and lay, who raise up a faithful voice for peace, justice and equality, rooted in the Hebrew Prophets and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Living into God's Abundance with Daring Confidence!

Explore generosity and gratitude in your congregation and in your life with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stewardship director Keith Mundy here in Alaska in October. We can live, serve and grow into God's abundant life!


Workshops will be held in Juneau (October 18, during cluster meetings), Anchorage (October 20, 4pm-8pm), and Fairbanks (October 25, 9:30-2:30).


This event will include the following:

*Biblical work around giving and generosity

*Reflections on stewardship as a faith practice

*Year-round stewardship tips

*How to be a steward leader

*An introduction to an opportunity to join a congregational cohort for stewardship and generosity

*Free resources for stewardship (one packet per congregation)


Register online by visiting Registration is limited and priority goes to ELCA congregants.

Those attending the Juneau workshop, please contact Resurrection Lutheran in Juneau to register, 907-586-2380.  Deadline is September 10.  For more information, contact Pastor Lisa Smith Fiegel, director for evangelical mission, at or call the synod office at 907-272-8899.

Upcoming Events


     23-28: Carlo attending the Superintendent training at Lake Junaluska
     30-31: Carlo visiting Homer UMC

     8-10: Carlo attending the Greater Northwest Cabinet retreat in Portland
     11-13: Melissa Engle attending the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Conference
     14: Carlo preaching at St. John UMC
     18: Carlo visiting UMC of Sitka
     19: Carlo visiting First UMC Ketchikan
     19-20: Lay School of Theology at St. John UMC
     20-21: Carlo visiting Aldersgate UMC, Douglas Community UMC, and Northern Light United
     26-28: United Methodist Women Annual Gathering at St. John UMC
     30-Oct 1: New Clergy Orientation

     1-3: Professional Church Workers Retreat at Birchwood Camp
     3-4: Fall Rendezvous meetings
     24-25: Young Adult Retreat at Birchwood Camp
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