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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceSeptember 30, 2014
In This Issue
~Superintendent's Blog
~World Communion Sunday
~Celebrate Recovery
~Connectional Table
~FREE Webinars
~DV Month
~YAR 2014
~Save the Date!

ACS Print  

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


Upcoming  Clergy

October 10 -
Luke Jones

October 18 -
Dan Wilcox

October 31 -
Sandy Ward

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
Please read my latest blog post, The Seasons ARE Changing.  If you ever miss a week, you can read my previous blogs here.
APU Free Public Lecture at APU

"Faith in a Scientific Age: The Emergence of Bodies, Minds and Spirituality" will be offered by Dr. Philip Clayton at APU's Grant Hall Theater October 3, 2014, 7:00-8:30. Dr. Philip Clayton serves on the faculty of the Claremont School of Theology. He is a leading advocate for science-religion dialogue that encompasses all the world's traditions. The talk and slide presentation asks: Is science consistent with the various world religions? Can we consider cosmic evolution as an open-ended process of emergence, fully compatible with the human spiritual quest?

World Communion Sunday, October 5

United Methodists observe World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday. Churches are also encouraged to receive a special offering to support ethnic undergraduate and graduate students, which often enables first-generation students to attend college. 

Writing Legislation: A Training on How to Write & Submit Petitions to Annual or General Conference

Tuesday, October 7 at 6:30 pm Central Time,  (7:30 Eastern | 5:30 Mountain | 4:30 Pacific)


As a global denomination, The United Methodist Church gathers every four years to review and revise our governing book, the Book of Discipline.  Any member, church or committee of The UMC can propose changes by submitting petitions to this general conference;  annually, our regional bodies meet to discuss equally important policy decisions.  You can help shape the future of the denomination, and this training will equip you with the most important information needed to ensure your petition will be considered by the General Conference.


Specific Skills and Topics will include:

* An overview of the legislative process and how General Conference works;

* Format and deadlines for submitting petitions to the 2016 conference;

* Policy considerations for submissions and restricted paragraphs;

* Time to share ideas and discuss possible topics for legislation;

* Examples of previous petitions and the opportunity to write a sample petition.


Register now!


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Celebrate Recovery Celebrate Recovery

There is a regional training event for Celebrate Recovery in Eugene Oregon October 25th.  Liz Gerdes from First UMC in Fairbanks will be there in her capacity as state rep.  This is a chance for church lay members and pastors to learn a great deal about Celebrate Recovery in a short space of time.  Liz would love to see other churches in our conference consider this ministry for their locations, and a great way to start investigating the process is to attend one of these One Day Seminars.  For more information click here.

The Connectional Table to Host Human Sexuality Live Stream event Nov. 1

The Connectional Table's Human Sexuality Task Force is hosting the second of three live stream events on Saturday, November 1 from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Central Time. The Connectional Table is a 59-member body which is responsible for guiding the vision, mission and ministries of The United Methodist Church.


The panelists participating in the live stream are members of the Council of Bishops who contributed to the book "Finding Our Way: Love and Law in The United Methodist Church," as well as the Editor and President of United Methodist Publishing House.  Confirmed participants include: Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Bishop Michael J. Lowry, Bishop John K. Yambasu and Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, and Neil Alexander.


They will be discussing their perspectives on human sexuality based upon their chapter in the book. Viewers are encouraged to read the book prior to the live stream discussion. United Methodist leaders are also encouraged to gather church members for viewing and joining the discussion on Saturday morning. Additional resources to support the discussion can be found at


To view the live stream on November 1, go to on the day of the event.


Members of the Connectional Table hope these events will foster ongoing dialogue to provide an opportunity for them to listen and consider varying theological perspectives, as well as to create an ongoing conversation in the wider church.

GBOD Free Webinars
GBOD continues to offer FREE webinars for church leaders.  Here is a list of the upcoming dates and titles in October.  For more information and to register, go to

Wednesday, October 1 - Covenant Discipleship with Children
Thursday, October 2 - iKids-The Digital Child and Digital Brain
Thursday, October 2 - Missional Advent: Living Advent Outside of the Church
Tuesday, October 7 - What Do We Need to Change for Our Congregation? How Do We Start?
Tuesday, October 7 - Creating a Culture of Innovation-Part 1: Can My Leaders Innovate?
Wednesday, October 8 - What is Certified Lay Ministry All About?
Thursday, October 9 - iKids-Digital Culture and Digital Learning
Tuesday, October 14 - What's Trending in Children's Ministries?
Tuesday, October 14 - Creating a Culture of Innovation-Part 2: VAP-IT (Values, Assets, Process-Initiate, Test)
Domestic Violence Awareness October is Domestic Violence ACTION Month!

We have all heard the statistics, 1 in 4 women nationwide have experienced Domestic Violence (DV); 1 in 2 Alaskan women have experienced DV. Now is the chance for each one of our churches to take a stand and support the women in our community. October is Domestic Violence ACTION Month. We are called as a people of God to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.


In Anchorage there are events happening all month that we can all take a part in. Here are a few highlights:

  • October 1st at noon at Covenant House on A Street will be the Opening Ceremony. NO RSVP required. This is a chance to come together and say violence will no longer be accepted in our community. Stand up and be counted!
  • October 17th from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. there is a Green Dot training at AWAIC if you are interested in attending please email [email protected]
  • October 21st from 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. there is a Green Dot training at STAR if you are interested in attending please email [email protected]
  • October 23rd at 6:00 p.m. at YOUR CHURCH Shed the Light on Domestic Violence. We are inviting ALL churches to make a stand against violence! Pastors are invited to hold a service followed by releasing sky lanterns at 7:00 p.m. for more information email [email protected]

For more information on what churches can do go here.  The resources talked about on this website are available in Anchorage by contacting Jenn Miller at FUMC ([email protected]).

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

Birchwood Camp October 26: Birchwood Camp Annual Dinner & Auction

Birchwood Camp would like to invite everyone to the annual dinner, meeting and auction on October 26th.  The event will be held in Fireweed Hall as we celebrate the past year of ministry, elect new board members, enjoy a meal together, and support the mission of our camp through the live and silent auctions. This year the funds raised will support the camp scholarship fund and help add bathrooms to Fireweed Hall.

The silent auction will open at 4:30 pm in Fireweed Hall. The meal will begin at 5:00 pm, with the program and live auction to follow. Childcare will be provided in the Lodge after the meal.  The event will conclude around 7:30 pm. Seating is limited so please RSVP to 907.688.2734 or by email [email protected].

Upcoming Events

     1-3: Professional Church Workers Retreat at Birchwood Camp
     3-4: Fall Rendezvous meetings
     12: Seward Memorial UMC & Moose Pass UMC Church Conferences
     19: Unalaska UMC Church Conference
     24-25: Young Adult Retreat at Birchwood Camp
     26: East Anchorage UMC Church Conference
     26: Birchwood Camp Annual Dinner & Auction

     1: North Star UMC Church Conference
     2: Kenai UMC Church Conference
     9: Community UMC Church Conference
     12: Turnagain UMC Church Conference
     15: Homer UMC Church Conference
     15: St. Peter the Fisherman UMC Church Conference
     16: Soldotna UMC Church Conference
     19: UMC of Chugiak Church Conference
     22: Girdwood Chapel UMC Church Conference
     23: First UMC, Anchorage Church Conference
     27: Thanksgiving - Office Closed
     30: Christ First UMC Church Conference
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