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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceOctober 7, 2014
In This Issue
~Superintendent's Blog
~Apportionment Report
~White Sunday
~A Place at the Table
~Diana Butler Bass
~Job Opportunity
~Giving Tuesday
~Frank Schaefer
~DV Month
~FREE Webinars
~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

Join Our Mailing List

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, Sharing Our Stories.  If you ever miss a week, you can read my previous blogs here.
Money Apportionment Report

The apportionment report is posted to the conference page.  It is current as of September 30, 2014.  You can view it here.  We are nearing the end of the year when 100% is due.  There are several churches that are falling behind in their commitment. 

White Sunday

On the 2nd Sunday in October, Samoans celebrate and honor the children.  The children will take charge of the entire worship service; from acolytes, to preaching, to lots of singing by the children's choir and bible memory verses.

First Samoan UMC will celebrate at 1:00pm on Sunday Oct 12, 2014. This year the Young Adult Leadership team has incorporated the importance of October being Cancer Awareness month.  They will have a special benediction dedication hymn for those children who are fighting cancer (even Ebola and any illness), those that are hungry and the homeless! 

Anyone is invited to come worship and experience this unique contemporary worship and fellowship with us!

A Place at the Table

First UMC & First Samoan UMC will be hosting a free turkey dinner Nov 2nd at 5:30 p.m. for anyone in the Anchorage community. They will be serving a turkey dinner with all the fixings to everyone who walks through the door. This is a chance for everyone to come together and enjoy a meal.


If anyone would like to donate please contact FUMC at Everyone is invited to join us for dinner.
In need of a ride? We will do our best to provide one!

Diana Butler Bass Diana Butler Bass Rescheduled for 2015
Mark your calendars now! Diana Butler Bass will be in Alaska January 30-31, 2015.  She was scheduled to give a talk a year ago but had to cancel at the last minute.  We don't have the specifics nailed down yet but wanted to make sure you got her on your calendar!  You can visit her website for more information about her.
AK Child & Family Job Opportunity

AK Child & Family is looking for a Music & Special Ministries Coordinator.  The scheduling is Sunday through Thursday afternoons and evenings, up to 20 hours per week.  The pay range is $11.95 to $13.05 per hour plus benefits.  The full job description is posted on their webpage.  Please contact them if you have questions.  Anyone interested may apply at

Mission Agency Will Match $1 Million on UMC #GivingTuesday

The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries announced that on Dec. 2, 2014, it will match up to $1 million in gifts made online to any project through The Advance as part of UMC #GivingTuesday.


Marie Kuch-Stanovsky, who chairs the communication and development committee of Global Ministries' board of directors, expressed enthusiasm about last year's record $6.5 million raised online through The Advance on UMC #GivingTuesday. "It was a wonderful sign of commitment and extravagant generosity, maximizing the impact of thousands of United Methodists coming together on one day to transform the world."


Directors approved allocating matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 2, 2014, between 12 a.m. EST and 11:59 p.m. Kuch-Stanovsky explained that to stretch the matching funds, a maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds and a project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.


The board president, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward (North Carolina), also announced that in the spirit of "healthy competition," Global Ministries is "preparing a special Advance award to be given to the annual conference that raises the most funds online through The Advance on UMC #GivingTuesday 2014."


UMC #GivingTuesday is part of an international movement that builds on the recent U.S. shopping traditions of Black Friday, Local Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. It offers an opportunity to start off the holiday season by giving instead of getting through supporting organizations that have been researched and approved by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. And 100 percent of all gifts made through The Advance are given directly to the designated project.


Through The Advance, United Methodists can give to more than 850 United Methodist-related projects worldwide. Donors can also provide support for any of more than 300 missionaries. Together, the projects meet a range of needs, from helping survivors cope with natural or civil disasters to helping communities build churches, feed and educate children, and equip hospitals and clinics.

Judicial Council Hearing for the Rev. Frank Schaefer

The Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church will conduct an Oral Hearing in the case of the Rev. Frank Schaefer on October 22, 2014, in downtown Memphis, Tenn. The hearing will begin at 11:00 a.m.


The Judicial Council is the highest judicial body or "court" of The United Methodist Church. The Judicial Council determines whether the actions of the denomination's official bodies conform to church law, either on appeal of lower rulings or through requests for declaratory decisions. The nine-member council is elected by the General Conference, the denomination's legislative body. Decisions of the Judicial Council are final.


The Rev. Christopher Fisher, who served as counsel for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in a church trial against Schaefer in November 2013, appealed the decision of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals to overturn the trial court decision and reinstate Schaefer's ministerial credentials at a hearing in June 2014.


Schaefer, former pastor of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, Pa., was charged under United Methodist church law for having officiated at the same-sex marriage of his son in 2007. A trial court made up of 13 ordained United Methodist clergy from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference found Rev. Schaefer guilty of the charge of conducting a ceremony that celebrates homosexual unions and a majority also found Rev. Schaefer guilty of disobedience to the order and the Discipline of The United Methodist Church. The trial court ordered a 30-day suspension for Rev. Schaefer and provided that he surrender his credentials at the end of that period if he determined that he could not uphold the Discipline in its entirety.


On December 19, 2013, Rev. Schaefer met with the Eastern Pennsylvania Board of Ordained Ministry, at which time he was stripped of his ministerial credentials. Schaefer appealed that decision to the Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals, which found the penalty fashioned by the trial court to be unlawful.


The Judicial Council 's Oral Hearing will be open to the public; however, the committee's deliberations following the hearing will be closed. Individual Judicial Council members will not be available for interviews and will not issue statements. A decision is not expected to be announced until several days after the full meeting concludes on October 25.

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 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
  • 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
  • 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

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 (

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

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?
Wednesday, October 8 - How to Afford the Ministry We Cannot Afford to Lose-Camp & Retreat Ministries
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)
Wednesday, October 15 - What to Preach-Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who is Already There
Thursday, October 16 - iKids-Digital Creators and Digital Marketing
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

Upcoming Events

     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