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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceAugust 4, 2015
In This Issue
~Superintendent's Blog
~Bug Stompin' 5K
~Hymnal Project Endorsed
~UMs, Lutherans Look to Collaborate
~Boy Scout Leaders
~Effective School Ministry
~Happy 25th Birthday, ADA
~Pastors in Hog Heaven
~UMW National Seminar
~Cook Needed
~Spiritual Life Minister
~School of Theology
~FREE Webinars

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


Upcoming  Clergy

August 5 - 
David Dyrenforth

Contact Information


Carlo Rapanut

cell 907-854-8340  

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2014 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.

Superintendent's Blog

To catch up on previous blog posts you may have missed, click here.
cartoon-sneakers.jpg Bug Stompin' 5K
Willow UMC is sponsoring this 5K Run/Walk to raise money for Imagine No Malaria.  There will also be a fun run for children 6 and under.  It will be held this Saturday, August 8th.  For more information, and to register, please visit
Please keep Pastor Dan Lush in your prayers.  Dan has been diagnosed with Tonsil Cancer.  He will be in Anchorage while he receives his radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  His treatments will begin in the middle of August.  Thankfully the cancer was caught early so the doctors are very hopeful.  Dan has been the pastor at Homer UMC and Willow UMC.  He currently resides in Homer with his family.
New United Methodist Hymnal Project Endorsed
The United Methodist Publishing House and Discipleship Ministries (the General Board of Discipleship) announced that their respective boards have endorsed legislation to be submitted to the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church that, if approved, would begin the process of developing a new official hymnal and provide for ongoing revision of the hymnal in the future.  A new hymnal collection would be offered to the 2020 General Conference for approval and be available to congregations and communities of faith upon final approval.  Read more here.
United Methodists, Lutherans Look for Ways to Collaborate

Leaders of The United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are discussing ways the two denominations can work together as they further explore what it means to be in full communion with each other.  United Methodist Discipleship Ministries recently was host to a meeting with ELCA leaders.  The two denominations have full communion.  Read more here.

Churches Can Have Openly Gay Boy Scout Leaders
The Boy Scouts of America's decision on July 27 to lift its national ban on openly gay adult leaders has the support of United Methodists of varied theological perspectives.  But no church will be required to accept any volunteer as a Scout leader simply because of the new policy, says Gil Hanke, top executive of United Methodist Men.  Read the story here.
5 Tips for Effective School Ministry
The "back-to-school" season offers abundant ministry opportunities.  In an article for United Methodist Communications, Jeremy Steele shares five tips churches can use to do effective outreach throughout the school year.
Happy 25th Birthday, ADA
On the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Bishop Peggy Johnson of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference urges churches to "find new ways every year to improve your church's accessibility - be it physical or attitudinal.  Your church can sign onto the new Faith Community Proclamation in honor of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the ADA law."
Imagine No Malaria Pastors in Hog Heaven for Arctic Ride
The Revs. Dennis Miller of West Ohio and Randy Shrauner of Oklahoma City are motorcycling circuit riders heading north.  Over three weeks and 10,000 miles, the two plan to head to the Arctic to benefit Imagine No Malaria.  Read the story here.
UMW UMW Members Connect with Chicago Organizers
Some 200 members of United Methodist Women were in Chicago last week to learn from local community organizers and social activists.  National Seminar 2015, included two public events on mass incarceration and police accountability.  Read more here.
Cook Needed at Birchwood Camp
Birchwood Camp is seeking an extra cook to help provide nutritious & delicious meals to our campers and guests year round.  Our camp cooks work under the supervision of our Food Service Manager.  Position requires 20-40 hours/week during the summer; hours are flexible during the off-season, but include many evenings and weekends.  Start date is flexible.  $11-$14/hour DOE.  Position responsibilities include: preparation of meals, helping with serving meals, cleanup following meals, prepare snacks for campers and staff.  Assistant Cook or Lead Cook positions available.  More information and an application can be found online.
AK Child & Family Spiritual Life Minister Opening
The Spiritual Life Minister position at AK Child & Family will be opening soon and they are looking for someone to fill the vacancy.  The position is 20 hours a week with varied hours throughout the week.  Some of the hours will include Sundays and various Holidays.  The pay range is $15.13-$16.53 per hour plus benefits (not including medical, dental, vision).  You can read the job description here.  Please contact AK Child & Family directly if you are interested.
School of Theology
Start registering now to attend the School of Theology, which will occur September 18-19, 2015 at St. John UMC.  You can go to our website for more information or view the registration brochure.
FREE Webinars
Church leaders from around our denomination are eligible to participate in these upcoming free webinars offered by the GBOD Leadership Ministries division.  You can register online by going here.  Here are a few of the webinars coming up:
~Tuesday, August 11 - Seasons: The Liturgical Year Opportunities for Older Adult Ministry
~Tuesday, August 11 - Still Created by God
~Thursday, August 20 - Earn, Save, Give: A Stewardship Campaign with a Wesleyan Foundation
~Tuesday, August 25 - Choosing Curriculum
~Wednesday, August 26 - Bead and a Prayer

Upcoming Events


     18-19: School of Theology at St. John UMC
     20-22: Greater Northwest Cabinet Retreat
     28-29: New Clergy Orientation
     30-Oct 2: Professional Church Workers Retreat

     2-3: Fall Rendezvous meetings
     3: FACT Follow-up Meeting
     4:  Birchwood Camp Annual Dinner & Auction
     9-11: Alaska UMW Annual Gathering at North Star Bible Camp
     8-10: Circles of Presence Retreat 2
     26-28: Greater Northwest Bishop's Symposium
     28-29: Greater Northwest Cabinet meetings
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