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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceAugust 18, 2015
In This Issue
~Bishop's Blog
~Superintendent's Blog
~Apportionment Report
~Spiritual Life Minister
~UMW Newsletter
~Frisbie Profiled in INM Article
~Bishop Accountability
~Prayer: California Wildfires
~CROP Hunger Walks
~Conflict Resolution Workshop
~Disaster Response Contacts
~VIM Team Requests
~School of Theology
~FREE Webinars
~Cook Needed

ACS Print  

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


Upcoming  Clergy

September 5 -
Charles Brower

September 22 -
Won Jea Keum

Contact Information


Carlo Rapanut

cell 907-854-8340  

Ministry Quicklinks

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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.

Bishop Grant Hagiya Bishop's Blog
Bishop Hagiya has written a new blog.  It is called The Madness Has to Stop.  He talks about how violence, specifically gun violence, is plaguing our nation. He suggests that we take a stand and help stop these senseless deaths that are occurring.
Superintendent's Blog
My blog for this week is: Engage (1st of 6 parts).

To catch up on previous blog posts you may have missed, click here.
Money Apportionment Report
An incorrect copy of the July apportionment report was posted last week.  Here is the corrected version.  It has been uploaded to the conference website in the place of the other copy.
Annual Quilt Retreat
The 38th Annual Quilt Retreat is scheduled for September 24-27th.  The retreat is sponsored by Anchor Park United Methodist Women. The theme for the weekend is "I've Got a Notion."

The retreat will take place at Laverne Griffin Youth Camp in Wasilla.  Join friends for a fun weekend of laughing, sharing, good food, and fabric; the the ultimate weekend. Cost is $200 for Thursday through Sunday ($150 if you come Friday evening).  If you have questions contact Susan Williams at 337-6741. A portion of the money raised goes to support United Methodist Women mission projects.
UMW Newsletter Features Upcoming Annual Gathering Information
The Alaska United Methodist Women are gearing up for their Annual Gathering which will be held at North Star Bible Camp from October 9-11.  In their latest newsletter that just hit the presses this week, you can find the registration form and information about what the amazing weekend will entail.  If you are a woman in Alaska you do not want to miss this!  Read the latest newsletter here.
Frisbie Profiled in INM Article
Imagine No Malaria has featured our very own field coordinator, Julia Frisbie, in their most recent communications article.  She is doing an amazing job keeping us motivated to raise all this important money for Imagine No Malaria and to reach our goals.  Read the article here.
Council of Bishops Proposals Aim to Increase Bishop Accountability
Legislation is coming to General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking body, with the goal of increasing bishops' accountability.  Bishops themselves also are discussing how to hold each other accountable.  Read the report from United Methodist Communications.
Prayer: California Wildfires
Heather Wilson, UMVIM Western Jurisdiction Coordinator for the California-Pacific Annual Conference, offers this prayer on behalf of those affected by raging wildfires in California.  Wilson works to train, promote, uplift, and connect short-term mission volunteers of all ages throughout the Western Jurisdiction to serve in long-term recovery efforts, disaster response, and building relationships built on the love of Christ.

Dear Lord,
You are faithful, good, and the Creator of all.
The trees, seas, mountains, and deserts speak of your glory!
The birds of the air and the animals of the land and in the sea are witness of your beauty and strength.
Lord, we ask for comfort and healing in the midst of the fires that rage throughout the land.

The land and trees burn and things are lost.  Bless those that mourn.
Give strength and energy to those who fight the fire and bring food and shelter to those in need.
Give listening ears and open heart to those who will heed your call to respond to the recovery efforts.

Bless the scorched land.  Replenish it once again to your fullness.
You are a God of new things.  Your love endures and heals.
CROP Hunger Walk CROP Hunger Walks Scheduled
CROP Hunger Walks are coming up soon in Seward and Anchorage.  Those are the only ones currently scheduled to take place in Alaska.  If you are in either area, consider participating.  Up to 25% of the money raised stays in your area. 75% of the money raised goes to Church World Service. Seward will hold their walk on Sunday, September 13th (date change).  Anchorage will hold their walk on Sunday, September 27th.  Check out CROP Hunger Walk to find out the specifics for the walk in your area.
Conflict Conflict Resolution Workshop
One of the pre-conference workshops offered in June was led by JP Ouellette of the Conflict Resolution Center.  He has notified us that for a very limited time, the Center is offering their Four Steps to Resolution coaching series at a dramatically reduced price.  These coaching sessions are valued at $350, and they normally make them accessible to folks for $99.  However, they are offering a special promotion that runs until Tuesday, August 18th for $29.

This series was built after working with hundreds of cases and successfully taking people through these four steps.  Watch a brief introduction of the series here.
Disaster Plan Disaster Response Contacts
The Disaster Response Committee is throwing the gauntlet and issuing a challenge to all pastors in the Alaska Conference.  Please identify two members of your congregations willing to commit to being the church disaster point of contact for at least two years.
Once all names have been submitted, arrangements will be made for training, by UMCOR, in Anchorage.  All expenses for this training will be covered with grant monies given to the Disaster Response Committee for the development of a disaster program in the Alaska Conference. 
For further information, or to submit names, please contact me (Debbie Ervin) at or call (907)978-0537.  Let's develop a great program!
VIM VIM Team Requests
Summer is almost over and 2016 will be here before we know it.  I already have Volunteer In Mission (VIM) teams wanting to come to Alaska.  Habitat for Humanity in Fairbanks has also requested three VIM teams for next year.

Don't be left in the cold! Contact Debbie Ervin at or at (907)978-0537 with a list of projects your church or community has, and I will search out teams with the skill set needed for your project.

VIM teams need to plan and raise funds for these trips, so get your wish list to me as soon as possible.
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:
~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
~Thursday, August 27 - Developing Your Ministry Plan-A Four Part In Depth Series; Session 1, Congregational DNA
~Tuesday, September 1 - Tuesday Tea with Melanie; Engaging Children in the Community-web chat
~Thursday, September 10 - Policies! Policies! Policies!
~Tuesday, September 15 - Celebrating Extended Advent: Why and How-to
~Tuesday, September 22 - What is Lay Servant Ministries all About?
~Thursday, September 24 - Developing Your Ministry Plan-A Four Part In Depth Series; Session 2, Discovering Your Congregation's Niche
~Thursday, September 24 - Grant Writing 101: Launching Projects & Ministries that Make a Difference
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.

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