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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceAugust 25, 2015
In This Issue
~Superintendent's Blog
~World Communion Sunday
~New Hymnal
~Western Jurisdiction Wildfires
~ASL Glossary Offered
~Engaging Newcomers
~CROP Hunger Walks
~School of Theology
~Annual Quilt Retreat
~UMW Newsletter
~FREE Webinars

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.

Superintendent's Blog
To catch up on previous blog posts you may have missed, click here.
World Communion Sunday - October 4
Our church is at its best when we reach out to sisters and brothers in need.  World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God's children.  United Methodists relate to World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday.  Churches are also encouraged to receive an offering to support scholarships for ethnic undergraduate and graduate students.  Our gifts often enable first-generation students to attend college.

To make it easier for you to change the world October 4, please download a free eBook.  Also, download the World Communion Sunday pastor's kit.

Order leaflet offering envelopes and posters to enhance your World Communion Sunday celebration at or call 888-346-3862.  To hear World Communion Sunday in action, listen to these podcasts.
Proposal for New Hymnal Endorsed
Legislation is heading to the 2016 General Conference that, if approved, would begin the process of developing a new official hymnal and provide for ongoing revision of the hymnal in the future.  Boards of the United Methodist Publishing House and Discipleship Ministries have endorsed the proposal.  The denominations most recent hymnal dates from 1989.  Read more here.
Western Jurisdiction Wildfires
The Western Jurisdiction Annual Conferences continue to fight wildfires.  Be informed and read further to see how you can help!

Currently, the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference is in the midst of fighting several wildfires that have already claimed the lives of three firefighters (one of which was a United Methodist) when their vehicle crashed and flames from the fire consumed the vehicle.  The firefighters were not able to escape.

The biggest fires in Washington State include the Chelan Complex (155 square miles and growing), the Okanogan Complex, and Kettle Complex.  In Idaho, the Clearwater Complex fire is "under observation."

Jim Truitt, UMVIM Co-Corrdinator for the Pacific Northwest Conference states that:
"Now is the time to start building a financial resource for the recovery.  You can make a donation to our PNW Conference's disaster fund (Advance #352) through your local church or by sending a check to the PNW Conference Treasurer at PO Box 13650, Des Moines, WA 98198 with Conference Advance #352 on the memo line.  Please do not send donations in kind to the area unless an official request is made for specific items.  Donations management is often called the second disaster because donations are not needed, are inappropriate, or just plain junk.  Please remember to keep all those affected by the fires in your prayers.  As we discern, let's keep in mind that not only are people losing their homes and their possessions some have lost their livelihood because the place where they have worked is now ash."

In addition, Ronda Cordill, UMVIM Co-Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Conference, shared that the conference is currently forming emotional and spiritual care teams to support the evacuees.

Washington is not alone, as fires have raged in Alaska and continue in several parts of Idaho, Oregon, Northern & Southern California, and Montana.

UMVIM Western Jurisdiction asks for your continued prayers.  Please pray for direction as you think about ways you might be called to help.  You might feel called to organize a future UMVIM tea, provide supplies for a team that will be part of the rebuild process, and/or make a financial donation.
ASL Glossary Opens New Doors to Deaf Community
An American Sign Language video glossary, with deaf people signing a lexicon of religious terms with explanations as well as the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed, is now available on The United Methodist Church website and YouTube and other social media.  The glossary "is a significant step in opening the doors of The United Methodist Church to the community whose primary language is ASL," said Michelle Provart Menefee, a certified ASL interpreter and lifelong United Methodist.  Read the story here.  View ALS glossary.
Lewis Center for Church Leadership New Realities of Engaging Newcomers
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary offers congregations the free video "The New Realities of Engaging Newcomers." Presented by Lewis Center Director Lovett H. Weems, Jr., the five-minute video provides an overview of how new people are coming into church communities in different ways than previously, what it means for congregations, and what churches can do to engage these newcomers today.

Weems says, "It used to be that new people stated coming to a church because they moved to the community or married and started a family. Today, there is no one pattern for the way that people enter, engage, and join congregations."

The video is available to watch online or download at
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.
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.
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.
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:
~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

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