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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceSeptember 29, 2015
In This Issue
~Superintendent's Blog
~Prayer Requests
~Number of US Bishops Could Drop
~UMCOR School Kits in Lebanon
~2016 UMW Call for Study Leaders
~Lay Ministries Training
~Staples Program Donates to UMCOR
~Young Adult Network
~Fall Rendezvous Meetings
~Birchwood Camp Annual Dinner & Auction
~UMW Newsletter
~FREE Webinars

ACS Print  

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


Upcoming  Clergy

October 8 - 
Andy Bartel

October 11 -
Luke Jones

October 31 -
Sandy Ward

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
As the conference conducts meetings this week, please keep us in your prayers.  Thank you!

To catch up on previous blog posts you may have missed, click here.
Prayer Requests
Please pray for Pastor Karen Martin-Tichenor of Soldotna UMC who is having back surgery on Friday, October 2 . The procedure, which will be done in Soldotna, will include a spacing between two discs and then a fusing of the two to stabilize her spine. Pastor Karen will be laid up for two to three weeks and then begin a reentry into work and life.  She is hopeful that this will bring energy and quality back into her life that has been disappearing in the past few years.
Please continue to pray for retired Pastor Dan Lush as he continues with his cancer treatments. He is down to his last 4 radiation sessions this week. According to his wife Maggie, their hope is that after a couple more weeks of recovery, Dan would be strong enough and they would able to go back home to Homer. They are currently staying with Dan's sister in Eagle River since his treatments are in Anchorage.
Council of Bishops Number of U.S. Bishops Could Drop
The number of United Methodist Bishops in the denomination's U.S. North Central and Northeastern jurisdictions could be reduced because of a decline in reported membership numbers, the General Council on Finance and Administration has announced.
UMCOR School Kits Reach Refugees in Lebanon
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), in partnership with American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), has distributed 5,712 school kits to Palestinian refugee students from Syria and their peers in Lebanon to support the children's pursuit of education.

Ahmad, 14, is one of these refugee children.  He lives in Nahr el Bared Refugee Camp - North Lebanon.  Ahmad dropped out of school two years ago, when he was only 12, and had no hope of returning to formal education.  Read more on the UMCOR website.
2016 UMW Call for Study Leaders
The Executive Team of United Methodist Women of Alaska are accepting applications for Study Leaders for  Mission u events to be implemented from late summer 2016 through the end of 2016.   Please find in WORD and PDF, a summary of the courses to be facilitated throughout the Alaska Conference.  Information and an application is included.  Please note the deadline for applications is November 15, 2015.

You may contact Bonnie Miller at or 907-776-8555 or 907-440-1636 with any questions.
Lay Ministries Training Offers Skills & Perspective
United Methodist lay men and women prepared a short sermon for critique by other participants at the first session of a Certified Lay Ministers training course, offered over two years in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area. The certified lay ministers "provide key church leadership in rural and very small churches that have vitality, but are not large enough to be able to afford a full-time ordained minister," Bishop Grant Hagiya said. Read Greg Nelson's article. Our very own Matt and Erin Reinders, who are members of Unalaska UMC, participated in this event.
Donation Staples Program Donates to UMCOR
The office-supply chain Staples has made a donation of $17,457 to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination's disaster recovery agency.  The 2015 donation owes to a partnership between Staples and the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination's finance agency. Using the Staples Advantage program, churches and individuals receive savings through online and in-store shopping. A 1 percent rebate of those sales goes to UMCOR.
Read details

Young Adult Network for Training in Ecumenism
In The United Methodist Church bishops are responsible for ecumenical and interreligious ministries. The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR) was created in 2012 to assist the Council of Bishops in this calling. The vison of OCUIR is to support the bishops as they lead our denomination to live more fully into Christian unity and deepen interreligious relationships. One way we do this is to engage and train young adults.

United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT) is the venue through which OCUIR trains United Methodists in ecumenical and interreligious history, theology and ministry. In early 2016 OCUIR will kick off a new ministry called YAN (Young Adult Network). Young adults who participate will be trained in group leadership skills, the history and theology of the ecumenism, and the unique importance of Christian unity and interreligious relationships in our denomination. YAN will form young United Methodists in ecumenical and interreligious ministry and give them the skills to similarly train other young adults.

A small group of 12 adults between the ages of 21 and 31, who represent all jurisdictions and central conferences of The United Methodist Church, will be selected. They will be both lay and clergy, live around the world, and be willing to commit to this training period of up to 4 years. They also will need to be able to read and speak English, be able to travel elsewhere in the world once a year, have access to a phone and computer, and be willing to organize and lead a Young Adult Network in their home context. Beginning in early 2016 the participants will be sent books on current leadership theory and ecumenical history and theology. They will have monthly phone conference calls, as they work together to build a covenant, define their context, solidify their plans around their vision and mission, and create their own MAP (Ministry Action Plan). Once a year, they will come together around a major ecumenical event for fellowship, worship and more training.

As the training continues participants will create similar Young Adult Networks in their home contexts, and they will facilitate them. The eventual outcome will be a world-wide network of small groups being formed in and creating ministries to uphold ecumenical and interreligious actions.

To receive an application to be a part of YAN, young adults should contact Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst at OCUIR ( Applications are due to her no later than November 31, 2015.
Fall Rendezvous Meetings
Members from outside of the Anchorage area will need housing this week so if you are able to provide housing for someone for one or two nights, please contact the conference office.  We do not have money in our budget to house people in hotels so we do our best to find local Anchorage homes for people to sleep at.  Sometimes transportation is also a need.  If that is something you can help out with, then let us know!  We appreciate anything you are able to help with.
Birchwood Camp's Annual Dinner & Auction: October 4th
Come celebrate another excellent year of camping ministry at Birchwood's Annual Dinner & Auction on Sunday, October 4th!! Everyone is invited! Tours of the camp will be available at 4:00 pm. The silent auction will open at 4:30 pm in the Main Lodge. The meal will begin at 5:00 pm, with the program and live auction to follow, also in the Main Lodge. Childcare will be available following dinner. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited; RSVP to reserve your seat: 907-688-2734 or For additional information and a preview of auction items visit:
UMW 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.  You can find the registration form in their latest newsletter.  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:
~Monday, October 5 - The Laity and General Conference 2016
~Tuesday, October 6 - Intergenerational Approaches for Stewardship
~Thursday, October 8 - What is Certified Lay Ministry all About
~Monday, October 12 - Teaching/Learning for Transformation
~Tuesday, October 13 - Best Intergenerational Practices
~Tuesday, October 13 - Safe Sanctuaries
~Tuesday, October 13 - Faith at Home
~Thursday, October 15 - Developing Your Ministry Plan-A Four Part In Depth Series; Session 3, Discovering your Discipleship Process
~Tuesday, October 27 - Covenant Discipleship with Children

Upcoming Events

     30-Oct 2: Professional Church Workers Retreat

     2-3: Fall Rendezvous meetings
     3: FACT Follow-up Meeting
     4:  Birchwood Camp Annual Dinner & Auction
     8-10: Circles of Presence Retreat 2
     9-11: Alaska UMW Annual Gathering at North Star Bible Camp
     14-15: Carlo in Nome for Community UMC Church Conference
     17-18: Carlo in Unalaska for Unalaska UMC Church Conference
     21: East Anchorage UMC Church Conference
     25: Turnagain UMC Church Conference
     26-28: Greater Northwest Bishop's Symposium
     28-29: Greater Northwest Cabinet meetings

     1: Girdwood Chapel UMC Church Conference
     7: Homer UMC Church Conference
     7: Soldotna UMC Church Conference
     8: St. Peter the Fisherman UMC Church Conference
     11-13: Carlo at Mission Leader Summit in New York
     15: Jewel Lake Parish Church Conference
     19-20: Carlo in Portland for GNW Cabinet meeting
     22: Christ First UMC Church Conference
     22: Palmer Fellowship Church Conference
     29: UMC of Chugiak Church Conference

     1: St. John UMC Church Conference
     2: Anchorage Korean UMC Church Conference
     7-15: Crystal on vacation
     8: Willow UMC Church Conference
     9: First UMC Anchorage & First Samoan UMC Church Conference
     11: Seward Memorial UMC & Moose Pass UMC Church Conference
     12: Kenai UMC Church Conference
     12: North Star UMC Church Conference
     14-16: Carlo in Seattle for GNW Cabinet meeting
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