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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceNovember 10, 2015
In This Issue
~Giving Tuesday
~Leader of Music Needed
~Annual Christmas Brunch
~2014 Statistical Data Released
~Devotional for Veterans
~Palmer Fellowship helps PET
~Annual Holiday Auction
~2016 UMW Call for Study Leaders
~FREE Webinars

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


Upcoming  Clergy

November 6 -
Tafa Fulumua

November 17 -
Jean Bruscia

December 23 -
Curtis Matz

Contact Information


Carlo Rapanut

cell 907-854-8340  

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2015 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.

Giving Tuesday, December 1
On Dec. 1, United Methodists will come together for the third year to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. Sponsored by the denomination's General Board of Global Ministries, individuals, churches, and annual conferences (regional offices) combine Advent and Christmas seasonal giving with global mission and outreach opportunities. The theme for the 2015 campaign is "Activate Love. Transform Lives. Change the World."  Global Ministries will allocate matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 1, 2015, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. CT.  A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds.  A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.

Learn more and download resources

We have several projects within our own conference.  As Alaskans we are able to start giving at 9:00 p.m. on Monday, November 30!  This is a time change from previous years as the new beginning time is based on Central Time NOT Eastern Time.

Here is a list of the Alaska projects you can support!
Mission Contexts and Relationships
Alaska Churches
931027 - Strengthening local church mission and ministry while launching new leadership for new programs.

Alaska Ethnic and Rural Camping and Conference Fund
931024 - Flying Native American and Alaska Native children to Christian camps for church and spiritual activities.

Birchwood Camp
931068 - Building community on holy ground by providing program spaces and year-round staff housing.

931602 - Reaching out to all of God's children through a variety of faith based activities

3021214 - Creating a sustainable home and developing leadership for CUMC and its ministries.

Downtown Ministries, First United Methodist Church Ketchikan
3020487 - Providing a place for the homeless or temporary housing to spend daytime hours.

Girdwood Chapel United Methodist Church
931007 - Building larger facilities to greatly increase the breadth and scope of worship and social services.

Hope Retreat Center
3020590 - Replacing kitchen floor and cabinets and installing energy-efficient windows and insulation.

3021099 - Providing tuition assistance for students majoring in education, human services and healthcare.

931855 - Ministering to the Bering Sea Fishing Fleet, processors, stranded crew members and workers.

Willow Alaska United Methodist Church
931511 - Serving poor rural communities spiritually, with basic physical needs, and with help in emergencies.

Willow Church and Community Ministry
931520 - Providing Christian education to children in Anvik and Grayling and also responding to emergencies.

  1. Erbele, Evelyn (10832Z) - Co-pastor of First United Methodist Church in Ketchikan, Alaska.
  2. Erbele, Terence (10831Z) - Co-Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Ketchikan, Alaska.
  3. Lynch, Wilma Frances (982950) - Deaconess serving as a Church and Community Worker in Willow, Alaska.
Conference Missional Priority
Job Opportunity Leader of Music Needed
First United Methodist Church of Anchorage is seeking a part-time Leader of Music.  For a position description and how to apply, go to .
They are accepting resumes through Thursday, November 12, 2015.
poinsettias.jpg Annual Christmas Brunch
St. John United Methodist Women will host their Annual Christmas Brunch on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 10am.  Cost of the brunch is $10.
A skit, Don't Let the Grouches Steal Your Christmas, will be presented.  We'd love to have you join us for great food, grand fun and gregarious fellowship!
To purchase a ticket or make a reservation, please email or call the church office at 344-3025.
GCFA 2014 Statistical Data Released
GCFA has vetted and released the 2014 United States statistical data on local churches in the U.S. The Data Services Department holds the responsibility for receiving, vetting, and publishing the information each year.  GCFA Data Services reports there are over 32,000 local churches.  There is a slight decrease in African-American and White membership in the Church.  The largest church in the U.S., Windsor Village, located in Houston, Texas reported 17,676 members. The highest reported average worship attendance is nearly 9,000 worshipers a week at Church of the Resurrection in Kansas. The United Methodist Church experienced an increase of 8.5% in multi-racial members.  Pacific Islander membership increased 6.24%.  Asian, Hispanic, and Native American membership grew as well. Globally, The United Methodist Church reports 12,428,000 members. 
The Data Services Department will post more reports on attendance and related statistics online within the next few weeks.  Much of the data is also available at
Devotional for Veterans and Active Duty
Congregations that want to do more than pray for veterans on Veteran's Day might consider providing copies of a historic book of devotions to military troops and veterans in Veterans Affairs hospitals. Chaplains who distribute "Strength for Service to God and Country" say the devotionals have an impressive reach and a powerful spiritual effect.
Palmer Fellowship Helps Project for the Handicapped
Members of the Palmer United Methodist Fellowship have undertaken a project to assist the world's leg handicapped by upholstering 50 seat base cushions and backs for the PET mobility cart.

PET is an acronym for Personal Energy Transportation. The sturdy, hand-cranked carts are built by a corps of some 800 volunteers - mostly seniors - in 23 shops in the USA and Zambia. Since 2004, 51,000 PET carts have been distributed free to those in need in 100 countries world-wide. PETs are
underwritten by private sector giving from churches, service clubs, individuals and small businesses.
Alaskans have been involved in supporting PET since 2004. 320 PETs have been underwritten by Alaskan gifts and volunteers from Alaska.  In addition, Alaska volunteers have built and shipped over 500 complete seating units for the adult PET to the closest PET shop in Spokane, WA.  
After a recent study by a medical and physical therapist team, the seating assembly for the PET Mobility cart has been redesigned with a wedge-shaped cushion that uses 2" commercial foam and provides much better support for the recipient. The base and back cushions provided by the
Palmer fellowship will be mounted on the wooden support system that has been prepared by volunteers at St. John UMC in Anchorage.  The shipment of the 50 complete seating units will be sent by overland freight to the PET Shop in Spokane for final assembly into the finished carts early in 2016.

To learn more about PET and see videos and stories go to:
Caption for Photo: Palmer UM Fellowship builds seats for PETs. (L to R) Wayne Martin, Mike Ringler, Jane Ringler, Bruce Jordan, Kathy Jordan, Rob Singleton, and JoAnn Shore.
crayon_tree.jpg Annual Holiday Auction
Anchor Park United Methodist Women will be hosting their Annual Holiday Auction on Saturday, November 14 from 10:45 a.m. - 2 p.m.

You won't want to miss out on this year's fun!  This year the auction is focusing on home crafted and baked items.  There will be a live auction, silent auction and items for purchase. This is a great way to have fun and support mission projects focused on women, children, and youth in Alaska, the United States, as well as the world.

Cost for the lunch is $16.00
If you are interested in attending, email Susan Williams.
2016 UMW Call for Study Leaders
The Executive Team of United Methodist Women of Alaska is 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.
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, November 12 - The Means of Grace
~Thursday, November 12 - Ending the Year Strong: It's Not Too Late to Have a Better 2015
~Tuesday, November 17 - Measuring Your Effectiveness
~Monday, November 23 - 51 Ideas for Children's Ministers

Upcoming Events

     11-13: Carlo at Mission Leader Summit in New York
     15: Jewel Lake Parish Church Conference
     19-21: Carlo in Portland for GNW Cabinet meeting and GNW Visioning Task Force
     22: Christ First UMC Church Conference
     22: Palmer Fellowship Church Conference
     29: UMC of Chugiak Church Conference

     1: St. John UMC Church Conference
     6: 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
     13-16: Carlo in Seattle for GNW Cabinet meeting and Tuell Center planning 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