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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceMarch 15, 2016
In This Issue
~Annual Conference
~Eagle River UM Camp
~Willow Golf Tournament
~Farmers Markets and Churches
~Volunteers at Small Churches
~Teaching Children about Holy Week
~Travel Scholarships
~UMW Day of Giving
~60 Days of Prayer
~1st Sunday Prayers
~2016 Webinar Series
~Idita-Walk Fundraiser

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


Upcoming  Clergy

March 21 - 
Nico Romeijn-Stout

March 25 -
Evelyn Erbele

March 29 - 
Doug Handlong

Contact Information


Carlo Rapanut

cell 907-854-8340  

Ministry Quicklinks

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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.

Annual Conference
As we start preparing for Annual Conference, we will be posting information here in the weekly e~Aurora with links to registration, pre-conference workshops, display requests, nominations forms, etc.  So please make sure you don't miss a thing!

The written reports request for the pre-conference handbook has been emailed out to the committee chairs, coordinators, and representatives.  These reports are due by April 15th.

We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to submit a petition if they have one.  Here is the link to the form.  It is due by April 15th.

All events will occur at St. John United Methodist Church.  There will be a day of workshops on Thursday, June 2nd and then the conference will be Friday, June 3rd through Saturday, June 4th.

This year's theme for Annual Conference is Keeping Sabbath: Resting, Rejoicing, Returning. As Christians we inherit a story of creation where God rests after six long days bringing what is into being.

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy .... For in six days the Lord made the heavens and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11.)
Congratulations to the Mission Team at First UMC Anchorage
First UMC's Mission Outreach Team has received official notification that they have been nominated for the 2016 Heart of Anchorage Awards.

First United Methodist Church of Anchorage is a member of the Downtown Partnership, and their church's outreach team has represented the church well as an ambassador of their faith community to the larger community of Anchorage.  Their nomination is an acknowledgment of their faith made flesh through acts of commitment and service.  The ministry of First UMC is strengthened by the unique character and service of Steve Maga, Lori Staats, & Jennifer Miller.  Please join us in congratulating them on this wonderful recognition.

They will be recognized on Saturday, March 26 at the Anchorage Museum during the 2016 Heart of Anchorage Awards Ceremony. This annual event is a fun celebration of the nominees & award recipients who make downtown Anchorage and the rest of the community - a better place.
ERUMC Eagle River United Methodist Camp
Eagle River United Methodist Camp located in Juneau, Alaska will be having Discovery Camp for kids going into 3rd thru 8th grade. The dates for camp are July 17th - July 21st. This year's theme is "Power Up". To sign-up please contact the Sitka United Methodist Church at 907-747-8775 for a registration form. Children from other communities in Southeast Alaska and beyond are welcome to participate.   Let's get together for camp!!!
golf5.jpg Annual Willow Golf Tournament to Benefit Willow UMC
Come play golf at the site of the Iditarod Restart! Right on Willow Lake!  The Annual Willow Golf Tournament will be held this Saturday, March 19th at the Willow Community Center (Mile 69.7 Parks Highway, 23625 W. Willow Community Center Circle).

This is an event sponsored jointly between the Willow United Methodist Church and the Willow Chamber of Commerce, and is raising funds for both.  Hot dogs and buns and marshmallows will be available all day.

Adults cost $25 each, and can play in teams of up to 4 from 9:00am - 3:00pm, after signing up for a tee time. Children will be able to play after 3:00 at no cost.  

If you'd like to play or would like to pledge to sponsor one of the kids who is playing please contact Jim Huston at 359.4700.  If you want to join Pastor Dan on a team for the church, please contact him at 359.7078.
How Churches can get Involved with Farmers Markets
When churches get involved in farmers markets, they minister to farmers as well as shoppers by opening their parking lots and sports fields to this ministry. Cullan Duke, a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Mobile, AL was part of a team that decided to serve their community in this way. Jeremy Steele has tips for how your church can get involved.
Read the story 
How Volunteers Help Small Churches Thrive
Small-membership churches like First United Methodist Church in Edom, TX depend on the willingness and flexibility of volunteers. The Texas Conference points to the example of longtime volunteers Keith and Karen Mills to highlight ways volunteers can get involved and benefit from that involvement.  Read the story.  
Teaching Children about Holy Week
The Holy Week story is not exactly family-friendly, but that doesn't mean we can skip the part about Jesus' journey to the cross when sharing our faith with our children. Read the story.
Travel Scholarships For Youth and Young Adults
In an effort to live into one of our five priorities of the Alaska United Methodist Conference, the Youth and Young Adults Ministries Committee would like to invite Youth (grades 6-12) and Young Adults (ages 18-30) to apply for travel scholarships to Annual Conference, Birchwood Camp, and Eagle River United Methodist Camp.

To apply, please completely fill out this application form and write your answers to the questions in complete sentences.

The following scholarships are available:
Youth (grades 6-12)
  • Scholarship for Youth Leader at Annual Conference (grades 6-12), June 2-4. Represent your congregation as a youth leader at the Alaska Annual Conference and have fun gathering with other youth from around the conference!
  • Scholarship for Youth Camp at Birchwood Camp (grades 7-12), June 27-July 1.
  • Scholarship for MAD (Music and Drama) Camp at Birchwood Camp (grades 6-10), June 13-19.
  • Scholarship for Adventure Canoe Camp at Birchwood Camp (grades 9-12), July 25-31.
  • Scholarship for Junior Canoe Camp at Birchwood Camp (grades 6-8), July 6-9.
  • Scholarship for Discovery Camp at Eagle River United Methodist Camp (grades 6-8), July 17-21. *NEW
  • Scholarship for Counselor-In-Training at Discovery Camp at Eagle River United Methodist Camp (grades 9-12), July 16-21. *NEW
Young Adults (ages 18-30)
  • Scholarship for Young Adult at Annual Conference, June 2-4. 
Please send completed applications to the Conference Office electronically at or by mail to Alaska United Methodist Conference Office, 1660 Patterson St., Anchorage, AK 99504.
Due date: March 31
UMW Day of Giving - March 23
Join United Methodist Women members around the country on March 23 for the Second Annual Day of Giving to The Legacy Fund, part of our five-year 150th anniversary celebration! New gifts made on the Day of Giving will be matched by 50 percent!

The Legacy Fund is a permanent endowment to support the work of future generations of United Methodist Women.

It's easy to give!
Office of the Treasurer,
United Methodist Women,
475 Riverside Drive,
New York, NY 10115.

Write "The Legacy Fund" in the memo section.
60 Days of Prayer Begins March 31
The Upper Room has created resources for 60 Days of Prayer to help every local congregation pray with the delegates and church leaders for the 2016 General Conference. The 60 days of prayer begin March 31 and extends through May 29. The denomination's legislative assembly is May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. The prayer guide is available online, as a PDF download and a daily email service. Prayer-bead kits with a commemorative medallion are also available.
Get resources
Words of Prayer for the 2016 General Conference
First Sundays Bulletin Inserts now available
As part of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area, each of the 475 local churches in the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Conferences have the honor of serving as hosts for the several thousand United Methodists who will gather from around the globe in Portland, Oregon this May for General Conference 2016. Some will share in this honor by volunteering in person, but we can all be a part of a prayerful welcome.
Bishop Hagiya is inviting you and your congregation to join him in an area-wide experience of prayer for General Conference that will take place on the first Sunday of the month from March through June 2016. 
Click through to read a letter from the Bishop and to download inserts for use in your church bulletins. (

2016 Webinar Series
Below you will find a list of webinars for church leaders offered by Discipleship Ministries' Leadership Ministries division.  You can register, free of charge, by going to
  • March 15 - Ministry Leadership Models: Nurture Outreach Witness (N.O.W.) and Single Governance Board Structure
  • March 16 - Covenant Discipleship
  • March 17 - Finding Money That Went Missing: Recovering Funds that Can be Used for Mission
Idita-Walk Fundraiser for Nome Community Center
The Nome Community Center, a UMW National Mission Institution,  is sponsoring the 1,049-minute walking event Idita-Walk, which draws participants from across Alaska, and around the globe.  Even your dog can participate in this walking event!

To participate in the Idita-Walk, keep track of how many minutes you walk per day on a paper form. Strive to reach the goal of 1,049 minutes - the same number of miles that sled dogs and mushers must trek across Alaska in order to reach the Iditarod finish line. If you walk an average of 35 minutes a day, you'll finish in 30 days. The Idita-Walk starts February 1st and ends March 31st.

The event benefits the Nome Community Center and all the services it provides Nome and the Bering Straits region, including the Nome Food Bank, the XYZ Senior Center, Nome Children's Home and Family Services.

It is $10 to register per person (or dog), $30 to register and order a T-shirt, and $50 to register and order a sweatshirt. If you're among the first 750 to sign up, you'll receive an official 2016 Idita-Walk pin upon registration
You can sign up for the 2016 Idita-Walk online at

Upcoming Events

     20: Palm Sunday
     21-23: Carlo in Seattle for GNW Cabinet meeting
     27: Easter Sunday

     3: Camping Sunday for the Alaska United Methodist Conference
     11-14: Carlo in Oregon for GNW Cabinet meeting
     16: UMM Annual Retreat at the Hope Retreat Center
     29-May1: UMW Leadership Team meeting at East Anchorage UMC

     10-20: General Conference in Portland.  Carlo attending
     30: Memorial Day - Office Closed

     2: Annual Conference Workshops
     3-4: Annual Conference at St. John UMC
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

Alaska United Methodist Conference | 1660 Patterson Street | Anchorage | AK | 99504