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e~Aurora (a weekly news update)
The Alaska United Methodist ConferenceMay 17, 2016
In This Issue
~Annual Conference
~General Conference
~Eagle River United Methodist Camp
~New President of Council of Bishops
~Global Ministries Reorganizes
~Birchwood Camp
~Pre-Conference Handbook
~Heritage Sunday
~Eagle River UM Camp
~FREE Webinars

ACS Print  

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


Upcoming  Clergy

June 8 -
Jim Doepken

June 10 -
Carlo Rapanut

June 27 -
Teri Erbele

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 Registration Deadline is Friday

Register today to attend Annual Conference!  You have until May 20th before the cost jumps to $100 as a late registrant.

Make sure you pay for extra meals if you are inviting family and/or friends to the meals.

There are separate registration forms for Housing/Transportation 
and Childcare.  If you have these needs, please make sure you fill out these registration forms.

On the conference website, you will find an array of Annual Conference related items: forms, workshop information, schedule, etc.  Ministry Display Requests are due May 20th if you want to have a display at Annual Conference.
General Conference
General Conference has been going on since May 10th but they still have a lot more to cover in their last four days.  It has been wonderful being able to watch the plenaries live.  You can watch them at  All worship sessions and business on the plenary floor will be streamed. There will also be archives of sessions on that site.

You can follow the Alaska delegation through their Facebook group.  You can ask to join the group here.  Delegates have been posting pictures, comments, and their reflections of their time there.  Follow along!  An occasional update has also been sent through email that recaps some of the major topics discussed.  We hope this temporary burst of information is helpful for those of you trying to follow along.
ERUMC Eagle River United Methodist Camp Newsletter
Eagle River United Methodist Camp has published their latest newsletter.  Check it out here or on the conference website!  It talks about upcoming camps and has general information about the camp.
Dakotas-Minnesota Bishop is new President of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church
Bishop Bruce Ough, bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church, became president of the Council of Bishops of the 12.3 million member global United Methodist Church.

Bishop Ough assumed the presidency of the Council from Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., of the San Francisco Episcopal Area with a ceremonial passing of the gavel ceremony during a meeting of the General Conference.

The Council of Bishops provides spiritual leadership for The United Methodist Church, which is in mission in more than 135 countries. The council voted Ough into his new role during its meeting in Germany in May 2015.

Bishop Ough told the gathering of bishops last week that the church must tell its story, preach it, model it and live it. "Collectively, we need to articulate how God is working through The United Methodist Church -- a church that is vibrant and is changing lives."

"My vision is that we become that movement of God that is clear about inviting persons into a relationship with Jesus and also equips them to be vital disciples who are in the world to make a difference," said Bishop Ough.

Ough is a graduate of North Dakota State University and earned a master of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was ordained deacon and elder in the former North Dakota Conference and then moved into ministry roles in Iowa, including district superintendent in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and adjunct faculty member at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He also served as bishop of the West Ohio Area for 12 years before assuming his current role overseeing more than 600 churches in the Dakotas-Minnesota area in September 2012.
Global Ministries Reorganizes
Global Ministries announced that in addition to moving its headquarters to Atlanta and opening regional offices, the agency has been restructured to ensure greater effectiveness. Read the press release.
Birchwood Camp Upcoming Birchwood Camp Events
Challenge Course Facilitator Training, May 21
Birchwood Camp is hosting a training event on May 21 for Challenge Course facilitators who would like to join our facilitator team! Challenge Course Facilitators lead groups through our challenge course experience. Paid and volunteer positions are available; the schedule is very flexible and can work around your life. Contact Stephen Sweezey, or 907-688-2734 with questions or to register for this event. The training is free for all who plan to join our facilitator team.

Spring Open House, May 22
Join Birchwood Camp for our Annual Spring Open House on Sunday, May 22 from 1-5pm. All the details about the event are here:
Pre-Conference Handbook
The pre-conference handbook for the Alaska Annual Conference has been posted on the conference website.  For those of you who chose to download your own copy, please do that now.  Bring it with you when you come to Annual Conference as it will be referenced during voting.
Heritage Sunday Heritage Sunday, May 22
The United Methodist Church is encouraging churches around America to recognize Francis Asbury during Heritage Sunday, May 22, 2016.  The Theme selected is "Roots, Shoots, and Branches." 
2016 is the 200th anniversary of the death of Francis Asbury, the founding bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the American saint who single-handedly guided the creation and organization of the Church of our inheritance.
2016 is the year in which we celebrate the 200th birthday of the African Methodist Episcopal Church under the leadership of Bishop Richard Allen, and the 150th anniversary of the formation of black missionary conferences in the then Methodist Episcopal Church, predecessor to today's United Methodist Church.
Many web links can be found at for more details.
Larry Hayden, Chair, Alaska Conference
Commission on Archives and History
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!!!
FREE Webinars
Below you will find a list of webinars for church leaders offered by Discipleship Ministries' Leadership Ministries division for April and June.  These webinars are free of charge.  You can register by going to

May 18 - Social Holiness: The Method of Methodism
May 31 - Connecting with Communities and Schools
June 15 - Covenant Discipleship with Youth

Upcoming Events

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

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

     4: Independence Day - Office Closed
     13-16: Western Jurisdiction Conference in Scottsdale Arizona.  Carlo attending
     19-August 18: Carlo on vacation in the Philippines
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