e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
Aurora
Floods Wreak Havoc in Louisiana
Many United Methodists are among the Louisianans who have been flooded out of their homes, and some United Methodist churches in the state also have had flood damage. One church served as a shelter, then had to be evacuated itself because of rising waters. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey says it's too early for volunteers, but monetary contributions are much needed. Read story on umc.org.
Praying Our Way Forward
Council of Bishops
As plans are underway for the establishment of a Commission on a Way Forward, the Council of Bishops is setting in motion a parallel prayer initiative called "Praying Our Way Forward."

"We are a people of prayer and enjoin the entire church to fervently pray that the Holy Spirit will breakthrough and lead us into a future with hope," said Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Council president, in a statement following a  meeting of the executive committee in July.

Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference, who chairs the "Council Life Together" team, and Bishop Al Gwinn, who leads the prayer subcommittee of the Council of Bishops, were chosen to design and guide a complementary prayer component that involves the whole church. 

In the first phase of the endeavor, which has already begun and continues through mid-November, the bishops of the church were asked to pledge 15 minutes a day in prayer for the selection and initial work of the Commission on A Way Forward.

Thus far, 84 resident and retired bishops have committed to pray for the work of the Commission for 15 minutes per day between now and mid-November.  This equals 1260 minutes/21 hours of prayer a day offered by bishops for the selection and initial efforts of the Commission.

"This initiative provides an opportunity for every member of the Council of Bishops to participate in the important work of the Commission. Our daily focused prayer is a way for us - individually and collectively - to actively seek God's leadership at this critical juncture in the life of our church," said Bishop Wallace-Padgett.

The entire church will be invited to take part during the second phase, the details of which will be announced in late September. The hashtag is #prayourwayforward.

Bishop Gwinn pointed to the success of the 131-day prayer observance for the 2016 General Conference as an indication of the willingness of church members to devote time to prayer for the church's future.

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward are expected to be named by the end of August, with a target date of October for the initial meeting. In November, the Council of Bishops will consider the matter of a called special session of the General Conference in 2018.
Be a Part of United Methodist Women
Would you like to be a part of a great group of ladies that help educate others about important issues in our community, state, and the world?  The conference United Methodist Women team is looking for some ladies who would love to be a part of this wonderful organization.  The current positions open are Social Action Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, and the Vice President (program planning).  If you have an interest or talent for these positions, please fill out this form and send it to the Chair of the Committee on Nominations, Crystal Feaster, at kindnessmatters@hotmail.com.  She can follow up with you to give you actual job descriptions and details about each of the positions.  Thanks!
The Sisterhood of Quilters - Retreat
What a summer South Central Alaska has had. So many sunny days who could stay inside to sew? Are you behind on your projects because you have been camping, fishing or hiking? It is time to start catching up. Come out and join us for a fun filled weekend! The quilt retreat has reached 40!!!! 40 years... with lifes ups and downs, quilting weaved our lives together.  The retreat will be held September 22-25, 2016 at Laverne Griffin Youth Camp in Wasilla.  It will start Thursday at 3:30 pm.

Lavern Griffin Youth Camp is waiting with smiling faces to greet you. The camp is located on a lovely lake. If you are not familiar with the camp visit the website to see facilities.

Things you should know:

      Retreat is limited to 30ish people
      Heated cabins are centrally located
      Home cooking 3 meals a day
      Bathhouse short walk from cabins
      Beautiful windows in sewing spaces
      Good friends
      A chance to get away
      Sewing, laughing
      Learn something new
      Show and tell Saturday night

Click here for the Retreat Brochure.

Sponsored by Anchor Park United Methodist Women (UMW).
Recruiting: Birchwood Camp Board Members
Birchwood Camp
Birchwood Camp continues to be an important disciple-nurturing ministry of Alaska United Methodists and supports our churches through camps for children, youth, families and adults. We are also committed to "building community on common ground" by welcoming a wide variety of churches, nonprofits, schools, government, business and private groups to use our facilities and experience the presence of God in our beautiful and serene property with easy access to the Anchorage area.
The board leaders are charged with carrying the vision for the mission and ministry of Birchwood Camp. They are currently recruiting board members to join their team in 2017 to help grow this important ministry. Are you, or is someone you know, called by God to lead at Birchwood Camp?

Board members at Birchwood Camp:
  • commit to 3 year terms - although some shorter interim terms may be available
  • meet approximately monthly - 6 board meetings per year and committee meetings between board meetings
  • serve on one of the board committees: property, finance, capacity building, fundraising
  • provide operational oversight through support of our new camp director, Relena Myers
  • support Birchwood Camp through prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness
  • are passionate about camping ministries and growing the programs, facilities and reach of Birchwood Camp
Their current need is for leaders with strengths in finance and/or managing the upkeep of our aging facilities. They anticipate new facilities soon so construction/project management skills - as well as anyone with a passion for camping ministries - are appreciated!

They welcome inquiries about board service; current board members are happy to meet with prospective board members to review the commitment, roles and responsibilities of board leadership.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Nora at ofredrick@me.com or (907)250-3642
United Methodist Women Annual Gathering 2016
United Methodist Women's Annual Gathering is always a great event and wonderful opportunity to gather with other United Methodist Women throughout the state. We hope you will join us October 7-9 at Anchor Park United Methodist Church in Anchorage.  Attached is a copy of the 2016 Annual Gathering registration form that can be filled out on line or printed off and sent in.  The early bird deadline is August 30.
 
This year, the Alaska UMW Leadership Team has the pleasure of announcing that we do have some funding available to assist those wanting to attend.  Fill out the scholarship application and submit it for consideration. 
 
Contact Bonnie Miller, President, if you have any questions!
Disaster Preparedness Month
Disaster Preparedness
September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit. Due to the success of last year's theme, "Don't Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today," will be returning for this September with a continuing emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.  Thank you for taking time help make America more prepared for emergencies.

If you don't have plans, maybe some of the information on the National Preparedness website will provide some ideas that will be simple to implement. 

https://www.ready.gov/september

Thank you for all you do!
Continued Prayers
The memorial service for Rev. Lauren Kay Shock was today, Tuesday morning at 11 am with a reception following.  Please continue to keep all her family in your prayers as they continue to deal with her loss.

You can send sympathy cards to Jim at 31990 S. 624 Place, Unit 7, Grove, OK, 74344.
Greater Alaska Theological Education (GATE)
This year, the Lay School of Theology has a new name. The Greater Alaska Theological Education (GATE) event will take place September 16-17, 2016 at St. John UMC (1801 O'Malley Road, Anchorage).  It still is a program of Perkins School of Theology and the Alaska United Methodist Conference. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

You can find the informational brochure/registration form on the conference website or by clicking here.
Mission u in Anchorage
The Alaska United Methodist Women are excited to be bringing Mission u to you again!

The two studies this year are:
*Climate Change: A Call to Hope and Action, led by Debra Gerrish
*The Bible and Human Sexuality, led by Janice Nightingale

The upcoming Mission u event will be held in Anchorage at Turnagain UMC September 9-10. Click here for the registration form.  View the informational brochure here.

Please contact Jennifer Miller at 907-351-0274 or alaskan_miller_girl@yahoo.com for more information.
2016 CROP Hunger Walks begin
CROP Hunger Walk
The 2016 Anchorage CROP Walk will be held on September 25, 2016 at First Congregational Church, 2610 E. Northern Lights Blvd.  Registration begins at 12:45 p.m. and the Walk starts at 1:30 p.m.  The Post-Walk Celebration with live music and home-made treats begins at 2:30 p.m. 
 
CROP Hunger Walks are community fundraising events sponsored by Church World Service (CWS) Twenty-five percent of the money raised in our CROP Hunger Walk is distributed to local hunger-alleviating agencies. This year's agencies are F.I.S.H. (Fellowship in Serving Humanity) and the Lutheran Social Services of Alaska Food Pantry.  There will also be a food drive on the day of the Walk to benefit the Food Bank of Alaska.  

If someone from your church has not picked up the registration materials, please contact Dave Boling at 272-0615 to arrange a pick-up time.
Study Leaders needed for 2017!
The Executive Team of United Methodist Women of Alaska are accepting applications for Study Leaders for  Mission u events to be implemented summer/fall of 2017.   Here is the required application.  Please note the deadline for applications is November 18, 2016.  
 
Please let those you think may be interested in this wonderful opportunity know!  
 
You may contact Jenn Miller at alaskan_miller_girl@yahoo.com  or 907-338-1434 (home) or 907-351-0274 (cell) with any questions.
Upcoming Events
SEPTEMBER
5: Labor Day - Office Closed
9-10: Mission u at Turnagain UMC
19-23: GNW Cabinet Retreat - Carlo attending
29-October 1: Quadrennial Benefits Conference - Carlo attending

October
4-5: GNW Cabinet meeting in Seattle - Carlo attending
7-9: UMW Annual Gathering at Anchor Park UMC
14-15: Fall Rendezvous Meetings at Conference Center

November
2-4: Extended Cabinet Summit in Jacksonville, FL - Carlo attending
6: Daylight Savings Time ends
8: Election Day
14-16: Crystal on vacation
14-15: GNW Cabinet meeting in Portland - Carlo attending
24: Thanksgiving Day - Office Closed
Conference Office Email Address has Changed
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We have begun the process of changing the conference office email from umc@gci.net to alaskaumc@gmail.com.  For workflow ease, we are consolidating everything to the Google platform (email, calendar, etc.).  Please update your address books/contacts lists and start using alaskaumc@gmail.com for your emails to the conference. Carlo's email (carlorapanut@gmail.com) will remain the same.
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Upcoming
Clergy Birthdays

September 5: Charles Brower
September 22: Won Jea Keum
September 28: Darla Bradley


Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340
Submissions - If you have an article or event that you would like to share with the rest of the conference, submit it to the conference office by Monday evening for consideration.
AUMC Logo Mission Statement:
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  Held and supported by the transforming relationship with God through Christ, we of the Alaska United Methodist Conference seek to be a community that creates a home for all peoples, finds our hope through grace and journeys together into God's preferred future.
Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.