A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
We Welcome a New Bishop this Week!
Starting this Thursday, September 1, 2016, the Alaska United Methodist Conference and the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area will have a new bishop. We would like to warmly welcome Bishop Elaine Stanovsky to our conference!  We look forward to having her here in Anchorage in October during our Fall Rendezvous committee meetings and clergy gathering.
Bishops Respond to Gay Colleague
Council of Bishops
Even before Bishop Karen Oliveto takes office Sept. 1, her election as The United Methodist Church's first openly gay bishop has prompted reactions from her episcopal colleagues. Meanwhile, as a married lesbian, she is already facing complaints under church law. Read the story.

The executive committee of the United Methodist Judicial Council has decided to place a petition from the South Central Jurisdiction regarding the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto on its Spring 2017 meeting docket.  Read the story.
Africans Look at Changing the Church's Map
If an African proposal wins approval, the map of The United Methodist Church's fastest-growing region could look very different in years to come. The proposal, which splits one central conference into four new central conferences, has implications for bishop elections and ministry. Read the story. 
World Communion Sunday is October 2
Our church is at its best when we reach out to sisters and brothers in need. World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God's children. United Methodists relate to World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday. Churches are also encouraged to receive an offering to support ethnic undergraduate and graduate students. Our gifts often enable first-generation students to attend college.

Download a free eBook.
Download the World Communion Sunday pastor's kit.

Order leaflet offering envelopes and posters to enhance your World Communion Sunday celebration at www.umcgiving.org/ss or call 888-346-3862.
Choosing a New Church
jesus-stained-glass.jpg When U.S. adults look for a new house of worship, they look first for a place where they like the preaching and where they feel welcomed. Fully 83 percent of Americans who have looked for a new place of worship say the quality of sermons plays an important role in choosing a congregation, according to a new Pew Research Center study.
Methodist History Journal Available
Archives & History
The latest issue features the Francis Asbury 200th Anniversary Edition. It is now available in the Alaska UMC Resource Room as well as free online at www.gcah.org

 Academic entries include: Shady Grove, Garden, and Wilderness: Methodism and the American Woodland, by Dr. Russell E. Richey; Francis Asbury and the Opposition to Early Methodism by Cynthia Lynn Lyerly; Francis Asbury's First Circuit: Bedfordshire, 1767, by Jonathan Rodell; John Wesley and Francis Asbury by John Wigger, General Index for Volume LIV, and Book Reviews: George Whitefield: America's Spiritual Founding Father; Textual Warfare and the Making of Methodism; Wesley and the Anglicans: Political Division in Early Evangelicalism; No Depression in Heaven: The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Transformation of Religion in the Delta; and finally American Colonial History: Clashing Cultures and Faiths.

Contact Larry Hayden, Conference Historian, at 907-222-1938 for access to the Archive and History room.
Do You Need a VIM?
UMVIM If your church or ministry is in need of a Volunteer in Mission team for next year, please contact Rev. Daniel Wilcox, UMVIM Coordinator for Alaska at 907.414.7078, or danielpwilcox@gmail.com.  We would like to have teams and projects matched up by the end of September.  Teams are able to do construction, Vacation Bible School, general upkeep, and other various projects.  The more quickly we know what is available, the more quickly you can start planning.
Songs of Zion
Does your church use the Songs of Zion hymnal?  I came across it during my visit in Dover, Delaware for the Historical Society annual meeting, which I will host in Anchorage in June 2017.

The Songs of Zion was a result of a sponsored session of the Black church in Atlanta in 1973. The main Methodist hymnal only has one hymn by a Black composer and has five Negro spirituals under "American Folk Hymns."

The "Great Awakening" movement of the 1730s helped Dr. Charles Elbert Tindly from Philadelphia become the most prolific of the Black hymn writers. Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey was also instrumental.

The majority of spirituals are written in quadruple meter (4/4), yet many of these have a feel of duple meter (2/4). Aspects include: rhythm, scales, texture, keys, chords, performance and texts.

Lina McLin writes that a spiritual is a folk song, originated by the Black Americans and handed down from generation to generation, which must have a personal relationship with the diety. A gospel is a composed song, but the singer expresses this music in a personal style, free, unrestricted in anyway. The singer may add or take away (you can't do that with the spiritual) but the basic line remains the same.

The name gospel was assigned to those songs because many of the texts were derived from the first four books of the New Testament. The gospel song came about in urban settings. The spiritual came from the open cotton fields and the rural settings.

More details can be found in the Songs of Zion hymnal. On a side note, the General Conference just approved starting on an updated Methodist Hymnal, some or all of which will be in digital format as well as regular hardbound.

Larry Hayden, Conference Historian
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 to help make America more prepared for emergencies.

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


Thank you for all you do!
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.
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.
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 life's 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).
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.
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 TODAY, 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!
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.
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
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 United Methodist Women conference 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!
Upcoming Events
5: Labor Day - Office Closed
9-10: Mission u at Turnagain UMC
19-23: GNW Cabinet Retreat - Carlo attending

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
19-22: GBGM Board Meeting in Atlanta - Carlo attending

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
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.
Clergy Birthdays

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

Conference Office

Superintendent Carlo
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.