Welcome

From Our Bishop

Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky welcomes you to the Alaska United Methodist Conference website. Bishop Elaine started as the Episcopal Leader of the Greater Northwest Area (Pacific Northwest, Oregon-Idaho, and Alaska) on September 1st, 2016.  She was elected to the Episcopacy in 2008. Here’s a short video greeting:


Transcript:
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
I’m Elaine Stanovsky and I’m the brand new bishop in the Greater Northwest Area of The United Methodist Church, having just moved here from Denver, Colorado where I served for eight years. I can’t tell you how excited my husband Clint and I are to be in the Northwest, we came from the Northwest, we served all of our professional lives in the Northwest and its great to be back in the Pacific Northwest Conference, the Oregon-Idaho Conference, and the Alaska Conference.
I believe to the core of my being that God is still at work in the world through the Church. And that the job of those of us who believe in Jesus Christ and who know the power of Christ’s life-giving work; our job is to figure out where God is at work, and how God is at work in the world, and to go join God in that work! I hope that all of you and all of your places are looking for that kind of new reengagement with your neighborhoods.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to get to meet you as I begin to travel the Area, learn about the ministries you are involved in, and encourage you along the way. But for now I’m going to say:
God bless you, God keep you, and may God bring us together on the road.
ejws-signature-web
Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky

From Our Superintendent

Welcome to the Alaska United Methodist Conference online portal!Carlo Rapanut  We invite you to visit the pages of our website to learn more about our conference and our 28 United Methodist Churches all around the state. We are people committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We invite you to be partners with us in this mission.
 
There are other ways we can be connected. Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/alaskaumc. We also have a weekly e-newsletter, The E-Aurora, which contains the latest news and events from around the conference. If you would like to receive this, please email: alaskaumc@gmail.com and we’ll get you connected right away.
 
We would also be glad to respond to you if you have questions about us and what we do or have suggestions and feedback about our site.
 
Thanks for reading and I hope that your time on this site is worth your while.
 
Your fellow disciple,
Rev. Carlo A. Rapanut
Conference Superintendent
 
*You can follow Carlo’s blog at: http://reflectionsofarunningrev.blogspot.com

 

Our Vision & Mission

Our new Conference Vision was presented and approved at the Alaska United Methodist Conference on June 5, 2010. This vision is offered to the individual churches to take, and to study, and to pray about. It is designed to be “OPEN”…recognizing that the mission of each individual church will reflect their individual settings. This is offered to our local churches and it is hoped that pastors and laypersons will begin discussing how this shapes their ministry today and into the future. The Visioning Team is committed to keep this mission before us and to work on resources to be used in the local church setting.

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.

Five Top Priorities:

Four Questions:

We have four questions to guide our discussions in our settings.  These are meant to focus us and force us all to ask the big questions about who we are, who are the people in our communities that aren’t being reached, and what kind of sacrifices are we willing to make as we discern where it is that God wants us to go.  Each church will come up with different answers here.

 

Our Vision Theme:

This vision theme is for all of our churches to take back to their local settings. This theme gives us a time frame/benchmark of the year 2020.  So, we have nine years to be focusing on this in our local settings and nine years to be thinking ahead to where God is calling each of our churches in the years to come.  And we look at this, understanding that we are moving forward to a horizon…but that it’s God’s horizon.   We look at this, praying that God would, indeed, give us 20/20 Vision.

History

By Larry Hayden

Some of the first known Methodist missionary work was a result of visits from British Columbia to Wrangell in 1877 by the Reverend Thomas Crosby, pastor of the Fort Simpson Methodist Church.

In 1886 John and Ethelda Carr were sent by the General Agent for Education in Alaska, Dr. Sheldon Jackson, to start a school and church in Unga in the Shumagin Islands. The Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church furnished support and travel money for Mrs. Carr. Methodist work carried on sporadically in Unga until about 1953.

In 1890 the Women’s Home Missionary Society furnished money to build and operate a children’s home in Unalaska, named for Jesse Lee, one of the early itinerant Methodist preachers on the New England and east coast.

The Klondike Gold Rush began about 1897 and the Reverend Carl Larson, appointed by Presiding Bishop Charles McCabe, came to preach to the miners who were primarily speakers of Scandinavian languages. Larson preached in Douglas, Juneau, and Skagway, and set up his gospel tent in Dyea. McCabe Methodist College was built inSkagway in 1899; Douglas had a church built in 1901 and Ketchikan in 1902.

The first Annual Meeting of the Alaska Mission was held in Juneau in July 1904.

In 1905 the Seward church was established. Soon after churches were built in Fairbanks and Nome. Just east of Nome in Sinuk, the Women’s Home Missionary Society started a mission effort to help local people raise reindeer. A hospital was also organized in Nome.

World War Two and the Korean Conflict brought many people to the Great Land and much activity and growth took place in the 1950s.

 

The church at Hope, now a conference retreat center, was built in 1944. Moose Pass was added as a charge in 1945. The Women’s Division operated the Seward Tuberculosis Sanatorium starting in 1946.

Anchorage organized its first Methodist church in 1944 with a log cabin which was later enlarged and named the Baxter Memorial Methodist Church. In 1952 a new Methodist church was organized in Fairbanks. Other churches soon followed. Argetsinger (Eagle River) and Birchwood Camping Ministries were started in the late 1950s. Cooperative projects were begun with Presbyterian churches. The Alaska Native Ministries Programs were given a boost in 1974 with Native Land laws and the start of the oil pipeline construction. An Alaska Council of Churches was formed in 1958.

The Alaska Mission became the Alaska Missionary Conference in 1972 and in 2008 it was renamed the Alaska United Methodist Conference.

Alaska Methodist University was begun in the mid-1950s. A few churches have closed over the years but 28 currently are strong and active. Various ministries have focused on youth, students, military chaplaincy, indigenous peoples, music, health, economics, environment, global relief and general missions.

We welcome your involvement today so you can share in our rich history which is being created now.

Readers may want to research more in-depth topics by reading the comprehensive book written for the Conference Centennial in 1986 by Bea Shepard and Claudia Kelsey Have Gospel Tent Will Travel. Please click here to download. Many other primary sources are available at the conference archive collection at East Anchorage United Methodist Church. Contact Larry Hayden for access or an inventory. (907) 222-1938 or hayden@alaskan.net.

Serve in Alaska

A note to all clergy who may sense an urge/call to serve a church in Alaska

 

Charley BrowerWelcome to the Alaska United Methodist Conference.  We are a diverse group of 28 churches, two community institutions, and two camps living and ministering with Alaskans for the sake of Christ.  We need clergy leaders who feel a deep call to be in mission with people, who realize that God is already present among all peoples, who desire to see all people included in the life of the church, and who have a vital and personal faith.

The number one quality we seek in pastors to appoint to Alaska churches is adaptability.  We need pastors who can move into a ministry context, sense what leadership style is needed, and can implement that style to help that church meet its mission.  It should not just be about replaying our demonstrated skills, but a desire to learn new skills for a new context.

One of these new skills is the ability to discern how to grow a church in our various Alaskan contexts.  We really desire to see the church grow in Alaska.  So we want to raise the bar in terms of clergy effectiveness.  We want the best and brightest pastors to lead our churches into a new era of church growth.

Alaska is a place where people give you the freedom to be yourself, your real self, the self God is creating you to be.

If it is your desire, to live in a land of deep natural beauty and to give sacrificially in ways that give you life energy, then we invite you to pray and discern a call to come to the Alaska UM Conference.  If you feel like exploring this further please complete this application.  You can mail a paper copy to us at our office (1660 Patterson St. Anchorage, AK 99504) or email it to alaskaumc@gmail.com.

We’d also like two video sermons with one of them in a video of an entire worship service you have led.

Please don’t consider coming to Alaska if your main desire is to hunt, fish, or play.  Do consider coming if you have a deep desire to serve God by serving people who will show you something of the magnificence of God in this Great Land.

 

Top 10 List of what the superintendent expects of all clergy serving in the Alaska United Methodist Conference

 

  1. BOUNDARIES.  Respect all ethical boundaries of human behavior in your church and community.  Be very aware to avoid situations where you are alone with a person who is fragile and vulnerable.
  2. FAMILY.  Married clergy will need to pay special attention to their marriages and their children.  The isolation and climate affects people in different ways.  Single clergy need to find friends who can provide nurture and accountability.
  3. CONNECTIONALISM.  Due to the isolation and remote geography of Alaska we really depend on each other.  All pastors and lay professionals under appointment are expected to attend the annual clergy retreat and winter rendezvous in February, Fall rendezvous in October, regional program councils, and annual conference.
  4. PREACHING/WORSHIP.  Work on your preaching and worship leadership.  If there is one common quality our churches request at the time of a pastoral change it is that they desire a preacher who can offer a relevant, engaging message based on God’s Word they can take home and apply to their daily lives.
  5. SPIRITUAL LIFE.  Read the Bible and pray daily.  Be aware that spiritual insights are not always given to pass on to others, but for your soul’s benefit.
  6. LOVE.  Love your congregation and community.  In big and small ways show them that you are one of them, that you embrace this Alaskan life in its grandeur and in its sometimes difficult realities.  Remember to include self-love and self-care for your physical and emotional well being.
  7. MISSION.  Lead your congregation by example in reaching out to be in ministry with the poor and to engage your church in mission beyond themselves.
  8. EVANGELISM.  Create a church system that is conducive to welcoming new people.  Help them deal with the changes that are necessary in order to assimilate new people.  Remember, disciple making is the purpose of the Church, and the work of a disciple is the transformation of the world.
  9. IMPROVE.  Show a genuine willingness to become a better pastor.  Take your continuing education seriously.  Ask your SPRC for ideas.  Consider relating your education experiences to the goals of your church.
  10. LAUGHTER.  Look for ways to not take yourself so seriously.  Letting things roll off your back with a humorous comment will go far to strengthen your emotional well being in Alaska.

Documents & Forms

Click the corresponding tab to locate the files you need. Files are either in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format.

Clergy Lay SPRC Resources Reports Journals FACT Volunteer In Mission

The Alaska Conference has appointed Rev. Dan Wilcox as the interim VIM Coordinator.  He is also the interim Conference Disaster Preparedness Coordinator.  Please contact Dan directly if you have a group interested in coming to serve in Alaska.  He will do his best to find a place for you! His email is DanielPWilcox@gmail.com.  His phone number is 907-414-7078.

UMW/UMM Others