Former Alaskan pastor, Jim Campbell, has a new book, The Chair, and it has been featured in the Jan-Feb “Western Circuit Rider,” the Newsletter of the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
Here’s what the Western Circuit Rider says:
Former Alaska Pastor Jim Campbell’s latest book is out. A copy can be obtained at Amazon.com for $16.75. Or, Jim LaBau is taking orders for copies autographed by Jim Campbell–includes shipping from Jim Campbell–for $20. You can contact Jim LaBau at 907-344 -1018 if you want an autographed copy. You may want to contact Jim Campbell directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 319-434-2402. Two of the 12 meditations/services were used at the last General Conference and at the annual meeting of the Board of Global Ministries. On pages 6 and 7 are the table of contents and the forward by Bishop Ruben Job, which I think just died a day or two ago (January 5, 2015).
You can read the Western Circuit Rider and also see the forward by Ruben Job and the Table of Contents HERE.
(From Fran Lynch)
THE ABUNDANCE GOD PROVIDES
In the just reward of labor, God’s will is done; In the help we give our neighbor,
God’s will is done; in our worldwide task of caring for the hungry and despairing, in the harvest we are sharing, God’s will is done.
“For the Fruits of This Creation” UMC Hymnal
As the Church and Community Worker in Willow, AK I love this hymn as we move into fall preparing for the winter. Walking through the Willow Farmer’s Market and the agricultural area of the Alaska State Fair I reminded of the abundance God provides.
Each year one of the snow birds of Willow (A person who lives in Alaska for the summer and goes south for the winter) purchases animals at the state fair – cows, pigs, and sheep. He then has these butchered so that he can give the meat to his neighbors and to the Food Pantry. On a
day in mid-October that did not get above freezing he called wanting to meet me that evening to deliver the meat for the Food Pantry. He and his wife are both talkers, full of joy, and a pleasure with which to visit. We met at the Pantry and unloaded about 400 pounds of beef, pork, and lamb. I was excited. With this addition to the moose meat harvested earlier in the month we had plenty to go around for the next few months. We also have lots of ham steaks to give folks at Christmas who do not have ovens and cannot cook turkeys. Providing this option for hams is a big expense for the ministry, but is worth it as folks receive food they can easily cook. Our snow bird makes this possible as he lives his faith in caring for the hungry.
In the worldwide task of caring for our neighbors God’s will is done and we experience the abundance.
A helpful video from our friends with United Methodist Communications
Recently I was reading the scripture of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. I thought of this scripture in relation to the Willow Church and Community Ministry (WCCM) and its newest area of growth, Willow Recycling.
About eighteen months ago a local woman asked me, “Was there a need at the Willow Community Food Pantry (WCFP) for which funds left over from past recycling projects could be used?” She wanted the funds to benefit Willow. I wondered why the recycling efforts were no longer in existence. She stated that a lack of volunteers and the resulting burn out of the leadership were the reason. We discussed using the money to reinstate a recycling program under the leadership and assistance of the WCCM. This excited her. We generated a list of people who recycled and contacted this group to ask them to plan a way to restart Willow Recycling. Our invitation to Molly, the Director of Valley Center for Recycling Solutions (VCRS) in Wasilla, was welcomed, and she joined us. What a wonderful resource! She was able to help us direct our thoughts and plans to a manageable level.
We surveyed Willow to see what persons were willing to recycle and invited folks to volunteer in various capacities. We made arrangements with the Willow Transfer site so folks could bring their recyclables one Saturday a month. A local camp was already recycling aluminum at the Transfer Site, so we started with plastic. For 15 months now, we have gathered this plastic and transported it to VCRS. Depending on the weather, 20 – 40 households recycle in this manner monthly. Different volunteers staff the collection site each month and transport the items to Wasilla. Most persons volunteer only once or twice a year, and a local business has provided gas cards to help cover the cost of transport.
We are hoping to partner with the Mid Valley Recycling group in Big Lake, so the Upper Su area can present a coordinated recycling effort. The leadership group has not burned out. More volunteers are getting involved. We are looking at plans to offer recycling education in Willow. We have spent very little of the original funds offered to support the WCFP, and we have received funds to support recycling from businesses, individuals, and the Willow Area Community Organization. We now have about three times more than what we started with! The loaves and fishes have multiplied.
As a Church and Community Worker, I am to help Willow UMC figure out how to meet the needs of the community. I do this by partnering with area churches, businesses, civic groups, and individuals not related to our church. This generates funds, volunteers, and leadership. Willow Recycling has touched a piece of the Willow community that was not in existence 18 months ago. Ministry grows because we live open doors, open hearts, open minds. We share our resources, money, time, talents, and service in such a manner that others share their resources with us. This is a witness to how we live as the community of God’s people. A few people have a conversation. Others are invited in. A plan develops, and action happens. We see results. Five loaves and two fish were shared. All were fed with 12 baskets left over. Welcome to the world of Church and Community Ministry!
“The Mission House” is a Alaska Conference-owned property on Knight’s Way in Anchorage. It previously housed the Superintendent of the Conference but has most recently been rented to an agency that provides assisted living housing. The rental agreement has been month to month and the montly revenue from the rental ($1,241) has been used to defray part of the costs of the office of Superintendent.
However, there is a pastor in our conference with a housing need. Faatafa Fulumua is appointed to serve as the local pastor of the Samoan language fellowship of East Anchorage United Methodist Church, a growing and vital ministry in the Alaska Conference. Currently the Fulumua famly is in inadequate housing in South Anchorage and is in need to better housing near that worshipping congregation. This would be a great blessing to Tafa, Uaa and the two children for whom they have accepted responsibility.
East Anchorage UMC made a proposal to the leadership team at the August 13th meeting to rent “The Mission House” to East Anchorage UMC to serve as a parsonage once again.
The following is the report from the Leadership Team Minutes:
It was decided to approve the request on the following terms:
The Mission House will be rented to EAUMC at a monthly rate of $800 per month for the first year, $1,000 per month for the second year, and $1,250 per month for the third year, with a three year minimum rental to obtain. At the end of three years, there will be a reevaluation of status to determine whether or not to continue, and if the decision is made to continue the rent would be adjusted to market conditions.
Our Conference looks forward to welcoming the Fulumua family to their new home in the future and we pray this arrangement will be a blessing to their family and the Samoan Fellowship of East Anchorage UMC.
At the August 13th meeting or our Alaska Conference Leadership Team, a $150,000 goal was set for “Imagine No Malaria”–our denomination’s work with other organizational partners to attain a sustainable victory over malaria. Our target date for reaching this goal is General Conference in the Spring of 2016. Because our initial program goal for the program year 2013-14 was $30,000 it was concluded that the best way to get a head start on our $150,000 goal was to subscribe the current year’s goal.
Malaria is a global health problem, affecting more than 500 million and killing more than one million every year. Every 60 seconds, a child dies of malaria. Malaria disproportionately affects young children and pregnant women. The people of The United Methodist Church have the unique opportunity to put discipleship into action to make a difference. Malaria is a treatable and preventable disease and it is a fight we can win.
More than 90 percent of the one million malaria deaths each year occur in sub-Saharan Africa. One in five children who dies before age five will die of malaria. Malaria was eliminated in the United States in the 1950s, but it remains a serious health issue across the globe, particularly in developing African countries. The United Methodist Church has been operating hospitals and clinics across Africa for more than 160 years, allowing us to reach the most remote areas, providing care and treatment where people need it most.
Your congregation can find a wealth of online resources at the Imagine No Malaria Website.
May 19, 2013
“The Power of Place: The Contemporary Mission of Heritage Landmarks and Historic Sites”
Alaska does not have any Heritage Landmarks but we do have two Historic Sites: #350 Jesse Lee Home in Unalaska, and #368 First United Methodist Church in Ketchikan. We have to thank Bea Shepard for these designations. If anyone else knows of potential places please let your Conference Commission or Office know so we can do the paperwork.
The date reminds us of John Wesley’s “heartwarming experience” at his meeting on Aldersgate Street in London, and can also call to mind Otterbein’s and Albright’s experiences of the grace of God as these experiences lead to the evangelical revival. The Discipline states, “Heritage Sunday calls the Church to remember the past by committing itself to the continuing call of God” (par. 264.1).
The theme will remind the church that there are 46 Heritage Landmarks and almost 500 Historic Sites. Heritage Landmarks are set by the General Conference upon recommendation of GCAH and Historic Sites are determined by annual conferences (See Discipline, par. 1712). Resources developed for the observance of Heritage Sunday will call upon United Methodists to consider the role that pilgrimage has played in spiritual formation, what is means to understand sacred space, and how location can inform efforts for evangelism, mission, and social transformation today.
Powerful images of place arise from the Biblical witness. When Jacob awakes from his dream at Bethel he said, “”How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:17) Also, when the Israelites crossed the Jordan River they were commanded to take stones from the river and build a monument at Gilgal so that future generations would ask what those stones mean and would be taught about God’s actions (Joshua 4). There are those places whose very history can inspire visitors to faithful living and can inform inquirers about meaningful ministry.
The following resources are available at www.gcah.org:
Sermon outline based on the Genesis 28:17 text.
A power point presentation in zip file format. (Note: it may take a few minutes for this file to load depending on the speed of your internet connection.
A power point presentation as a pdf.
A guide to accompany the power point:
An essay on heritage landmarks in the United States by Robert Williams that was published in the Heritage newsletter of the Methodist Conference in Great Britain.
An order of worship and a sermon in pdf.
All Alaska United Methodist Churches are encouraged to focus on this event in May.
Larry Hayden, Chair, AUMC Commission on Archives and History
April 20, 2013
The Advance has approved our application for “Alaska Churches” to continue as an official project of The Advance for the 2013-2016 quadrennium. Our Advance number is 931027. Our project will be able to receive gifts from donors for up to $50000 annually.
The Advance will be promoting and marketing your project to United Methodist congregations; however, funding is not guaranteed. The amount we will receive will depend on donor response. Being a part of The Advance grants us the right to solicit United Methodist congregations for support for your mission or ministry work.
100 % of all gifts raised will be sent to our Alaskan Churches, strengthening local church mission and ministry while launching new leadership for new programs.
You can read about our project and give HERE.
The Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church) has issued a “Statement of Gospel Obedience” that emphasizes Christ’s grace and love is available to all and that The United Methodist Church is in error on the subject of “homosexuality’s incompatibility with Christian teaching.”
Delegates to the jurisdictional meeting July 18-21 voted to extend “extravagant hospitality” to all people including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or persons whose gender expression is ambiguous.
Retired Bishop Melvin Talbert was asked to oversee a Western Jurisdiction grassroots movement that challenges bishops, clergy, laity and local churches and ministry settings to operate as if the statement printed in the denomination’s law book—Paragraph 161F—“does not exist.”
Talbert said he has publicly stated many times that if asked to perform a same-sex marriage he will do so. He also said the active bishops of the Western Jurisdiction “will be bishops of the church” and uphold church law.
Bishop Minerva Carcaño, president of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops, said the bishops “are of one mind” during her address to the jurisdiction.
“We believe that our beloved United Methodist Church has been less than faithful to the biblical mandate to accept all God’s children including our LGBTQ(IA) brothers and sisters. We assume responsibility for preaching and teaching in every place we serve, this good news of Christ Jesus who welcomes all,” she said.
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council of Bishops, noted that she does not want to comment on decisions of conferences. “I trust in the process of holy conferencing, and I trust that my colleague bishops will act according to their call to serve the church as bishops of the church in the task of oversight for the general church and for the areas they are assigned to,” she said. The council does not have supervisory authority over the bishops.