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2016 Alaska Conference

Officiating bishop:

Bishop Grant Hagiya

Guest speaker:

Thomas Kemper, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries

Memorable quotes:

“You need to know why you do what you do. What is our why? Should our why be Jesus?” – Superintendent Carlo Rapanut

“E. Stanley Jones said, ‘I need to share about the unencumbered Jesus’” – Doug Ruffle (Path 1)

“From everywhere to everywhere” – Thomas Kemper (GBGM), describing how we need to envision mission work in this day and age.

“Numbers. They’re the currency of ministry. The crowd has become the definition of ministry success.” – Statistician Linda Haynes, quoting Thom Schultz

“The central, focal expression of ministry and mission in the name of Christ is found in the local church congregation.” – Lonnie Brooks, from his final Lay Leader’s Report

“Seven years ago we came up to Alaska and were embraced and welcomed as family. Keep on doing that.” – Marie Sweezey upon receiving the Harry Denman Evangelism Award with Stephen Sweezey

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning!” - Bishop Grant Hagiya at the final service of East Anchorage United Methodist Church.

Main action:

  • Five new clergy were commissioned for ministry in the Alaska Conference (a missionary conference)
  • The discontinuation of a church (the first in over 10 years)
  • Celebrated full payment of our General Church apportionments
  • Approved a vacation and leave policy for our pastors and churches


Four Areas of Focus achievements and commitments for coming year:

  • Well-attended, pre-conference workshops addressing some of the four areas including the following:
    • Becoming a Disability Friendly Church (Engaging in Ministry with the Poor and Marginalized)
    • Youth Ministry (Creating New and Renewed Congregations)
    • Missional theology (Creating New and Renewed Congregations)
    • Stewardship (Creating New and Renewed Congregations)
  • Celebrated our total contribution of $182,957.81 to Imagine No Malaria (Improving Global Health)
  • Pastor Charley Brower gave our Native Leader Address. Using the Gospel of Luke he encouraged us to seek the lost (Engaging in Ministry with the Poor and Marginalized)
  • Celebrated our work with AK Child and Family (Engaging in Ministry with the Poor and Marginalized)
  • Our Lay Leader Report entirely focused on Vital Congregations (Creating New and Renewed Congregations)

Number of people ordained, commissioned or received into associate membership, and average age:  Five new clergy were commissioned for ministry in the Alaska Conference (average age 47)

Number of people retired: 0

Membership stands at 3435, down 104.

Worship attendance stands at 1936, down 87.

Church school attendance stands at 517, down 110.

2015 professions or reaffirmations of faith 93, up 19.

2015 adults and young adults in small groups 1038, up 62.

2015 worshippers engaged in mission 1,633 up 326.