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2017 Alaska Annual Conference

 

The Alaska Conference, a missionary conference, met June 2-3, 2017, at Chugiak United Methodist Church in Chugiak, Alaska.

Officiating was Bishop Elaine Stanovsky. She told the conference: “Our why is life and our how is love.”

Main actions:

  • Disavowed the Western Jurisdictional Conference resolution “The Intersectionality of Justice” in its call for divestment from firms involved oil and gas exploration. The Alaska Conference committed to reducing its environmental impact through energy efficiency, but noted that the state of Alaska is highly dependent on taxes from oil and gas companies.
  • Resolved to elect delegates to the 2020 General
    Conference at the Alaska Conference’s 2018 annual meeting.
  • Resolved to support identification of Alaska Methodist University/Alaska Pacific University as a United Methodist historic site.
  • Asked the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision on ¶ 2008 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, which details responsibilities of the Commission on Religion and Race. The specific question is whether the agency can “hold accountable,” as the paragraph suggests, the Council of Bishops and annual conferences.

Two people were ordained, commissioned or received into associate membership, and the average age was 40. No clergy retired.

Membership stands at 3,415, down 20 from the previous year.

Worship attendance stands at 1,842, down 94.

Professions or reaffirmations of faith for 2016 were 45. The conference had 1,080 adults and young adults in small groups. The number of worshippers engaged in mission was 1,624.

The conference looks forward to two church plants, the starting of some Fresh Expressions of church, more mission projects and more sharing of leadership skills. The conference observed and learned from a ministry for the poor at the host church.

Submitted by the Rev. Jim Doepken