2015 Alaska Conference
Officiating bishop: Grant Hagiya
Tom Wilson, Northwest United Methodist Foundation
Belinda Denicola, Enlisting volunteers for General Conference
Kelli Williams, Alaska Child and Family
Ray Buckley, native speaker for theme “Restoring the Sacred Circle”
Via letter, David Mahaffey, bishop of the Orthodox Dioceses of Sitka and Alaska
Julie Frisbee, Imagine No Malaria
Heather Wilson, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Western Jurisdiction
Memorable Quotes by speakers
“Everyone has a story. Don’t reduce them to labels” —Carlo Rapanut, district superintendent.
“Our mission is not to feed. That’s God’s mission. Our mission is to lead people to the field.” —Carlo Rapanut, district superintendent.
Resolutions adopted by the conference: None
Election of delegates and alternate delegates to the jurisdictional or central conference gathering
Clergy delegates are: The Rev. Carlo Rapanut, General and Jurisdictional delegate; the Rev. Doug Handlong, General alternate and Jurisdictional delegate; the Rev. Evelyn Erbele, reserve delegate; and Dan Wilcox, reserve delegate).
Lay delegates are: JoAnne Hayden, General and Jurisdictional delegate; Jim LaBau, General alternate and Jurisdictional delegate; Fran Lynch, reserve delegate; and Linda Haynes, reserve delegate.
What did the conference do to reinforce the Four Areas of Focus and what commitments has the conference made for the coming year?
Engaging in Ministry with the Poor
We have seen a renewed emphasis on mission trips from our conference and we welcomed a strong UMVIM team to help with the restoration of Galena, Alaska after flooding. We continue to nurture and support our relationship with Alaska Child and Family and their work with children.
Improving Global Health
We have met our $150,000 goal for “Imagine No Malaria” and we have committed to raise another $50,000. This is a great cause to celebrate in our conference.
Developing Principled Christian Leaders
Our conference closed with an Altar Call as we trust that God is raising up new leaders in our midst. We celebrate that we are seeing Alaska-grown candidates for ministry.
Creating New and Renewed Congregations
We are continuing with the influences of the Academy for Missional Wisdom from the work of Elaine Heath at Perkins School of Theology. We continue working with a new expression of church in Anchorage, called “Ascent” and a cooperative expression in the Matanuska Valley called “PLUME.” We are working with the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UMC in their Beta Vitality Project to develop and strengthen churches. This year we also started awarding the “One Matters Award” for discipleship and evangelism with Turnagain UMC in Anchorage being the first recipient.
Number of people ordained, commissioned, or received into associate membership and average age: Two people commissioned as missionaries in the Alaska Conference — average age 25
Membership —3,367 in 2014; 3,539 in 2013 — a loss of 172
Worship Attendance — 2,023 in 2014; 2,057 in 2013 — loss of 34
Professions/Reaffirmations of faith — 103 in 2014; 73 in 2013 — a gain of 30
Adults and Young Adults in Small Groups — 976 in 2014, 965 in 2013) — a gain of 11
Worshippers engaged in mission — 1,307 in 2014, nothing reported for 2013
Amount given to mission — $167,325 in 2014; $206,903 in 2013 — a loss of $39,577