Thursday, August 13, 2009

Travels in Alaska United Methodist Churches

I have put in some miles on Alaska roads. Unfortunately they were not on my motorcycle. Guess I’m not wild enough to be crazy to ride in the rain. First stop was Wasilla Christ First. It had been about 8 years since I was there and it sure has changed. All kinds of new residential developments are going in around the church. They have remodeled and enlarged the sanctuary and parking lot. Did you know that Pastor Tori writes her own Wednesday family night curriculum?

It was on to Willow where Fran showed me their Food Bank (pantry) where a record 28 people received food during their 4 hours of operation once a week. She and Steve Eldred drove me around the community. I saw some of the tremendous needs which are being addressed by this small and vibrant church. Their new parsonage is about a year from completion and will be quite nice. I met with their SPRC to talk about the appointment of their new pastor next year. I also met with Fran’s board who oversees her church and community ministries. A great visit.

Then it was south to the Kenai and a glorious day in a log home overlooking Cook Inlet in Ninilchik. Great food, fellowship, and sharing with lay and clergy leaders. Leila was able to be there also. Kim and I worshipped at Soldotna, our former church. Richard did a great job leading worship and teaching us to memorize scripture. I left Kim and buzzed to Kenai to catch Pastor Marti’s sermon. It was fun to see some folks I remembered from my Soldotna days. I met with their SPRC to talk about how to deal with their financial crunch. We talked more about new mission possibilities than anything else! Very energizing.

I hope you all will be able to see our connectional ministries and leaders in new and fresh ways as Leila and I share our experiences of being in our churches. This week I’m going to Nome for berry picking and relationship building.

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