Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jewel Lake Parish

Last but not least is Jewel Lake Parish in Anchorage. This union church is served by Rev. Kay Shock who, after 9 years as pastor, announced her retirement this summer. This little church is full of joy and energy for God. I told them that they were the smilingist church I've seen! Check out this clip.

My good friend, Dr. Curt Karns, executive from the Presbytery of Yukon, was there to share in leading their annual meeting. They will follow the Presbyterian process and receive an interim pastor this summer while they work on their church profile to call a new Presbyterian pastor.

Here's another video clip from Jewel Lake.

I have begun a new task group on new church development. We are examining demographic data and potential leadership as we seek to discover where it is God may be moving us to begin new faith communities.

Now it's time to turn our attention to our Winter Rendezvous and Professional Church Worker's Retreat in a few weeks.

Grace and peace,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Northern Light/Douglas/First, Anchorage

Northern Light
Except for St. John I believe Northern Light had the most people at their annual meeting. Here we are singing an opening hymn.

Interim Pastor Kim Poole is guiding this church through their transition and new life is springing forth. Since this is a union church Dr. David Dobler from the Southeast Presbytery joined me in leadership.

What a delightful experience for me to be with Douglas Community UMC across the bay from Juneau. Pastor Imelda Ramos shared a slide show with pictures from the past year with an emphasis on the saints who went to glory. Did you know they prepare a breakfast for children FIVE days a week? Pastor Imelda is leaving this summer to move to California to attend seminary for her D.Min. I am working with SPRC on their pastoral transition.

First, Anchorage
Pastor Debra Lindsay-Hudgins had me preaching at their two morning services which was quite fun for me. The outreach ministries of this church are many and varied. IN spite of some struggles they were able to give 100% of their apportionments!
Here is a clip of Deb sharing a message with the children.

Last week I conducted my very first introduction with Peter Perry and St. John SPRC. As you might imagine it was a bit strange to do this for my former church, but very gratifying to see this new relationship develop.

This week is a 5-day trip to Phoenix for Western Jurisdictional meetings. Then my last charge conference with Jewel Lake Parish next Sunday.

Grace and peac,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ketchikan, Sitka, and Aldersgate

My time with the people of First UMC, Ketchikan was wonderful. This church is moving forward with mission, local outreach, Christian education, and hospitality. Pastors Teri and Ev Erbele are leading this church into a new chapter of vitality. We've all heard about Pigs on a Mission. Did you know that they have a birthday blessing where you give a dollar for every year of age on your birthday? These funds go towards their apportionment giving!

Flying in a rainstorm to Sitka was the bumpiest flight of my entire flying career! My time in Sitka was brief but rich. Pastor Luther Oconer has started a new Filipino ministry that is embraced by the church. One of their new members talked with me about ordained ministry. I did not get much time to play with little Ilena Oconer but she is a wonderful little girl.

I went from rain to snow as I made the 25 minute flight from Sitka to Juneau. Monday was spent with Aldersgate UMC in Juneau. Pastor Judy Shook continues to provide excellent leadership as they celebrated all the various and vital ministries over the past year. They showed a nice photo presentation of the year's events.

Tonight is Northern Light and tomorrow is Douglas. Nearly done with charge conferences. I am so impressed with what God is doing in and through all of our churches.

Til next time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Worship at East Anchorage UMC

After returning from a wonderful family vacation in wintry Ohio I needed to plow through my stack of emails and administrative tasks at the office. Since I had not yet worshipped with the East church AND since our wonderful DCM, Leila Disburg, was preaching I wanted to go to church at East last Sunday.

It was a great time of Epiphany worship. Here are two video clips. One is of Jon Disburg singing a song on his guitar.

East Anchorage UMC was the site of my first ever sermon preached in Alaska. It was 1983 and I was on vacation subbing for John Shaffer. Lonnie Brooks was there that day and even remembers the content of that sermon!

Next week I will be with our southeast churches for 5 days. With two more Anchorage churches I will be done with my first round of charge conferences. It continues to be a wonderful journey!

Grace and peace,