Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Big Changes for Willow UMC

Last Sunday I volunteered to be the interim preacher between Steve Eldred and Dan Lush. It was a great day with a special charge conference to approve a bridge loan and name the Merrill parsonage after member and builder, Mark Merrill, welcoming a VIM team from Virginia, potluck, praying for Dan and Maggie, and dedicating the new parsonage. This video clip has Fran Lynch welcoming the VIM team in worship.

After the parsonage dedication the VIM team unloaded the Lush's moving van. Dan and Maggie, Shenandoah, and Cassidy are settling into a brand new parsonage to begin their year of interim ministry at Willow. Here is a clip of the parsonage at the time of the unloading.

I invite you to include in your prayers our churches experiencing a pastoral transition this week. Willow, St. John, Seward and Moose Pass, Jewel Lake, East, Anchor Park, Douglas, and Northern Light.

Grace and peace,

Monday, June 21, 2010

PNW Commissioning and Ordination

Last week Kim and I attended the Pacific Northwest annual conference in Tacoma. The partnership between Alaska and PNW has grown and strengthened since we were linked a few years ago. We share a bishop, treasurer, benefits officer, and foundation. Our Professional Ministries Unit functions as a district committee on ministry and certifies candidates for ministry to the PNW Board of Ministry.

Two new pastors coming to Alaska were commissioned and ordained last Saturday. Jenny Smith was commissioned as a provisional elder and has two years of supervision before her ordination. Here is a photo of her commissioning. Note the proud papa standing in the back.

Jenny and Aaron and beagle, Zoe, are driving through Canada on their way to Anchorage where Jenny will be associate pastor with Jon Disburg at East and Anchor Park.

Cindy Roberts is moving from rural Idaho to Douglas and is quite excited about joining the Alaska family. Cindy was ordained an elder. You can't see her in this video clip with all the bishops surrounding her but you can hear the audio.

Here is a photo of our Alaska team at PNW. It was an impromptu picture that unfortunately did not include Leila Disburg who was also at the conference.

We now have nine PNW members serving in Alaska: Tom Telfer, Jo Ann Schaadt, Deb Lindsay Hudgins, Robert and Tori Hicks, David and Julie Elmore, Jenny Smith, and Cindy Roberts which represents a third of our clergy. This is a testament to the strong relationship we enjoy with PNW.

Joining Jenny and Cindy will be Phil Campbell going to Northern Light in Juneau, Paul Caseman going to Seward and Moose Pass, and Dan Lush going to Willow. And let's not forget Peter Perry going to St. John. I hope you'll take a moment to send them a welcoming note. Email addresses are available at www.alaskaumc.org

This is an exciting time as we ponder what it means to have a vision cast before us: 20/20 Vision: Leading to God's New Horizons.

Grace and peace,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Alaska United Methodist Annual Conference

Words to describe annual conference: Fun, entertaining, joyful, worshipful, respectful, compassionate. You likely have other words to add. Words such as these are not usually associated with an annual conference of the United Methodist Church. Here are some video clips of Bishop Hagiya at the basketball challenge.

One of the highlights for me was the First Samoan choir. Evidence of our heartfelt connection was powerful in the debate and decision we made to support this congregation with their mortgage. Then they came to say thank you with a song to start our worship Saturday evening. Here's a clip.

Bishop Hagiya was at Chugiak to preach and baptize Titus Rapanut, son of Pastor Carlo and Radie Rapanut. At St. John Rev. David Fison's Christmas totem pole was blessed and erected on the lawn for all to see. Here's a clip.

Next stop for me is a week's vacation with family, then PNW Annual Conference for the commissioning of Jenny Smith and ordination of Cindy Roberts.

Grace and peace,