Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Family Christmas Newsletter

May the Child of Christmas touch your life.

Dave and Kim Beckett

Monday, December 20, 2010

St. John, Anchor Park/East, First Anchorage, and First Samoan

This was Pastor Peter Perry's first conference as senior pastor of St. John.  St. John is a vital church in transition with new staff on board and more to come next year with the retirement of Rose McLean this summer.  In this clip the staff share what God has been doing in and through St. John. 

Later that same day was the Anchor Park/East joint church conference.   Pastors Jon Disburg and Jenny Smith have formed a cohesive team intent on engaging their churches in mission with their community.  In this video clip they share what God has been doing through the number of hours given by their members.

Last Sunday I worshipped with First UMC, Anchorage to say goodbye to Pastor Deb Lindsay-Hudgins.  Deb is retiring and has accepted a position at Alaska Pacific University.  In this clip Deb offers the benediction.

Leila joined me at First Samoan's conference.  The most touching part was when the widow of their lay leader, Sioka Pogi, read his handwritten report to the conference.  In this clip the congregation sings a benediction song.

I pray for all of our Alaska churches and their leaders.  May you all be renewed and inspired by the presence of Christ this Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Northstar, Kenai, Soldotna, Seward and Moose Pass

I usually put about 700 miles on my truck travelling to all 7 Kenai Peninsula churches.  I saw lots of stars, moose and even a coyote on this trip.  I am so impressed with the youth ministry of Northstar UMC in Nikiski.  I spoke with one teen who is sensing a call into ministry!  Here is a clip of their youth praise band.

The big news at the Kenai church was their name change.  From UMC of the New Covenant to Kenai UMC.  The truth is that people in town had called them this for years.  After the conference I had them celebrate this new name with this clip.

It is always good for my soul to return to Soldotna UMC where I pastored and lived for 7.5 years.  I especially enjoyed my stay at the parsonage thanks to the hospitality of Richard and Karolann Whetsell.  Here's a clip of the Soldotna choir after the conference.

Final stop was Seward for the joint conference with Moose Pass.  Pastor Paul Caseman showed me the demolition of the old Wesley Rehab building owned by the Women's Division.

I'll wait to share about my time at St. John and Anchor Park and East until next Tuesday.  As an annual conference we face several challenges but God still comes to bring hope, peace, joy, and love to the people of Alaska.

Grace and peace,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Palmer, Wasilla, Willow, Ninilchick, & Homer

Lots of church visits to share with you today.  My time with Wasilla Christ First was inspiring.  Strong, growing church with a clear vision for the future.  Willow is always a fun church to visit.  The Lush family are settled into the new parsonage.  Social needs are great and the church is the hub for reaching out to others with the love of God. 

Exciting things are happening at Palmer.  One is a a new Saturday service designed around hockey families in the community.  Here is a clip of the folks sharing what God has been doing in and through their ministries.

In order to go on a date with Kim on Saturday night I got up early to drive to Ninilchik (4 hr) to preach.  What a gorgeous experience to stop in the mountains in the dark and gaze at the stars.  Without the light pollution of Anchorage the heavens were astoundingly bright!  What a wonderful time was had worshipping with the saints at St. Peter the Fisherman UMC.  Here's a clip of opening worship with what I think may be the youngest acolyte in the conference!  Her name is Devon.

On to Homer where we celebrated Pastor Charles Martindell's 53rd birthday.  I felt badly for him having church conference on his birthday.  There was much to celebrate with all that was happening in and through this church.  Here's a clip of the birthday happenings.

That's all for now.  Next up: Nikiski, Kenai, Soldotna, Seward, Moose Pass, St. John, Anchor Park, and East.

Grace and peace,