Alaska lay and clergy will want to know about some changes to start in 2012. One is about the Advance which is how people give directly to mission projects in the United Methodist Church. Beginning in January we will have one Advance number (931027). We will still receive all donor documentation so we can send thank you notes and newsletters. And all funds given to a specific pastor or current project will be honored if we have the documentation which GBGM will send to our treasurer's office.
If a church has a general project Advance number it can be used for salary support. In other words these churches need to choose to use the single Alaska number or one of their general project numbers. This decision needs to be made soon. Just let me know.
Another change involves moving of missionary pastors to and from Alaska. Beginning in January, 2012, GBGM will no longer handle moving pastors and their families. They will give us the money although not at the actual costs and we will handle these moves. Hopefully, we can be more efficient with local control and contracting. We will need to examine GBGM's moving policies and create our own. For pastors returning to their home conferences we may need to ask for moving assistance from the receiving churches and/or conferences.
With any change in our system anxiety may be present. We are open to ideas on how to best communicate these changes. GBGM will send a letter to pastors, donors, and supporting churches. We could use our Fuze online meeting service to allow these changes to sink in. Mostly, let us hold fast to our Lord, his grace and the mission given to us all.