One of the great gifts of the superintendency is the view from the balcony of this amazing conference. It is a view that feels lonely at times because no one else sees what I see in our churches across this great land of Alaska. But I love what I see. Part of my job is to share with you this vision of what God is doing in and through the people called United Methodists in Alaska.
For example, I see Pastor Charlie Brower in Nome connecting with native Alaskans in new ways. I see First, Fairbanks responding to the call to mobilize others to be the hands of Christ in an emergency. I see Christ First and Palmer learning how to start new missional communities. I see Chugiak filling a need in their community to help people reuse unwanted stuff. I see Anchor Park stepping up to become an anchor church for New Day Alaska. I see First, Anchorage awarding grants from their foundation to strengthen Alaska ministries. I see St. John starting new small learning groups where people are formed into disciples.
I see Ascent Alaska reaching out to people who need to know the God of creation. I see the central Kenai churches offering serious education for laity. I see Seward moving their ministry into the heart of downtown. I see Homer extending the hospitality of Christ in the form of a regular free community meal. I see our Juneau churches working together as never before with a shared youth ministry. I see Sitka UMC growing in numbers. I see First, Ketchikan offering grace and shelter to people at the edge.
There is so much more to see from the unique view of the balcony. I invite you to climb the stairs now and then to see what I see...that God is alive and moving in the communities served by our 29 churches!