Subsidizing array of local church & conference missions in the Alaska United Methodist Conference
Describe the need affecting community
The need is to keep, strengthen and expand United Methodist presence and witness in the state of Alaska. There is a myriad of needs within the state that not one denomination or service institution can address on its own. The Alaska Conference has partnered with other denominations and service institutions to bring about spiritual and societal change. Our two-pronged Wesleyan approach of personal piety and social holiness is very much relevant in those partnerships. In this regard, the AUMC is a vital cog in the wheel. Some of the major needs we continue to address are: Native ministry – Because of the abuses that earlier missionaries did towards Alaska Natives, we have been engaged in ministry that genuinely repents of those past atrocities and empowers our native brothers and sisters to discover a Christianity that is not colonial but relevant to their own native cultures. Domestic violence, suicide, alcohol and substance abuse – The state of Alaska ranks among the highest in the country in the incidence of these societal problems. Creation care – With the oil and mining industries in the state, Climate Justice and Creation Care has been an important advocacy ministry for the AUMC and partners. Theology and Discipleship based on grace – There is a continuing need to offer an alternative gospel message that is rooted in grace to reach people in the margins who have been pushed there by the judgmental gospel from fundamental groups that has been a louder voice in the state.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
It has been a proven fact that our two-pronged Wesleyan approach of personal piety and social holiness has been effective in reaching people for Christ and birthing transformation in communities. Our theology of grace had been helpful in ministering to and standing up for people and groups who are in the margins. The Alaska Churches project will allow this relevant mission and ministry to continue and grow in new ways. Because this ongoing project allows flexible funding for an array of ministries throughout the state, the specifics of how the needs identified above lie in local church ministries and programs.
Describe the primary goal of the project
The overall goal is to build sustainable United Methodist presence and witness in the state of Alaska. The long term impact is to change lives and transform communities. Because this is an existing Advance project that allows flexibility for an array of ministries throughout the state of Alaska, it is difficult to pinpoint more specific goals.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
We would like to see the Kingdom of God happening in different communities across our state. We would like to see lives changed and communities transformed. We would like to see social needs and justice issues addressed. We would like the AUMC to be a catalyst for these changes.
Rev. Christina DowlingSoka