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Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska P.O. Box 770749 Eagle River, Alaska 99577-0749 Phone: 907-694-6348 Fax: 907-694-6378 Email: ECCAK!


Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska

Chilling News that Warms the heart! Reaching People for Christ’s Sake from near the North Pole

Mail to:

The Pastor Leader Retreat in Nome

Jan/Feb 2009

Inside this issue:

Foundations for Chris- 2 tian Formation Christian Scouting


COS Partnership Gearing Up


Are the First 80 Years 6 the Hardest? Chickaloon Retreat Center on the Move! Pastor Nathan Toots gives a charge and blessing to Dr. Clair and Clara Schnupps at the end of a week of intensive training. Some of the pastors questioned why the Pastor Leader retreat was called a retreat. They felt they would need a retreat after the retreat. Why? It was an intensive week of training on the matter of abuse. Pastor Hanna from Mekoryuk said, ―The flow of information was like trying to get a drink from a fire hose!‖ Dr. Clair Schnupps and his wife Clara were the key trainers during the week. They had just come from a time with ministering to the students at Alaska Christian College. "My four years at [the former Eastern Mennonite College] gave me a missiological, theological and biblical foundation for ministry," Schnupp said. "I thank God for that training." He went on to complete a masters degree in biblical counseling at Providence Seminary, Otterburne, Manitoba, where he is now an adjunct professor. He earned a doctoral degree in philosophy of religion and society at Oxford Graduate School, Dayton, Tenn., in 1995. [cont. pg. 3] 16


ECCAK Prayer Calen- 8-9 dar Old Pictures


Slow Dance [poem]


What’s Happenin’?


Just Stuff


Lots of Pictures


The ECCAK mission is: To make disciples of Christ through a diverse culturally relevant witness by healthy missional churches and their supporting organizations.

Foundations for Christian Formation Article by Doreen Olson, Executive Minister of Christian Formation from the ―Season to Grow‖ study, a 6-week course for those wanting to ―grow. ‖ It is available through the ECCAK office or is downloadable from

Christian Formation Defined Christian formation concerns that process of growth toward wholeness in Christ. It is our continuing journey of being transformed by the Holy Spirit into the likeness of Christ, experiencing and expressing love for God and others. The word formation is derived from the Greek word morphe, suggesting that the inner being of a person is radically altered in this process. Paul used this word in his letter to the Galatian church: ―until Christ is formed in you.‖ Paul agonized, he said, as a woman in labor, until they expressed Christ’s character and goodness in their whole being. A derivative of this word, morphoo, was a term used to describe the formation and growth of an embryo in a mother’s body. So here we get a sense that we are truly in a gestation process. Learning to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, however, is a life-long process. We never ―graduate‖ from the school of Christian living. As we learn to apply and obey Christ’s teachings, our lifestyle will increasingly reflect our commitment to Christ. In other words, the result of this life-long process is real, radical change, as expressed in both our individual and our community life. When transformation happens within us, we don’t just do the things Jesus would have done, but we find ourselves actually wanting to do them. It’s not a matter of trying to do the right things, but we become the right kind of persons, through the Spirit’s work within us. Christian formation relies decisively on God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit. While we 2

can choose to work with or against the Spirit, we cannot accomplish growth into Christ’s likeness through our own efforts alone. To get a better picture of this concept, I like to consider a sailing analogy. Marjorie Thompson, in her book Soul Feast, compares the relationship between our will and the Spirit’s transforming work to the interaction between sailor and sailboat. Though the sailor cannot control the wind, he can set the sails and position the tiller to maximize the effectiveness of the wind. Likewise, Christian formation requires our conscious choice and a responsive awareness of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. Information or knowledge alone will not result in the radical change that we are seeking. The goal of Christian formation is wholeperson learning, which focuses on the heart as well as the head. Though cognitive knowledge is essential, it is only a part of the whole process. Our knowing must lead to new attitudes and new actions that are increasingly consistent with the character of Jesus Christ. As we increasingly reflect the character of Christ, we learn to live more fully in the kingdom of Christ. In Christ’s kingdom, it is normal to experience God’s love and to express that love back to God and others. In Christ’s kingdom, it is normal and natural to live a life of obedience to his teachings. Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy, points out that in Christ’s kingdom obedient living is really abundant living. Obedience, Cont. on pg. 5...

Pray: Our bi-monthly newsletter, ―Chilling News‖, is full of stories about the people and ministry of ECCAK throughout the state. It also has a daily prayer calendar. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please let us know. Encouragement; Writing and/or calling those who serve in the bush is a great ministry! Want to adopt a church or a pastor? Ask for a prayer card of a pastor. Mission Teams: There are often times when we have need for teams of people to come and join with a local church, camp, college, youth group, etc. For a specific construction project or outreach event. Volunteers: The ECCAK office needs volunteers to assist in administration, grant writing, special projects, etc. Financial: God often calls people to give to ECCAK beyond the normal local church tithe or churches to place ECCAK in their mission budget. Some are led to leave a gift through estate planning to carry on the work in Alaska into the future. Credit Card Donations: ECCAK can now receive donations via credit cards. The perforated tab on the Prayer Calendar allows for this giving option. Also, you can contact Sara Scoles at the ECCAK office (907) 694-6348 and she will be happy to assist you. Teachers or Nurses: Christian teachers or nurses often come to Bush Alaska as ―missionaries‖ and serve in the local Covenant church during off hours. Pastors/Youth Workers: Often we have empty pulpits and are in need of pastors, short and long-term. Many villages have no one reaching out to the youth. Donate Air Miles: Many people accumulate free air miles. Please consider donating some to ECCAK to help a bush pastor and family get away for some R & R.

The ECCAK Vision is: To challenge and assist every local church to become one that GROWS… G = God’s Word R = Relationships O = Outreach W = Worship S = Service The Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska [ECCAK] is a non-conference ―field‖ of the Covenant Church of America. We are dependent on the gifts from churches and people to carry out our mission for Christ’s sake in Alaska. Field Director: Rodney J. Sawyer Associate Field Director: Nathan Toots Office Manager: Sara Scoles

Answers to riddles from page 11: 1. A sponge 2. A coffin 3. A river

Who are these two guys? Take a closer is Mr. & Mrs. Sean and Shannon Hoffbeck who have been called to serve at Alaska Christian College. And they are just having a little bit of fun! Oh, by the way, Sean is the one on the left. 15

The Pastor Leader Retreat cont…



In 1997, Schnupp received a "Distinguished Service Award in Christian Psychology" from the Dr. Clyde Narramore Foundation. He is a member of the Society of Oxford Scholars and he and his wife Clara are members of the Professional Association of Canadian Christian Counselors. Clara is a certified teacher and also received a master’s degree in counseling from Providence Seminary. They have five married daughters and 25 grandchildren.

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You know you’re going to have a bad day when you wake up and look in the mirror and see this...

The evening sessions were geared to worship and preaching. Tom Mute [left] of Nome lead the group in worship. Donn

Engebretson [left], ECC Vice President, preached one evening and Mary Putera [right], Pastor of Missions at the MatSu Covenant Church in Wasilla, shared her testimony and taught from the Word of God on another night. The folks at the Nome Covenant Church did a great job of hosting the event! Warm homes, friendly taxi service and great evening meals paved the way for a great, but tiring week. ECCAK believes we will continue in ―The War Against Abuse‖ as long as there are victims who suffer and perpetrators who need healing and help.


Just for the Pun of


ng!!" The doctor I think I'm shrinki r! to oc "D d, te ou e and sh the doctor's offic be a little patient." A man rushed into ow, settle down. You'll just have to "N her prodcalmly responded, ted to produce ot an w ts et us ch sa mpasses of Mas cided to market co ality, Watch Company s de , te es Ta ch e at th w 's et 00 qu Back in the 18 the cases for pock es were of finest ey already made ough their watch Calith an al th at er th t th ou ra o ed ucts and, since th ic a or Mex est. It turn ad w g an C lin in ve tra up d rs de ee for the pion ople often en a Tates is lost!" ere so bad that pe on, "He who has si es pr ex e th their compasses w of urse, is the origin fornia. This, of co hailing taxicabs. g cats and dogs is in in ra an th se of math or Even w weapon a as s as cl a br ge ted from al stol was confisca A rubber -band pi disruption. try in motion. g the road is poul sin os cr n a seake ic ch A will become y ra sp er pp pe d gas an survives mustard Any soldier who soned veteran. 3

Christian Scouting Ministry for Girls Makes Its Way to Alaska By Sara Scoles

Deep Thots to Start the New Year: Does not forbidden fruit create many jams? If you go in for a root canal, will you loose your nerve? Is ―experience‖ something you get just after you don’t need it? Ever wonder how a 2-pound box of chocolates can make you gain 5 lbs.? If you are not content with what you have, what makes you think you will be content with what you want? Do you think that if you gave a great deal of time to the improvement of yourself, that you might not have near as much time to criticize others?

Troop AK 2008 pose after an awards ceremony where Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell [ctr. rear] challenged the group. Three years ago, God had laid on my heart a need for my now 11 year old daughter to be involved in a Christian scouting program. After a quick search on the internet, I came across a website for American Heritage Girls. It was just what I was looking for, a wholesome, Christcentered, scouting program for girls. The catch was, there wasn’t a troop up here. Without hesitation, I clicked on the link ―How to start a troop‖.


chose to launch all this? You got with the help of our Troop Coordinator, Greg Schmidt. Our first year has been progressing without a hitch. God’s desire for this need in our community has been carried out by those who have accepted the call to serve. American Heritage Girls’ mission is to build women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. We have already seen the fruits of our labor in these wonderful girls.

God needed to raise up someone to lead this minAs we look to the future, istry and also a church Sara prepares for Lt. Gov. to speak my desire (I believe God’s as that would take it on. After [daughter Sydney to the far right] well) is to see troops popping much waiting on the Lord it up all over our state. If you are interested in was Eagle River Community Covenant Church learning more about the program, our troop, or who agreed to charter our troop. We had our even starting one in your area, you can contact first troop meeting on September 2nd, 2008 with Sara Scoles at or the 33 girls registered, 8 Troop Board Members, and national website is 4 Unit Leaders. Oh, and guess who the Lord

Various passages which speak of Jesus Christ as God – John 1:1, John 20:28, Romans 9:5, Philippians 2:11, and Colossians 1:16.

Various passages which speak of Jesus Christ's humanity – John 1:14, Luke 2:7, Luke 2:40, Luke 8:23, John 4:6 and Hebrews 4:15.

ECCAK Churches in need of staff: Anchorage First Covenant: Senior Pastor Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church: Associate Pastor of Youth Eagle River Community Covenant: Youth Pastor Golovin Covenant Church: Pastor Kalskag Bible Chapel: Pastor No Name Church of Soldotna: No Name Church Planter No Name Church of Anchorage: No Name Church Planter Shaktoolik Covenant Church: Pastor

ton wire but ites s s w b e e N w e t on th enan ese Cov g—click rg/women/ava h r t t .o h u c o r u k ovch Chec rch.o : www.c e: www.covchu about/cbc.html e ic v r e S of Abus ewswire s N t im n t a ic n e V Cov www BC): y for Advocac t Bible Camp (C hurch of Alaska: Covenan al Covenant C ka (CYAK): w ic Evangel nt Youth of Alas enter: www.nhc rg e v Co na pe Counseling C e: www.akcc.o New Ho Christian Colleg ww.kic Alaska KICY: w 13

COS Partnerships Gearing up for 2009 Parsonage Projects! ECCAK GC Meeting COS Interview NP Sem. Students Connections at Midwinter Midwinter ECCAK Salmon Dinner CMJ Meeting ACC Board Meeting ECCAK Annual Meeting ABA Meeting AEC Graduation ACC Graduation

Jan. 9-10 Jan. 11-16 Jan. 31-Feb. 2 Feb. 2-8 Feb. 9-12 Mar. 24-25 Apr. 3-4 April 15-19 May 2 May 2 May 3

Eagle River, AK Chicago, IL Chicago, IL Chicago, IL Kerman, CA Chicago, IL Soldotna, AK Hooper Bay, AK Nome, AK Soldotna, AK Soldotna, AK

May 27-June 1 June 1-June 8 June 8-June 15 June 15-June 20 June 20-June 25 July 29-August 2

North River

2009 Bible Camp Leadership Camp High School Camp Jr High Camp Trailblazer Pathfinder VISION

The Way

2009 ECCAK

Unalakleet Cook Book Opportunity! The Covenant Church of Unalakleet has cookbooks available with wonderful recipes from many of the local folks. To order, mail to POB 209, Unalakleet, AK, 99684. Cost for 1 is $20, for 2 is $30. Make checks payable to ―Unalakleet Sewing Circle.‖

The ECCAK Ministry Team — “In it together...” Our Churches Nome, White Mountain Covenant, Golovin Covenant, Elim Covenant, Koyuk Covenant, Shaktoolik Covenant, Unalakleet Covenant, Fairbanks Covenant, Mat-Su Covenant, Eagle River Covenant, Korean Hope Covenant, New Song Covenant, Anchorage First, Bethel Covenant, Mekoryuk Covenant, Hooper Bay Covenant, Scammon Bay Covenant, Mountain Village Covenant, Kalskag Bible Chapel


Our Supporting Organizations Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) Covenant Youth of Alaska (CYAK) Alaska Christian College (ACC) Covenant Bible Camp (CBC) KICY Radio

Superintendent Mark Novak from the North Arctic Barnabas Ministry’s Interim Director, Eric Pacific Conference set the Mayer with his sidestage this last summer by kick Dustin Hibbard, joining with a team that continue to carry the went to Scammon Bay to weight of project cowork on the parsonage ordination. To help there. Other conferences carry the heavy load are eager to join the proover the next year or cession of teams that have so, ABM and ECCAK plans to enrich their Chrishave asked Dr. Scott tian faith by partnering Kirby to join in hostwith our Alaskan churches ing teams to Alaska. in the bush, beginning the Scott is president and summer of 2009. Alfounder of Global North Pacific Conference team prepares to leave though Alaska is not new Scammon Bay. Sometimes it is hard to say good-bye. Partnership Ministo many from the Lowertries, based out of 48, the Partnership has brought about a new Anchorage. Last year he hosted in over 700 people awareness of life in Bush Alaska. in a variety of mission trips in Alaska.

2 Corinthians 9:12-15 (NIV) This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Foundations of Christian Formation cont... though sometimes understood as rigid legalism, is more rightly understood in terms of the abundant life that leads to blessing others through witness and service. Christian formation leads us to understand Christ’s unique call on our lives, an increasing ability to express ourselves freely, and a generosity in using God-given gifts for the sake of Christ’s kingdom.

Crazy Minister?

head deacon nboard tor asked his as p l ca n on the sig zy?" lo o A rm se is h title of inisters Cra to post the read: "Are M eacon posted, to h rc u ch e outside th tion, the d usement of this as a ques ch to the am Not hearing u m ." zy ra C r's "O ur Ministe e story] ru [T e. g la il v the


Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask ―How are you?‖ Do you hear the reply? When the day is done do you lie in your bed With the next hundred chores running through your head? You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere You miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift thrown away. Life is not a race. Do take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over. [Forwarded by Tiffany Atkinson]

Why so many happy women? Beyond knowing Jesus, could it be that they were all able to go on a retreat at Ultimathule together as pastor’s wives? Could it be that this was made possible through God’s providential hand moving on the hearts of those few that made it happen? Front row left to right: Nancy Sawyer, Lucy Daniels, Sandra Hanna, Carolyn Uttereyuk, back row left to right: Cynthia Bergstrom, Eleanor Claus [from Ultimathule], Autum Botts and Patty Meredith. 6


Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die Cause you never had time to call and say, "Hi." You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

Answers on page 15

Hank graduated from The Pearsons were very North Park Seminary in involved in planting the 1958 and went to serve six Eagle River Community years in Canada. He and Covenant Church with a Lil then were called to small group of other peoNome where they served ple. There he served as from 1964 to 1972. Nome Visitation Pastor for eleven Hank and Lil Pearson must have been too warm years. He did officially for them so they moved to ―retire‖ a few years ago, Fairbanks to work with a small group to start a but both still faithfully serve the church in EaCovenant Church there [1972-1976]. Alaska lost gle River. the Pearsons to Minnesota for about nine years as they served at Tein Covenant Church for three Thank you, Lord, for giving us such great seryears and on to Worthington, MN for six more. vants who have set the bar high for the rest of But Alaska won out in getting them back. In 1986 us to follow!

SLOW DANCE Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

1. 2.

Hank stepped into the shoes of Regional Field Director Don Bruckner by accepting the call to lead ECCAK, where he served until 1994. He may have thought he retired but...

I have holes in my top and bottom, my left and right, and in the middle. But I still hold water. What am I? The man who invented it doesn't want it. The man who bought it doesn't need it. The man who needs it doesn't know it. What is it? What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps?

Hank Pearson celebrated his 80th birthday on November 20th. Many friends and family came to the open house at Hank and Lil’s home in Eagle River, AK.


Are the First 80 the Hardest?



Chickaloon Retreat Center on the Move! Many trees have been fallen at our Chickaloon property by more people then can be mentioned in this article. What is the clearing all about? This spring, with the ECCAK General Council approval, we will be building two cabins on the Chickaloon property. It was the dream of Don and Effie Graham, donors of the pristine 80 acre plot, to see it used for the glory of God. There have been progress and setbacks over the last several years. One set back was when the Graham home burned a few years back. But it seems that the time has come to take some steps forward again. We will be in need of some building teams to build the two cabins sometime in the spring/summer of 2009.

ECCAK—PO Box 70749 Eagle River, AK 99577. We will scan them and return them to you. Be sure to provide us with your return address.


For more info how you can help out just call the ECCAK Office!

HUNTERS ONLY: Once in a lifetime opportunity! CYAK is sponsoring a fund raiser through a silent auction. The successful bidder will get to fly into bush Alaska to hunt a black bear. Pike fishing also available! Interested? Call Mary Putera at 907-373-2322 or email her at

We hope that many of you are enjoying your 2009 ECCAK calendar. If you did not receive one in the mail, please contact our office and we will be glad to send you one. As we think about putting out another calendar for 2010, perhaps you have some old pictures from the “good old days” that you would like to share with us. Please send them to:

few thday; how ir B s t’ s ri h y observe C ranklin (1706-1790) ―How ma n Ben F

The building of the two cabins is a part of Phase 1. Three other phases are planned but not yet approved by the ECCAK General Council. We will be praying for affirmation via a grant which will be a significant boast to helping to launch the dream of all four phases.

Alaska Hunting Opportunity

―Morgan’s Empty Shelves – await the North Star at Koyuk.‖ Picture and caption downloaded from the www.

Saying: Wise Old

The vision for the retreat center is ―to provide a place where sojourners encounter God through multifaceted opportunities that take place in the untamed splendor of Chickaloon.‖ We believe when you stand in the midst of its beauty, you can almost hear the still small voice of God beckoning you to ―come to a safe place nestled within My boundless borders and My cloud catching peaks which will surrender itself to all sojourning ministers.‖

Impo rta

nt St


ts.‖ His precep

Study on riches and slothfulness: Prov. 11:4; 13:4, Matt. 19:23; Mark 4:19; I Tim. 6:6-10; Heb. 11:24-26


tistic Five s out o troub f four pe le wi o th fra ple have ction s. 7



January 2009

February 2009




Jason & Sarah Battiest Fairbanks, AK


Jason & Myra Harris Galena, AK


Donald Fancher Unalakleet, AK


Jon & Lisa Cardwell Moreno Valley, CA


Wass & Jean Mute Koyuk, AK


Nathan & Sandra Hanna Mekoryuk, AK


Neil & Autumn Botts Eagle River, AK

Martha Fiskeaux, heading on a missions trip to Africa along with her mom, Nancy, and January.

Percy & Frances Agloinga from White Mountain.

Dustin Hibbard with Arctic Barnabas Ministry’s Minute Men in Soldotna who handles all the bush construction projects along with Eric Mayer.

Janet Bloodgood of Nome reads a passage of Scripture during the Pastor Leader Retreat.



Sister Olson Nome, AK


Maggie Olson Golovin, AK


Hank & Lil Pearson Eagle River, AK


Aune Carlson North Park Seminary


Mark Hill Soldotna, AK


Chuck Walles Chicago, IL


Eric Mayer Soldotna, AK

Chester Mute attended the Pastor Leader Retreat in Nome, 2008.

Ken Andersons’s picture was caught when he attended Hank Pearson’s 80th BD party.

―Upa‖ Wilson, the oldest elder [92] in Wt. Mtn., falls & is medivacced to Nome w/ concern of a broken hip. Thanks be to God, it was just a bad bruise. He was back in church on Sunday!

Chuck Monie, from Eagle River Community Covenant, serves on the ACC Board.



ECCAK Newsletter


ECCAK Newsletter