Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska P.O. Box 770749 Eagle River, Alaska 99577-0749 Phone: 907-694-6348 Fax: 907-694-6378 Email: email@example.com www.eccak.org ECCAK!
Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska
PRSRT STD NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID EAGLE RIVER, AK PERMIT NO. 20
Chilling News that Warms the heart! Reaching People for Christ‟s Sake from near the North Pole
Fishing News: Alaska Lands Two New Pastors! Living under the shadow of Mount Redoubt Two different shots of Mt. Redoubt: the one on the left is from the latest eruption. The shot on the right is a typical view when driving down the road in Soldotna where Mt. Redoubt looms some sixty miles to the west.
Pastor Frank Alioto
Pastor Max Lopez-Cepero
Pastor Frank Alioto had a sense that God may be calling him to a new ministry. As stated on his minister‟s profile, “I have spent this past year exploring what God has for me next in ministry. This „heightened awareness‟ for the next season in ministry has allowed me seek and wait on the Lord. While our roots are deep at Hope Center, both my wife and I are open to where ever God leads us.”
Pastor Max Lopez-Cepero is not new to Alaska! He is responsible for training Field Director Rodney Sawyer in how to utilize the CMJ grants when Rodney first started in his current position. There has never been any doubt that Alaska has always held a special place in Max‟s heart. On several occasions he has brought up one of his adult children for camping and fishing and just enjoying one of the most
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CMJ Team In it together!
Inside this issue:
Words & Phrases That 2 Make Me Cringe... Seasons Come and Seasons Go
Africans Hear From Alaskan
Another Saint Steps into Eternity
The Dogs of Winter
Barefoot Heads Up 12 Merge Ministry for AK Bethel and ERCC Call 14 Youth Pastors How Can I Help?
Words and Phrases that Make Me Cringe…
The ECCAK mission is: To make disciples of Christ through a diverse culturally relevant witness by healthy missional churches and their supporting organizations.
By Field Director Rodney J. Sawyer
We all have little things that irritate us from time to time. Sometimes they are too systemic in nature and there is nothing you can do about them. So you just have to choose not to let it bother you. That is how it is for me with certain words and phrases that people use and it could really bug me if I let it. I will share only two. The first has to do with when we talk about different people groups and we often refer to them as “different races.” That bugs me! Even though I know what they mean, it bothers me. As far as I can tell there is only one race on planet earth and I think it is called the “human race.” The next time someone asks you what race you are from, tell them “the human race” and wait for their response. Or when you are filling out a form that asks you to check your “race”, make up your own little box with human ” next to it and put a check in that box. I have not done any study on this matter, but my bet is that if you could trace this back somehow, the using of “race” to distinguish people groups is linked in the belief that we all evolved from apes [sic]. If you want to watch a good movie that depicts this mentality, the mentality that says that “some are further along in their evolution than others,” watch “Rabbit Proof Fence.” It is a great movie based on real people who lived in Australia. Or watch a more recent movie release that has scenes that reflect the same “race” mentality called, “Australia.”
If you want to do more study on this issue, I would recommend that you read the article “Where Did Human „Races‟ Develop?” by Dr. Walter Brown, author/scientist. Go to www.creationscience.com/onlinebook and click on “Table of Contents” and look for the article in Part III.
I have another phrase that mostly Christians use that makes me cringe. Have you ever had anyone ask you, “What do you think about women in ministry?” I think it is simply the wrong question to ask. Most of the time what they are really asking is, “What do you think of women in leadership roles?” or “Do you think a woman can be a pastor?” These are the questions that are most contested or debated among Bible-believing Christians today instead of “women in ministry.” When it comes to addressing “Do you believe in women in ministry?” it is a no-brainer! In my Bible, if you are a Christian, you are a minister. Different translations interpret the Greek word “doulos” either as “minister” or “servant.” It is never a gender driven directive! We are all to serve! We are all to be ministers. If this principle would ever take hold within the church, what a difference it would make in the world around us. The mentality that “it is the pastor‟s job” would vanish! All of God‟s people would get off their duffs and do the work of ministry! How can anyone read Acts. 2:17-18, Eph. 4:11-13, I Cor. 12 or Rom. 12:1-8 and come to any other conclusion? I sure feel better getting all that off my chest! So let‟s not talk about different “races,” but rather about different “ethnicities” or “cultures” or “nationalities.” And let‟s not confuse the issue of the priesthood of all believers with the more hotly debated issue of women in leadership. If you want to do more study on this, let me recommend two books on
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
Ministry of Giving: The New Reality Letter to bank: Jan. 20, 2009 Dear Sirs, My contribution check to ECCAK for $250 was returned marked "insufficient funds." In view of current developments in the banking industry, does that refer to me or to you? Sincerely, Your customer
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You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him. (Teresa of Avila)
It is reported that a restaurant in Juneau displays a sign reading, “If our food, drink, and service aren‟t up to your standards, please lower your standards!”
Bethel and Eagle River Churches Call Youth Pastors ECCAK believes in youth ministry and it is evident in many ways. The local churches of Alaska understand the need to focus on the largest age group in Alaska, those 25 years old and younger. Pastor Hugh Forbes of Bethel looks forward to working with Isai Quinonez Jr. He and his wife Heidi came to Bethel the first of March all the way from California. The Quinonezs became good friends with Valarie Thomas of Bethel when they served together with YWAM. Good recruiting, Val!!! In Eagle River, the church began their search in seeking a replacement for Brian Nanninga. It seems their search did not have to look too far, as the Lord nudged Jeff Keyser into the position. It was an easy transition since Jeff had been serving in the Jr. High ministry. How we thank God for His provision!
Seasons Come and Seasons Go (Ecclesiastes 3:1) By Pastor Rick Hinkey
In our minds, Wednesday July 11, 1995 was the day our journey to Alaska, began. The call came from former ECCAK Field (& Stream) Director Paul Wilson asking if Cindy and I could fly to Unalakleet that Friday, preach that Sunday at the Unalakleet Evangelical Covenant Church, and then fly back that Sunday evening. It seemed impossible to us at that moment, but you know what God does with the impossible. A few weeks later we were planning our move to Alaska. God has proved Himself trustworthy and faithful each of our 14 years in Alaska; in our move to Unalakleet from Alberta, from Unalakleet to Fairbanks and even as He has led us to begin the move from Fairbanks to Chicago. It was not long before we realized these moves were in the mind of God long before they were in ours. Though this year is different (we awoke this morning, March 28th, to inches of fresh snow), there have been winters past that have retreated so quickly we barely had time to prepare for the
Continued next page... Words and Phrases...continued the matter. First, I highly recommend the book, “Slaves, Women and Homosexuals” by William Webb. He does a fantastic job of introducing the concept of using a redemptive movement hermeneutics. He shatters the slippery slope argument that says, “allowing women to be in leadership will bring the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle into the church.” A second book that does a great job of sorting through the larger maze of the various evangelical positions is called “Discovering Biblical Equality” with general editors Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis. Neither of these books are for those
inevitable flooded streets and backyards. This is how this coming season of change seems for us though we know that, regardless of how quickly it comes and how unprepared we feel, God brings these seasons into our lives in His perfect timing. When I first began to sense God stirring my heart toward finishing my Master‟s Degree at North Park, I immediately thought, “Impossible! I have responsibilities here at C3 Fairbanks, two teens still at home and Lord you know what that is like trying to move teenagers from their friends! And what about the cost of school, the details of the move, and…?” And God simply said “Impossible!?” We are now planning our move to Chicago and it seems like the anticipation is growing in all of us. ———————————————————--
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...
Just for the Pun of it! Nurse: “Doctor! There's an invisible man in the waiting room demanding an exam!” Doctor: “Tell him I can't see him right now.”
Africans Hear from Alaskan By Dr. Keith Hamilton, President of ACC
What place starts with an "A" like Alaska and also ends in "A" but is the extreme opposite? I found out when I traveled for two weeks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Jan. 14-28, 2009 in AFRICA. 33 hours of flying and airports, 7 hours in a pickup going only 70 miles, many passport controls, and 90 degrees/90% humidity three days later, I arrived in Businga, Congo. Shock. Poverty. Vibrant church. Joy. These are words that describe the thoughts as I spent this time with the Covenant Pastors of the Congo- 1700 strong including some of their spouses. This was their every other year get together where pastors would walk five days to arrive in this village of 50,000 people. We had no electricity (unless a generator was available), no running water, and experienced the fullness of the family of God in worship and praise during these long hot days. My translator, Rev. Keith Gustafson, spoke in Lingala and French depending on which group I spoke with among the pastors regarding Christian Formation- how we form disciples of Jesus outside of our normal efforts on Sunday mornings. These men and women listened intently to this Alaskan. They had never seen snow before, we couldn't translate moose or muktuk, and had no idea where Alaska was. They did know that I represented all of you there as an ambassador from the US, along with ex-missionaries to the Congo, Rev. Brad and Ruth Hill who were also a part of the speaker team. 4
The Congo Covenant Church has more baptized believers than in the US and Canada combined- over 210,000 believers! They are so wealthy in spirit among such amazing poverty. I haven't been anywhere in the world where you could not at least find a Coke to buy. There were no stores, no gas stations, no services. The hospital in Karawa has electricity only when they can afford to run the generator as the hydroelectric dam is damaged. The last civil war there decimated much of the infrastructure of the country, including roads, bridges, and the dam. I was moved to see 18 orphans in our newer orphanage there- they are in great need. They had not eaten that day due to a lack of food, had no shoes, could not afford the $2.50 for three months of schooling, and the only adult with them receives no salary. Of all the places I visited, this grabbed my heart the most as I too was once an orphan as an infant. Thanks to some of us in ECCAK that want to see those 18 children have hope and a future. Very little money can do much. If you have interest in being a part of the Covenant orphanage, please contact me at ACC or Keith@akcc.org. My life is altered because of this trip to the Congo- thanks be to God for His worldwide church and our brothers and sisters extending hope and the Kingdom of God through our mission work over 11,000 miles from Alaska. 2 Cor. 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
James Barefoot to Head Up Merge Ministry Alaskan Position James Barefoot is well-known in Alaska. He served with the Friends Church for some 17 years in Kobuk, AK. Prior to moving Palmer, James and his wife Evelyn served in the Nome Covenant Church. Both James and Evelyn believe the Lord has lead them to serve in some way to help those in ministry, especially from the bush. The Merge Ministry position will call for James to oversee groups that come to Alaska. He was fortunate to also have an assistant with Kate Cannon, who will work along side James. Both are in the midst of raising support. James will be sharing with the ministerium at the 2009 ECCAK Annual Meeting in Hooper Bay about his vision for Alaska!
nant websites Check out these Cove button click on the Newswire gâ€” or h. rc hu vc co w. rvice: ww en/ava Covenant Newswire Se w.covchurch.org/wom ww e: us Ab of s m cti Vi Advocacy for out/cbc.html BC): www.cyak.org/ab (C p m Ca e bl Bi nt na org Cove of Alaska: www.eccak. ch ur Ch nt na ve Co al Evangelic .org ka (CYAK): www.cyak Covenant Youth of Alas rg Center: www.nhccak.o New Hope Counseling rg .o cc ge: www.ak Alaska Christian Colle KICY: www.kicy.org
Deep Thots: Where does all the white go when the snow melts? Is it ok to kiss a fool? Is it ok to let a fool kiss you? Or is the real question this: Should I ever let a kiss fool me? If opportunity doesn't knock, then should I consider building a door? Did you know that a pat on the back is only a few inches from a good kick in the rear? What happens when you help a man when he's in trouble? In all likelihood, he will remember you the next time he's in trouble. Is your problem really your problem or is your reaction to your problem your problem? Guess how you can win more friends: with your ears or with your mouth?
2009 ECCAK ABA Meeting AEC Graduation ACC Graduation ECC Annual Meeting COS Meeting
May 2 May 2 May 3 June 25—June 28 Sept. 11-Sept. 18
Nome, AK Soldotna, AK Soldotna, AK Portland, OR MN
May 27-June 1 June 1-June 8 June 8-June 15 June 15-June 20 June 20-June 25 Aug. 4-Aug. 9
2009 Bible Camp Leadership Camp High School Camp Jr High Camp Trailblazer Pathfinder VISION
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.”
ECCAK Churches in need of staff:
Anchorage First Covenant: Pastor Filled!!!! Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church: Assoc. Pastor Filled!!!! Eagle River Community Covenant: Youth Pastor Filled!!!! No Name Church of Soldotna: Church Planter Filled!!!! Shaktoolik Covenant Church: Pastor Fairbanks Community Covenant Church: Senior Pastor Golovin Covenant Church: Pastor Scammon Bay Covenant Church: Pastor Kalskag Bible Chapel: Pastor No Name Church of Anchorage: No Name Church Planter
In 2009, Alaska celebrates 50 years of statehood! LON’S BACK AT KICY!
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
How to recognize an Alaskan resident: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
They measure distance in hours. They think igloo coolers or cardboard boxes with a little duct tape make great luggage. They are tan from the wrist down. They do all their shopping online. They first check the heater before buying a car. They have duct tape on at least one article of clothing. They don‟t call the cops when they hear gunshots. They know people in Hawaii by name.
[Taken in part from “The Frozen Toe Guide to Real Alaskan Livin‟”]
How to Speak Alaskan: Bug Dope—Anyone who goes anywhere in Alaska during the summer without mosquito repellent. Paniqtaq—[puh-NEEK-tuk] In northwest Alaska, meat or fish that‟s been hung out to dry into jerky. Lead dog—The only member of a dog team with a view that changes. Outsiders—All Americans except Alaskans. [Taken in part from “How to Speak Alaskan” by Mike Doogan] 5
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You may depend on the Lord, but can he depend on you?
Aliotos Continued ... Putting out the fleece, he knew God would lead him. Unbeknownst to him, his name landed on a long list of “potential church planters for Alaska” that was put together with the help of Dave Olson and Byron Bruckner. As the list narrowed, it soon became apparent that Frank may be the “one.” The process of seeking God‟s will continued as he and his wife, Suzanne, visited the Soldotna/Kenai area. After several days of being in Alaska, the Aliotos went home to California to spend time praying and seeking the Lord on the matter of planting a church in Soldotna. The day of revealing the news came as the Sawyers met with them at an authentic taco restaurant while passing through California. As good as the tacos were, the sweet news of the affirmative warmed the Sawyer‟s heart. “It was 6
10 times better than landing a huge King Salmon with taco breath!” says the Field Director, Rodney Sawyer. Frank has served at Hope Center Covenant Church, Pleasant Hill, CA, starting as an intern, since 1988. He received his BA from the Unv. of California at Berkeley in Legal Studies and his M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and Suzanne have three children, Zion and Dominick, the two older boys and Eden, the youngest, a little girl. There is much to do as the family prepares to leave California to come and be a part of the Alaska Team. They are the answer to many years of prayer and seeking God to plant another church in Alaska!
The Dogs of Winter And they're off! The dogs of winter Leave Wasilla bound for Nome. It's "The Last Great Race" for sled dogs On a trail as hard as stone. You can see their hot breath's vapor In the frigid arctic air. Each team's musher guides and feeds them Demonstrating love quite rare. It's amazing. It's quite moving. It's the famed Iditarod. And the history that precedes it Shows how dogs were used by God. When a plague was killing children Back in 1925 All the folks in "Gold Rush City" Prayed their younggins would survive. There was serum that could cure 'em. But just how to get it there? Living near the Arctic Circle Meant they only had a prayer. Forget boats. The sea was frozen. And the planes could not be flown. Model Ts were not an option For all roads don't lead to Nome. So the sled dogs carried serum In a relay race of speed. Man's best friends were hailed as heroes. What a most amazing breed! God used canines to bring healing. Yes, they were a means of grace. And to keep us from forgetting, Every March the dogs still race. A tribute to the 2009 Iditarod by Greg Asimakoupoulos Author of Ptarmigan Telegraph
First Lieutenant Ron Savok is serving in Afghanistan. Ron is the son of the late Pastor Fred Savok who recently went home to be with the Lord. Fred was so proud of his son Ron. Rose, Ron‟s wife, would appreciate your prayers on Ron‟s behalf.
PERSPECTIVE: How You See Things A young woman brought her fiancée to meet her parents. After dinner, her father asked the young man into his study for a chat. "So, what are your plans?" he began. "I‟m a theology scholar," the young man replied. "Admirable!" the father said, "But what will you do to provide a nice home for my daughter?" "I will study and God will provide," he explained. "And how will you afford to raise children?" "God will provide." The men left the study and the mother asked her husband, "How did it go?" "He has no money or employment plans," the father said, "but on the other hand, he thinks I‟m God." 11
Another Alaskan Saint Steps into Eternity
The above photo is courtesy of Heidi Ivanoff. There was no date, but it is a shot of two Unalakleet elders, Pete Katongan and Lars Soosok, shaking hands with L.E. Ost.
Read Jer. 22:1-3 Over 2000 verses in the Bible wake us up to issues of poverty and justice and now there is no way of missing them. Order “the poverty and justice bible” from: www.povertyandjusticebible.org 10
She and Walter Outwater were married in Candle in Sept. 1938. She lived with her husband in Deering and moved between Deering and Nome, where
She is pictured here with Nancy Sawyer at the 2007 ECCAK Annual Meeting in Fairbanks.
beautiful places on earth... Alaska!
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.
Walter worked on the gold dredge in summertime. In 1948, they decided to settle in Deering, where they would later become store managers. In the mid 1950‟s, Ruth and her parents supported her husband in becoming a pastor of the Friends Church. Ruth was very active and influential as the pastor‟s wife of the church.
Lopez-Cepero Continued ...
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:
mes the ti
Kotzebue resident and lifelong Alaskan Ruth Keenock (Savok) Outwater, 93, died peacefully March 23, 2009 in Ketzebue. Ruth was born Sept. 27, 1916, in Shungnak, to John and Lily Savok. She was the 3rd oldest of the children. Her last living brother, Fred Savok, also recently stepped into eternity.
Max and his wife, Helen, have three adult children. Max received his BA from State University of New York in philosophy and his MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He finished his Covenant Orientation studies in 1983. Part of his life calling has lead him to pastor at the Berkeley Covenant Church in Berkley, CA for 13 years, then as Director of Compassion Ministry at ECC and most recently as a supervisor at the Covenant‟s Galter Life Center. As empty-nesters, Helen is eagerly looking to Alaska with much anticipation as to how God will be using her. She
[Info in part from obituary in Alaska Daily News, Mar. 27. 2009]
presently serves as an adjunct professor position at North Park Seminary as Director of Spiritual Formation. She has also served as a co-pastor and in an associate pastor role. Helen has a private practice of teaching and training in spiritual formation and travels across the country. The Anchorage First Covenant Church‟s Search committee should be commended! They sorted through a long list of very qualified candidates, all of whom would have been gifted and qualified. As Chair, Paula Lindstam, did an outstanding job of leading a wonderfully diverse group. We believe the group was lead by the Holy Spirit in the long process and we take our hats off to all who gave of themselves to this special and significant way of serving. Max plans on being in Alaska sometime in early May. Helen will follow after fulfilling previously committed engagements.
Quote from Gordon D. Fee: “Any interpreter [of the Scripture] always brings to a text a considerable amount of cultural baggage and personal bias.” Discovering Biblical Equality p. 365.
ECCAK PRAYER CALENDAR
ECCAK PRAYER CALENDAR
DAILY PRAYER BY NAME AND BY PICTURE
Jamie and Erica Rose Chicago
Crystal Johnson Wasilla
Adam & Andrea London Anchorage
Dave Nesburg from Portage Lake Bible Camp in Onekama, MI will be a camp speaker this year
Terry and Teresa Allen Elim
Tom & Dena Luchsinger Wasilla
Marne Rickards Fairbanks
Dr. Evelyn Barefoot of Still Water Ministries out of Palmer, AK
Irene Kaganak, elder/leader at Scammon Bay
DAILY PRAYER BY NAME AND BY PICTURE
Darrick & Tonia Gutting Military Chaplin
Chip & Joanne Swanson Unalakleet
Doug & Linda Olsen Gig Harbor, WA
David & Melanie Smith Soldotna
Dale Smith, elder/ leader in Mekoryuk
Linda & Gary Bekoaluk of Shaktoolik [above]
James & Evelyn Barefoot—Palmer
Herb & Heidi Ivanoff Unlakleet
Byron & Sue Bruckner CYAK - Palmer
—————————————————Brad & Julie Olson of Battle Creek MI, ministering in Golovin every summer for the last 5-6 years! [below]
Aaron and Janet Mute of Bethel
Keith & Cynthia Bergstrom Eagle River