Skip to main content

worship, whales & nome

I'm in Alaska with a team from United Theological Seminary for 10 days. Enjoy the pics & some summary. Our professor's blog gives more details. More pics here too.

downtown Nome

live king crab that we're cooking for dinner tomorrow :)
$503 for a week's worth of groceries & 5 air mattresses
milk is $7.49 a gallon
11pm sun over turnagain arm

rev. peter perry & seward umc
fox island
kristen, me and pam on the front of the boat!

umm...i love alaska

rev. david fison telling us the christmas totem pole story

I arrived in Anchorage on Saturday evening. Got to spend a little bit of time with my family and then joined the team from my school. There are 10 of us. Sunday we worshipped at Anchor Park UMC and went out for pizza. I got to sit between my parents in worship! Don't think that's happened in a long time.

We visited the Alaska Native Heritage Museum in the afternoon and went to my home church, St. John UMC, for evening worship. The new pastor, John Dodson, asked me to serve communion with him. What a joy to serve my seminary colleagues and church friends!

On Monday we headed south to Seward for a sealife cruise. We saw 10-12 humpback whales! It was an absolutely beautiful day. Was overwhelmed with God's beauty & creation. We stopped in to visit Peter Perry at Seward UMC for an hour. Great stories & inspiration for ministry.

Today we flew to Nome. I'm glad to be experiencing a new culture. Living in Anchorage made it difficult to see it with new eyes. But now I'm in the same place as the rest of the team. There are no trees here, it's very gray and depressed in many ways. But I'm inspired as we listen to people who work tirelessly for justice here.

More coming soon...


April Casperson said…
great pictures! thanks for sharing!

Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

Why I stay in the United Methodist Church

We can't ignore the numbers. The United Methodist Church is in decline. Many ask, "Why do you stay? Denominations are useless these days."

But I face that reality with overwhelming hope and excitement. I see the Holy Spirit weaving its way through our current & new leadership in ways I've only dreamed of. A couple years ago, I thought about leaving. But I decided to ask some hard questions about why we're in decline. And that journey to the heart of the United Methodist movement has lit a fire in me to see it renewed.

Why I Stay...

1. Our faith is active. We get our hands and hearts dirty in service & relationships.
2. Every United Methodist church is connected through a network of gatherings, prayer, service, money, agencies and leadership. I would never want to serve in building God's kingdom by myself.
3. I see God changing hearts and lives every. single. day.
4. I am fascinated by our founder who's only intention was to create a renewal movement ins…