Conferences Adopt Alaskan Churches, Pledge Support

Post a Comment » Written on April 28th, 2008     
Filed under: News
EAGLE RIVER, AK (April 28, 2008) – Living conditions for pastors and church members in rural Alaska could significantly improve thanks to new partnerships with Evangelical Covenant Church conferences.

The conferences in the lower 48 states are each adopting at least one church and will offer financial support, which is sorely needed, says Rodney Sawyer, field director for the Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska.

Villages often are geographically isolated and suffer unemployment rates that can reach 80 percent. Many villagers must live off the land, hunting and farming for their food. “One (village) still doesn’t have running water,” Sawyer says.

“Western Alaska is still very much like going to a foreign country because of the culture,” says Sawyer, noting that Alaska was one of the denomination’s first mission fields.

Living conditions for pastors can be harsh. “Pastors live in poor, unhealthy conditions,” Sawyer says. Many parsonages, for example, do not have enough insulation and are infested with black mold.

The process of connecting conferences with churches began last fall when superintendents met at Alaska Christian College in Soldotna for their semi-annual meeting. As they heard Alaskan Natives discuss their living conditions, they committed to help.

Sawyer hopes that, in addition to assisting with construction projects, conferences will provide for pastors in Alaska to attend the annual meeting in the lower 48 states. Pastors could not afford make the trip, he says.

Sawyer is excited about future work. “I think this will be a tremendous blessing for the conferences and the churches,” he says. “I am just so thankful to God for this marvelous provision of partners.”

Below is a list of conferences and the churches with which they are partnering:
•    Canada – Hooper Bay Covenant Church
•    Central – Elim Covenant Church
•    East Coast – Koyuk Covenant Church
•    Great Lakes – Mekoryuk Covenant Church
•    Midsouth – White Mountain Covenant Church
•    Midwest – Mountain Village Covenant Church
•    North Pacific – Scammon Bay Covenant Church
•    Northwest – Unalakleet Covenant Church and Shaktoolik Covenant Church
•    Pacific Southwest – Nome Covenant Church and Golovin Covenant Church
•    Southeast – Bethel Covenant Church

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog