Note: AncMC remains under supervison of UAMM. Here are some excerpts from the AncMC Pastor and Elders Report 2017 given at the Church Council meeting held on January 14, 2018:
Pastor and Elder’s 2017 Report
January 14, 2018
A big welcome to the 17th annual membership meeting of the Anchorage Moravian Church (AncMC) since it’s organization in 2001. It’s been another busy year serving the Lord, but one that experienced some big bumps and dips in the road.
Our Church has always been a Church turned outward to fulfill the Great Commission, to send missionaries, and to plant Churches. This is a strong point in our Church Bylaws, which needs to be amended to reflect and clarify this vision and to strengthen Christ’s agenda (not ours) of moving forward in unity, love, and fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God.
In 2017 there has been a bit of turmoil felt in our Church because we have been so effective in growing Christ’s Kingdom. In spite of this we feel God is still in complete control. What we have experienced, together, is a time of extreme purging so that good fruits will remain. And out of this is emerging a glorious Church “without spot and wrinkle” (Ephes 5:27). Also coming out of this is a body of believers holding an “undefiled flag” for the world to see; that’s why we have been a beacon of light and hope for those around the world who need to be encouraged by those willing to stand for the truth as revealed in God’s Word, the Holy Bible.
The Moravian Covenant for Christian Living is a very important guide for our Church to follow. During 2017 it was not followed and some turmoil resulted. So encouragements are there for every member and especially leaders of the AncMC to read and practice its guidance, because it is based upon scripture. Sadly because of the UAMM stand against the homosexual agenda and the resignation of an Administrative Assistant, several families left the AncMC.
Hindsight shows that decisions by the AncMC Joint Boards need to be respected. The Moravian Covenant for Christian Living speaks of respect for authority. It says in section II The Witness of a Living Church, #9 – “As members of the Moravian Church, we will abide by the decisions made by the official boards of our congregations”. It also says in the same section, #14 it says, “We will be eager to maintain the unity of the Church. Realizing that God has called us from many and varied backgrounds, we recognize the possibility of disagreements or differences. Often these differences enrich the Church, but sometimes they divide. We consider it to be our responsibility to demonstrate within the congregational life the unity and togetherness created by God who made us one. How well we accomplish this will be a witness to our community as to the validity of our faith.”
After Bishop Nicholson’s departure as AncMC Senior Pastor, Interim Pastor Ron Moo was hired to serve as pastor under unusually strict control by an out of compliance Executive Committee. Correction to this is an amendment to the AncMC bylaws is addressed in 2018 AncMC Resolution #2.
With the turmoil beginning after Bishop Nicholson’s departure in September 2017, Abraham & Eileen George began having Sunday night services at their location in Muldoon prior to December 2017. This, along with the turmoil, has taken away significant participants from the AncMC worship services. However, during the 2017 Christmas Candlelight service over 100 people attended the services, which was encouraging for everyone.
While the AncMC church communicant and non-communicant membership was about 162 people in 2016, in 2017 we lost a large number of them. After the January 14, 2018 Church Council and once problems are resolved and unity and peace resumes, it is hoped that folks will begin coming back.
The internet program continued until October 2017 when it suddenly stopped. We have had a larger audience of people that either visit the Church and/or watch our weekly worship services on the internet either on www.alaskamoravian.org or Facebook site. Many of them have provided monetary support through giving of offerings during worship services or online.
In October 2017 the www.alaskamoravian.org online site that Bishop Nicholson ran for the AncMC for many years was changed to UAMM’s site. The online giving for AncMC was terminated.
During 2018, tithes and offerings must be emphasized, so we can find a bigger rental similar to Skyline, where we have been comfortable for almost four years. Because of the turmoil on December 6, 2017, AncMC was asked to leave Skyline. It’s office furniture, files, and other property such as hymnals, etc. was put into storage. Tithing and offerings must strengthen so a new Church rental facility can be located and fair salary given to a permanent Senior Pastor hired by the Joint Board in the immediate future.
Since December 10, 2017 (and for the foreseeable future), the AncMC is holding evening worship services at 330 E. 4th Avenue, at the Guest house. We are certainly thankful for the Singspiration leaders, the Sunday School teachers, Children’s Church leader, and appreciate our Church leadership.
We don’t know how else we could have done it. This Church could not, and cannot operate and grow without accountabilities to its covering. Any Church without a covering will not last long or will not make the meaningful positive impacts for the gospel it could. But thanks to our anointed covering which is UAMM, we will survive with support from other UAMM congregations, almost 20 of them.
Since UAMM’s December 3, 2017 takeover (and supervision of the AncMC Joint Boards) we are able to conduct this Church Council to pass resolutions to amend Church bylaws, bring about corrections, unity and peace to the Church. Once the good name of our Church is preserved, proper leadership who understand Christ’s agenda and the Great Commission are elected, and the Board of Elders and Trustees and Joint Boards are able to function satisfactorily using the Moravian Covenant for Christian Living and Roberts Rules of Order, the UAMM Executive Committee will relinquish its supervision of the AncMC.
Encouragements are there to pray for and make decisions so that we can continue to grow and be a meaningful influence for God’s Kingdom before His son, Jesus Christ comes in the clouds with glory. Thank you for supporting the AncMC to bring salvation, discipleship, and expansion of the Kingdom. Everything we do is for Christ’s glory. And we work for His agenda; not ours!
Following is excerpts from the 2017 AncMC Trustees Report:
2017 TRUSTEE REPORT, January 14, 2018, By Russell Lamont
The trustees main job is oversight of the earthly affairs of the AncMC. Trustees that closed the old year 2017 were Alexie Nose, Paul Kiunya Jr. and Russell Lamont. The report that follows are just highlights of work during 2017.
Accounting: At the beginning of 2012 the Trustees agreed there should be a slow movement towards AncMC accounting and financial independence. For several years, Foracker, Inc. has been the Church Accounting firm, and has provided exacting monthly reports and federally mandated payroll accounting at a cost of thousands of dollars annually. The move toward financial and payroll independence was implemented with some training by Accountant James Atti and online training for then Church Administrative Assistant Shawna Nicholson. With Shawna’s new baby and her transfer to full time home duties, Tanya Kernak agreed to take over as Church Administrative Assistant and step into the needed financial management roll. Finally by November 2012, the latest Quickbooks software was purchased and by December both James Atti, and Tanya began the software changeover from Foracker. This is a cumbersome, exacting, and tedious process which was completed in 2012. The accounts were complete then and resulted in complete financial independence, along with thousands of dollars of anticipated annual savings to the AncMC from 2012 to early 2016. Later in 2016 giving (tithes and offerings) began to dwindle because of folks differing on the homosexual agenda and positioning of UAMM and AncMC in relationship to the Moravian Church in the Northern Province and the Worldwide Unity Administration. In late 2016, the accounts began to be strained somewhat but all the Church bills and financial obligations were paid successfully. By April 2017 and to date, our Senior Pastor did not receive any pay when he directed the new Church Administrative Assistant, John Bill to assure that the church bills, mortgages, etc. were paid first. By December 2017, under the leadership of Nellie Kiunya (Elder) who has extensive background in bookkeeping hired a Certified Public Account (CPA) to go through the AncMC financial records (and especially the Pastor’s wages, etc.) to find any deviation and to reconcile all accounts. Today, the Financial reporting is done and the CPA is giving us an accurate accounting of where our books stand.
Building Maintenance: Brother Harry Nicholai continued building maintenance and grounds oversight over the entire year. He ran into problems in late September 2017 not being given keys, but did the best he could, and currently is overseeing the 3512 Robin street rental in which UAMM is using the red Church on Friday nights and he will work closely with The Rev. Carl Baldwin for uses during Friday night.
Financial Income: Most of our income is from tithing by church member families and friends. Tithing income in 2017 was not sufficient to meet the annual budget needs. Our success this new year depends on increased attention by each member to church giving. As before, the bookkeeping in the Church will remain a high priority with checks and balances everywhere. Money counters sign forms, deposits are made every Monday, monthly financial statements are forthcoming for the Boards, and year-end reporting is done. In over 16 years, the accounts nor any money is not touched by the pastor and Pastor Nicholson’s policy will remain our policy.
Joint Activities: The Trustees also worked together with the Elders in joint board meetings, but problems arose from chairmanship and Executive Committee outsides of the regular Church board, but this will be corrected this annual meeting to bring better coordination of activities and assuring that the Church met all of its financial obligations. Coordination with the UAMM Executive Committee and fulfilling its Missions work is something we see the AncMC supporting in any way possible.
New Budget for Consideration: Finally, the Trustees drafted and recommend a Budget for 2018 to be considered at the Church Council meeting today.
With your dedication and support, we hope to have a better year in 2018. God has been very good to us. With your continued and increased support for the coming year, we trustees anticipate a Christ-glorifying and successful 2018.