Alaska’s Pastors Take Wing to Anchorage
Alaska’s seventeen multi-national pastors converged on Anchorage to attend the annual Pastors’ Conference on Jan. 5. Guest presenters, Treavor O’Reggio from the Andrews University theology department, and Jon Dybdahl, Walla Walla College president, presented topics including church history, righteousness by faith, family life, and the personal application of spiritual transformation. Russ Johnson, Alaska Conference president, explains, “Two presenters are invited each January, one primarily presents current theological topics and issues, the other deals primarily with the day-to-day issues of successful ministry.”
Future pastor meetings in February, March, and April are designed to equip relatively new pastors with tools found in a book by Jim Stevens, former Alaska Conference president. Neil Biloff, ministerial director and Palmer pastor, and Jim Kincaid, executive secretary, will help facilitate those discussions.
Alaska’s expansive territory provides challenges unique to remote living. More than half the pastors have to travel by commercial airline to get to the conference office. Many towns are only accessible by air or water and the airlines only serve some of the cities three days a week. The pastors look forward to the time together for spiritual renewal, pastoral training, fellowship, good food, and the chance to shop at a larger mall. Because of the cost of airline travel, several meetings each year are done by teleconference technology. •