What better way to celebrate 125 years of service to Alaska’s children than to worship the God of love who brings us all together. Yes, there have been various incarnations and mergers over time that have joined us in ministry with one goal of caring for Alaska’s young people in need.
Forty-five years ago, the Jesse Lee Home (United Methodist), the Lutheran Youth Center (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, formerly the American Lutheran Church) and the Anchorage Christian Children’s Home (American Baptist) came together to form Alaska Children’s Services. In the 1980’s the Disciples of Christ Church became our fourth supporting denomination.
Representatives of these four denominations came together in worship on September 19, 2015 at the First United Methodist Church in Anchorage, AK.
The service started with a drum circle that helped prepare our hearts to hear what God wanted to say to us. After greetings from the host pastor, Rev. Stephen A. Fisher, Denis McCarville, President and CEO of AK Child & Family also brought greetings. Chris Hawk did a good job with the music.
Rev. Shelley Wickstrom, Bishop, Alaska Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was joined by Rev. Paul Boling, Disciples of Christ (AK Child & Family Board member), Rev. Carlo Rapanut, Superintendent, Alaska United Methodist Conference (UMC) and by myself representing the American Baptists (also board member).
Reverend Paul Boling ,Disciples of Christ AK Child & Family Board Member (DOC); Reverend Carlo Rapanut, Superintendent Alaska United Methodist Conference (UMC); Kelli Williams, Spiritual Life Director, AK Child & Family; Reverend Shelley Wickstrom, Bishop Alaska Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); Reverend John Jeffers, American Baptist Churches AK Child & Family Board Member (ABC)
We were all given the opportunity to participate in the liturgy as well as sharing a personal word concerning our church and denomination’s support of the agency.
The service concluded with an Agape Feast (The Breaking of the Bread) This was a very special time for me as I was able to offer the bread, look into each person’s eyes and tell them that, “This is the body of Christ, broken for you.” What beautiful words of love and unity.
Blessings, Rev. Dr. John C Jeffers