New Day Alaska is a missional program which offers Christian community to people who are on the margins of society because of poverty, race, ethnicity, recent immigrant status and cultural differences. The goal is to establish worshipping ethnic communities in people’s homes and other meeting places in multi-ethic neighborhoods in Anchorage. The model is to meet, share a meal, and worship together with cultural songs and music. Some of the worshippers might eventually join local churches. However, New Day Alaska is meant to reach and serve those who are not ready to take that step.
Pastor John Kirimi Ikiugu, the Kenyan pastor serving New Day Alaska, will be at UMCC on Sunday, December 8. He will be at the Alternative Christmas Market and will present a mission moment with a video during each worship service. Kids at Children’s Church may also learn a Swahili song!
New Day Alaska is modelled on New Day, a program in Dallas under the leadership of Elaine Heath, a professor at Perkins School of Theology. New Day has successfully established a number of communities in the Dallas area, with refugees from Burundi and other politically disturbed African countries. Members of a New Day community not only eat and worship together regularly, but also follow a Rule of Life—a covenant which typically includes daily prayer, regular Scripture reading, and weekly missional or service work. New Day communities operate separately from churches, but each one has an “anchor church” which provides minimal administrative and book keeping support. First United Methodist Church has graciously agreed to provide this service. Sometimes the staff of an anchor church may choose to follow the New Day Rule of Life. The Conference Lead Team does so.
With introductions through our Conference Lead Team and Superintendent Dave Beckett, Pastor Kirimi is presently working on ecumenical partnerships for New Day Alaska. He is meeting with United Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, African Methodist Episcopal, and other Anchorage churches, as well as ethnic and cultural groups. In addition to developing these relationships, the goal is to identify which neighborhoods would be best served.
If you’d like more information, be sure to attend church on December 8 or contact: Abbe Dunning-Newbury.