The Rev. Jeff Kunkel and the Rev. Mary Elyn Bahlert visited Chugiak and stayed in our parsonage when they were in Alaska to attend the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. Jeff is the pastor of the Burlingame UMC in the Bay Area of California. Mary Elyn retired this year at Annual Conference. Prior to retirement Mary Elyn was the pastor at the Lake Merritt UMC in Oakland for sixteen years. Pastor Gary has known Mary Elyn and Jeff for many years.
Additionally, Jeff is the Western Jurisdiction UMC coordinator for interim pastors. Carlo called Jeff when the need for an interim occurred this summer. Jeff then called Gary and here we are! Jeff and Superintendent Carlo met while in Alaska. Additionally, Jeff leads training in Interim Ministry and he and Carlo began conversations about the possibility of his leading such training in Alaska.
Jeff and Mary Elyn were most impressed with the UMCC parsonage view. They were also here for the first snowfall. Mary Elyn, a native of Wisconsin, loved the snow and loved leaving it! They were also most impressed with the ministry and mission of UMCC.