The following news briefs and events offer ideas for how Alaskans can make a positive difference for the common good. If you know of events we should include, please email the time, date and brief explanation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOVERNOR HOSTING CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE
Governor Mike Dunleavy and First Lady Rose Dunleavy have invited Alaskans to the Governor’s Annual Christmas and Holiday Open House at the Governor’s House, to be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 3-6 p.m.
“Rose and I have been looking forward to inviting our Juneau friends and neighbors to come celebrate Christmas and the holidays in the people’s house,” Governor Dunleavy said. “As we enjoy the holiday season with our neighbors and loved ones, we should take a moment and remember all of our first responders, veterans, and military members that are spending time away from their loved ones this season.”
The first open house was held by Territorial Governor Walter Eli Clark and his family on New Year’s Day 1913. The annual tradition has been held every year since, with the exception of two years during World War II.
More than 15,000 cookies are being prepared for the event, and more than 100 pounds of fudge and chocolate candies will be served. Members of the governor’s cabinet will serve hot apple cider and holiday treats to guests waiting in line outside the residence. Entertainers from local community and school groups will perform both inside and outside the residence.
Those with special accessibility needs can contact Maxine Lucerno at (907) 465-3500, to arrange entry from 2:30-3 p.m.
ANCHORAGE TALK TO EXPLORE HOW ‘OUR FATHER’ PRAYER ANSWERS MODERN IDENTITY CRISIS
In a culture consumed by a crisis of identity, it is necessary to remember the words of the one prayer Jesus gave to the world – “The Our Father.” On Tuesday, Dec. 10, Deacon Kevin Klump, of St. Michael Church in Palmer, will deliver a presentation in Anchorage that looks at a prayer which reveals the source of mankind’s supernatural dignity — that they are made sharers in the Divine sonship of Jesus himself. The talk will look at why “no prayer is more pleasing to God; no prayer more powerful against temptation; no prayer more ready to raise up the sinner.” Hosted by the Anchorage chapter of Catholics United for the Faith, the event is free and open to the public. It will take place Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the upper room banquet hall at Gallo’s Mexican Restaurant in Anchorage (8615 Old Seward Hwy.). The talk begins at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. for those who wish to order food and drinks. The evening will include a 45-minute presentation, followed by a question and answer session until 8:30 p.m.
DEC. 18 BIBLE STORY HOUR AT ANCHORAGE LIBRARY
In response to the ongoing and controversial Drag Queen Story Hour events at Anchorage’s Loussac Library, a group of Christians started holding their own story hour gatherings to offer children stories, songs and conversations based on the Bible. The Good News Club was started earlier this year after Anchorage residents voiced concern about the library’s decision to let drag queens read stories to youth that promote cross dressing and gender confusion. The Good News Club utilizes material from Child Evangelism Fellowship, an international organization that equips Christians in providing short programs designed to bring the Gospel of Christ to children. The programs are provided in homes, public schools and community centers all over the world. The Anchorage event includes a simple Bible lesson, presented at a young child’s level, library book reading and the singing of Christian children’s songs. The next Good News Club is Dec. 18, 11 a.m., on the fourth floor of the Loussac Library in Anchorage.
POLAR PLUNGE TO BENEFIT SPECIAL OLYMPICS
The 11th Annual Special Olympics Alaska Polar Plunge is expected to draw thousands of people to Anchorage’s Goose Lake on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There participants will plunge into icy water to support sports training and competition for Special Olympics Alaska athletes statewide.
“We are very thankful for the sponsors, pledgers and participants that make this event possible every year and continue to support Special Olympics Alaska athletes statewide,” said Patrick Reinhart, Special Olympics Alaska Interim President/CEO. “We are hoping to have more than 800 plungers to help us reach our goal of $350,000.”
Registration is open for individuals, organizations and businesses to team up and take the plunge. The public is encouraged to come and watch plungers. Participants will be plunging non-stop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise needed dollars for Special Olympics. To register, donate or for more information, visit specialolympicsalaska.org.
ONE-DAY MAT-SU EVENT FOR HOMELESS
Project Homeless Connect is a one-day, one-stop resource for those experiencing homelessness or housing instability. During the Jan. 29 event Alaskans may access essential services including fellowship, personal hygiene and comfort items, housing help, public health and resources, a hot meal and gently-used clothing, among other things.
Approximately 275 guests attended last year’s Project Homeless Connect which is offered In partnership with the Mat-Su Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, Frontline Mission, Big Lake Community Clothing Closet, Valley Charities & turn-a-leaf, Mat-Su Public Health, United Way of Mat-Su and many others.
This year’s event is scheduled for Jan. 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla. Volunteers are always welcome and needed. For more information, contact the Mat-Su Coalition on Housing and Homelessness at (907) 745-5827.
FOSTERING ‘REASONABLE FAITH’
Reasonable Faith Anchorage is a group that wishes to interact with, challenge, and grow together in the knowledge of God and defend the Christian worldview. Inspired by the idea that all Christians should be ready to give an intelligent reason for their faith, the group seeks to study the Christian faith, and at times other worldviews, through the lenses of science, philosophy, biology and history.
Reasonable Faith meets in Anchorage on the second Thursday of each month, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm., at Coffee and Communitas (12100 Old Seward Highway). All who seek out the truth, specifically the truth of Christianity, are invited to join in the collegial and cordial academic discussions. This includes Christians, agnostics, atheists, and those of other religions. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook Page or send an email to email@example.com.
ABORTION OUTREACH OFFERS HEALING
Project Rachel is a confidential support group for post-abortive women and others who have been impacted by abortion. This ministry of the Archdiocese of Anchorage is open to all faith backgrounds and is free and open to the public. For more information, call the group’s confidential phone line at 297-7781 or toll-free (866) 434-3344.
WOMEN CONFRONT PAIN OF LOSING A CHILD
Anchored in Hope is a peer-led ministry intended to solidify healthy reliance upon God’s promises rather than isolation, shame or silence that so often follows infant loss and pregnancies ending in miscarriage. A local group of Alaskan women launched the outreach at Anchorage Baptist Temple. Women at any stage of the grief process can join. The meetings, which occur from 7-9 p.m. on Thursdays, are open to all women, and a strong referral network is already in place for anyone who desires formal counseling. Click here for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WATCHDOG EXPOSES BUSINESSES THAT BACK LIBERAL ACTIVISM
Launched in 2013 2ndVote.com is an international conservative watchdog that exposes corporations and organizations that fund liberal advocacy. By putting big business on watch through its extensive research on the most important issues of the day, 2ndVote’s mission is to expose the corporate influence on matters of culture and policy and turn the tide on the attacks on conservative values and principles. The idea behind 2ndVote is that Americans vote twice – once at the ballot box and then again by the companies and organizations they choose to support financially. To learn more about how to align conservative values with everyday financial spending decisions and other contributions, go to 2ndVote.com.