Alaska Congregation in Urgent Need of Assistance

SCAMMON BAY, AK (October 22, 2010) – An urgent appeal for funds and volunteers has been issued by the North Pacific Conference to acquire and install a replacement heating system in the parsonage of the Scammon Bay Covenant Church.

For several years the parsonage has been heated using an old boiler tied into a waste-generated heating system operated by the city. The city system has failed and is being abandoned – and the old boiler in the parsonage has likewise failed.

Snow has already started to fall in this remote part of Western Alaska, notes conference Superintendent Mark Novak, with an old wood stove the only source of heat for pastor Jason Stromstad. Making matters worse is that there remains only one to two weeks of firewood – and there are no trees in the village, which is located in the bush country near the Bering Sea.

“We are in need of a team of two or three people with plumbing experience and familiar working with boilers,” reads the message received by the conference office. “We also need funds to purchase replacement equipment and to air freight it into the village. To the replace the boiler and baseboard fintube – plus transportation and shipping – our estimation is between $7,000 and $8,000. We really need to mobilize a team in the next few weeks as winter is setting in.”

The North Pacific Conference has been cultivating a friendship with the Scammon Bay congregation for several years, Novak notes. “Many of you met Rev. Jason Stromstad as he was visiting (at Leadership Matrix) last spring before heading up to Scammon Bay to be the new pastor of the Covenant church,” Novak writes in an appeal sent to all conference churches.

Several teams have gone to Scammon Bay from a number of conference churches to meet the people and to help with work of repairs and renovation of the parsonage, Novak adds.

“We are getting the word out to ask for your prayer for the Lord’s provision, and an invitation, if you are willing and able, to help both financially and as part of a work team in the next month,” Novak writes.

“Keep in mind it is already snowing in Scammon and the snow is sticking. Time is of the essence to keep pastor Jason’s pipes from freezing and to make it livable with his arthritis.”

Those interested in volunteering or helping financially are asked to call the conference office at 206-275-3903 or email the conference staff.

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