July 2022 Mission Trip to Nome, Alaska

Front of Nome Community UMC

On Sunday, July 10th, five members of The United Methodist Church of Chugiak left for a week in Nome, Alaska to work on Nome Community UMC. We were joined by Pastor April Hall of Kenai and Nikiski UMCs and Holli McClain from Fairbanks First UMC. The goal was install vinyl flooring and we were going to get as much installed as we could.

Nome is a challenging environment. The weather is hard on buildings. The sand and dirt is hard on floors. The cost of shipping makes it hard to afford needed supplies and logistics can make it hard to get supplies at all.

The flooring job was more challenging than expected. First, the floors we started with

Kay at work in a doorway.

needed to be cleared, scraped of old carpet glue, and repaired in places. Second, the underlayment/subfloor took quite some time to install, with each 4×8 sheet needing 300 staples to hold it in place. Third, there were periods of waiting while liquid floor-leveler or glue dried before the next step could take place. Fourth, there were challenging door frames, other obstacles, and walls which were unsquare in places slowing down our vinyl installation.

This team worked long hours, not stopping until 11:45 PM on the night before we left so to finish what we set out to do. But during our waiting periods we were able to take an evening ride up Anvil Mountain, a long drive to the Safety Roadhouse and “The Train to Nowhere,” and a few late evening walks along the beach for sea glass.

Nome Community UMC is in need of more teams and more workers. We hope to encourage a team in August to go up and get more work done. A few members of our UMCC team would like to head back in September (maybe with a couple more skilled people) to get more of the flooring done.

If you’re interested in either LEADING or PARTICIPATING IN a Nome work team, please reach out to Pastor Jim Doepken at pastorjim@gmail.com. That church could use a lot of work on their facility and was so very gracious with our workers.

Below you can see some pictures of our work (and our fun).