L & L Alum, Nora Ortiz Fredrick

Photo credit: Bret Wells

Photo credit: Bret Wells

Launch & Lead Alum, Nora Ortiz Fredrick

This week’s spotlight is taken from Together: Community as a Means of Grace by Larry Duggins.

Nora Ortiz Fredrick is a consultant, fund-raiser, and entrepreneur in Anchorage, Alaska. Nora, a graduate of the Missional Wisdom Foundation's Launch & Lead program, noticed that the timing of traditional church services makes very little sense in Alaska. Many people are drawn to Alaska by its natural beauty and the wide variety of outdoor activities is offers, yet churches were asking people to take several hours out of the very middle of their weekends to come into an urban setting in order to sit indoors for worship. Nora chose instead to bring church to where the people wanted to be by founding Ascent Alaska. She gathered groups of people for hiking, biking, fishing, and walked with them into God's beautiful creation. Nora lived into the observation that the Apostle Paul makes in the first chapter of the Letter to the Romans: "Ever since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities—God's eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through the things God has made" (Rom 1:20). Nora shepherded the group as they encountered God in nature, and walked alongside them as they unpacked spiritual encounters together. Church leaders had a hard time embracing the community because it differed so substantially from their understanding of church, but Ascent Alaska met for more than three years, touching and nurturing dozens of people.

Larry Duggins, Together: Community as a Means of Grace (Portland: Cascade Books, 2017).