Small Business in Western Alaska

In 2004 I set up this discussion page linked from our regular webpage that I set up through the ISP. The QuickTopic is a wonderfully easier way to update information than a regular webpage or even a blog.— QuickTopic discussion site

Views: 403, Unique: 179
Since 1943, the Moravian Book Store has served the peoples of the Yukon Kuskokwim Nushagak region, along the Bering Sea in western Alaska. We specialize in Alaska Native arts and crafts (especially of Yup’ik and Cup’ik Eskimo and Athabascan traditions), regional gospel music, books about western Alaska, and supplies for churches in the Villages.

We’re the only bookstore in a 200-mile radius. The nearest highway for deliveries is 400 miles away. In its 61 years of operation, the Book Store has evolved with the communities. The core needs for the Book Store have not changed, although the mode of service delivery has. The Book Store functions as a library, living museum, and technical marketing center in areas of—

  • support for regional artisans and craftspeople
  • ecumenical support for literacy, for spiritual, ethical, philosophical quests (in indigenous languages as well)
  • support for maintenance and flourishing of history, culture, traditions
  • provision of mementos and commemorations for visitors and local families to celebrate their traditions and customs

The Moravian Book Store is a unique asset for the regional economy. We provide a regular, retail outlet and marketing and business development information for artisans. Unlike outlets in Seattle or Anchorage, we are based in the cultural region of the artisans.

We are based in Bethel, see the description here



Moravian Church history,
[new source, see comment 2 below]

The Moravian Book Store
PO Box 327
Bethel, Alaska 99559
[current hours seem to be Monday to Saturday, 1 to 4 PM.]

Nota bene 2006
Annual Moravian Church Supplies

Sunday School Commentary (Higley’s)
try first, Far North Christian Bookstore, 1-800-492-0438, ask for Leah

Higley Publishing Corp.
PO Box 5398
Jacksonville, FL 32247-5398
fax 904-396-5087

Daily Texts
Interprovincial Board of Communications
PO Box 1245
Bethlehem, PA 18016-1245
Elzbieta Macdonald, E-mail pubs AT mcnp DOT org
1-800-732-0591, ext. 38
fax 610-866-9223

Wall calendars
318 E 7th Street
Auburn IN 46706
ask for Ms Chris Smith, E-mail casmith AT norwood DOT com
1-800-799-1940 ext 4344, fax 1-800-747-0716

Candles (these traditional beeswax candles are home made, by church elders, on a volunteer basis; not a business)
Moravian Women Candlemakers
PO Box 126
Gnadenhutten, OH 44629
OR contact the Pennsylvania Moravian Book Shop, Inc. 1-888-661-2888

not current information

12-22-2005 09:21 PM AK (US)

Inside Bethel News
Yup’ik Old Testament Translation trial publication

by Peter Green, Co-Coordinator

On behalf of the Alaska Moravian Province and the Yup’ik Old Testament Translation Project committee, I would like to announce that we now have printed trial publications available of the Old Testament.

This trial publication consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy plus Psalms and Proverbs, all in one book. Our Moravian churches are being sent a number of copies and for those who would like to have their own, there are limited copies available at the Moravian Bookstore for $10.00 each. People must understand that this is a trial publication and not the final print. We continue to pray that someday we will have the final printing of the whole Old Testament books.

Without the help of the Holy Spirit and team effort, we would have not been able to reach this far in our work. I want to thank the committee members for their faithfulness and commitment in this task they are challenged with.

Thank you to Ringo Jimmy and Ina Anaver Carpenter for additional support by reading and reviewing. Also, I thank our outside consultants from the American and Canadian Bible Societies.

Just like everybody else, we do run into obstacles but God’s blessings are never-ending. It appears that sometimes obstacles appear to confirm that it is something that God would like to be done. We are planning on the books of Job, Judges, Jeremiah, Joshua, Ezra, Ezekiel and Ruth as our next set for trial publication. We ask for your prayers as we continue this work.

The Moravian Bookstore hours are: Wednesday thru Saturday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM.

We hope that everyone will have joyous season as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, may He bring strength and comfort. God bless you all!

YOTTP committee: Jones Anaver, Co-Coordinator; Translators – Mary Jane Mann and Alice Fredson; Editor – Elsie Mather; members: Jacob Nelson, John P. Andrew, and Elsie Jimmie.


12-13-2005 10:11 PM AK (US)

From BoingBoing, the on-line magazine/blog comes this item — instructions for making what looks like a Moravian Star from the 1958 Better Homes & Gardens


Store message index
National Public Radio Ethicist: Boy Scout Policies, and More on Furs /m2
Our December hours /m5
Photo– December 11, 2004 an hour before doors open. /m6
We have a limited number of unique items /m7
Mission Lake summer view, looking North (prior to 1996). Book Store is circled. /m8
Christmas hours /m9
We need your feedback, please. Committee discusses shutting down only bookstore in Bethel Tundra Drums, 2004 October 7 /m10
A Special Sale for Slaaviq /m12
Book Store status /m13
Planning Decision Step One, /m15
Step two in decision process /m14
Funding available for planning /m18
Annual Moravian Church Supplies /m19

December 11, 2004 an hour before doors open.
Free Image Hosting at

Mission Lake summer view, looking North (prior to 1996). Book Store is circled.

National Public Radio (2005)
Ethicist: Boy Scout Policies, and More on Furs
NPR (audio) – Washington,D.C.,United States

… statement. Pamela Bumsted manages the Moravian Bookstore in Bethel, Alaska, which serves the Native peoples along the Bering Sea. She …

Google Alert for: Moravian bookstore “”

[see The Ethicist: Boy Scout Policies, and
More on Furs
Oct-31-2004, All Things Considered
…Boy Scout Policies, and More on Furs. This week with the Ethicist, we’ll hear from some listeners who wrote in with suggestions for the ethical use of old furs. Also, NPR’s Jennifer…

The Ethicist:
The Lure of an Inherited Mink
Oct-17-2004, All Things Considered
…The Lure of an Inherited Mink. Is it ethical to wear an old fur coat? After all, you didn’t harm any new animals. This week, Ethicist Randy Cohen of The New York Times Magazine…]

For information on where to send your furs, please call or write us.


We need your feedback, please. While the last day of 2004 retail sales is December 24, we will be working on your proposals and suggestions through January. Manager

Moravian Book Store weighs fate, may close
Committee discusses shutting down only bookstore in Bethel, By Naomi Klouda Tundra Drums, 2004 October 7

The Moravian Book Store Committee wants to hear from the public before determining whether the only bookstore in Bethel should become a relic of history.

Between now and January 2005, the committee would like to hear feedback from the customers and “partners” who have depended on the store to help sell their art works. In its 61 years of operations, the Moravian Book Store has tried to evolve with the times, said committee said in a prepared statement.

“We’re the only bookstore in a 200-mile radius. We provide a regular retail outlet (not just Christmas craft fairs) and a marketing and business development resource for artisans, the statement read.

The committee points out that unlike outlets in Seattle or Anchorage, the store is based in the cultural region of the “visual, written and oral arts” of the people it serves. And although some artists have moved into the Internet age by selling goods online, “most craftspeople do not participate full time in the business of art,” it said.

Manager Pamela Bumsted said the store has already received numerous suggestions through interacting with customers and a suggestion box placed on the counter.

The suggestions range from enlarging the book selection to providing a place for emerging artisans who want to learn the business, Bumsted said.

Some in Bethel see it as good place to set up a visitor’s center. “There’s no other way of centralizing information about the villages. We already have a lot of visitors stopping by to look at regional maps and regional businesses, and we always had calls from environmental consultants about historical buildings because we’ve focused on history, culture and literacy.”

Another suggestion is to become a publisher of more historical items, such as “Bethel: The First 100 Years,” which is in demand but out of print.

The Moravian Church has been active in Bethel since 1885. In 1943, the Moravian Mission store opened to help its members obtain Yup’ik Bibles, hymnals and other Christian literature. Arts and crafts were added to help artisans in the 1950s. And at one time, it sold church organs.

Today, the store is a “must-stop” for Bethel visitors for its stock of Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Athabascan arts. It functions as a museum, a library and a technical marketing center. Plus it also sells books about Western Alaska and supplies churches in the villages.

The role expanded to offer support for regional artisans, including elders who no longer receive the Longevity Bonus. And it serves as an interface between artists and international customers.

“But, does the store still serve a useful purpose?” the committee asked in its prepared statement. “The Book Store Committee doesn’t think we have given the service our customers, consignors, and long-time vendors deserve. We need to evaluate the purpose of the bookstore and re-think how to best serve the communities. Perhaps simply, the time for the store has passed?”

When the church synod meets in January, they will take up the following questions:

  • Keep operations as they are.
  • Close the store. Use the building for a youth center or another purpose.
  • Lease the store and or building to someone else.
  • Create a new business.
  • Obtain additional funding to evolve the nonprofit services into a creative knowledge center.
  • The committee would like to hear from the public. Write to P.O. Box 327, Bethel, AK 99559-0327, or mbs_camaiAThotpopDOTcom.


    Step one in strategic planning for storeImage Hosted by

    Step two

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    3 responses to “Small Business in Western Alaska

    1. Pingback: Biocultural Science and Management » Blog Archive » How to Buy Genuine American Indian Arts and Crafts

    2. Bethlehem Digital History Project

      In the minds of some, the mere mention of the city of Bethlehem conjures up images of an industrial landscape complete with massive steel mills. These days the city has been greatly transformed, and before the period of heavy industrialization in the late 19th century, the city was quite different.

      With funds (and active participation) from a host of organizations, the Bethlehem Digital History Project brings together digitized primary source materials, translations, and transcriptions that relate the story of the city during the years 1741 to 1844. After reading a bit about the actual project mission, visitors should read the brief essay, “Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 1741-1844”, as it offers information about the Moravians who founded the city and their influence on the city’s growth and development.

      There are some terrific historical materials here, all of which are neatly organized into topical areas such as education, land, community records, art, and music. The personal papers area is rather moving, as it contains first-hand accounts by early settlers that document their religious experiences, encounters with Native Americans, and various tribulations. Finally, the “Scholar’s Corner” provides a few extra items for those who can read German script, as these diaries, death records, and speeches are only available in that form. [KMG]

      From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2006.

    3. Pingback: Update on the Old Testament (Yup’ik Old Testament Translation Project) « Biocultural Science & Management