Welcome to the GNJ Digest!
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Future of Young People's, Camping, IGNITE, and Campus Ministries
The GNJ Camping and Retreats Board of Directors has contracted with a consulting firm, Ministry Architects, who will help guide the board and conference through a process of visioning and strategic planning on young people's ministries. Your input is needed. 


Please share your experiences, needs and hopes through this survey designed to assess youth, camping, retreat and college aged ministry in GNJ. Survey closes tomorrow, Feb. 16. 

Listening Sessions 

Go deeper and join a regional listening session. There are limited number of spaces for clergy, youth, and young people to participate. Youth are particularly encouraged to take part. Click here for more info, dates, and to register. Listening sessions start next week. 
OUTBOUND: A Day on Evangelism

Do This One Thing and Millennials Will Flock to Your Church

Mike Baughman, a New Jersey native and author is the founding pastor and Community Curator for Union Coffee, an innovative new church start in Dallas, TX where his congregation is primarily made up of church refugees in their twenties. Along with several prominent experts, Baughman will be leading a workshop at OUTBOUND called, "Do This One Thing and Millennials Will Flock to Your Church." Click here for details.

'Weird Church' Author to Speak, Lead Workshop 

Keynote speaker Paul Nixon, author of "Weird Church" will lead a workshop on 'Promising Ministry Models' at OUTBOUND, A Day on Evangelism, March 24 at Bethany Wayne UMC. Don't miss this chance to reach millennials, learn best practices in social media and video, explore new ministry expressions, and find out how to turn around a conflicted church or start a multi-cultural ministry. Click here for more info and to register.


Youth Leaders Day 

The first ever IGNITE Youth Leaders Day was a blast! Worship was led by ARISE Worship and Greenhouse Church, and workshops were led by Kenda Creasy Dean, Preston Centuolo, Kate O Unruh, Kermit Moss, Wes Ellis, Charles Perez, and Blair Goold. Youth leaders left empowered and equipped to go and change lives in youth throughout GNJ. Check out the video above and make plans to attend next year. 

Listen to Prof. Mark Miller on 'Living With Graceful Controversies' 

Prof. Mark Miller, renowned church musician and Professor of Church Music at Drew Theological School, joins the Uncovered Dish to talk about living with graceful controversies in the church. We talk about faith and life, and explore whether the United Methodist Church in particular can find a way towards unity amidst diversity regarding the questions of LGBTQ members and leadership in the church. Click here to listen. 

Korean Lay Leadership Training

Korean United Methodists in Greater New Jersey are invited to a Lay Leadership Training Day Feb. 26 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m at Calvary Korean UMC in East Brunswick. Click here for more information.

Bishop Praying for Northern Shore 

Bishop Schol has begun a new ministry of praying for clergy, laity and churches in a different district each week. This week he is praying for the Northern Shore District and next week he will be praying for the Capital District. As part of this ministry he is inviting leaders of each district to share prayer concerns, joys and stories of how God is making a difference in GNJ congregations.

Appointment Information

Each Sunday by 1:00 p.m., GNJ posts new clergy appointments on the website. Click here to learn more about the clergy appointment process, check out resources here.  

Last Day for Legislation and Reports 

Today is the deadline for legislation and reports to be included in the pre-conference journal. Click here to see instructions. 

Package Meals With 'Rise Against Hunger' 

GNJ will be out in force packaging meals at Annual Conference for 'Rise Against Hunger.' (formerly known as 'Stop Hunger Now'). Rise Against Hunger seeks to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world's most vulnerable and create a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources. Last year at annual conference, GNJ packaged 30,000 meals. Join on us on Monday, May 22 at 3:45 p.m. at the Wildwoods Convention Center. More info and registration will open on March 15. For more info about Rise Against Hunger, click here. 

Conferences to Consider 5 Constitutional Amendments 

Annual conference voters will decide whether five amendments will become part of The United Methodist Church's constitution. Click here for an overview of the measures that are up for a vote.

New Insight Could Boost Search for Malaria Vaccine 

The effort to develop an effective vaccine against malaria has been long and frustrating. Now researches believe they've solved a piece of that puzzle in a way that could be used to make an effective vaccine against malaria. Your contributions are saving lives. Click here to read the story. 

A Future With Hope is the outbound mission arm of GNJ, meeting
needs and providing hope for communities throughout New Jersey


Building Continues: Spring, Summer Volunteers Needed

A Future With Hope is seeking individual or group volunteers for the Spring and Summer as rebuilding continues and families are brought over the finish line and into their homes. Click here to volunteer.
GNJ Announcements

2017 Lay Ministry Recognition Applications 

To nominate a person or group in your church for Lay Ministry Recognition to honor their creativity and innovation in transforming lives and making disciples, please complete the nomination form here by March 4. Laity will be recognized on April 22 at the Mission and Resource Center. Click here for more information on the event.

Scholarship Opportunities 

The GNJ Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry is now accepting applications for the 2017 scholarship opportunities. A letter was mailed to each church and more information can be found here. Deadline: March 31. 

Last Chance to Register for Mandatory Make-Up Clergy Gathering 

A mandatory make-up clergy gathering will be held from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Mission and Resource Center. This meeting is mandatory for all clergy in or expecting to be appointed to a congregation, both part and full-time who were unable to attend the Jan. 11 gathering. Click here for details and to register now. 

March 2, 2017: Pre-Retirement Seminar

The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits is presenting a Pre-Retirement Seminar for pastors and their spouses. A benefits educator from the Wespath Benefits and Investments will speak on retirement planning on March 2. for those planning to retire in the next five years. This session will also feature a speaker from the Social Security Administration on Social Security and Medicare. Click here for more information


Church Mutual Scholarships 

You might be eligible to apply for a $5,000 scholarship through Church Mutual. 50 scholarships will be awarded. Click here for complete eligibility details and info. Applications will be accepted through April 15. Click here for details.

Waves of Grace Women's Retreat 

The 2017 Waves of Grace Women's Retreat will be held April 21-22 in Wildwood. This retreat offers women of all ages, races and denominations an opportunity to encounter the grace of God through a time of worship and fellowship. Click here for more info. 

Employment Opportunities

GNJ is currently hiring for the following four positions:  Executive Director of the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation, Director of Stewardship, Director of Leadership Development and Regional Administrative Assistant.  Click here for more information and application procedures. Pinelands Center is also seeking kitchen and housekeeping staff willing to work flexible hours. For more info call (609)893-3354 or click here to email resume. 

This Week Ahead
Feb. 18 | Mission U Planning Team Meeting 
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Located at the Mission and Resource Center.
Click here for more info.

Feb. 18 | Spring Basic Lay Servant Class: Palisades District 
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. |  Located at Grace UMC in Wyckoff. 
Click here for more info and to register. 

Feb. 18 | Spring Basic Lay Servant Class: Skylands District: Option 1 
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. |  Located at Stanhope UMC in Netcong. 
Click here for more info and to register.

Feb. 22-23 | Clergy Retreat: Revolutionizing Stewardship 
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. | Located at Congress Hall in Cape May. 
Click here for more info.
UMC News

Native American Sunday Next Month 

Next month is Native American Sunday (third Sunday of Easter) nurturing mission with Native Americans and providing scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians. Click here to plan ahead and get resources for your services. 

NEJ Bishops Speak Out For Immigrants, Refugees 

Northeastern Jurisdiction bishops called on The United Methodist Church to reject President Trump's executive order restricting immigration from seven countries and suspending refugee entry. Lancaster has 20 times more refugees per capita than the rest of the U.S. Click here to read more. 


Ethnic-In-Service Training Grant Applications Open 

The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is accepting grant applications through March 17 for Ethnic-In-Service Training grants of up to $10,000. The grants are awarded for initiatives and programming designed to recruit, train and retain ethnically diverse United Methodists in leadership positions in every level of the church and its ministries. Click here to read the press release. 


How to Get in The Relay and Digest

Do you have vital information that pertains to all of GNJ for The Digest? Email gnjdigest@gnjumc.org. Do you have a good story idea for The Relay? Contact Josh Kinney at: jkinney@gnjumc.org. The deadline to send news for the following month's Relay is the 20th of each month. The deadline to send news to the Digest is noon every Tuesday.
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