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Registration Opens Saturday, April 1

Get fired up this weekend and register for the 2017 IGNITE conference in Wildwood, Sept. 29 - Oct. 1. From Dove Award winning artist Meredith Andrews to professional motivational youth speaker Reggie Dabbs, your youth won't want to miss this year's IGNITE. Stay tuned for more artist and speaker announcements. Click here for registration details. 


Click here to see the full IGNITE schedule, from Friday night bonfire, breakout session times, concert, meet and greets and more. 

Worship at IGNITE 

For the first time ever, every church in GNJ is invited to be a part of the IGNITE experience and join the conference on Oct. 1 for Sunday morning worship at the Wildwoods Convention Center. Come do church at IGNITE and catch a glimpse of the movement with the youth of GNJ. Click here for details and to download worship tickets. 

Registration Open 

Registration for the 2017 GNJ Annual Conference is now open. Come rejoice with us as we gather at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood from May 21-23. Click here for more information, schedule, and registration form. 

Teaching Moment: Cultural Competence 

This year's Annual Conference Teaching Moment will feature Erin M. Hawkins, the General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race. Click here to learn more about Ms. Hawkins. 

Display Table Registration Open 

Registration is now open for display table space. Represent your ministry and outreach to the GNJ community. Spaces will be granted in the order that they are received, however, UMC organizations take priority. Please register by April 15 to ensure your space. Click here for more info and registration. 

Focus Group Request Form 

If your group or committee would like to schedule a special gathering at the Wildwoods Convention Center, please click here to complete the form. The deadline to reserve a meeting space is April 28. 

Extension Ministry Dinner 

All clergy in extension ministry are invited to enjoy fellowship and a meal at the Extension Ministry Dinner at Annual Conference: Monday, May 22 at 5:45 p.m. The cost is $28.00 per person. You can register for the dinner when you register for the conference. 
A Future With Hope is the outbound mission arm of GNJ, meeting
needs and providing hope for communities throughout New Jersey

Americorps Volunteers Take on Egg Harbor 

Americorps volunteers who will be working with A Future With Hope throughout April, were hard at work in Egg Harbor last week helping to finish homes and bring families over the finish line. Click here to set up a volunteer mission for you, your friends, family, church or organization. 

Hiring: Community Developer 

A Future With Hope is hiring a Hope Center Developer for the South/Central New Jersey area who will provide logistical, programmatic and administrative management for Communities of Hope and Hope Centers. Click here for a job description and details. Please send resume and cover letter to Kaitlynn Deal. 
United Methodists throughout GNJ are working toward the goal of $12 million to help rebuild homes, save lives and inspire local church mission

2017 Imagine No Malaria Marathon 

On Saturday, April 29 from 4:00 - 10:00 p.m. the 2017 Imagine No Malaria Marathon will take place at Calvary UMC in Dumont. Open to Jr. & Sr. High youth from all houses of worship, scouts and other organizations. For registration materials or more info send an email or call 201-208-0743. The deadline to register is April 15.

One Step Closer to Malaria Vaccine 

Australian researchers say they are closer to creating a vaccine to prevent malaria, which could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Click here to read the story. 


GNJ Honored at UMAC Awards 

GNJ Director of Communications, Carolyn Conover, was honored as Communicator of the Year at the 2017 United Methodist Association of Communicators conference (UMAC) last week in New Orleans. GNJ was also recognized for The Connection, a blog on the five markers of vitality, The Uncovered Dish Podcast, a biweekly Christian leadership recording, IGNITE Youth Conference, 2016 Annual Conference Logo Design "Imagine" the CUMAC video, and Bishop Schol's columns on Graceful Controversies. In addition, Bishop Schol participated in a panel on Communicating on the Way Forward. Click here to read more. Click here to see a full list of winners. 

Listen to Rev. Zach Wooten on Equipping Young Leaders

Through Mosaic Ministries, a co-hort program that appoints young seminary students to lead willing churches, Rev. Zach Wooten of First UMC of Mt. Holly got ten years of experience within two years and now feels ready to tackle the coming changes in the future of the church. Click here to listen to the latest episode of the award-winning Uncovered Dish Christian Leadership podcast and hear what Wooten has to say. 

GNJ Leadership Survey 

GNJ is committed to working with every pastor and church that is willing and ready to grow and develop. Last fall, a clergy evaluation was conducted in order to assess conference staff and leadership. The following survey will be sent our twice a year so GNJ can mark progress and assess challenges. Click here to complete the survey, which will remain open until April 14. 

Excellence in Communication 
Churches within GNJ are doing outstanding work in the area of communication. Sharing resources through the connection makes us stronger. GNJ churches are creating high quality communication materials to help make disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world. To take a look at Haddonfield UMC’s annual report, click here. To submit your own work for sharing, please send an email to Brittney Reilly. 

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.  
GNJ Announcements

The Award-winning GNJ Blog: The Connection 

Have you checked out The Connection - the Connectional Ministry blog that highlights the 5 markers of vitality? Check out the most recent blog or browse through the archives. GNJ's Connectional Ministries team was honored with an award of excellence from the UM Association of Communicators last week for their work in 2016. Click here and check it out. 

Peace with Justice Grants 

The Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey believes that vital congregations are congregations deeply rooted in mercy and justice ministries. Christian discipleship is centered in living out the love and grace of God that we have experienced. The Board also wishes to support the General Board of Church and Society objectives for Peace with Justice grants. Click here for more info. 

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. 


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.

Resources for Vitality 

Did you know the GNJ website has resources for laity and clergy leaders around the 5 markers of vitality? Links appear on the site's home page or you can click here to view the complete section. 

Employment Opportunities

GNJ is currently hiring for the following two positions: Director of Stewardship 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. 

Interpretation Equipment Available 

GNJ has interpretation equipment available for agencies, committees and other groups so your next event or service can be interpreted in up to four languages. Click here to request use of this equipment.

Reserve Space at the Mission and Resource Center 

Let the Mission and Resource Center serve you. Click here to fill out the Conference Meeting Room request form and reserve space for your congregation, agency, or committee. 

Rev. Pat Bruger's Retirement Celebration 

Help celebrate Rev. Pat Bruger's life of service at her retirement dinner, held at The Fiesta in Wood-Ridge on April 27. The deadline to purchase tickets is April 6. Reserve your seat today. If you can't attend, you're welcome to honor Rev. Bruger and support CUMAC's mission by sharing a special message. Call 973-742-5518 or click here for details. 

This Week Ahead
March 31 | Deadline for Higher Education Scholarships 
Click here for more info. 

March 31 | Local Pastors Licensing School 
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Located at the Mission and Resource Center.
Click here for more info. 

April 1 | Local Pastors Licensing School 
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Located at the Mission and Resource Center.
Click here for more info. 
UMC News

Passing of Gwen White 

Please hold in prayer the family of Gwen White, wife of Bishop Dale White, who entered into life eternal on March 27, 2017. 

Gwen was a long-time retreat leader and spiritual director. In 2015, she was honored with the Lifetime of Discipleship Award by the Preachers' Aid Society of New England. In the meantime, please continue to pray for Bishop White, who is recovering from pneumonia. 

Details about the memorial service are forthcoming.

Please note the address correction from the previous announcement. 
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

Bishop White and Family
80 Deaconess Road, Unit 453, Concord, MA 01742


Remembering John Goodwin, United Methodist Photographer

John C. Goodwin, who worked for many years as a photographer for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and captured the scene at 10 United Methodist General Conferences, died March 22 at Emerson Healthcare. Click here to read more. 

Start Planning for 2017 VBS 

Urban Ministries offers a 2017 VBS Planning Kit you can use to kickstart your program. With UMI's 'Glow for Jesus!' VBS program, students of all ages are encouraged to let their light shine and make an impact on the world. Click here for more info. 

School of Congregational Development 2017 

Join Discipleship Ministries' School of Congregational Development at 'The Lord's Table' in Atlanta, GA from Aug. 17-20. Click here for more info. Registration to come. 

Global Ministries: Learn Best Practices and Models 

Learn best practices and models from churches that moved from charity to building relationships. There are two events sponsored by Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church this upcoming May, one in Detroit, MI, and another in Asheville, NC. Click here for dates and details. 

Open House at United Theological Seminary 

On April 18, United Theological Seminary is hosting an open house at its campus in Dayton, Ohio. If you know someone who is considering seminary as they fulfill their calling, let them know about the Explore United Open House, Click here for details. 

Large Church Initiative Conference 2017 

The 2017 Large Church Initiative Conference (LCI) will be hosted May 8-10 at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL. The conference will equip pastors and church staff to be more effective in ministry and will hear from brilliant keynote speakers. Click here for details and to register. 



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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