September 1, 2021

Praying and Serving Across the World

As United Methodists, we are called to go wherever there may be suffering, from Louisiana to Haiti to Afghanistan. To help you determine where your congregations' offerings or fundraiser proceeds can be donated, please visit the webpage below to access the resources we have compiled. As a follow-up to yesterday's messaging in the Essential Actions email, we have learned today that accepting items is on hold at this time as government contractors under USAID organize to help refugees. The best way to help immediately will be to donate through UMCOR using the advance special numbers. We will let you know when and how items on the list will be collected. As we learn more, we will continue to add to this webpage. Our prayers are with those suffering and those brave souls who are working hard to save lives and provide shelter and healthcare. 
How You Can Help

Deepen Faith

Back to School Blessing. "Bless my paper and my pen. Guide my spirit deep within. Help me think and help me play, this whole school year, day by day. As I move from class to class, guide my footsteps; clear my path. Keep my tongue to speak your words. Let your will for me be heard." To read the blessing from Rev. Marilyn E. Thornton in its entirety, click here. Wishing all students, caregivers and educators a blessed year!

Develop Leadership

Have you tuned in yet? United Methodist Women's Faith Talks are monthly conversations hosted by Jennifer R. Farmer, Spotlight PR. Each conversation explores themes and resources that empower us to put faith, hope and love into action. Next one is tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. when the topic will be "Grieving Those We've Lost." Register for this one or listen to a previous one here.

Leadership Academy - New Fall Program Begins Sept. 16!

Kicking off the fall session, Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash, executive director of the GNJ Stewardship Foundation, will lead a three-part course on how to launch a stewardship campaign. On Oct. 21, Breakthrough Coordinator and pastor at Titusville UMC Emily Wilton will be offering a one-day workshop on the Advent Breakthrough Series. More details to come!

A Dozen Things to Know this Week

  1. Bishop Schol began his dual role today as bishop at Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPAC) following the retirement of Bishop Peggy Johnson! "Today, I become your bishop, not as one who is over you, but one with you as we together seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," said Bishop Schol. On Sept. 18, EPAC will officially welcome him in a celebratory ceremony in West Chester, PA. 
  2. 2021 Fall Congregational Development Grants. Transformational leaders grow vital congregations who nurture passionate disciples of Jesus Christ and share faith, hope and justice in the community. Apply for a one-year grant here.
  3. New article on vaccines. To read this story and access vaccination resources as the number of cases continues to rise, click here.
  4. A New Path: Laity Sunday. This year, a team from the Board of Laity has developed a sermon outline and worship resources to use on this Sunday in October, which was written by laity, for laity! Find out more here
  5. UMW's Healing and Joy on Our Journey to God focuses on finding healing and joy in our lives guided by those in the scriptures who felt a similar need to finding hope and purpose in the midst of hardship. Details here.
  6. Job Vacancies. For all opportunities available, including a new vacancy at GNJ for a Regional Administrative Assistant and a Director of Music at First UMC Freehold, click here.
  7. In the wake of Hurricanes Henri and Ida. Resources that help you prepare for a storm can be accessed here.
  8. September is Hispanic Heritage Month. Started in 1968, it begins each year on Sept. 15, which is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It continues through Oct. 15. Learn more.
  9. 2020 AC Journal. We are aware of a glitch with the 2020 AC journal mailing. If you are a retiree and received multiple copies that you did not request, please leave them with your local church when convenient. If you received multiple copies that you paid for, please contact Laura Canzonier for refund processing. 
  10. United Methodist Communities is requiring that all associates be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 15, 2021. For more details.
  11. NAIC responds to vandalism at St. John UMC. Read statement.
  12. Obituary: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rev. Dr. Edward James Wynne Jr., retired full elder, who died on Aug. 23. Details can be found here.

Please see resources above to help you now and to carry you forward into the future! Need one-on-one technology support? Click here.


  • Sept. 10-11: Confirmation Retreats will not be an overnight event this year, but programming resources will be provided. Details.
  • Sept. 21-23: Southern Region (that ROCKS) Pastor’s Retreat at Sandy Cove in Maryland. All clergy are welcome. Details.
  • Oct. 3: World Communion Sunday. Resources.
  • Oct. 6: Day of Truth and Repentance for Our Children (NAIC). Details.
  • Oct. 6: Information Sessions for Adjournment Annual Conference Session at 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 14: Adjourned Session of Annual Conference
  • Oct. 16: GNJ UMW's Fall Meeting. Details.
  • Oct. 17: Laity Sunday. Resources.
  • Oct. 21: One-day Leadership Academy workshop on Advent Breakthrough Series
  • June 18-25, 2022: Joshua Generation Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Details.

Lay Servant Classes start Sept. 25—Registration Open

Lay Servant Ministries is a program to provide training opportunities and experiences to equip disciples of Jesus Christ to realize and respond to their personal call to ministry. Through Basic and Certified Advanced Classes, this program strives to help disciples become aware of their particular gifts by offering education to enhance and develop the skills necessary to bring them to fruition.

Good News!

St. Paul UMC in Willingboro will host this Saturday Family Fun Day, free fun for the whole family. The event begins at 11:00 a.m. More details here.

The Maker’s Place of Trenton, as part of the National Diaper Bank Network, is joining the effort to educate and advocate about diaper need in the United States, specifically during National Diaper Need Awareness Week (9.27.21 – 10.3.21). To learn more about this and its “Mission In A Box” Toolkit, click here.
To read more Good News happening in GNJ throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, visit our Good News page! Then share your own Good News with us!
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