Gateway South District Newsletter
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Attention to the Big Rocks
Labor Day often marks the start of a new season of ministry in our church congregations. With the launch of Sunday school and a shift “back” in worship times, it is a period to build energy and move full speed into a myriad of programs and events.

In these full days of September, I have at times wished for “8 days a week” or “if I could put time in a bottle” (dating myself).  Stephen Covey, co-author of First Things First, provides guidance for helping us build capacity to care for the most important things by paying attention to the BIG rocks first.

Look at your calendar from now until Christmas and mark down the most important events or happenings in the next three and half months, not just the urgent ones. These most important events are called “BIG ROCK” items or events.  When I was growing up in upstate New York there were huge boulders in the middle of various farm fields and the farmer smartly plowed around them. When you schedule out your calendar, make certain that you plan for and around IMPORTANT personal events such as anniversaries, birthdays, etc. as well as church events and ministry happenings. Then consider steps you need to take to prepare for and plan for these important events. Schedule out time in your calendar for this as well.

Are there important practices you need to do almost every day? Does your calendar include time for important life givings, spiritual, mental and physical practicing each day such as time for devotion, prayer, exercise etc.? Covey says, “Sharpen your saw” and keep a healthy, balanced life to provide a platform for optimal engagement of work and play.

Click here to watch a short video demonstration about The 7 Big Rocks by Stephen Convey.

As you can see from the video, planning for your week around the BIG ROCK items provides you an overview and freedom to ensure the most important and urgent items are covered and you keep sharp.

In the book called Lead like Wesley, by Mark L. Gorveatte, the discussion begins with a chapter called “LEAD Diligently” and in a section called “Redeeming the Time”, Gorveatte writes:

"John Wesley considered time management a serious responsibility and part of Christian Stewardship. He believed this so deeply that he wrote an entire sermon On Redeeming the Time (link to Wesley Sermon # 93)"

Gorveatte concludes the chapter with, “How we invest our time and energy is the most easily observed measure of what we believe matters most in our organization. Lead diligently!” (And I would add in our lives too…).

Caring for the BIG ROCKS is not only a responsibility. You will discover it also as a gift for yourself, your congregation, and your family. Savor the important items and plan for them. Make certain you plan for the fullness of your life besides just work. This type of planning allows for you to get more out of life.

Guest Writer: Pastor Brian Roberts, Cape Atlantic District Superintendent


Church Opportunities and Resources

Church Happenings

Click here to view all the church to church happenings on the Gateway South District! Church events and flyers are updated on a regular basis so you will never miss out. You can also visit the Southern Regional Informational page to view events that are going on throughout the region. If you would like your church event to be posted on the district events page please email  

Southern Region Prayers

  • Healing for Rev. Pedro Pilott who had surgery for appendicitis.
  • Prayers for Rev. Robert Wecht's father who is currently in hospice.
  • Prayers for the family of Charlene Norman, who tragically passed away. For the past three years, Charlene was an after-school and summer camp counselor at the Neighborhood Center in Camden. Charlene was 28 years old with four young children. A gofundme account has been set up to provide financial support for her family.
Southern Region PaCE Group: "Lead More/Control Less"
Date: September 20, 2016
Time: 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: First United Methodist Church, Hammonton NJ
Cost: $5 lunch donation

Your invited to join a new Southern Region PaCE group that has been divided up into eight sessions. During each monthly session, the group will review, study and practice one of the eight leadership skills outlined in the book, Lead More/Control Less: 8 Advanced Leadership Skills that Overturn Convention by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff. Click here for more information and to register today!
Bishop's Day: Laity Session
Date: Wednesday, September 21
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sicklerville UMC
Bishop's Day: Clergy Session
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: St. John's UMC in Turnersville
Time Is Running Out To Register: Preaching and Worship Workshop
Preach with Precision, Passion and Purpose
: Saturday, September 24
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
Location: St. Peter's United Methodist Church, 501 E 8th St, Ocean City, NJ 08226
Cost: $10 and includes lunch
For more information and to register: Click Here
GNJ Dental Insurance Plans from Guardian: Open Enrollment until September 23
Retirees, clergy and lay employees of local churches working 20 or more hours/week are eligible for three new dental plans, including a managed care plan with a multi-state network. The 2 current Horizon plans will terminate on December 31, 2016. Everyone currently in one of the Horizon plans will need to enroll in a new plan. Click here for more information and to download the EPOD kit.
IGNITE 2016: The Biggest Year Yet!
The movement is IGNITING youth throughout Greater New Jersey and beyond with over 70 churches already registered. In addition to a beach bonfire, artist meet and greets, an acoustic coffee house, inspiring speakers and entertainment, youth will have an opportunity at IGNITE to put there faith into action and participate in a mission project with ONE, an international campaigning and advocacy organization. It is not too late to register and join the excitement at IGNITE 2016
Church Conference Schedule
Church conference schedule for Gateway South District can be viewed online by clicking here. All church paper work needs to be completed online by October 3.

GNJ Development Grant Application for 2017

The United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey is providing development grants to leaders and congregations that:

  • Encourage innovative ministry that connects with people in the community
  • Develop lay and clergy leadership for making disciples and transforming the world
  • Maximize vital congregations

Applications must be received by October 5, 2016. Please email all applications and questions to Ginny Kaiser.

Click here for additional information or click here to download the 2017 grant funding application.

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Copyright © 2016 The United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.
Gateway South District

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The United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey
205 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune, NJ 07753

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