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Effective Clergy Small Groups 

PaCE Groups are unique and intimate small group settings for pastors to collaborate and learn from their peers. Click here for an overview and video. Unlock your imagination, and engage in a 2017 PaCE group. Registration is now open. Click here to sign up now! Deadline: Jan. 15, 2017
"Tending institutional soul requires nurturing organizational effectiveness and spiritual wholeness as one" - Susan Beaumont 

Consider the Gift of the 2017 Bishop's Clergy Convocation 

Not sure what to get your pastor for Christmas? Enhance your love gift by paying for their registration to the 2017 Bishop's Clergy Convocation, held Jan. 23-25, 2017 at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch. Convocation will feature plenary and small group sessions led by Susan Beaumont and a special presentation by The Music Paradigm. Your pastor will experience life-changing renewal, learning, and fellowship. Early-bird registration discounts end Dec. 15. Click here to find out more. No on-site registrations will be accepted. 


Share Your Hopes for A Way Forward 

All laity and clergy from GNJ are invited into a deeper conversation to develop hopes and aspirations for the future of The United Methodist Church and send them to the Commission on the Way Forward. The gathering called Graceful Controversies will be held on March 4, 2017 for GNJ members to identify how to see the church move forward. All church members and clergy are welcome to participate. For more info and resources, click here. 

Pray Our Way Forward: Phase II

Bishop Schol invites all United Methodists in GNJ to join him in Praying our Way Forward, the Council of Bishops' prayer initiative which will take place from Jan. 1, 2017 - Spring, 2018. Each conference is registered for a week of prayer and GNJ has been assigned the week of Jan. 29, 2017. Click here to register your commitment to prayer as an individual or a congregation. More info and resources for organizing prayer groups within your congregation will be made available after Dec. 15. 


IGNITE Leaders Day 

Calling all young adults and youth leaders! An IGNITE Leaders Day will be held Feb. 11, 2017 at Calvary Korean UMC in East Brunswick from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Preston Centuolo, Kenda Creasy Dean, and GNJ local church leaders will be presenting. $15 includes lunch and resource materials. Click here for more info. 

Study/Renewal Leave for Connectional Ministries Director 

Director of Connectional Ministries, Hector Burgos is on Study/Renewal Leave through Jan. 15. He will be studying and participating in activities all designed for the renewal of mind, body and soul, using scripture as his base. Bishop Schol will provide leadership for the CMT ministry during this time. 

GNJ Announcements

Overtime Pay Ruling ON HOLD 

A U.S. federal judge on Nov. 22 put a hold on a new rule making millions more Americans, including church workers, eligible for overtime pay. The move indefinitely pushes back the Dec. 1 effective date while the judge weighs a challenge to the requirement. Click here for updated critical information about this ruling. 

2016 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms 

Look for the customized 2016 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms which will be mailed to every church on Dec. 1 by Church Mutual. The audit covers 2016 payroll for both church and church-controlled nursery school workers. Completed audits are due Jan. 15, 2017 and are to be sent directly to Church Mutual. Click here for important details and contact information. 

Nominations Being Accepted for Church History Awards

The GNJ Commission on Archives and History is now taking nominations for its three awards: The Robert B. Steelman Methodist History Award for best overall church history, Ethnicity History Award for a non-English speaking, culturally diverse or native congregation, and a Digital Church History Award. All histories must be submitted by Jan. 6, 2017. Click here for more info. Need resources from GNJ archival holdings? Contact Walt Jones. Submissions must be sent digitally or by mail to Mark Shenise, GCAH, 36 Madison Ave., Madison, NJ 07940. 

Central Region Wesley Heritage Tours Informational Meetings

Clergy and laity from the Central Region will be traveling together to England on a 9 day Wesley Heritage tour on July 19. Come hear about a wonderful opportunity to tour the great sights of England with friends from the Central Region. A meeting will be held on Dec. 10 at St. Mark's UMC in Hamilton Township at 11 a.m. and Dec. 17 at the Mission and Resource Center at 11 a.m. Contact Glenn Ferguson about becoming a host for a group from your church. Click here for more info. 

Can Group Purchasing and Shared Services Help Your Church?

GNJ's Committee on Finance and Administration is exploring group purchasing and shared services for local churches. Click here to fill out their brief survey to help them set priorities. 

Scholarship Addresses Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders 

The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) announced the creation of The Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship that launches Jan. 3, 2017, for students enrolled in United Methodist seminaries. Click here for more information. 

Career Opportunities: Executive Director of the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation + More 

Now accepting applications for the senior leadership position of the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of GNJ to raise funds to expand our vision and our reach to transform lives, communities and the world. Find out more and apply here. GNJ is also seeking to fill the following positions: Administrative Assistant for the Regional Manager and Technical Assistant. Find out more and apply here.

A Future With Hope is the mission arm of the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey dedicated to helping families with Sandy recovery and developing Communities of Hope resourcing for our congregations.

250 Homes Completed! 

GNJ's mission arm, A Future With Hope, is grateful to the volunteers, partners, grantors, donors and homeowners who have helped us rebuild 250 Sandy-damaged homes throughout New Jersey. On behalf of those families, thank you! Help families get home for Christmas this year by being a part of NJ's Sandy recovery. Click here to volunteer or here to donate. 

United Methodists throughout GNJ are working toward the goal of $12 million to help rebuild homes, save lives and inspire local church mission. Learn how you and your congregation can join the campaign.

Children Raise Funds for Imagine No Malaria

Children from Chews UMC in Glendora raised $300 by bringing in their quarters for Imagine No Malaria. A sleeping bag was placed on the floor of the church with a malaria bed net hanging above. Each week children brought quarters to place inside the sleeping bag. "It was such a joy to see the children excited about giving and helping" said Naomi Walker. Click here to get more information on the Mission Fund. 

Strategic Partnerships

The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater Mew Jersey serves the financial and investment needs of Greater New Jersey, its local churches and its agencies

Developing an Investment Policy 

An investment Policy Statement (IPS) establishes guidelines, objectives and monitoring standards to evaluate investment performances on a periodic basis. An IPS does not need to be a long, cumbersome document written by an attorney. Click here for more info and samples. 

Uniform Prudent Management of Investment Funds Act 

UPMIFA was adopted in new Jersey in 2009 and requires charitable organizations, including churches, to have an investment policy in place. In addition, it updates the standard of care by directing a board to consider investment decisions in relation to the whole investment portfolio, the economic circumstances at the time, and the organization's charitable purposes, as well as the charitable purposes of the fund. Read more about UPMIFA here. 


Executive Director 

CUMAC seeks a dynamic Executive Director to lead the organization through a critical transition, deepening and expanding its commitment to Paterson, NJ. The Executive Director will provide leadership and direction for all aspects of the organization. To view the full position description and find information on how to apply, please click here. 

Program Director 

CUMAC seeks a  Program Director to join their staff to critically analyze and evaluate programs to ensure success in achieving objectives and goals. Click here for more information, a complete position description, and application instructions. 


CUMAC seeks a full-time driver to pick up food and household donations for the organization's programs and to serve as an ambassador for CUMAC. Click here to learn more and apply. 

"United Methodist Communities is a vital partner with GNJ. We are blessed to have them in our family" - Bishop John Schol 

UM Communities Seeks Your Input 

United Methodist Communities is looking for your input as they continually work to strengthen their relationship with laity and clergy leaders in our churches. Bishop Schol encourages GNJ clergy and laity to please take a few moments to complete a brief survey so they can build on collaborating with GNJ congregations and clergy. Click here to take part in the brief survey.

This Week Ahead


12/8: Central Region Bishop's Day at Aldersgate UMC, East Brunswick, NJ for clergy and laity of the Raritan Valley, Capital, and Northern Shore Districts. 
Clergy Session - 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
Laity Session - 7 - 9 p.m. 

Southern Region Year-End Statistical Report Training at Trinity UMC, Mullica Hill, NJ. 2 - 9 p.m. is open to clergy and laity in the Gateway South, Cape Atlantic and Delaware Bay districts.  Click here for info. 


12/10: Board of Laity Meeting at the Mission and Resource Center, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Central Region Wesley Heritage Tour informational meeting at St. Mark's UMC Hamilton Township at 11 a.m. Click here for more info or contact Glenn Ferguson

12/11: Board of Global Ministries Conference call, 3 p.m. For more info please contact Isabel Quezada by email or call (732)963-9438 


12/14: Southern Region Bishop's Day Laity Session at the UMC of Mantua, Mantua, NJ, 7 - 9 p.m. is open to Laity in the Gateway South, Cape Atlantic, and Delaware Bay districts. Click here for more info


#GivingTuesday Donations Set Record 

More than 2,550 persons in 19 countries contributed a total of $853,909.78 to United Methodist mission projects and missionary support through the 2016 UMC #GivingTuesday campaign. That result was almost twice that of any single day's non-Giving Tuesday receipts of the past. Read the story here.

United Methodists React to Standing Rock Decision 

United Methodists who supported the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline cheered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to deny construction under a damned section of the Missouri River, and to look for alternative routes. Read the story here. 

Agency Reports

Status and Role of Women: The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women introduced two new resources in 2016 for local churches and annual conferences and continued its charge to ensure the full inclusion of women in the life of the church. Read the story here. 
Religion and Race: The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race worked to increase understanding of cultural differences in 2016, by providing more than 1,000 hours of training to church leaders and creating new resources for healthier cross-racial/cross-cultural appointments. Read the story here.  
Archives and History: The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History made its presence known at General Conference 2016 and also helped many students through grants and scholarships. Read the story here. 

Help Pouring in for Gatlinburg Fires 

Donations and prayerful support from across the nation are pouring into the Holston Conference since fire engulfed the tourist region on Nov. 28. Read the story here.

WCC: Aleppo's Child Victims 'Unacceptable' 

The World Council of Churches has urged an immediate cessation of airstrikes and bombardments on Aleppo, Syria. "It is unacceptable that children should become victims in this way," said Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit in a Dec. 4 statement. Read the story here. 


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.
Copyright © 2016 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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