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A beach bonfire, artist meet and greets, an acoustic coffee house, indoor and outdoor activities, powerful worship, speakers, and entertainment. IGNITE 2016 has you covered!

September 30 - October 2 | Wildwood, NJ | #ignite16


Who's coming to IGNITE?

More than 70 churches throughout GNJ including: Simpson, Grace Union, Buckshutem, Manasquan, Grace Korean, Wesley (Trenton), Haddonfield, St. Peter's (Ocean City) and many, many more are gearing up for the biggest IGNITE ever. Click here to register while there's still time.

Mission Opportunity at IGNITE 

Youth at this year's IGNITE Conference will have the unique opportunity to participate in a mission project with ONE, an international campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 7 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. 
United Methodists throughout the conference 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.


Circles of Hope Update 

To acknowledge the generosity and commitment of our congregations to the Mission Fund, we have updated our Hope Circles for September. Hope Circles recognize churches based on the average dollar per worshiper they have contributed to the Mission Fund. Click here to see the Circles of Hope. This year, have your church take the lead: start a campaign, redouble your commitment, or make a one time gift here.
A Future With Hope is the mission arm of the United Methodist Church of Greater NJ dedicated to helping families with Sandy recovery and developing Communities of Hope resourcing for our congregations.

Results through August 

United Methodists and A Future With Hope have:
  • rebuilt 244 homes
  • hosted 11,540 volunteers who hail from 44 states, DC and Canada

Share Hope Brochures with your Congregation 

Four years after the storm and nearly 5,000 people are struggling to recover. United Methodists through A Future With Hope remain one of the resources these families can count on. A Future With Hope has produced a new packet calling for volunteers and continued financial support. Click here to print off copies and share with your congregation

Volunteers Wanted

A Future With Hope is equipped to accommodate volunteers for the fall and winter with flexible extended weekend crews for you and your congregation. Teams of 4 or more should email Lisa Park or call 732-359-1012 to schedule a team of volunteers.


GNJ Small Group Symposium 

Clergy and local seminary students are invited to explore a variety of small group approaches, emerging trends, challenges and theological perspectives at a symposium sponsored by the Northern Region Resource Team. On Oct. 20 from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Drew Theological School, experts from Greater New Jersey and beyond will lead panels followed by discussions and workshops. Cost is $30 for clergy and $15 for students. Click here for more information from our website.

Webinar on Confronting White Privilege 

This fall, Drew Theological School is providing a webinar on "Confronting White Privilege in Our Mission Toward Justice." The four-part series will discuss what missional engagement of the church looks like in a highly racialized context on both a national and a local level. The webinar will be held on Sept. 21, 28 and Oct. 5 from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.

Tipple-Vosburgh Lecture and Alumni Reunion 

The Tipple-Vosburgh lecture and Theological School alumni reunion will be held on Oct. 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Concert Hall at the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts at Drew University. The public event will feature "The Bridge to a New America" with Jim Wallis, Executive Director of Sojourners. Click here for more info and to register. 

New Workshops Available 

Click here to learn more about new workshops being offered this Fall by Drew Theological School, available to clergy and laity. Find out what workshop best suits your interests. 



Bishop's Days

Southern Region Bishop’s Day
  • Laity Session: Wednesday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Sicklerville UMC
  • Clergy Session: Thursday, September 22 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at St. John's UMC in Turnersville
Northern Region Bishop’s Day
  • Laity Session: Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Little Falls UMC
  • Clergy Session: Thursday, November 10 at 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Little Falls UMC
Central Region Bishop’s Day
  • Clergy Session: Thursday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Aldersgate UMC
  • Laity Session: Thursday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Aldersgate UMC

Congregational Development Grant Applications 

GNJ is committed to resourcing congregations on their path to vitality. Congregational Development Grant Applications are now being taken for 2017. The deadline is Oct. 5. Click here to find out more.

Worship Leaders Won't Want to Miss This 

Join leaders from around GNJ for a day of learning new ways to enliven the worship experience at Doxology: A Worship Conference on Nov. 12. Sponsored by the Central Region, the event will be hosted by renown worship leader Kurtis Parks and is open to all clergy and lay in GNJ. Find out more and register here. 

Christmas Plays Available 

Is your church interested in having your Sunday School, youth or group put on a play this Christmas? A limited number of musical Christmas plays, complete with background soundtracks, books, song sheets and some props are available. Contact Rev. Bob Scott at 732-965-5343 or send an email. 

Career Opportunities 
Are you a people-person with a heart for serving others? GNJ is seeking a Front Desk Administrative Assistant to provide radical hospitality to all who call or enter the Mission and Resource Center and to provide organized administrative support. Click here to read the responsibilities and requirements.

Are you thirsting for inspiration and innovation? Do you want to take your skills to a new level? GNJ seeks an experienced Administrative Assistant who is committed to excellence. Click here to find out more.

New Executive Director of United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen

George Arezzo has been appointed to the position of Executive Director of the United Methodiest Communities at Bristol Glen, a continuing care retirement community in Newton. With 35 years' experience in health care, Arezzo joins United Methodist Communities from Atrium Health and Senior Living in Little Falls where he served as Executive Director. Click here for more info. 

New to Princeton University? 

Erik "Skitch" Matson, Director of the Wesley Foundation at Prince University hopes to dive into the ongoing faith formation of students throughout their time at Princeton, from meeting one-on-one to worshiping and serving together. If you are or know students coming to Princeton this fall, please have them email Matson. 

Dunkle-Mackey Preaching Seminar 2016

Dr. Maria Dixon Hall will lead a seminar about communicating in a way that creates community and transformation on Sept. 19, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Asbury UMC in Salisbury, MD. Click here for more info and to register. 

Volunteers in Mission Leadership Training 

Join Rev. Tom Lank to learn more about being a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) team leader or mission team host: Nov. 5, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Mission and Resource Center. Click here for more information and to register. 

Join a UMVIM Trip to Haiti 

Need winter plans? Be a part of a UMVIM team to Haiti, Jan. 7-14, 2017, join the GNJ Water Filtration Team or donate to the GNJ Clean Water for Haiti fund. Click here for more information, call 732-865-3730 or email Kathy Ahmad for more to find out more.

Harvest Festival 

Come enjoy the fall weather at the Pineland's Harvest Festival on October 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be an open house, trunk or treating, hayrides, nature walks, bake sale, activities for kids, a make your own caramel apple, and more. Fore more information call 609.893.3354 or click here to download flyers for your church, group or organization. 

Weekend and Day Retreats Available 

Pinelands Center at Mt. Misery is a campground and retreats center with availability year-round. Your church or group can use the facilities for adults, children, choir, confirmation, family, or youth retreats. Click here to find out more about what the camp offers.

Part-Time Work and Internship 

Pinelands Center at Mount Misery is seeking a part-time kitchen, housekeeping and maintenance staff member with a heart for serving and team work to work weekends and evenings. A Program Internship is also available for college students. Click here for more information. If interested, call 609-893-3354 or send an email. 

Volunteer this Saturday!

Take part in the Pinelands Center Volunteer day on Sept. 17, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Be a part of a wide-range of projects. Call 609.893.3354 or email to register your group. 



Nominations Sought for Culture of the Call Award 

The Foundation for Evangelism invites nominations for its 2016 Culture of the Call Church Award, which recognizes local United Methodist churches that excel in nurturing young people who are called to Christian service. The award includes a plaque and $1,000 grant. The deadline for nominations is Thursday and self-nominations are welcome. Click here to learn more.

Grants for Ecumenical and Interfaith Ministry 

The Council of Bishops Office of Christian Unity and Interfaith Relationships will award three Local Initiative Grants of $1,000 to groups within conferences enacting special projects with the goal of strengthening ecumenical and or interfaith relationships. The deadline to apply is Friday. Click here to learn more and submit an application

United Methodists Stand with Standing Rock

United Methodists from North and South Dakota and beyond have visited the camps near the Missouri River as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe tries to stop construction of a crude oil pipeline that would run from North Dakota to Illinois. Read the story here. 

What is Your Most Meaningful Christmas Tradition?

The Interpreter magazine of the United Methodist Church is asking readers to share what their most meaningful personal or family Advent/Christmas tradition is and why. Respond in 50-75 words and include your full name, church, city/state and whether you're lay or clergy. Responses will be included in the Nov-Dec issue. Click here to submit your answer. 

Communication News and Tips 


Capture Attention with Creative Church Announcements

Don't let church announcements take away from the most important aspects of worship. Click here to explore four creative ways to communicate and keep people focused on what's important. 

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.

GNJ Freelance Network

Click here for a list of freelance video producers, graphic designers, and photographers who understand our branding that agencies and congregations of GNJ can partner with to meet their communication needs as it furthers GNJ's mission. 

Let the Mission and Resource Center Serve You

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.

How to Get in The Relay and Digest

Have a good story idea for The Relay? Contact Josh Kinney at jkinney@gnjumc.org, Do you have information for The Digest? Contact gnjdigest@gnjumc.org. The deadline to send news for the following month's Relay is the 15th of each month. The deadline to send news to the Digest is noon every Tuesday.
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