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Become a Better Pastor With Other Pastors 

Do you feel frustrated? Do you feel alone? Do you feel like you're reinventing the wheel every single week? Well you don't have to. Join a PaCE Group! PaCE Groups are peer-learning groups designed to help pastors be better pastors with other pastors. Click the video above or here for an overview. Registration is now open. Unlock your imagination and sign up now! Deadline: Jan. 15, 2017
"Tending institutional soul requires nurturing organizational effectiveness and spiritual wholeness as one" - Susan Beaumont 

Early-Bird Registration Discount Ends Tomorrow!

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 tomorrow. Click here to find out more. No on-site registrations will be accepted. 


Mandatory Clergy Meeting for Pastors Appointed to Churches

Earlier this month, Bishop Schol sent out an email to all clergy regarding a mandatory meeting on Jan. 11, 2017 at Calvary Korean UMC in East Brunswick. The meeting is open to all clergy but mandatory for clergy in or expecting to be appointed to a congregation, both part and full-time. Click here for more details. Those who have a scheduling conflict that cannot be resolved can attend a makeup date of Feb. 25, 2017 at the Mission and Resource Center in Neptune. Stay tuned for registration information in next week's Digest. 

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. 

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. 

The Connection 

For Advent, the GNJ Connectional Ministries Team is going back to the beginning. Why did we get into this? In the busy seasons of life, we forget those experiences that inspired us to get into ministry. Check out two Connection blog posts, one by Eric Drew, Director of Worship, and another by Rev. Beth Caulfield, Director of Small Groups. 

Save The Date for 'Outbound' 

Put March 25, 2017 on your calendar now so that you can participate in OUTBOUND, A Day of Evangelism. This conference focusing on making disciples, is being sponsored by the Northern Regional Team and will feature workshops by prominent evangelists using innovative new ways to reach into the community. More information and registration to come. 



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. 

State and National Human Trafficking Awareness Day 

The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking will host an educational awareness event for State and National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Jan. 11, 2017, at Hope UMC in Voorhees Township. Registration and refreshments are free. Click here for more info and to sign up. 

GNJ's Christian Leadership Podcast

Episode V: Missions in the 21st Century  

According to Alan Hirsch's "The Forgotten Ways," the mission field of choice for today is North America. GNJ's 'Uncovered Dish' Christian Leadership Podcast talks with Director of Missions, Nicole Caldwell-Gross, about what "missions" look like in the 21st century. Click here to listen in. 

GNJ Announcements

2016 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms 

Look for the customized 2016 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms which were 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. 


Action Alert: Isolated Confinement Restriction Act 

'Salvation and Social Justice' a NJ based coalition of clergy and civil rights organizations seeking to fight structural and institutional racism through policy, advocacy, education and reform, encourages support for Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, which promotes humane alternatives to isolation and increases transparency and institutional oversight. Help get this bill signed into law by calling the Governor's office at (609)292-6000 and expressing support. You can also call the Law and Public Safety Division of the State Attorney General at (609)292-4925 Ext. 3 to express support and ask what's happening. Lastly, you're encouraged to call the Citizen Service Office of the State Attorney General at (609)292-4925. 

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. 

Calling All Writers and Photographers 

Are you interested in writing for The Relay or serving as a Staff Photographer? GNJ seeks freelance contributors to be a part of the newspaper in 2017. This is a unique opportunity for young adults, college students, or just writers who want to explore what's happening in GNJ and get their work published. Your byline is waiting! Click here to email a resume and writing/photo sample


GNJ Career Opportunities

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 position of Administrative Assistant for the Regional Manager. Find out more and apply here.

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.

Malaria Fight Sees Progress, More Work Needed 

The World Health Organization's (WHO) annual World Malaria Report shows there is progress in fighting the disease, but it also comes with a warning. Malaria remains a critical threat to public health, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Click here to learn more. 

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.

Christmas Greetings: Shining The Light in GNJ 

Watch as a GNJ artist creates a project with lights symbolizing the many families and lives that have been changed thanks to GNJ's mission arm, A Future With Hope, which has rebuilt 250 Sandy damaged houses since 2012. Today, there are more than 4,000 families fighting to get back in their homes. This Christmas, there's still light to shine. Click here to volunteer or here to donate. 

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

Wespath November Investment Report 

Wespath publishes a monthly investment report, which examines recent events that impacted the financial markets and provides a snapshot of the funds' monthly investment performance including performance attribution. Click here for the November report. 

CUMAC is dedicated to feeding people and changing lives, working to alleviate hunger and its root causes in Paterson, NJ 


Employment Opportunities 

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. Additionally, 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 full-time Driver and Warehouse Assistant are also being sought. Click here to learn more and apply. 

United Methodist Communities are dedicated to compassionately serving older adults so that they're free to choose an abundant life 

Ocean City Resident Receives Excellence in Care Award 

Joanne Cheesman, a certified medication aide at United Methodist Communities at The Shores, and resident of Ocean City, received an Excellence in Care Award at the LeadingAge New Jersey Annual Awards Ceremony. A second honoree represented The Shores' sister community, United Methodist Communities at Francis Asbury. Click here to view a video highlighting Cheesman. 

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


12/17: Central Region Wesley Heritage Tour informational meeting, 11 a.m. at the Mission and Resource Center. Click here for more info or contact Glenn Ferguson 


UMC Offers Gift of Hospitality With Warm Welcome 

The United Methodist Church is taking to the streets of nine major U.S. cities to offer the gift of hospitality this Christmas with a warm invitation and a hot cup of cocoa. Street teams dressed in red will be dispensing warm beverages and helping people find to get plugged in to a local church in their area. Click here to read the press release. 

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. 

UMW Sets Assembly Theme for 2018

The 2018 Assembly of United Methodist Women will mark both the official celebration of the organization's 150th anniversary and a return to the location of the first Assembly - Columbus, Ohio - in 1942. The theme of the May 18-20, 2018 event is "The Power of Bold." Read press release here. 

What John Wesley Teaches About Church Unity 

John Wesley throughout his life argued against the Methodist movement completely separating from the Church of England. However, when it comes to Wesley and church unity, Wesleyan scholars say the example he set is complicated. Read story here.

Wesley's Sermons Published in Spanish 

Two compilations of John Wesley's sermons translated into Spanish have been published by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Read press release 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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