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Graceful Controversies 

Listening Unites GNJ in the Midst of Differences 

Last weekend, clergy and laity throughout GNJ gathered at the Mission and Resource Center for a day of "Graceful Conversations" in the midst of "Graceful Controversies." Hopes and aspirations for the future of The United Methodist Church were shared to send forth to The Commission on a Way Forward. Click the video above or here to see more of the powerfully inspiring day that exemplified unity in Christ in the midst of differences and challenge
OUTBOUND: A Day on Evangelism

Evangelism Central Focus of OUTBOUND 

With a focus on evangelism and making new disciples, OUTBOUND: A Day on Evangelism, which will be hosted at Bethany Wayne UMC in Wayne on March 25, will feature workshops by prominent evangelists using innovative new ways to reach into the community. Click the video above to learn more about what the day has to offer. Click here for more info and to register.

Church Culture That Fosters Fresh Expression 

Shannon Kiser serves as the Director of Training for Fresh Expressions U.S., leading a team of mission strategists and trainers in inspiring and equipping leaders and churches to start fresh expressions of church. Take part in her workshop at OUTBOUND: A Day on Evangelism, and map out what a fresh expression might look like for your church. Click here for more info and to register. 

Click to Listen to Rev. Mike Baughman's Take on Attracting Millennials to Church 

The latest episode of the ‘Uncovered Dish’ Christian Leadership Podcast of GNJ features Rev. Mike Baughman who speaks on developing the cultural competencies necessary to bring in ministry with rising generations. Baughman will be leading a workshop at OUTBOUND: A Day on Evangelism. Click here to listen

Registration Opens March 15 

Registration for the 2017 GNJ Annual Conference opens next Wednesday, March 15. Come rejoice with us as we gather at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood from May 21-23. Click here for more information, schedule, and registration form. 

Display Table Registration Open 

Registration is now open for display table space at the 2017 Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. We welcome you to represent your ministry and encourage you to use this opportunity to outreach to the GNJ community with informative displays. Spaces will be granted in the order that they are received, however, UMC organizations take priority. Please register by April 15 to ensure your space. Click here for more info and registration. 

How to Lead Your Congregation Through Change 

We know where we want to go. We even know where we need to go. But what do we do when nobody else wants to go there with us? Leading people into a new era is not easy, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Join Trey Wince, Director of New Disciples, in a workshop at Annual Conference that will practice habits from great change-makers. Click here for more info on Annual Conference. 
A Future With Hope is the outbound mission arm of GNJ, meeting
needs and providing hope for communities throughout New Jersey


Kean University Volunteers Arrive This Week 

For the third time in a row, a group of civic engagement students from Kean University in Union have dedicated to volunteering with A Future With Hope. Students arrived this week to be a part of helping families over the finish line and into their homes. If you're interested in volunteering this Spring or Summer, click here. 

Make Your Amazon.com Purchases Benefit AFWH

Click here and use this link when ordering items from your Amazon.com account. 0.5% of your purchases will go toward benefiting A Future With Hope.
United Methodists throughout GNJ are working toward the goal of $12 million to help rebuild homes, save lives and inspire local church mission

Find Your Churches Hope Circle

We thank our congregations that have been generous in their giving to the Mission Fund Campaign. Hope circles represent those who are leading the way. Click here to see which circle your church belongs to and how you can help grow the Mission Fund. 


Church Community Responds to Ocean Grove Fire 

After a massive five alarm blaze destroyed much of a city block in Ocean Grove on Friday, March 3, St. Paul's UMC, in the heart of the beach town, stepped up and joined forces with the American Red Cross to assist evacuees. Click here to read the story. 

Sanctuary Movement 

In response to recent immigration concerns, Bishop Schol invites clergy who want to work with their congregations to become a Sanctuary Church or participate in other ministries to work with immigrants and refugees to please complete a form available here. 

Bishop Praying for Cape Atlantic 

Bishop Schol has begun a new ministry of praying for clergy, laity and churches in a different district each week. This week he is praying for Cape Atlantic. As part of this ministry he is inviting leaders of each district to share prayer concerns, joys and stories of how God is making a difference in GNJ congregations.

Appointment Information

Each Sunday by 1:00 p.m., GNJ posts new clergy appointments on the website. Click here to learn more about the clergy appointment process, check out resources here.  

GNJ Announcements

Scholarship Opportunities 

The GNJ Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry is now accepting applications for the 2017 scholarship opportunities. A letter was mailed to each church and more information can be found here. Deadline: March 31. 


Church Mutual Scholarships 

You might be eligible to apply for a $5,000 scholarship through Church Mutual. 50 scholarships will be awarded. Click here for complete eligibility details and info. Applications will be accepted through April 15. Click here for details.

Do You Need to Revolutionize Stewardship? 

The Southern Region is hosting a three part stewardship event led by Scott McKenzie from Horizon Stewardship. There are two training tracks - one targeted to small churches and one to large congregations. Teams of congregational leaders from throughout GNJ are welcome and encouraged to attend. Congregations with an average worship attendance of under 250 should click here to register for Track 1. Congregations with an average worship attendance of over 250 should click here to register for Track 2. 

Waves of Grace Women's Retreat 

The 2017 Waves of Grace Women's Retreat will be held April 21-22 in Wildwood. This retreat offers women of all ages, races and denominations an opportunity to encounter the grace of God through a time of worship and fellowship. Click here for more info. 

Resources for Vitality 

Did you know the GNJ website has resources for laity and clergy leaders around the 5 markers of vitality? Links appear on the site's home page or you can click here to view the complete section. 

Employment Opportunities

GNJ is currently hiring for the following two positions: Director of Stewardship and Regional Administrative Assistant.  Click here for more information and application procedures. Pinelands Center is also seeking kitchen and housekeeping staff willing to work flexible hours. For more info call (609)893-3354 or click here to email resume. 

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.

Reserve Space at the Mission and Resource Center 

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. 

Corned Beef Dinner With Lucky Friends 

The Pinelands Center at Mount Misery is hosting a special St. Patrick's Corned Beef Dinner on March 28 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. featuring entertainment and live music. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children. For tickets and info please send an email or call (609)893.3364. Click here to find out more about The Pinelands Center. 

This Week Ahead
March 11 | Spring Basic Lay Servant Class: Cape Atlantic District 
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Located at Seaville UMC in Oceanview. 
Click here for more info.

March 11 | Spring Basic Lay Servant Class: Skylands District: Option 1 
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. | Located at Stanhope UMC in Netcong. 
Click here for more info.

March 11 | Spring Basic Lay Servant Class: Skylands District: Spanish Speaking Option
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Located at Butler UMC in Butler. 
Click here for more info.

March 12 | Spring Basic Lay Servant Class: Northern Shore District 
2:00 - 7:00 p.m. | Located at St. Andrew UMC in Toms River. 
Click here for more info.
UMC News

Religious Leaders Stand for Refugees 

United Methodists are among religious leaders calling for welcoming and restoring hope to 66 million displaced people in the world and opposing executive orders from the Trump administration. Click here to read the story. 

Wonder, Love and Praise: Sharing a Vision of the Church

Wonder, Love and Praise is a document produced by the Committee on Faith and Order (CFO) designed to engage United Methodists in a study of how we understand what it means to be the church. Click here to learn more. 

Leaders Seek Support for Standing Rock March 

Native leaders in The United Methodist Church are urging members of the denomination to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others in a peaceful protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Washington on March 10. Click here to read the press release. 

ReThink Church  Advertising Campaign Debuts 

This year's national advertising campaign from The United Methodist Church will be defined by innocence, wonder and hope as elementary school-age students share what it means to live with open hearts, minds and doors. Click here to view the campaign videos and help build awareness. 

Pastors Say 'The Shack' Could Help with Grief 

United Methodist clergy say the movie "The Shack" may help "those who are suffering to find a language to share their grief and begin the healing process." Click here to read the story. 

Church Training Courses 

United Methodist Communications offers church training courses to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to be an effective church leader. Choose from online training or request on-site training from one of their professional trainers and workshop leaders. Click here to learn more. 

Tips for Using Humor in Preaching 

"If you help people laugh, it's helpful. Laughter and tears are both windows into the soul," says one pastor. Click here to read tips for preaching with humor. 
Lent, Easter 

Online Engagement Ideas for Lent 

Lent is a time many individuals seek ways to deepen their spiritual relationships. Here are nine ways churches can engage members and potential visitors during Lent. Click here to read. 

National Ad Campaign Extends Easter Invitation 

Miracles, and what children have to say about them, will be the focus of The United Methodist Church's national Easter advertising campaign and accompanying local church resources this spring. Read the press release here. 

Test Your Knowledge of Lent, Easter 

How well do you know the traditions and symbols of the Lenten season? UMC.org offers a different question five days a week through April 14 about these two important seasons of the church year. Click here to take the quiz. 

Engage in Lent Photo-A-Day Practice 

How do you see the word sacrifice? Beloved? Joyful? Make this spiritual practice part of your Lenten discipline and share your photos with Rethink Church. Click here to learn more and take part. Follow @GNJUMC on Instagram to see the Lent photo-a-day challenge from Greater New Jersey. Our photos will also be posted on our Facebook and Twitter. 



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.
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