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2019-2023 Strategic Planning Update, Diverse Survey Respondents Sought 

The first draft of the strategic plan commissioned by the 2017 Annual Conference Session has been posted online for review here. As part of the process, the committee is asking for feedback and comments. It's important to have a wide range of diverse survey respondents. Two members of the strategic plan committee, Rev. Sang Won Doh and Waleska Trinidad are available to assist Korean and Spanish speakers with providing feedback on the survey. All United Methodists in GNJ are invited to participate in an online survey and/or participate in an in person feedback sessions:

Central Region
Thursday, January 18
7:00 p.m.
Mission and Resource Center

Southern Region
Sunday, January 21
2:30 p.m.
Pitman UMC

Click here for more info, to register for a session, and participate in the survey. 

Statistical Reports Due Jan. 31 

All pastors of local churches will need to submit each year, a year-end statistical report by Jan. 31. Click here for login information and details.

Final Approved Church Budget | Reminder 

All churches should send their final, approved budget for 2018 to their regional administrative assistant by Jan. 31. The draft of the budget was submitted with your church conference forms. Click here.

Welcome to 2018! Key Dates Calendar Now Available 

The administrative team at GNJ has created a key dates calendar for church leaders to use for planning for 2018. The calendar is downloadable and is linked to the contact information for the people and departments who can help you in ministry. It’s also printable. Click here to access.

GNJ's strategic partnership of youth, camping and campus ministries

Bring Your Youth Group to IGNITE Leaders Day 

On Feb. 10, 2018 at Monmouth Grace UMC in Eatontown, youth leaders, young adults, youth workers, students, youth groups and those invested in the next generation are invited to learn what emerging 21st century leadership looks like. Registration is now open until Feb. 1 at just $5 for students (grades 6-12) and $15 for adults. Tickets will be $30 for all for walk-ins on the day of. Click here to register and here to learn about the event speakers. 

Don't Miss Out on 2018 Summer Camps

Next Generation Ministries has partnered with Barefoot Republic Camp, a Christ-centered, multicultural summer camp, to offer a unique and life-changing camping program at Pinelands Center in 2018. To learn more and explore the upcoming summer programs click here.

Help Send Students to Camp in 2018

The cost of a week of camp is simply out of reach for many families. This New Year, give to the GNJ Camp Scholarship Fund. Next Gen board members have enthusiastically agreed to give a "first fruits" gift of their own to get the fund started. If you would like to join them, click here. 

Why Foster a Culture of Baptisms? 

Why are we putting such an emphasis on baptism this new year? Director of Worship Eric Drew​ gives his take on the Water & Roots Initiative. Click here to watch. 

Sermon Series Begins, Facebook Group Formed 

Get baptism resources, worship series, videos, and access to all the Water & Roots program has to offer here. Join the more than 185 churches who are taking part in the movement and get ready for Reaffirmation Sunday on Jan. 28. Click here to take part in the Facebook GroupHas your church scheduled a baptism? We're collecting stories, photos and video footage to share the power of baptism. Email your materials to Josh Kinney. 

2018 Agenda  

Click here to review the agenda for the 2018 Annual Conference session, May 20-22 at the Wildwoods Convention Center. 

2018 Annual Conference Legislation Open 

Submit reports and recommendations (legislation) here for the 2018 GNJ Annual Conference by Feb. 14. Reports and recommendations received thereafter will not be published in the pre-conference journal, nor will they be addressed at the 2018 Annual Conference without special permission from the Bishop.

A Future With Hope is the outbound mission arm of GNJ, meeting
needs and providing hope for communities throughout New Jersey


More Hope to Give 

As we begin a New Year, A Future With Hope is committed to the rebuilding effort through June 2018. Our work has brought hope to 256 homeowners and their families, and touched the lives of volunteers and donors. Do you have a little more hope to give? Sign up to volunteer again or donate to help us finish strong. Click here. 

Serving the financial stewardship and investment needs of GNJ, its local churches and its agencies to grow, manage and utilize funds for increased ministry, discipleship, and world transformation

It's Time to Update 

It's a New Year with new people in leadership roles. Please contact us at (732)359-1060 to update any records regarding your investment signers or church info. The Foundation is here to help! Click here to learn more. 


Take the Lead: Tools for Laity 
Laity, bring your pastors for a resource day with a special afternoon session dedicated to applying what is learned for your ministry and community. "Take the Lead: Tools for Laity" will feature keynote speaker Mike Mather of Broadway UMC in Indianapolis. Click here for details, workshops, schedule, and to register.
This is My Story: I am Beloved 
Stewardship Director Jana Purkis-Brash shares her personal story of baptism in the latest installment of The Connection blog. Click here to read about her experience. 
Uncovered Dish Podcast: A Conversation on Baptism
A lot about baptism is shrouded in mystery. What does it do, what does it symbolize, who should or shouldn’t get baptized, how do you do it well, and why does it matter? All this, on the latest Uncovered Dish Podcast featuring Director of Worship Eric Drew and Director of Small Groups Gina Yeske. Click here to listen. 
Are you Listening? Uncovered Dish Podcast Reaches Across the Denomination 
Pastor Olu Brown of Impact Church in Atlanta loves the Uncovered Dish! He called to request an interview. If you aren't listening, you're missing out. It's easy, click here to explore episodes. Let us know what you think!  

Early Response Team Training Sessions in 2018
Several Early Response Team (ERT) Training sessions for disaster response will be held in January, March, and April of 2018. Click here for event details, dates, and further info. Click here to learn more about GNJ's disaster relief efforts.

Registration Open for Local Pastors Licensing School 

2018 Local Pastors Licensing school dates are Feb. 16-17, April 6-7, May 11-12, June 22-23. All meetings will be held at The Mission and Resource Center. Click here for details and to register. 

GNJ Announcements 

Winter Preparedness 

The cold and snow reminds us all to prepare our churches for winter. Use these resources recommended by Sovereign to winterize all church properties. 

Communications Assistant, Executive Assistant + Other Job Opportunities - Use our Bulletin Insert to Engage your Congregation! 

Are you a communications guru looking for the next step? Do you want to wet your appetite and hone your skills with a wide variety of communications experience? Then the Communications Assistant position is for you. Click here for a full job description, and here to explore other job opportunities at GNJ. Click here to download a printable insert for your church bulletin. 

Spring 2018 Basic, Advanced Lay Servant Classes

Lay Servants combine words and actions in leadership roles within their churches and communities. Spring 2018 Advanced and Basic Lay Servant Classes are open for registration. Click here for basic or here for advanced. 

2018 Scholarship Opportunities 

Click here for the complete list of 2018 Greater New Jersey Scholarships from the GNJ Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The application deadline is March 31. 

Pre-Retirement Seminar - March 1 

GNJ's Board of Pension and Health Benefits is presenting a Pre-retirement Seminar for pastors and their spouses. A benefits educator from Wespath will speak on retirement planning on March 1 at the Mission and Resource Center for those planning to retire in the next five years. The session will also feature a speaker from the Social Security Administration on Social Security and Medicare. Click here for details and to register. 

Church Mutual 2018 Religious Scholars Program 

Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation is offering 50 scholarships of $5,000 each to advanced religious scholars. Click here to learn more. 

CF&A Purchasing  

GNJ's Council of Finance and Administration has vetted a number of national and local products and services that it recommends to local churches for their possible contract/purchasing. Click here to read more.


Lay Ministry Recognition 2018 

To nominate a person or group in your church for Lay Ministry Recognition to honor their creativity and innovation in transforming lives and making disciples of Jesus Christ, please click here to submit before March 4. Laity will be recognized on April 28 at the Mission and Resource Center. 

UMC News, Events, Info
BMCR Sunday, Feb. 4
Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) Sunday is Feb. 4. Local congregations and individuals are invited to support raising up prophetic and spiritual leaders who will be advocates for the unique needs of Black members of the UMC. Find out more about how you can take part in this special Sunday's offering here.
Scholarships Offered for 2018 UMEIT:USA and NWCU Events 
The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults (age 21-35) to attend the 2018 United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT:USA) and the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) this Spring. Click here to read the press release. 
ACT Now to End Racism 
The United Methodist Church is joining other churches in the United States to bring thousands of Christians to the Washington, D.C. National Mall on April 4 for a rally and kick-off event hosted by the National Council of Churches in the U.S. to promote racial justice. The United Methodist Council of Bishops encourages United Methodists who are able to attend. Click here for more info.


How to Get in The Relay and Digest

Do you have vital information that pertains to all of GNJ for The Digest? Click here to send an email. Do you have a good story idea for The Relay? Contact Josh Kinney. 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 © 2018 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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