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2019-2023 Strategic Planning Update 

The first draft of the strategic plan commissioned by the 2017 Annual Conference Session will be posted online for review on Jan. 5.  As part of the process, the committee is asking for feedback and comments. All United Methodists in Greater New Jersey are invited to participate in an online survey and/or participate in one of three in person feedback sessions:

Northern Region
Tuesday, January 16
7:00 p.m.
Chatham UMC

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 to register. 

Wesleyan Covenant Association Holds Meetings in GNJ

The Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) will be holding several gatherings in GNJ January 19-20.  Keith Boyette, President of the WCA, and Walter Fenton, Vice President of Strategic Development will be meeting with a group of Korean pastors and a group of pastors of large churches selected by the GNJ Evangelical Network for Renewal and Growth, in addition to two open meetings.

The WCA was started out of concern for The United Methodist Church and the disagreement about homosexuality. They have formed a not for profit organization, that includes both church and individual membership. In addition to officers, the WCA has regional delegates who vote on matters of the WCA. The WCA describes itself as committed to a plan that can be implemented either within a United Methodists structure or outside it in anticipated schism in the United Methodist Church. You may find more about the WCA here.

Bishop John Schol said,  “We welcome the WCA to GNJ. “I believe it is important for people to be informed about The United Methodist Church and the various organizations associated with United Methodists. I encourage people to learn about different views on the church and ministry with gays and lesbians including the WCA and Reconciling Ministries, as both groups offer two different viewpoints. I will continue to be a bishop of the whole church and I will continue to lead the church toward diversity and unity.”

To register for the open meetings:

Friday, January 19 
6:00 p.m. at the Ocean Grove Youth Temple in Ocean Grove

Click here.


Saturday, January 20
8:30 a.m. at the Brooklawn American Legion Post #72 in Brooklawn

Click here.

Unleash: IGNITE Leaders Day 

On Feb. 10, 2018 at Monmouth Grace UMC in Eatontown, youth leaders, young adults, youth workers, students, and those invested in the next generation are invited to learn how to create space in our churches and gatherings for students to lead and 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. 

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

Give to the Camping Scholarship Fund 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. 

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

Pictured above: Bishop Ortiz, Tom Lank and McWilliam Colon asses damage from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

GNJ Assists Recovery Organizing in Puerto Rico 

On Dec. 27, 2017, a team from GNJ embarked on a trip to Puerto Rico to assist with the organzing of recovery efforts after the recent hurricanes. Bishop Hector Ortiz invited Bishop John Schol and a small team to meet with his staff and leaders about the long-term recovery of the island based on A Future With Hope's Sandy recovery ministry and talent. In 2017, GNJ raised more than $400,000 for hurricane relief. 

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. 

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. 

Gear Up for Reaffirmation Sunday

Get baptism resources, worship series, videos, and access to all the Water & Roots program has to offer here. Join the more than 75 churches who are taking part in the movement and get ready for Reaffirmation Sunday on Jan. 28. 

Share Your Baptism Photos and Stories 

Has 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. 

Team Vital Para Congregaciones en Español 

Todas las congregaciones hispanas/latinas en GNJ que hablan español son invitades a participar en el Team Vital, que se llevará a cabo por primera vez en español en la primavera de 2018. Este recurso crucial estará disponible enteramente en español sin necesudad de traducción. Haga clic aquí para registrarse, 

Team Vital for Spanish Speaking Congregations 
All Hispanic / Latino congregations in GNJ are invited to participate in Team Vital, which will take place for the first time in Spanish in the Spring of 2018. This crucial resource will be made available entirely in Spanish with no need for translation. Click here to register. 

Combat Isolation in Ministry Through PaCE  
Raritan Valley District Superintendent, Drew Dyson explains how PaCE can combat isolation in ministry and help engage creativity with others. Click here to read a PaCE overview and here to explore the 2018 groups. Register today as an individual or a group. 

Topics include:
  • Relational Communication
  • Conversaciones Teologicas
  • Preaching in Our Own Voice
  • Breaking Growth Barriers 
  • Stewardship as a Spiritual Discipline 
  • 10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church  
This Week Ahead 
Jan. 5 | CANCELLED: Make Up Date for Year-End Statistical Report Training
Click here for more info

Jan. 6 | Early Response Team: Re-certification and Initial Training
8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Located at Haddonfiled UMC in Haddonfield, NJ. 
Click here for details and to register


This is my Story... "You Don't Know Me" 
Get to know the Director of Development for The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation, Brian Mickle and find out more about his baptism story in the latest installment of The Connect blog. Click here to read. 
Submit Your Church's History by Jan. 18
The Commission on Archives and History has announced this year's Local Church History contest. Click here to learn more. The deadline for submitting a local church history is Jan. 18, 2018. 

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 

2017 Workers' Comp Payroll Audit Forms Due Jan. 15

Be on the lookout for the Customized 2017 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms which were mailed to every church on Dec. 1 by Church Mutual. Completed audits are due Jan. 15 and are to be sent directly to Church Mutual. Questions? Call Becky Meyer at the Church Mutual Premium Audit Unit at 800.554.2642, option 4, extension 4697. Questions regarding housing should be directed to Veronika Varga, Administrative Assistant at 732.359.1036. 

New Posting: Communications Assistant, Executive Assistant + Other Job Opportunities 

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. 

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
Support Human Relations Day, Jan. 14 
On Jan. 14, 2018, United Methodists will celebrate God’s call to empower those struggling to thrive and equip change agents and others to transform the world. To make it easy to celebrate this Special Sunday, download resources from the Human Relations Day leader and pastor’s kit 

Western PA Seeks Treasurer, Director of Administrative Services 
The Western Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church is currently recruiting for Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services. Click here for the job posting. Deadline for receiving applications is Jan. 15. 
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.


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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