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Reignite Your Confirmation Class at Leaders Day 

Come to IGNITE Leaders Day on Feb. 11 at Calvary Korean UMC in East Brunswick to learn original ways to share the message and keep your youth tuned in. Registration is open! Pastors, youth leaders and those interested in starting youth ministries or youth mission trips are invited to learn practical tools to help students grow in their faith in 2017. Cost is just $15 and includes lunch and resource materials. Click above to check out a video with more details. Click here for more info and to register.
Hip Hop Ministry, Student Mission Trips, Starting a Youth Program, Thinking Theologically about Youth and More. 
Click here to see the full schedule. 

Preston Centuolo, Kenda Creasy Dean and Youth Experts Leading Workshops and Answering Questions 

Work closely with leading experts on youth ministry from around the conference and around the country. Noted author and Princeton Theological School Professor Kenda Creasy Dean and IGNITE sensation Preston Centuolo will be among those on hand to work with you to ignite your youth programs. Click here to see the full list of speakers and presenters. 

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


Faithful Volunteers  

After 4 and a half years of waiting, one Brigantine family is on their way to recovery thanks to the work of A Future With Hope. The Karitas team is pictured above working on the new home. A Future With Hope has now completed a total of 254 homes with the help of 11,741 volunteers. Of those volunteers, over 2,500 were under the age of 35. As a whole, these hard-working volunteers represent a labor value of $7,864,725.30. 

Pave the Road to Recovery 

Be a part of A Future With Hope's dedicated mission of helping the estimated 3,500 people still in the recovery process. Click here for volunteer information or here to contribute donations and help pave the road to recovery.

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

Thank You! 

Thank you to Centenary UMC in Lambertville, Midvale UMC in Wanaque, FUMC of Somerville, Park Ave St. John's UMC in Orange, Milton UMC, Morristown UMC, UMC of the Rockaways, Raqaupo UMC and Sicklerville UMC for making new or additional pledges to the Mission Fund in Dec. 2016. You congregation can make an additional pledge by clicking here. 

World Leaders Unite in Unique Effort to Eradicate Malaria 

A group concerned that malaria eradication might be falling from the radar announced a special council to keep the issue front and center. Your contributions through the GNJ Mission Fund are making a difference and saving lives. Click here to read the new story. 


Listen in on Tending the Soul of a Church 

Susuan Beaumont, keynote speaker of the 2017 Bishop's Clergy Convocation talks about how churches are soulful institutions. Click here to listen in to the Uncovered Dish Christian Leadership podcast: Difficult Conversations.  

Other helpful links for follow up on Bishop's Clergy Convocation:

Susan Beaumont
The Music Paradigm 


Clergy Stewardship Retreat in Cape May 

All GNJ pastors are invited to attend the Clergy Retreat on Revolutionizing Stewardship, Feb. 22-23 at Congress Hall in Cape May. Guest speaker Dr. Scott McKenzie, Partner and Senior Vice President at Horizon Stewardship, is a national workshop leader and author. Click here for more info and to register. 

Bishop Praying for Gateway North 

Bishop Schol has begun a new ministry of praying for clergy, laity and churches in a different district each week. Last week Bishop Schol prayed for the Skylands and this week he will be praying for Gateway North. 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. 

Starting a Youth Ministry in 2017? 

Do you have a goal for starting or growing a youth ministry at your church this year? Come hear from Rev. Blair Goold of Island Heights UMC at a workshop on starting youth ministry from scratch at IGNITE Leaders Day on Feb. 11 at Calvary Korean UMC. Click here for more info and to register. 

UM Judicial Council to Meet in Newark in April 

The Judicial Council will hold its spring meeting April 25-28 at the Hilton Newark Penn Station Hotel. Their semiannual meetings are scheduled on a rotating basis throughout the denomination. Council meetings are not open to the public except for scheduled oral hearings. Bishop John Schol has been invited to lead a service of Holy Communion prior to the oral hearing on Tuesday, April 25. Click here to see docket.

Evangelism for Everyone: Beginners to Experts 

Learn best practices in social media and video, explore new ministry expressions, reach millennials, find out how to turn around a conflicted church or start a multi-cultural ministry. OUTBOUND, A Day on Evangelism will feature keynote speaker Paul Nixon, author of "Weird Church." 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. OUTBOUND will be held on March 25 at Bethany Wayne UMC from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Click here for more info and to register, 


Next Week, Pray Our Way Forward 

Fifty two congregations have already signed up to join Bishop Schol and all United Methodists in GNJ in Phase 2 of 'Praying our Way Forward' - the Council of Bishops' prayer initiative which is taking place now through Spring, 2018. Each conference is registered for a week of prayer and GNJ has been assigned the week of Jan. 29. Click here to register your commitment to prayer as an individual or a congregation.

Graceful Controversies Registration Open

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 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.  Registration closes Feb. 10.

2017 Annual Conference Legislation Information 

Click here to read an important announcement regarding 2017 Annual Conference Legislation information from Conference Secretary, Rev. Dave Wiley. Anyone interested in bringing legislation to Annual Conference and all committees submitting reports should email them to Cari Cruz, Regional Services Manager, no later than Feb. 15. 

2017 Annual Conference Award Information 

Click here to view the 2017 Annual Conference Award nomination information, deadlines, and application forms. Find out more about the Christian Unity, Harry Denman Evangelism, and Helenor Alter Davisson awards as well as the Harry A. Seese Memorial Scholarship. 
GNJ Announcements


2016 Clergy Compensation General Instructions Form 

In the event the Customized Audit Form cannot be located, a replacement can be requested by emailing Sovereign Insurance Group or calling them at (800)222-4478. Reference UMC of GNJ and supply your church name and GNJ church number, along with contact info. Completed audits are to be submitted directly to Church Mutual. Click here for more info and downloadable detailed instructions. 

Mandatory Make-Up Clergy Gathering 

A mandatory make-up clergy gathering will be held from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Mission and Resource Center. This meeting is mandatory for all clergy in or expecting to be appointed to a congregation, both part and full-time who were unable to attend the Jan. 11 gathering. Click here for details and registration. 

March 2, 2017 - Pre-Retirement Seminar

The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits is presenting a Pre-retirement Seminar for pastors and their spouses. A benefits educator from the Wespath Benefits and Investments will speak on retirement planning on Thursday, March 2nd for those planning to retire in the next five years. This session will also feature a speaker from the Social Security Administration on Social Security and Medicare. Click here for more information

2016 Statistical Reports - Deadline Jan. 31! 

2016 Statistical Reports opened Jan. 1. The deadline is Jan. 31 and the report can be accessed here. Please use username 3360_ _ _ _ (4-digit church number). Password: gnjchurch16. You will be asked to change your password when you log in for the first time. Please keep the username and password available for all users. If you have questions or need help, call your Regional Administrative Assistant or Accounting Supervisor, Danielle Andrews at the Mission and Resource Center at 732-359-1000


2017 Lay Ministry Recognition Applications 

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, please complete the nomination form here by March 4. Laity will be recognized on April 22 at the Mission and Resource Center. 

Educational Society Scholarships 

Are you pursuing an education in ministry? The Educational Society of GNJ offers scholarships and loans for those agreeing to serve at least five years as a member of GNJ. For more info, email Jo D. Malessa or call 856-786-0293. 

Church Mutual Webinar Series Event 

Church Mutual, GNJ's new property insurer, will be hosting an exclusive webinar series on 'Protecting The Greater Good From Violence.' The series will show how to keep your congregation safe before, during and after a violent attack. Click here for dates, details and to register. 

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. 

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

Planned Giving Brochure for Download 

Click here to download a printable brochure on A Guide to Planned Giving created by The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater New Jersey. Gifts to local churches will help build on and extend the congregation's ministry for generations to come.
This Week Ahead
Jan. 28 - Capital: Central Region Back to Basics Leadership Training
10:00 a.m. - 12: 00 p.m. at First UMC in Moorestown. Click here for details. 

Jan. 28 - Early Response Team Training
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Haddonfield UMC. Click here for details. 

Jan. 29 - Raritan Valley: Central Region Back to Basics Leadership Training
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Bridgewater UMC. Click here for details. 

Jan. 31 - Northern Shore: Central Region Back to Basics Leadership Training.
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at Monmouth Grace UMC. Click here for details. 

Jan. 31 - 2016 Statistical Reports due.
Use username 3360 followed by your 4-digit church number. Password: gnjchurch16. Click here to access the report. 

Jan. 29 - Feb. 3 - GNJ's week of 'Praying our way Forward' Phase II.
Click here to register your prayer commitment. 

Feb. 2 - Board of Laity Conference Call 
9:00 p.m. - For more info contact Rosa Williams. 

UMC News

Free Branding Webinar  

On Feb. 8 at 2:00 p.m., United Methodist Communications will host a free webinar: 3 Reasons Your Church's Brand Matters. Click here to find out more and register.

Scholarships Available for Ecumenical Event 

The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults, ages 21-35, to attend the National Workshop on Christian Unity and United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training. The gatherings will be May 1-4 in Minneapolis. The deadline for scholarships is Feb. 28. Click here to read the press release.

Agency Report: Fiance and Administration 

n 2016, the General Council on Finance and Administration placed a priority on professional development for staff while increasing the services they offer to the rest of the denomination. Part of a series of reports on the work each general agency accomplished last year. Click here to read story. 


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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