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Year-End Statistical Report Training 

Year-end statistical reports training will include NEW information for the quadrennium. Accuracy in year-end reporting not only reduces errors but can save your church thousands of dollars. The training is open to clergy and laity. Pastors, finance committees, stewardship teams, treasurers, financial secretaries, and auditing committees are highly encouraged to attend. Conference Treasurer John Cardillo and his team will discuss important issues regarding year-end reports and will be available to answer any questions you may have. Click here for details and here to register. 

Wednesday, Dec. 6 
Session 1: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Aldersgate UMC, East Brunswick

Thursday, Dec. 7 
Session 1: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Malaga UMC, Malaga

Tuesday, Dec. 11 
Session 1: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Totowa UMC, Totowa 

Make Up Day 
Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 
Location: Mission and Resource Center, Neptune 


Last Call for Team Vital 2018 

Team Vital successfully engages spiritual leaders and empowered congregations to plan for future vitality. Applications for English sessions must be received by the District Superintendent by Dec. 1Click here to learn more and register. 

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. 

Questions about Team Vital or how to register? Contact Director of Small Groups, Gina Yeske. 

New GNJ 2018 Summer Camp Partner 

Next Generation Ministries has partnered with Barefoot Republic Camp, a Christ-centered, multicultural summer camp, to offer a camping program at Pinelands Center in 2018. Next Generation is launching this new and exciting camping experience focused on building unity within the Body of Christ for rising 6th-8th graders! Founder, Tommy Rhodes and staff will be visiting GNJ from Dec. 4 - 7. All youth leaders and clergy interested in finding out more are encouraged to contact Ryan Clements, Next Gen Coordinator, to meet the Barefoot team and learn more about participating in this innovative camps this summer!

Seeking a 'What's Next' Visionary 

Are you a forward-thinking, big-picture visionary seeking 'what's next' for the church? Click here to learn about becoming an Engagement Specialist. Next Generation Ministries, GNJ's strategic partnership of youth, camping and campus ministries, has launched a new website. Click here to learn more, explore the mission, and view staff members.


Save the Date for Feb. 10, 2018 

Transformation in our communities will be led by new generations of disciples of Jesus Christ. On Feb. 10, 2018, youth leaders, young adults, 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. Click here to learn more.

Go Deep with Baptism 

Have you rediscovered the power of Baptism? Resource materials will be made available to all who sign up here. Materials include sermon series resources, graphics, promotional material, small group curriculum, and much more! If you or your church is participating in a baptism, share your stories, photos and videos with Josh Kinney.


Advent: Anticipate Urgency 

In these first few weeks of Advent, we may not know the urgent that will arise, but it is surely coming. Director of Development, Juel Nelson, offers 4 great ideas to schedule time for the important in the latest installment of The Connection blog. Click here to read. 

Generosity GNJ Style 

To date, GNJ has raised $346,759.12 for UMCOR for disaster relief efforts as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Praise be to God! Click here to learn more about GNJ's disaster relief efforts.

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. 

Good Shepherd UMC is Hot off the Press (of AC) 

Good Shepherd UMC in Northfield is ready to help when disaster strikes. The Press of Atlantic City published a feature story about the church's relief efforts for hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Click here to read. 

GNJ Featured in Dec. Interpreter Magazine 

How did you learn to express gratitude? Jeff Balling from Pearson Memorial UMC in Trenton explained how in the December Interpreter Magazine. Click here to read. Additionally, Ridgewood UMC's 'Joyful Noise' special needs service was featured in the issue. Click here to read. 

How Relevant are Deacons? 
Join our podcast conversation with deacons Kathleen Stolz, Tom Lank, and Dr. Daryl Stephens to hear just how relevant Deacons could be to you. Click here to listen.
Submit Your Church's History 
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. 

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. 

Conversation About Race - Wisdom Circle 

On Dec. 9 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Trinity UMC in Ewing, laity and clergy from cross-racial, cross-cultural sites will come together to engage in conversation regarding their blessings and challenges. The Wisdom Circle provides an opportunity for those in these sites to meet, fellowship and learn. Click here to learn more and register. 

Back to Basic's Luncheon Fundraiser 

On Saturday, Dec. 9, from 1-4 p.m. CAMP YDP in Paterson will be hosting a special fundraising event for the future. Tickets are $50 per person and ad space is available in the event journal. For more info or to purchase tickets/ ad space, contact Bria Pierre at (973)790-0887. 

Drew University Lowers Tuition by 20% 

Drew University will lower its tuition by 20% next year, making a Drew education more accessible. Learn more about this innovative decision by the Board of Trustees, Drew's roots as a Methodist seminary and additional benefits for Methodist students here. 

This Week Ahead 
Dec. 6 | Central Region Year-End Statistical Report Training 
2:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Located at Aldersgate UMC in East Brunswick
Click here for details.

Dec. 7 | Bishop's Day on the Central Region 
Clergy session: 9:00 a.m.
Laity session: 7:00 p.m.
Located at Aldersgate UMC in East Brunswick

GNJ Announcements 

Church Leaders Alert: Frauds and Scams 

Please be aware of email fraud and scams. Take precautions and learn best practices for identifying fraudulent emails and scams. 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.

2017 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms 

Be on the lookout for the Customized 2017 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms which will be mailed to every church on Dec. 1 by Church Mutual. Completed audits are due Jan. 15, 2018 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. 

2018 FSA Salary Reduction Increase 

The IRS announced that the 2018 maximum salary reduction has been increased to $2,650. The 2018 Clergy Compensation Form and Instructions have been updated and are now available here. 

Executive Assistant and Other Job Opportunities 

Are you a church administrator or leader looking for your next step? Do you have the relational ability to motivate, event plan, and manage tasks, schedules, and staff? The Connectional Ministries Team is seeking an Executive Assistant to do just that. Click here for a full job description. Click here to view several job opportunities at various churches throughout GNJ. 

Let the Mission and Resource Center Serve You 

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

UMC News, Events, Info
Global Migration Sunday, Dec. 3
There are 65 million people displaced in the world today, more than at any other time since WWII. The UMC’s response to this crisis is Global Migration Sunday on Dec. 3, a day of prayer and generosity that will raise awareness and funds to aid migrants and refugees. Click here to learn more.
2018 U.M. Army Mission Weeks Announced 
Looking for a local Methodist mission opportunity for your youth group? United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth (U.M. ARMY) has announced their 2018 lineup for summer missions in June and July. Click here to learn more.
Young Leaders Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 
Join other United Methodist young people from around the world on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Ages 18-35 are encouraged to apply. The deadline is Dec. 1. Click here to learn more. 
Free Church Resources 
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection has provided clergy, church staff and volunteers with practical tools to renew the church. With a free account, users can download anything they need. Click 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 © 2017 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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