Gateway South District Newsletter
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Dear Friends,
The quiet of the morning is one of my favorite times. During morning devotions there are always birds on our front lawn, and occasionally I see deer or wild turkeys wandering around as well. After my devotions I go onto Facebook and play my five games of Candy Crush. Playing Candy Crush lets me disconnect from everything. A friend of mine noted that even in the midst of a group of people, my mind gets focused on the game and I’m not even hearing what anyone is saying. The devotions, (and yes, the game) are a time of centering and settling for me.
And then…it’s time to go out and walk a bit. As I head out the door, it’s time to play Pokemon Go!  There are strange looking things in the neighborhood now, and near our churches, and at many other public places. People are stopping and holding up their phones—they’re capturing Bulbasaurs, and Raticates, and Nidorans, and multitudes of other Pokemon.They are gathering to battle other trainers, and to gather supplies, and breed more Pokemon. Even if you don’t play the game you know it’s gotten people out on the streets, and hanging out in our church parking lots. 
It occurred to me that these games are symbolic of our work as the Body of Christ. We need the Candy Crush time—our worship and devotion space where we immerse ourselves in the love of God, disconnect from the loudness of the world to find the quiet center where God can speak to us. But it can’t stop there. We are sent from worship to be like Pokemon trainers—searching for those who ache to be found, making new disciples, and connecting with a world desperate for the good news we have found in the love of Jesus Christ.
Amy Grant’s “Mountaintop,” describes our call to go out to the world with these words: “I love to sing and I love to pray. Worship the Lord most every day. I go to the temple and I just want to stay to hide from the hustle of the world and its ways.  And I'd love to live on a mountain top, fellowshipping with the Lord.  I'd love to stand on a mountain top 'cause I love to feel my spirit soar. But I've got to come down from that mountain top to the people in the valley below or they'll never know that they can go
to the mountain of the Lord.”

Yes, we gather for prayer and song in these anxious, troubling times. But that is just the starting point!  What witness to God’s love are you being called to make? How will you go to make a difference where violence and hatred seem to have gained the upper hand? I challenge each of us to find one way to answer those questions! 
Peace, Myrna

Church Opportunities and Resources


Take advantage of Pokemon Go

Is your church a Poke Stop for Pokemon Go? James Lee, GNJ's Manager of Visual Arts, explains four ways your church can take advantage of the new mobile game sweeping the nation. Click here to watch the video.

Church Conference Reminder:

Pastors on the district have received emails regarding information for this year's church conferences. Please make sure that you have signed up for a church conference. All paperwork is due by October 3. You will be receiving information about how to submit the paperwork in the near future. If you would like to get a head start on the paper work, you can use the 2015 forms and update them. 

Getting Ready For Church Conferences 2016

Date: Tuesday, August 16
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 207 Northfield Ave., Northfield, NJ 08225

This is an evening for pastors and leaders in the Gateway South District and across Southern Region to gather for fellowship and work on Church Conference forms. It is an opportunity to review the forms for Church Conference, discuss the Super Church Conference format, answer questions and set up each pastor, leader and congregation for a great conference. There will be plenty of room so pre-registration is not needed.

Attention Pastors: Preaching and Worship Workshop

Date: Saturday, September 24
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
Location: St. Peter's United Methodist Church, 501 E 8th St, Ocean City, NJ 08226
Cost: $10 and includes

Hosted by the Southern Region
THIS IS A GREAT CONTINUING EDUCATION Opportunity and has been scheduled on a Saturday to accommodate all pastors (full-time and part-time).The day is designed to end, mid-afternoon so you may have some time to stroll the boardwalk

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Gerald Lui most recently taught preaching at Drew School of Theology but moved this summer to a new position where he will be teaching preaching and worship arts at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a United Methodist Elder with a passion for the local church as well as a musician (great love for jazz-his newest book is Music and the Generosity of God), athlete (he completed an Iron Man competition in Cozumel Mexico (one of over 40 countries he has experienced).

Gateway South District Events Page 

Click here to view all the church events going on in the Gateway South District. Don't forget to check back often as new events are updated on a regular basis. If you would like your church event to be posted on the district event page please email  
Copyright © 2016 Gateway South District, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Gateway South District, 205 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune, NJ 07753

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