Welcome to the GNJ Digest!
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Last Minute Gift Ideas 

Calling All Students and Youth Leaders 

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

This Christmas, Give to the Camping Scholarship Fund 

The cost of a week of camp is simply out of reach for many families. This Christmas, give a year-end gift 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. 

Search Begins for Camping & Retreats Director 

A search has been launched for a New Director of Camps & Retreats as part of the implementation of Next Gen ministries strategic plan. The Director provides vision and direction to staff and volunteers, leading them to be increasingly effective in providing world-class camps, conferences and retreats experiences in alignment with the NextGen strategic priorities and goals. Cassandra Ferrigno, current interim director, will be moving to the position of Director of Operations. Click here for a detailed job description and to learn more about Next Gen ministries. 

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. 

Register Now to Unlock Your Immagination   
Join other clergy for a monthly gathering and create a purposeful and trusting environment to build relationships, share ideas, engage in conversation and unlock the imagination. 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  

Reaffirmation Sunday is Jan. 28 

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. 


What Are Deacons? 

A church without deacons is a church abridged. So what are deacons, exactly? Tune in to The Uncovered Dish Christian Leadership Podcast's second installment of "A Church Abridged" to find out. Click here to listen.

GNJ Receives CORR Action Fund Grant 

The Board of Directors of the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) approved a grant funding for GNJ of up to $35K for "Joshua Learning From the Past to Equip The Next Generation of Justice Leaders." Director of Mission, Nicole Caldwell-Gross applied for the grant which will be used to further GNJ mission. Join us in praising God for the great work God is calling us to together. Click here to find out more. 
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. 


Tuition Lowered 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.

GNJ Announcements 

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. 

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, 2018.  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 (available Jan. 5) and/or participate in an in person feedback session. Three feedback sessions are being held in January. Click here for dates and locations.

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. 

Active Shooter, Church Security & Safety Committee Info

Church Mutual recommends these resources to help plan and increase security at churches. These range from simple steps every church should take to in-depth plans to respond to an active shooter.

2017 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms 

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, 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. 

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. 

UMC News, Events, Info
Advent Social Media Graphics 
If you need some help bringing inspiring images into your social media posts this Advent, look no further. Two sets of images are available, and both feature engaging weekly graphics expressing hope, love, joy and peace. Click here. It's also not too late to promote your church's Christmas event. Click here to find out how.
Deaf-Friendly Christmas Eve Service 
The following are some recommendations from the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries (a committee of Global Ministries) for improving accessibility and inclusion for Deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and Deafblind people who may join your congregation for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services. Click here. 
Western PA Conference Seeks Treasurer and 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. 
Register for Radical Hospitality Webinar 
Is your church looking for ways to reach more people across lines of race, age and class? Are you looking for new ideas and concepts to build a more just and equitable community? Join the Committee on Religion and Race and the United Methodist Church 4 All People for a series of 4 webinars. Click here for info and to register. 
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 
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.

From all of us at the Mission and Resource Center, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. We're grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your ministries. This will be our last Digest of 2017. We will resume publication on Jan. 3, 2018. May God bless you and your friends and families in celebration of Christ's birth. 

Copyright © 2017 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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