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Collingswood UMC Sign Goes Viral 

The information sign at Collingswood UMC has gone viral just in time for the Super Bowl. At least half of GNJ will be coming to church this Sunday with the Eagles in mind. Congrats on your new found fame, Collingswood! And we wish everyone a blessed Super Bowl Sunday! 
Immigration Info and Resources 
GNJ Immigration Task Force to Advocate on Behalf of DREAMERS 
A special task force has been created by the GNJ Board of Church and Society to address issues on immigration. The task force gathered for an initial meeting with Bishop Schol this past week. The initial and most timely agenda is to advocate for Congressional legislation for the DACA Program (Differed Action for Childhood Arrival). This program allows “Dreamers”, immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents as children, a chance to stay permanently. Members of the task force will be seeking to engage congregations in advocating for the Dream Act. Click here for more info and resources. 

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

Barefoot Camp Registration Open - Sign Up Today! 
Next Generation Ministries in partnership with Barefoot Republic has opened registration for 2018 summer camp, July 30 - Aug. 4. Get ready for games, worship, dramas, sports, music, devotionals, and speakers. Click here to find out more and register.

2018 Summer Camps at Pinelands Center 

Next Generation Ministries will be hosting three separate camping programs for GNJ youth for middle school, high school and Latino students. Info and updates are being added to the Next Gen website regularly. Click here or contact Ryan Clements with questions. 

Give the Gift of Camp 

The cost of a week of camp is simply out of reach for many families. GNJ is committed to not let cost be a barrier to any student wanting to attend our summer camps. 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.

IGNITE Leaders Day Just $15 and Under Until Tomorrow! 

Click here to check out the new IGNITE Leaders Day Promo video and find out more about the Feb. 10th event at Monmouth Grace UMC in Eatontown. Youth leaders, young adults, youth workers, students, youth groups and those invested in the next generation are welcome! Registration is 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 learn about the event speakers.

Apply for Ethnic Young Adult Summer Internship 

The Global Board of Church and Society of the UMC is now accepting applications for their 2018 Summer Ethnic Young Adult program. This eight-week intensive program is designed for young justice-seekers willing to work in the intersections of faith, advocacy and social change while working with an organization engaged in addressing social injustices. This is an opportunity for vocational discernment, leadership development, learning more about of United Methodist connection and faith formation. Application due March 1.  Click here for more info.. 

Campus Ministries 

Churches across GNJ have active campus ministry programs at local churches. Check out our GNJ churches who have campus outreach programs here.

Will You Celebrate a Baptism Reaffirmation? 

Last Sunday churches all across GNJ participated in Reaffirmation Sunday; a time to reaffirm baptisms and declare our faith with our church communities. Will your church celebrate a reaffirmation of Baptism? Join the hundreds of church leaders participating and take part in the movement here. Please share your pictures by sending them to Josh Kinney.

Henry-Crowe, Dotson to Speak at Annual Conference 

Rev. Junius Dotson, General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries and Rev. Susan T. Henry-Crowe will be joining us in Wildwood for the 2018 Annual Conference session. Click here to see schedule. 

2018 Annual Conference Legislation Open 

Submit reports and recommendations (legislation) here for the 2018 GNJ Annual Conference by Feb. 14. Reports and recommendations received thereafter will not be published in the pre-conference journal, nor will they be addressed at the 2018 Annual Conference without special permission from the Bishop.

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


2017 Results with More to Come in 2018  

A Future with Hope has proven its leadership in recovery in New Jersey. Through 2017, we have: 
  • 461 homeowners cases
  • 263 homes completed construction 
  • 12,215 volunteers in relief and recovery 
  • 2,730 young adult and youth volunteers 
  • 46 states, 2 countries represented
  • $8,117,841.30 labor value 
Thank you for making this possible. Your work, funds, and volunteerism has rebuilt lives and communities. Click here to help A Future With Hope's Sandy recovery work finish strong in 2018. 
Disaster Response 

GNJ helping those in need after Hurricane Maria 

UMCOR Begins Coordinating Specialized ERTs 

UMCOR has begun coordinating ERTs to Puerto Rico in cooperation with the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico. The first teams to be deployed will be Specialized Early Response Teams. These teams will be oriented to address circumstances unique to this location and situation and beyond the general scope of work for our more traditional ERTs. Click here for more info.
New ERT Training Sessions in 2018
Several Early Response Team (ERT) training sessions for disaster response will be held in January, February, 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.
UMVIM Leadership Training 
A UMVIM Leadership Training session will be held March 10 at Westwood UMC. Click here to learn more. 

Early Registration Price Break Ends Feb. 15 
Laity, bring your pastors for a resource day on March 3 at Bethany Wayne UMC and apply your learnings for your ministry and community. "Take the Lead: Tools for Laity" will feature keynote speaker Mike Mather of Broadway UMC in Indianapolis. Click here for details, workshops, schedule, a downloadable flyer, and to register. Early registration price break ends Feb. 15 

New Workshop: Bilingual Multicultural Worship 
Led by Rev. Lyssette Perez and her team from the UMC of the Rockaways, a new workshop at "Take the Lead" will provide tools and ideas to develop a contemporary and bilingual worship as an outreach to all people. Click here to learn more. 



Save the Date: UMAC Local Church Communications School Coming to Our Area 
The United Methodist Association of Communicators is bringing the Local Church Communications School to our region on March 7. Expects from across the connection will expose you to some of the latest technology and practices in the communications industry and is aimed at helping the local church thrive in its mission to make disciples of Christ. Topics include conducting a communications audit, latest technologies, marketing and automation, podcasting, Facebook Live and taking your church online. Save the date and stay tuned for more info or check out the UMAC website here. 
Uncovered Dish Podcast Seeks Female Co-Host
The Uncovered Dish Christian Leadership Podcast of GNJ is searching for a new female co-host! If you're interested, please contact James Lee. 
Best Practices are Worth Sharing 
Best practices are worth sharing because there may be ideas that will help your congregation. Here is a best practice for gaining clarity about the mission and ministries of disciples in a congregation from Haddonfield UMC is aligning the congregation to a common purpose, set of expectations, and how to engage. Share your best practices by sending them to Brittney Reilly. 

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. 

2018 Scholarship Opportunities 

Click here for the complete list of 2018 Greater New Jersey Scholarships from the GNJ Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The application deadline is March 31. 

Retired GNJ Pastor Helps Fund Cholera Prevention

 A United Methodist church is providing clean water to help prevent cholera, even as the government eases some restrictions aimed at containing the outbreak that began in October 2017. Click here to read. 

GNJ Announcements 

2018 Health Reimbursement Account Contribution

The Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) is provided to participants per approval by the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits. Effective Jan. 1, all participants enrolled in HealthFlex received their annual HRA contribution from GNJ. Click here for more info.

Download the 2018 Key Dates & Deadlines Calendar  

Let us help you keep track of important dates in the life of GNJ. The administrative team at GNJ has created a key dates calendar for church leaders to use for planning for 2018. The calendar is downloadable and is linked to the contact information for the people and departments who can help you in ministry. It’s also printable. Click here to access.

Email Fraud 

Church email addresses and pastor emails are publicly accessible online. While most people will use this information to find a local place of worship or make a contact about a spiritual need, these addresses are available to businesses for solicitation and to con artists as a part of a scam. Click here to learn more about how you can avoid email fraud and scams. 

Winter Preparedness 

The cold and snow reminds us all to prepare our churches for winter. Use these resources recommended by Sovereign to winterize all church properties. 

Pre-Retirement Seminar - March 1 

GNJ's Board of Pension and Health Benefits is presenting a Pre-retirement Seminar for pastors and their spouses. A benefits educator from Wespath will speak on retirement planning on March 1 at the Mission and Resource Center for those planning to retire in the next five years. The session will also feature a speaker from the Social Security Administration on Social Security and Medicare. Click here for details and to register. 

Church Mutual 2018 Religious Scholars Program 

Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation is offering 50 scholarships of $5,000 each to advanced religious scholars. Click here to learn 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

BMCR Sunday is Next Week 

Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) Sunday is next week, 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.

Mission is Key to Way Forward 

At the conclusion of the recent Commission on a Way Forward meeting, members were asked to share three words that expressed their prayer for the church. “Mission” was the most frequently repeated word. Click here to read the press release or here to read the news article. 

Racial Ethnic Grants 

The General Board of Global Ministries invites you to apply for grants that will be awarded in Spring 2018. The deadline is Feb. 23. These grants have assisted nonprofits, churches, annual conferences, and other community organizers in the areas of leadership and congregational development, ministry with the poor and health ministries. Click here for more info. 

Webinar: Combining Wesley's Class Meeting with Technology 

Clergy and laity interesting in strengthening men connections in the local church and community should check out a webinar hosted by the General Commission on United Methodist Men on February 1 at 8:00 p.m. The webinar will explore a combination of materials on the vital role The Class Meeting model in transforming men in their connection, and an introduction to the technology that makes any of our meetings more accessible. Click here to register. 

Facing the Future Conference 

"Facing The Future" - a resourcing event organized by GCORR for pastors in cross racial and cross cultural appointments will be held May 7-9 in Newark, NJ. Click here for more info and to register. The next price break is Feb. 28. 

Kentucky Conference Treasurer Sought 

The Kentucky Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church is currently recruiting for the position of Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services. Deadline for receiving applications is Feb. 28. Click here for details. 


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.
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