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Laity Leadership Academy Empowers Your Ministry 

Sept. 10th - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Mission & Resource Center 
The 21st century is filled with new and unprecedented challenges for ministry. Do you have the tools and skills to face them? The 2016 Laity Leadership Academy provides expert assistance and guidance in creating a social media ministry, vital small groups, inspiring worship, and an evangelism church. Join one of these 4 tracks to empower your leadership. Register NOW so you can come prepared for in-depth conversations. Click here for your last chance to register. 
"IGINITE 2016 is going to be next level. Be there" - Preston Centuolo, renown youth speaker and IGNITE host. 

September 30 - October 2 | #ignite16


Derek Minor Gears up for IGNITE 

Christian hip hop artist Derek Minor is getting pumped for IGNITE. Look for a feature article in the September issue of The Relay to catch a glimpse of what he'll be bringing to the youth conference. Come to Wildwood on Sept. 30-Oct. 3. and join over 1,000 students grades 6-12 gathering to worship, fellowship and grow in their relationship with God. Click here to register and see the artist lineup, schedule and lodging

Want to see how IGNITE changes lives? 

Click here to watch a powerfully moving video featuring youth from past IGNITE conferences share how the event has changed their lives and nurtured their relationship with God. 

Ad Space Available for IGNITE Magazine 

Do you want your organization, group, or business' ad to appear in the official IGNITE magazine? Email Brittney Reilly before the end of the week to secure your spot in this year's souvenir publication. 

Change a Life Through the IGNITE Scholarship Fund 

You can be a part of changing a young person's life for eternity. Contribute to the IGNITE scholarship fund and help send youth to a powerful, life-changing event that will grow their relationship with God. Click here to take part. 
A Future With Hope is the mission arm of the United Methodist Church of Greater NJ dedicated to helping families with Sandy recovery and developing Communities of Hope resourcing for our congregations.

There's More Hope to Give 

A Future With Hope has produced a new brochure calling for volunteers and continued financial support. Click here to print off copies and share with your congregation. Many in New Jersey still struggle to get back on their feet several years after Superstorm Sandy. AFWH has active projects in Atlantic City, Beach Haven, Highlands, Keansburg, Tuckerton, Brigantine, Long Branch, Ocean City, Longport, Union Beach, Little Egg Harbor, Lanoka Harbor, Neptune, and Toms River. 

Volunteers Wanted 

A Future With Hope is equipped to accommodate volunteers for the summer, fall and winter with flexible extended weekend crews for you and your congregation. Teams of 4 or more should email Lisa Park or call 732-359-1012 to schedule a team of volunteers.

Grieving Class POSTPONED Until Spring 2017

The Landscape of Loss: Pastoral Care in Situations of Grief and Loss, originally scheduled for Aug. 30 - Dec. 7, 2016 on Tuesdays at the GNJ Mission and Resource Center, will be postponed until Spring 2017. Stay tuned for more information and new dates. 

Webinar on Confronting White Privilege

This Fall, Drew Theological School is providing a webinar on "Confronting White Privilege in Our Mission Toward Justice." The four-part series will discuss what missional engagement of the church looks like in a highly racialized context on both a national a local level. The webinar will be held on Sept. 14, 21, 28 and Oct. 5 from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.

GNJ Small Group Symposium 

Clergy and local seminary students are invited to explore a variety of small group approaches, emerging trends, challenges and theological perspectives at a symposium sponsored by the Northern Region Resource Team. On Oct. 20 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Drew Theological School, experts from Greater New Jersey and beyond will lead panels followed by discussions and workshops. Cost is $30 for clergy and $15 for students. Click here for more information.

New Workshops Available 

Click here to learn more about new workshops being offered this Fall by Drew Theological School, available to clergy and laity. Find out what workshop best suits your interests. 



Congregational Development Grant Applications 

GNJ is committed to resourcing congregations on their path to vitality. Congregational Development Grant Applications are now being taken for 2017. The deadline is Oct. 5. Click here to find out more.

The Connection 

Take a refreshing, much-needed road trip with Trey Wince, Director of New Disciples, in a new blog about maintaining clarity and clearness on the road of ministry. You'll be glad you did. Click here to check it out, and may the ride be nice. 


GNJ Job Opportunities Available 

Are you a people-person with a heart for serving others? GNJ is seeking a Front Desk Administrative Assistant to provide radical hospitality to all who call or enter the Mission and Resource Center and to provide organized administrative support. Click here to read the responsibilities and requirements.

Are you thirsting for inspiration and innovation? Do you want to take your skills to a new level? GNJ seeks an experienced Administrative Assistant who is committed to excellence. Click here to find out more.

Meals From Stop Hunger Now Have Shipped 

Meals from the Stop Hunger Now packaging event at Annual Conference have been shipped in a container totaling 278,208 meals from the organization's Philadelphia warehouse. Your meals have gone to impact thousands across the world. Click here for more information about how you can support Stop Hunger Now and continue the fight against hunger. 

Bishop Invites GNJ to "Pray Our Way Forward"

"Pray Our Way Forward" is a new initiative set in motion by the Council of Bishops as plans for the establishment of a Commission on a Way Forward are underway. GNJ Bishop John Schol is praying early mornings and invites others in the conference to pray with him. Click here to read more details about the initiative

Walk for All Ages Rescheduled to 2017 

The popular "Walk For All Ages" sponsored by United Methodist Communities has been rescheduled for the Spring of 2017. The Walk, which has taken place for the past few years on the first Sunday after Labor Day in Ocean Grove, is one of the primary fundraisers for the Fellowship Fund. 

Calling all new students Princeton University  

Erik "Skitch" Matson, Director of the Wesley Foundation at Prince University hopes to dive into the ongoing faith formation of students throughout their time at Princeton, from meeting one-on-one to worshiping and serving together. If you are or know students coming to Princeton this fall, please have them email Matson. 

Are you involved in your church's worship?

Then you'll want to be a part of Doxology: A Worship Conference on Nov. 12. Join leaders from around GNJ for a day of learning new ways to enliven the worship experience. Sponsored by the Central Region, the event will be hosted by renown worship leader Kurtis Parks and is open to all clergy and lay in GNJ. Find out more and register here. 

Dunkle-Mackey Preaching Seminar 2016

Dr. Maria Dixon Hall will lead a seminar about communicating in a way that creates community and transformation on Sept. 19, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Asbury UMC in Salisbury, MD. Click here for more info and to register. 

Volunteers in Mission Leadership Training 

Join Rev. Tom Lank to learn more about being a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) team leader or hosting mission teams on Nov. 5, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Mission and Resource Center. Click here for more information and to register. 

Join a UMVIM Trip to Haiti 

Need winter plans? Be a part of a UMVIM team to Haiti, Jan. 7-14, 2017, join the GNJ Water Filtration Team or donate to the GNJ Clean Water for Haiti fund. Click here for more information, call 732-865-3730 or email Kathy Ahmad for more to find out more.

Weekend and Day Retreats Available 

Pinelands Center at Mt. Misery is a campground and retreats center with availability year-round. Your church or group can use the facilities for adults, children, choir, confirmation, family, or youth retreats. Click here to find out more about what the camp offers.

Part-Time Work and Internship Available 

Pinelands Center at Mount Misery is seeking a part-time kitchen, housekeeping and maintenance staff member with a heart for serving and team work to work weekends and evenings. A Program Internship is also available for college students. Click here for more information. If interested, call 609-893-3354 or send an email. 

Lend a Hand at Volunteer Day 

Take part in the Pinelands Center Volunteer day on Sept. 17, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Be a part of a wide-range of projects. Call 609.893.3354 or email to register your group. 

GNJ Finance and Administration

New Name for General Board of Pension and Health

As of July 2016, The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits officially changed their name to Wespath Benefits and Investments. Moving forward, participants enrolled in plans, and local churches and agencies sponsoring clergy and laity plans will receive correspondence with the new name. Aside from the name change, Wespath Benefits and Investments will continue to provide the same quality of care and service as an administrative agency of The United Methodist Church. Click here for more info.

Informational Meetings for New Dental Plans

Three new dental plans, including a managed care plan with a multi-state network, will be introduced during September, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Click here to find out where in-person informational meetings and web conferences regarding the new plan will be held. 

2016 HealthQuotient (HQ) Reminder 

HealthFlex participants and enrolled spouses must take the HQ (Health Quotient) online now through Sept. 30 at wespath.org to avoid paying a higher 2017 deductible. You can also improve your well-being, explore health coaching, and other wellness resources. Click here to get started. HQ information is provided to HealthFlex in aggregate only. Your privacy is ensured, as Health Coaches with access to HQ information are bound by federal HIPAA laws. Email Barbara Gruezke with questions.



Nominations Sought for Culture of the Call Award 

The Foundation for Evangelism invites nominations for its 2016 Culture of the Call Church Award, which recognizes local United Methodist churches that excel in nurturing young people who are called to Christian service. The award includes a plaque and $1,000 grant. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 15 and self-nominations are welcome. Click here to learn more.

Grants for Ecumenical and Interreligious Ministry 

The Council of Bishops Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships will award three Local Initiative Grants of $1,000 to groups within conferences enacting special projects with the goal of strengthening ecumenical and or interreligious relationships. The deadline to apply is Sept. 16. Click here to learn more and submit an application. 

Choosing a New Church 

When U.S. adults look for a new house of worship, they look first for a place where they like the preaching and where they feel welcomed. Fully 83% of Americans who have looked for a new place of worship say the quality of sermons plays an important role in choosing a congregation, according to a Pew Research study. Click here to read an overview.

How UMCOR Helps in Low-Attention Disasters 

Contributions to the United Methodist Committee on Relief help disaster survivors recover from events that never made the headlines, such as a hailstorm that struck Pine Bluff, Wyoming, and tornadoes in Florida and Virginia. Click here to read the story and learn how to donate.

Help Revise the Hymnal 

Discipleship Ministries is accepting applications for membership on the committee that will oversee revision of The United Methodist Hymnal. The agency will appoint seven of the 15 committee members, and wants applicants who have a background in both music and liturgy. Read more here

"NEXT" Empowers Collegians to Enact Change 

"Imagine What's NEXT" is a weekend event featuring motivational speakers community gatherings and powerful worship helping college students tackle real issues within their communities and around the world by combining faith, gifts, and passion. Nov. 4-6, Tabernacle Theater, Atlanta, Ga. Find out more and register here. 

Communication News and Tips 


Interpretation Equipment Available 

GNJ has interpretation equipment available for agencies, committees and other groups so your next event or service can be interpreted in up to four languages. Click here to request use of this equipment.

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.

How to Get in The Relay and Digest

Have a good story idea for The Relay? Contact Josh Kinney at jkinney@gnjumc.org, Do you have information for The Digest? Contact gnjdigest@gnjumc.org. The deadline to send news for the following month's Relay is the 15th of each month. The deadline to send news to the Digest is noon every Tuesday.
Copyright © 2016 The United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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