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"I found speakers who were radically honest about themselves, their walk with Jesus, and top notch musicians praising God" - 2015 attendee 

NEW Artist Announced: Derek Minor to IGNITE 

Christian hip hop artist Derek Minor will take the stage at IGNITE! Click here to find out more about this record producer, entrepreneur, actor, and screenwriter. The biggest youth event of 2016 hits Wildwood on Sept. 30-Oct. 3. with over 1,000 students grades 6-12 gathering to worship, fellowship and grow in their walk with God. Click here to register and see the artist lineup, schedule and lodging

Price Breaks Available through Aug. 31

Price breaks for the IGNITE 2016 Conference are available now through the end of the month. Take advantage of this unique window of opportunity to receive discounted tickets. Click here to register.

Young Adults Wanted 

Calling all young adults throughout GNJ, be a part of the 2016 "IGNITE Squad" of volunteers to help assist with this fall's youth conference. Take advantage of this opportunity to serve and connect. If you or someone you know is interested, email Debbie Barnett. 

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 to grow their relationship with God. Click here to take part. 

Exhibitor Tables and Ad Space Available for IGNITE

Local, statewide, or nationally recognized resources, vendors, and organizations can reach students and youth leaders at IGNITE by purchasing exhibitor booth space, screen, or printed program book ads. GNJ agencies will receive a discount. Click here for more information.

Submit your 2016 VBS Photos 

Submit your VBS photos from 2016 summer programs for the September issue of The Relay newspaper and an online gallery on gnjumc.org. Please send only photos in high resolution and include a description, name and location of your church. Due to the large number of submissions we can't guarantee publication of every photo in print. Send photos to Josh Kinney.

2016 Laity Leadership Academy

Have you joined one of our four tracks to empower your leadership? Be sure to take advantage of one of GNJ's primary resources to equip lay leaders. Register for the 2016 Laity Leadership Academy now.
Sept. 10, 7:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at The Mission and Resource Center.
United Methodists throughout the conference are working toward the goal of $12 million to help rebuild homes, save lives and inspire local church mission. Learn how you and your congregation can join the campaign.

Updating Circles of Hope

The generosity of churches throughout GNJ have helped save lives and rebuild homes through gifts to the Mission Fund. Next month, we will be updating our Circles of Hope. Have you renewed your support for the Mission Fund? Click here to see the list of churches in each Hope Circle. 

Day of Hope, Health and Family Fair 

Health screenings, games, and entertainment will be held at the 'Day of Hope, Health and Family Fair' at St. Paul Church and Day Care in Newark. Funds will be raised for A Future With Hope and Imagine No Malaria. Aug. 27, 11 am - 3 pm at 739 Mt. Prospect Ave, Newark, NJ. For more information call 973-485-0420 or email Pastor Rolando.
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.

This Weekend: Race and Rebuild

Race2Rebuild, the nonprofit endurance sports program supporting disaster recovery is headed to the Jersey Shore this weekend to support continued recovery from Hurricane Sandy and race the DelMoSports Atlantic City Triathlon and 5K. With funding raised by athletes and support from the Atlantic City Sports Commission, athletes and volunteers will help rebuild Sandy-damaged homes with national nonprofit partners SBP and A Future with Hope on Saturday. On Sunday, they will race the DelMoSports Atlantic City Triathlon and 5K in Atlantic City. 

Weekend 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.

Meal Volunteers Needed for Highlands Host Site

Provide a meal for teams helping with Sandy rebuilding over the next few weeks. Click here to sign up or email Ellen Korpar. You can also call 732-598-4877

Grieving Class at Mission and Resource Center 

The Landscape of Loss: Pastoral Care in Situations of Grief and Loss will be held Aug. 30 - Dec. 7, 2016 on Tuesdays, 5-7:30 p.m. at the GNJ Mission and Resource Center. This three credit class led by Rev. Dr. Virginia Samuel, will study various dimensions of the experiences of death and grief. For more information and to register, email Rev. Dr. Amy Jones or call 973-408-3084.

GNJ Small Group Symposium at Drew

Clergy and local seminary students are invited to dig into the scholarship and theology behind small groups at a symposium sponsored by the Northern Region Resource Team and hosted at Drew. On Oct. 20 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., 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.



GNJ Career Opportunity 

GNJ is seeking an experienced administrative assistant who is committed to excellence. If you're thirsting for creativity, inspiration and innovation and want to take your skills to the next level, click here.

Join Kurtis Parks at Doxology in Nov. 

Kurtis Parks, Worship Director of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. will join leaders from around GNJ for a day of discovering new ways to bring the worship experience to life. Are you involved in your congregations worship? If so you won't want to miss this; Doxology: A Worship Conference on Nov. 12, sponsored by the Central Region and open to all clergy and lay in Greater New Jersey. Find out more and register here.

Korean and Spanish Resources for Team Vital

“팀 바이탈(Team Vital)  한국어 자료 열람 가능”
Recursos en español disponibles para equipo vital 

Team Vital resources have been translated to meet the needs of Korean and Spanish congregations. They can be accessed here. Check out the overviews and share with your congregation as you consider joining Team Vital. 

Pathways 2 Prosperity Volunteer Training Aug. 17

If you're looking to explore new service opportunities and learn about poverty, Pathways 2 Prosperity is hosting an informational volunteer training Aug. 17 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at 65 Newton Sparta Rd., Newton, NJ. This innovative program helps families and individuals reach financial independence. RSVP encouraged but walk-ins welcome. Email Dianna Morrison or call 973.383.4787 for more info. 

Apply for Campus Ministry Grant by Aug. 23

Is your church near a college campus? The Conference Board of Higher Education and Ministry is offering a limited number of $1,000 grants to help start or grow your campus ministry. Click here to submit your application by Aug. 23 or email Rev. Hyun-Bo Shim with questions.


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. 

Lead a UMVIM Trip to Haiti 

Need winter plans? Lead 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. 

Certified Lay Ministers Scholarships 

Limited scholarship opportunities are being offered by The Board of Laity for people in the Certified Lay Ministry process who cannot afford the psychological assessment fee. Click here to find out more.

Part-Time and Internship Opportunities 

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. 

Volunteers Wanted 

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


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.

3 New Dental Insurance Plans from Guardian 

Three new dental plans, including a managed care plan with a multi-state network, will be introduced during September, effective Jan. 1, 2017. The two current Horizon plans will terminate on Dec. 31, 2016. GNJ will hold 3 in-person informational meetings and a web conference. Look for information in the mail for qualified participants. Click here for more information.

2017 Health Insurance Church Premiums 

The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits (CBOPHB) has set the health insurance premium rates for local churches, effective January 1, 2017. Click here to see the 2017 annual rates in comparison with those of this year. 

Church Conference Reports

In keeping with the Maintenance to Mission plan, church conference forms have been made electronic for our pastors and church leaders to complete, creating an easily accessible system. We have completed the first phase of our database conversion to a new database system, Arena, with new church conference reports now available online. All clergy and churches were sent emails August 1 with instructions. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to email questions Jessica Storer.



Young People Work for Change in Racial Justice 

Young black and white leaders in the United Methodist Church are organizing resources and support to help the church effect sustainable change so people of color can live and lead in a more just and viable culture. Click here to read more.

Why the Best Days are Ordinary Days 

Many Christians label the season after Pentecost and before Advent as an ordinary time. However, this time in the church year can be an important reminder to lead a Christian life not just on special occasions. Click here to read the commentary

Caring for Children in your Church 

Ministering to the needs of children in a congregation means praying for them, acknowledging them and including them. Click here to read tips on how to make sure children are welcomed by the church

Resources for Back-to-School Season 

United Methodist Discipleship Ministries is offering worship and devotional resources for churches to celebrate the start of the new school year and reach out to kids in their areas. Click here to see resources.

Communication News and Tips 

Conference Journals - Order by Monday

There's less than two weeks to order a hard copy of the 2016 Conference Journal. If you’d like a bound, printed copy, click here. Printed journals are available free to all retired clergy upon request and all others for a fee of $18. Journals will be available for review and download on the website. No CD-ROMs will be produced this year. 

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.

Reserve Space at the Mission and Resource Center 

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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