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"Walking into IGNITE for the first time completely changed the idea I had of what a Christian youth event could look like" - 2015 attendee 

September 30 - October 2 | Wildwood, NJ | #ignite16


8 Days Left Until IGNITE 2016!

"Let There Be Light" is already the biggest IGNITE conference ever. We're now only eight days out, and the IGNITE Squad is preparing last minute details to ensure students across GNJ have an absolutely incredible, life-changing experience. From a beach bonfire, artist meet and greets, an acoustic coffee house, indoor and outdoor activities, powerful worship, renown speakers, and world-class entertainment, IGNITE 2016 has you covered! Click here to check out the full schedule.

Register now to save on IGNITE before Sept. 30

It's still cheaper to register for IGNITE now than to wait to purchase tickets at the door. Save up to $10 per ticket by signing up today. Click here to save.

Have you joined a PaCE Group?

PaCE Groups Begin in October 

PaCE groups are made up of clergy who meet monthly for a period of 8-10 months with a curriculum focused on shared learning objectives and group covenants. Groups engage in conversations around particular ministry issues and experiences, explore new ideas, expand horizons within a safe, trusting community of colleagues, create synergy to empower spiritual and pastoral formation, and unlock the imagination. Click here to sign up as a group or individual before the end of the month. 



GNJ Leadership Survey 

We are conducting a survey to evaluate the conference's direction, ministry and service to help us determine how we may best equip you and your congregation for ministry. All clergy and lay in GNJ are encouraged to participate and share their views. Click here and complete the survey. The survey will close on Monday, Oct. 3. 

Save the date: 2017 Bishop Convocation

The 2017 Bishop Convocation will be held January 23-25, 2017, at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch, NJ. Come for renewal, learning, and fellowship. Registration opens Nov. 1, 2016. 

Bishop's Days

Southern Region Bishop’s Day
  • Laity Session: The rescheduled laity session will be announced shortly. 
  • Clergy Session: Thursday, September 22 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at St. John's UMC in Turnersville
Northern Region Bishop’s Day
  • Laity Session: Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Little Falls UMC
  • Clergy Session: Thursday, November 10 at 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Little Falls UMC
Central Region Bishop’s Day
  • Clergy Session: Thursday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Aldersgate UMC
  • Laity Session: Thursday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Aldersgate UMC


GNJ Development Grant Application for 2017

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.

GNJ Nominations: Boards and Agencies  

The nominations committee is looking for committed disciples of Jesus Christ who have leadership gifts and experience and are ready to join us as we take the next steps in our strategic plans. To recommend a person, or to offer yourself for leadership please complete the survey here. Learn more about the purpose of the different boards and agencies here. Nominations should be submitted by Oct. 10. Contact Ginny Kaiser with questions. 

A Conference for GNJ Worship Leaders 

Sponsored by the Central Region and hosted by renown worship leader Kurtis Parks, Doxology: A Worship Conference will bring together leaders from around GNJ for a day of learning new ways to embrace the worship experience. Find out more and register here and wach the video above. 

Concert to End Gun Violence 

Local artists, musicians and advocates will join forces at Trinity UMC in Ewing at noon this Sunday, Sept. 25 as part of Nationwide Concerts Across America to End Gun Violence. The event is free and open to the public. Send an email for more information or check out the Facebook event page. Find out more about Concert Across America here.

Team Vital for Spanish and Korean Congregations 

Team Vital brochures and workbooks have been translated into Spanish and Korean to better serve congregations in Greater New Jersey. Click here to access the translated Team Vital overviews and learn more about creating a strategic ministry plan using the 5 markers of vitality. 

Christmas Plays Available 

Is your church interested in having your Sunday School, youth or group put on a play this Christmas? A limited number of musical Christmas plays, complete with background soundtracks, books, song sheets and some props are available. Contact Rev. Bob Scott at 732-965-5343 or send an email. 

Career Opportunities 
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

Health Insurance News 


Enroll in new GNJ Dental Insurance plan by Friday 

Retirees, clergy and lay employees of local churches working 20 or more hours/week are eligible for three new dental plans, including a managed care plan with multi-state network. The 2 current Horizon plans will terminate on Dec. 31. Everyone currently in one of the Horizon plans will need to enroll in a new plan by Friday, Sept. 23, before 4:30 p.m. Click here for more info and to download the EPOD kit. 
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.


Circles of Hope Update 

To acknowledge the generosity and commitment of our congregations to the Mission Fund, we have updated our Hope Circles for September. Hope Circles recognize churches based on the average dollar per worshiper they have contributed to the Mission Fund. Click here to see the Circles of Hope. This year, have your church take the lead: start a campaign, redouble your commitment, or make a one time gift here.
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.

Church's Summer Camp Integrates AFWH

On Sept. 18, the youth summer camp at Simply Grace UMC in Bloomsbury integrated A Future With Hope into their production of an original play. The showcase by the Grace Performing Arts outreach ministry included a slideshow of A Future With Hope's accomplishments and a special collection of $400 was raised to go toward the nonprofit's continued Sandy recovery effort. 

Share Hope Brochures with your Congregation 

Four years after the storm and nearly 5,000 people are struggling to recover. United Methodists through A Future With Hope remain one of the resources these families can count on. A Future With Hope has produced a new packet calling for volunteers and continued financial support. Click here to print off copies and share with your congregation

Volunteers Wanted

A Future With Hope is equipped to accommodate volunteers for the 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.


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 9:30 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 from our website.

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 and a local level. The webinar will be held on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.

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. 

Harvest Festival 

Come enjoy the fall weather at the Pineland's Harvest Festival on October 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be an open house, trunk or treating, hayrides, nature walks, bake sale, activities for kids, a make your own caramel apple, and more. Fore more information call 609.893.3354 or click here to download flyers for your church, group or organization. 

Part-Time Work and Internship 

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. 


Bishops overrule nonconformity resolutions 

Two bishops, in separate rulings, have voided two resolutions in the Northeastern U.S. that called for defying church restrictions on gay and lesbian individuals. The rulings come after a summer that saw multiple conferences say they would defy the denomination prohibitions related to homosexuality. Click here to read the story. 

Bishops cabinets focus on vital congregations 

U.S. bishops and their extended cabinets will gather Nov. 2-4 to focus on building strong and vital congregations. Similar gatherings will be held in Europe, the Philippines and two locations in Africa. Click here to read the press release.

World Communion Sunday Oct. 2 

Click here to download a free World Communion Sunday Pastor's Kit which has everything you need to promote this special Sunday and celebrate with a memorable service. You will find content pieces to use immediately with little additional work.This kit has everything you need to empower your congregation to give generously.

UMC "Giving Tuesday" Nov. 29

On Nov. 29, you can extend the spirit of giving thanks into the Advent season by participating in UMC #GivingTuesday. When you give online through The Advance, 100% of your gifts go directly to the project of your choice. 

Communication News and Tips  


Make your ministry announcements better 

Move beyond simply announcing the who, when and where. Preaching announcements can show people how they can put their faith to work. Click here for tips that boost action. 

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 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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