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Statistical Reports - Assistance Available - Start by Jan. 26 

To fulfill our requirements for the Book of Discipline, all pastors of local churches are required to submit year-end statistical reports by Jan. 31. We are asking all churches to start the process by logging in to Ezra by Friday, Jan. 26, no later than 2:00 p.m. Click here for login info and details. We are here to help you. Info on getting started and contacts for the Regional Team who can provide assistance can be found here. 

Statistical Report Thank You! 

We want to recognize the churches in each district who were the first to complete their statistical reports. Thank you! 

Northern Region
Skylands - Millbrook UMC 
Gateway North - Park Ave. St. John’s UMC
Palisades - Bergen Highlands UMC
Southern Region
Delaware Bay - First UMC (Vineland)
Gateway South - Zion UMC (Clarksboro)
Cape Atlantic - Belleplain UMC
Central Region
Capital District - Columbus/Hedding
Northern Shore - Warren Grove UMC
Raritan Valley - High Bridge UMC 


Final Approved Church Budget | Reminder 

All churches should send their final, approved budget for 2018 to their regional administrative assistant by Jan. 31. The draft of the budget was submitted with your church conference forms. Click here.

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.

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

IGNITE Leaders Day Promo Video for Students & Aduts 

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. 

2018 Summer Camps at Pinelands Center w/ Next Gen

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. 

Reaffirmation Sunday and Other Baptism Resources 

This Sunday, Jan. 28, churches all across GNJ will be participating in Reaffirmation Sunday; a time to reaffirm our baptisms and declare our faith with our church communities. Find out more about our Baptism initiative and join the hundreds of church leaders participating. Click here to rediscover baptism and take part in the movement.
What if She Kicks? Resounding the Baptism Commitment 
The thought her daughter being placed into a stranger’s arms, cold water poured over her head, and a couple of hundred people watching is a terrifying one. So, why are we willingly giving ourselves over to this tradition that millions of other parents have before us? Click here to find out more about Director of Mission Nicole Caldwell-Gross' experience and 'Resounding the Baptism Commitment' in the latest Connection blog post. 

2018 Agenda  

Click here to review the agenda for the 2018 Annual Conference session, May 20-22 at the Wildwoods Convention Center. 

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


Finish Strong, Start Anew

As A Future with Hope wraps up its work of seeing every family through to the finish line following Superstorm Sandy, it's gearing up to provide hope for the hopeless across GNJ in new ways. Stay tuned to find out how you can be a part of that hope. For now, there's more hope to give as we finish strong and start new. Click here to participate.
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.

Esperanza Container Delivered 

The Esperanza for Puerto Rico container has been released by U.S. customs and GNJ donations were delivered to Methodist Church of PR Metro area distribution center to be distributed in most impacted areas. Click here to learn more. 
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. 

Take the Lead: Tools for Laity 
Laity, bring your pastors for a resource day with a special afternoon session dedicated to applying what is learned 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.

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. 


Bishop's Message Shared at NYC Women's March 
Sharon Townsend, a member of Trinity UMC in Hackettstown was moved and inspired by Bishop Schol's call to prayer and action. She quoted it on her sign at the Women's March in NYC on Jan. 20. "I pray that by sharing your message on my sign, and my participation, I have honored God," she said. 
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. 

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. 

Spring 2018 Basic, Advanced Lay Servant Classes

Lay Servants combine words and actions in leadership roles within their churches and communities. Spring 2018 Advanced and Basic Lay Servant Classes are open for registration. Click here for basic or here for advanced. 

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. 

GNJ Announcements 

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. 

Communications Assistant, Executive Assistant + Other Job Opportunities - Use our Bulletin Insert to Engage your Congregation! 

Are you a communications guru looking for the next step? Do you want to wet your appetite and hone your skills with a wide variety of communications experience? Then the Communications Assistant position is for you. Click here for a full job description, and here to explore other job opportunities at GNJ. Click here to download a printable insert for your church bulletin. 

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

Way Forward Commission Prepares Update 

The Commission on a Way Forward is nearing the completion of its task of making recommendations of possible ways forward for The United Methodist Church regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ persons in this global denomination. Click here to read more. 

Thinking Beyond the Pews 

Mainline Protestant churches in Idaho's Twin Falls downtown no longer draw big crowds. So they’re using their space differently, including welcoming outside groups. “We’re figuring out new ways to do ministry,” said Rev. Mike Hollomon of Twin Falls First UMC. Click here to read the story. 

Bishops, Agency Responds to #MeToo Movement 

As allegations of sexual misconduct rock Hollywood, the media and the U.S. government, United Methodist leaders acknowledge that the church also has seen such abuses of power. The Council of Bishops and Commission on the Status and Role of Women have released a statement responding to the #MeToo movement. Click here to read the story or here for the statement. 

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. 

Toolkit: What Then Shall We Say 

The Commission on Race and Religion has produced a toolkit resource in response to recent attacks on several African, Caribbean and Central American nations. Bishop Schol's prayer is highlighted as part of the kit. Click here to learn more.
Book Explores Hope, Resurrection for Church 
In “A Methodist Requiem: Words of Hope and Resurrection for the Church,” the church historian writes that requiem heralds the promise of resurrection and explores how this can help Christians be confident and remain unshaken by the challenges faced by faith communities and as a denomination. Click here to read more. 
4 Ways to Engage Busy People 
The Rev. F. Douglas Powe, director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, suggests ways to help those with significant time constraints serve as church leaders. Click here to read.
Scholarships Offered for 2018 UMEIT:USA and NWCU Events 
The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults (age 21-35) to attend the 2018 United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT:USA) and the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) this Spring. Click here to read the press release. 


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.
Copyright © 2018 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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