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From all of us at the Mission and Resource Center, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. We're thankful for the opportunity to serve you and your ministries. May God bless you and your friends and families with a joyful spirit of gratitude and love. Click here to read a special Thanksgiving message from Bishop John Schol. 


Year-End Statistical Report Training 

Year-end statistical reports training will include NEW information for the quadrennium. Accuracy in year-end reporting not only reduces errors but can save your church thousands of dollars. The training is open to clergy and laity. Pastors, finance committees, stewardship teams, treasurers, financial secretaries, and auditing committees are highly encouraged to attend. Conference Treasurer John Cardillo and his team will discuss important issues regarding year-end reports and will be available to answer any questions you may have. Click here for details and here to register. 

Wednesday, Dec. 6 
Session 1: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Aldersgate UMC, East Brunswick

Thursday, Dec. 7 
Session 1: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Malaga UMC, Malaga

Tuesday, Dec. 11 
Session 1: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Totowa UMC, Totowa 


Team Vital for Spanish Speaking Congregations 

Team Vital, will be offered for the first time completely in Spanish. All facilitators speak Spanish and will lead the meetings for congregations whose first language is Spanish. Team Vital has successfully engaged spiritual leaders and empowered congregations to plan for future vitality. Save up to 9 months of work in your church's ministry. Now's the time! Plan for future ministry and register by Dec. 10. Click here to register. 

A Thanksgiving Message from Puerto Rico to GNJ 

A day of Thanksgiving was held on Nov. 19 at the First UMC of Hightstown. More than 37 churches participated delivering 27 pallets of food, 6 pallets of toys and more than $50,000. Bishop Hector Ortiz from the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico delivered a message of thanksgiving via video during the service which was live streamed to United Methodist Churches in Puerto Rico. Click here to watch and find out how you can join the relief efforts. 

Generosity  GNJ Style 

To date, GNJ has raised $346,759.12 for UMCOR for disaster relief efforts as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Praise be to God! Click here to learn more about GNJ's disaster relief efforts.

ERT Training and Disaster Response Teams 

- The next ERT class, re-certification and initial training, will be held on Nov. 25 at the UMC of Westfield in Westfield, NJ. To learn more and register, contact Carol Brozosky.
- Disaster Response Teams are forming for Texas. Any ERTs and other volunteers interested in joining or leading the Nov. teams can contact UMVIM Coordinator Brittany Rusk for specific details. 

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


We Have a Future for A Future With Hope 

With strong leadership and outstanding results, A Future With Hope has become a leader in long term recovery and nonprofit building in Greater New Jersey. In 2018 as we begin to transition from recovery work to Communities of Hope training, Hope Centers and housing initiatives, John Cardillo has been named the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit organization, A Future With Hope. A Future With Hope's Board of Trustees made a request to the Council on Finance and Administration for John Cardillo to fulfill this role during this season of transition. Both the Board and CF&A were unanimous in their selection of this appointment.  John will continue in his role as Treasurer with GNJ and will oversee A Future With Hope staff for six months during the transition after which time it may be extended for up to another six months.
Water & Roots 

Take the Plunge with Baptism 

Rediscovering the power of Baptism starts now! Resource materials will be made available to all who sign up here. Materials include sermon series resources, graphics, promotional material, small group curriculum, and much more! If you or your church is participating in a baptism, share your stories, photos and videos with Josh Kinney.

Are You Passionate About Youth? 

Are you gifted at connecting with youth? Are you invested in the next generation of GNJ? Click here to learn about becoming an Engagement Specialist. Next Generation Ministries, GNJ's strategic partnership of youth, camping and campus ministries, has launched a new website. Click here to learn more, explore the mission, and view staff members.

Online Master's for Youth Workers 

Southwestern College, a United Methodist college in the Great Plains Conference, is offering an online Master's degree for youth workers based entirely in Wesleyan theology and practical, applicable training. Alternatively, youth workers can take 5 courses and meet the requirements to be a Global Board of Higher Education and Ministry-certified youth minister. Click here to learn more. 

Advent: Recapturing a Sense of Urgency 
As Advent approaches, explore three ways you can prepare for worship to recapture a sense of urgency. Eric Drew, Director of Worship explains in the latest installment of The Connection blog. Click here to read.
How Relevant are Deacons? Check out the new Podcast Series 
Join our conversation with deacons Kathleen Stolz, Tom Lank, and Dr. Daryl Stephens to hear just how relevant Deacons could be to you. Click here to listen. 
Submit Your Church's History 
The Commission on Archives and History has announced this year's Local Church History contest. Click here to learn more. The deadline for submitting a local church history is Jan. 18, 2018. 

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. 

Conversation About Race - Wisdom Circle 

On Dec. 9 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Trinity UMC in Ewing, laity and clergy from cross-racial, cross-cultural sites will come together to engage in conversation regarding their blessings and challenges. The Wisdom Circle provides an opportunity for those in these sites to meet, fellowship and learn. Click here to learn more and register. 

Back to Basic's Luncheon Fundraiser 

On Saturday, Dec. 9, from 1-4 p.m. CAMP YDP in Paterson will be hosting a special fundraising event for the future. Tickets are $50 per person and ad space is available in the event journal. For more info or to purchase tickets/ ad space, contact Bria Pierre at (973)790-0887. 

GNJ Announcements 

CF&A Purchasing 

GNJ's Council of Finance and Administration has vetted a number of national and local products and services that it recommends to local churches for their possible contract/purchasing. Click here to read more.

2017 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms 

Be on the lookout for the Customized 2017 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms which will be mailed to every church on Dec. 1 by Church Mutual. Completed audits are due Jan. 15, 2018 and are to be sent directly to Church Mutual. Questions? Call Becky Meyer at the Church Mutual Premium Audit Unit at 800.554.2642, option 4, extension 4697. Questions regarding housing should be directed to Veronika Varga, Administrative Assistant at 732.359.1036. 

2018 FSA Salary Reduction Increase 

The IRS announced that the 2018 maximum salary reduction has been increased to $2,650. The 2018 Clergy Compensation Form and Instructions have been updated and are now available here. 

Executive Assistant and Other Job Opportunities 

Are you a church administrator or leader looking for your next step? Do you have the relational ability to motivate, event plan, and manage tasks, schedules, and staff? The Connectional Ministries Team is seeking an Executive Assistant to do just that. Click here for a full job description. Click here to view several job opportunities at various churches throughout GNJ. 

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

UMC News, Events, Info
Giving Tuesday is Next Week 
UMC #GivingTuesday is next week! As one of United Methodism’s annual outpourings of generosity, hone in on what you're passionate about and take action! Click here to learn more and find out ways you can take part in Giving Tuesday.
Last Chance for Free UM Student Day Supplies 
Is your church ready to empower students on United Methodist Student Day on Nov. 26? This is your last chance to order free supplies for this special Sunday. Click here to equip your church.
2018 U.M. Army Mission Weeks Announced 
Looking for a local Methodist mission opportunity for your youth group? United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth (U.M. ARMY) has announced their 2018 lineup for summer missions in June and July. Click here to learn more.

Lake Junaluska Assembly, Inc. Seeks Executive Director

Lake Junaluska, a conference and retreat center located in the mountains of western North Carolina is seeking a new Executive Director. Click here to learn more and read the full job description. 
Young Leaders Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 
Join other United Methodist young people from around the world on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Ages 18-35 are encouraged to apply. The deadline is Dec. 1. Click here to learn more. 
Global Migration Sunday, Dec. 3
There are 65 million people displaced in the world today, more than at any other time since WWII. The UMC’s response to this crisis is Global Migration Sunday on Dec. 3, a day of prayer and generosity that will raise awareness and funds to aid migrants and refugees. Learn more about this important Sunday via a free webinar on Nov. 8. Click here to register
Free Church Resources 
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection has provided clergy, church staff and volunteers with practical tools to renew the church. With a free account, users can download anything they need. Click here.


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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