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Graceful Controversies

A gathering to discern GNJ's hopes for the future of The United Methodist Church and share our voices with the Commission on the Way Forward. March 4 from 9:30 to 3:30 at the Mission and Resource Center. All are welcome, registration required. Click here for more info, resources and to register. Registration closes Feb. 10. 

IGNITE Leaders Day

A day to provide resources for clergy and lay who lead youth groups, are planning confirmation classes or want to start a youth group. Click here for workshop information, schedule and registration. Registration closes Feb. 8. 

Clergy Stewardship Retreat in Cape May

A two day retreat for clergy to revolutionize their stewardship. Hotel registration is now closed, but commuters can register until Feb. 13. Click here for more information and to register.  

Legislation and Report Deadline: Feb. 15

Click here to read an important announcement regarding 2017 Annual Conference Legislation information from Conference Secretary, Rev. Dave Wiley. Anyone interested in bringing legislation to Annual Conference and all committees submitting reports should email them to Cari Cruz, Regional Services Manager, no later than Feb. 15. 


One Churches Response Executive Order on Refugees

The senior pastor of Park UMC Rev. Joel Hubbard talks about how he and Park UMC were called to host refugees, and how the church deals with political and social issues as a worshiping body in a community. Click here to listen right from your computer or smart phone.  

Basic Lay Servant Classes

The Spring 2017 Basic Lay Servant class schedule is now available by clicking here. These classes are for all who are ready and willing to serve the church and wish to develop skills in witnessing to the Christian faith through spoken communication, church and community leadership, and care giving ministries. All applicants must be active worshipers and are welcome to choose a class in any district that suits their personal schedule. Those interested should click here to register online and get more information. Registration Deadline February 15.  

Korean Lay Leadership Training

Korean United Methodists in Greater New Jersey are invited to a Lay Leadership Training Day February 26 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m at Calvary Korean UMC in East Brunswick. Click here for more information.

Bishop Praying for Raritan Valley

Bishop Schol has begun a new ministry of praying for clergy, laity and churches in a different district each week. This week he is praying for Raritan Valley. As part of this ministry he is inviting leaders of each district to share prayer concerns, joys and stories of how God is making a difference in GNJ congregations. 

A Day of Learning on Evangelism with Paul Nixon, author of Weird Church

Reach millennials, learn best practices in social media and video, explore new ministry expressions, find out how to turn around a conflicted church or start a multi-cultural ministry. OUTBOUND, A Day on Evangelism will feature keynote speaker Paul Nixon, author of "Weird Church." OUTBOUND will be held on March 25 at Bethany Wayne UMC from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Click here for more info and to register.

50 Shades of Conversation

In a new post on the Connection Blog, Director of Small Groups, Beth Caulfield explores how small groups can create a curriculum to discuss issues of love, sex, consent and abuse. Click here to read the Connection.

Appointment Information

Each Sunday by 1:00 p.m., GNJ posts new clergy appointments on the website. Click here to learn more about the clergy appointment process, check out resources here.  

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


Volunteers Needed for Spring and Summer as Building Continues 

A Future With Hope is seeking individual or group volunteers for the Spring and Summer as rebuilding continues and families are brought over the finish line and into their homes. Click here to volunteer.
GNJ Announcements

Scholarship Opportunities 

The GNJ Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry is now accepting applications for the 2017 scholarship opportunities. A letter was mailed to each church and more information can be found here. Deadline: March 31. 

Mandatory Make-Up Clergy Gathering 

A mandatory make-up clergy gathering will be held from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Mission and Resource Center. This meeting is mandatory for all clergy in or expecting to be appointed to a congregation, both part and full-time who were unable to attend the Jan. 11 gathering. Click here for details and registration.

March 2, 2017: Pre-Retirement Seminar

The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits is presenting a Pre-Retirement Seminar for pastors and their spouses. A benefits educator from the Wespath Benefits and Investments will speak on retirement planning on March 2. for those planning to retire in the next five years. This session will also feature a speaker from the Social Security Administration on Social Security and Medicare. Click here for more information

2017 Lay Ministry Recognition Applications 

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, please complete the nomination form here by March 4. Laity will be recognized on April 22 at the Mission and Resource Center. Click here for more information on the event.

Regional Administration Update

GNJ is committed to supporting our districts and regions with administrative, communications and resourcing support.  We’re making some changes in staffing to better suit the needs of the three regions.  Debbie Sidorakus will be moving over to support the Central Region and Megan McKay will be stepping in to support the Southern Region temporarily.  GNJ is reopening the search for a Regional Administrator to support this team.  All contact information remains the same.  

Employment Opportunities

GNJ is currently hiring for the following four positions:  Executive Director of the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation, Director of Stewardship, Director of Leadership Devlopment and Regional Administrative Assistant.  Click here for more information and application procedures.

Church Mutual Scholarships 

You might be eligible to apply for a $5,000 scholarship through Church Mutual. 50 scholarships will be awarded. Click here for complete eligibility details and info. Applications will be accepted through April 15. Click here for details.

Friends Day at Pinelands Center 

The Pinelands Center at Mount Misery is celebrating its 70th anniversary as one of many activities that will be held during the year. On Feb. 11 they will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner from 5-7:00 p.m. The cost is $8 per adult and $5 for seniors and children under 12. Click here for more info and to download printable flyers.

Young People's Ministry Direction

GNJ is undergoing an evaluation of its youth ministry to build a holistic experience that engages young people with meaning, purpose, belonging, challenge, fun and a deeper faith. Ministry Architects has been selected to assist with surveys and focus groups to understand how GNJ can best resource young people in our congregations and those seeking faith formation. Stay tuned for more information in the coming days and weeks for how you can participate.

The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater Mew Jersey serves the financial and investment needs of Greater New Jersey, its local churches and its agencies

Planned Giving Brochure for Download 

Click here to download a printable brochure on A Guide to Planned Giving created by The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater New Jersey. Gifts to local churches will help build on and extend the congregation's ministry for generations to come.

This Week Ahead
Feb. 10 | Local Pastors Licensing School 
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Located at the Mission and Resource Center.
Click here for more info.

Feb. 11 | IGNITE Leaders Day 
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. |  Located at Calvary Korean UMC in East Brunswick.
Click here for event details and here for more info and registration. 

Feb. 11 | Local Pastor Licensing School 
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. |  Located at the Mission and Resource Center.
Click here for more info.

Feb. 11 | Friends Day at Pinelands Center 
5:00 - 7:00 p.m. | Located at Pinelands Center in Mount Misery.
Click here for more info.

Feb. 12 | 2017 Southern Region Day of Learning 
1:45 - 5:30 p.m. |  Located at Pitman UMC in Pitman.
Click here for more info.

Feb. 12 | Palisades Back to Basics: English Track 
2:00 - 5:00 p.m. |  Located at Hillsdale UMC in Hillsdale.
Click here for more info. 
UMC News

Building a Church Growth Strategy in Cuba

When the Rev. Alcibiades Negret first moved to Mayabeque, the newest province in Cuba, he gathered people for worship under an almond tree.Three years later, the 43-year-old pastor sits in the Methodist church parsonage, near that tree, in San José de las Lajas. The back of the house opens into a 100-seat sanctuary. Read more here

Women's Commission Unveils New Website 

The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women has unveiled its newly designed website, equipped with resources to advocate for women's full participation in the life of The United Methodist Church. Read the press release here. 

Online Library Open to Global Scholars 

An online library of Methodist and Wesleyan resources is now available to scholars across the world through a joint project of the Methodist e-Academy and the Global Digital Library for Theology and Ecumenism. Read the story here. 

UM Interpreter Magazine Asks... 

The Interpreter magazine of The United Methodist Church is asking "What is the most meaningful or most moving part of your Holy Week observance or Easter celebration and why?" Click here to send your answer in 50-75 words and be sure to include your full name, local church and city/state. 


How to Get in The Relay and Digest

Do you have vital information that pertains to all of GNJ for The Digest? Email gnjdigest@gnjumc.org. Do you have a good story idea for The Relay? Contact Josh Kinney at: jkinney@gnjumc.org. 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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