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Registration Opens on Easter Sunday
Registration for the 2018 IGNITE World Changers conference opens Easter Sunday, April 1. Be sure to register your youth ahead of time for the best possible price. Held at The Wildwoods Convention Center Sept. 28-30, this year's IGNITE conference is all about recognizing the divine spark within. Click here for details.
Rachel Billups Takes the Stage at IGNITE 2018 
A Campus Pastor at Ginghamsburg UMC Rachel Billups is a rising voice in inspiring young people for Christ. She will be taking the stage at the 2018 IGNITE World Changers conference in Wildwood and is one of the top 50 young United Methodist pastors in the U.S. to participate in the Young Pastor's Network. Billups recently fired up the crowd at the Resurrection youth conference in Tennessee. Click here to read more. 
Join the IGNITE Squad 
Calling all young adults, 18-25, do you want to volunteer your time serving and growing in faith and fellowship? Join the 2018 IGNITE Squad. Click here to learn more and join! 

Agenda Changes and Registration

We've made changes to the 2018 Annual Conference agenda, including moving the Service of Remembrance from Tuesday to Monday. Check out the updated agenda here and register today. 

40 Days of Prayer Daily Devotional 

In preparation for Annual Conference, all are invited to sign up for GNJ's 40 Days of Prayer daily devotional, each written by a GNJ leader. These daily devotions will be emailed to all Annual Conference members starting April 8. If you're not a delegate, you can click here to sign up and receive your 40 day daily devotion. 

Browse and Choose Workshops 

This year's Annual Conference will feature five workshops and include topics such as financial security, fruitful discipleship, church and community development, covenant discipleship, and next church musicians. Click here for a full list and details and choose your workshop upon registration for Annual Conference. 
Package Meals with Rise Against Hunger 
GNJ is committed to mission and will be sponsoring a meal packaging event with Rise Against Hunger at the 2018 Annual Conference. If you're interested in taking part, be sure to indicate when you register for the conference. Click here to find out more.
Display Space Available 
Now accepting requests for display space at Annual Conference. We welcome you to represent your ministry and encourage you to use this opportunity to outreach to the GNJ community with informative displays. Please register by April 15 to ensure your space. Click here for details and to submit.
Is Your Focus Group Looking for Space?
If your group or committee would like to schedule a special gathering at the Wildwoods Convention Center, please click here to complete the form. The deadline to reserve a meeting space is April 27.
Register for Your Wellness Screening 
Blueprint for Wellness screenings will be offered at the 2018 Annual Conference at the Wildwoods Convention Center on May 21-22Click here to register before May 6. Additionally, participants may take the screening at their local Quest Lab from April 1 - July 31. 
Be a Part of the Annual Conference Gift Shop 
If you enjoy sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, wood-crafting, panting, or photography or have a clever idea of something that would sell at the GNJ Annual Conference Gift Shop, consider donating items. 100% of proceeds will support GNJ missions. If interested, click here to send an email prior to May 1. 

GNJ's strategic partnership of youth, camping and campus ministries
Love Your Neighbor Youth Retreat 
From May 25-27 at Pinelands Center, a "Love Your Neighbor Youth Retreat" hosted by First UMC of Toms River, Hopewell UMC, and Princeton UMC will be held for youth, grades 6-12. Click here for details and to register for an amazing weekend retreat. 
Register for Summer Camps 
High school and middle school summer camps at Pinelands Center are open for registration! From High School Leadership Boot Camp to Next Gen Middle School Camp with Barefoot Republic, don't let your  youth miss out on team sports, fine arts, music, outdoor adventures and discipleship this summer. Click here for details, brochures, scholarship info schedule and forms.

Confirmation Classes Invited to Meet with the Bishop

On Saturday, April 28, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Greater New Jersey confirmands are invited to take a tour of the Mission and Resource Center and have a time of Q & A with Bishop Schol. If you'd like your confirmation class to join the conversation, contact Soomin Lee. 
Disaster Response

Spanish Language ERT Training to be Offered at NEJ Mission Academy 

The NEJ Mission Academy, which will take place on April 11-14 at the Pecometh Camp & Retreat Center in Centreville, MD. will be offering the Early Response Team Basic and Team Leader courses in Spanish. If you have Spanish-speakers in your congregation who would like to be more involved in disaster response efforts, whether in Puerto Rico or elsewhere, please encourage them to register for the training. Click here for more info.

PR Volunteer Mission Teams 

Volunteers are needed to help the Methodist Church of PR as they recover from the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Registrations are now being taken for both Early Response Teams (ERT’s) and Long-Term Recover Mission Teams (LTRs). Click here for more info. 
ERT Training Session April 28 
An Early Response Team (ERT) training session will be held on April 28 at Middletown UMC. Click here for event details and to register. 
UMVIM Leadership Training May 19
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) will be hosting a leadership training session on May 19 at First UMC, Glassboro. Lunch will be provided. Click here to register.

Serving the financial stewardship and investment needs of GNJ, its local churches and its agencies to grow, manage and utilize funds for increased ministry, discipleship, and world transformation 

Plan a Fall Stewardship Campaign

The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater New Jersey encourages churches wanting Fall campaign resourcing to make requests in April and May. For the best possible results, an early start with planning is best. Click here to contact Brian Mickle, Director of Development.

Vital Mission Update 

As of March 2018, 87 churches and organizations across GNJ have invested approximately $46 million with The Foundation. The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater New Jersey investments are aligned with UMC social principles. Check out Wespath investments here.    


Cleaning out the Ashes - The Connection Blog 

If you are a victim of sexual abuse, Jana Purkis-Brash tells us not to clean out the ashes alone. As the church, we may we part of helping to clean out ashes and bring healing and wholeness. Hear more from the Director of Stewardship in the latest installment of The Connection blog. Click here to read. 

Dinner Church Webinar 

For the first 300 years, Christianity was done around dinner tables more than any other way. Gina Yeske, Director of Small Groups, will be hosting a Webinar on April 10 around the concept of "Dinner Church" and reaching your community. Click here for details.

Navigating Difficult Staff - The Uncovered Dish 

Consultant, author, and coach Rev. Susan Beaumont comes on the award-winning, best in class Uncovered Dish Podcast to talk about Better Church Staff Management: Hiring, Firing, and Everything in Between. Rev. Catherine Jordan-Latham of Monmouth Grace UMC in Eatontown guest-co-hosts. Click here to listen. 

Register for Mission U 2018 

Mission U is hosting two one day events, July 14 at Georgian Court University in Lakewood and July 21 at Calvary Korean UMC in East Brunswick, and a 3 day event option. July 13-15 at Georgian Court University. Classes include: embracing wholeness, what about our money, missionary conferences UMC, Korean class, and conference study. Click here for details and to register.

Lead Like Wesley 

"Lead Like Wesley" is a day long workshop event on April 24 for all clergy and laity to gather at Trinity UMC in Mullica Hill and hear from guest speaker and author Mark Gorveatte on practicing how to lead like John Wesley. Click here for details and to register. 

GNJ Peace with Justice Grant Application for 2018 Now Available 

The GNJ Board of Church & Society believes that vital congregations are deeply rooted in mercy and justice ministries. Applications for the Peace with Justice Grant program may be submitted by any group related to GNJ - a local church; GNJ agency, district, or by two or more such groups in cooperation. Applications are due May 1. Click here for more info.

Celebrate Earth Day at Pinelands 

Celebrate Earth Day and plant yourself at Pinelands on April 22. Activities will include a 5K and 1K run, arts, crafts, and educational nature walk, local historian presentation, planting and blessing of a new vegetable garden. Volunteers welcome! Click here for details. 
Insurance, Health News 

Does a Pastor Need Personal Insurance? 

YES. Church insurance only protects the parsonage and its church-owned contents. A pastor residing in a church owned parsonage must purchase renters insurance to cover their personal liability and property/contents. Click here to learn more. 

Moving Expenses for Clergy Become Taxable Income beginning 2018

The IRS have made recent changes to federal tax laws pertaining moving expenses for clergy. Those clergy who are moving in 2018 will have church-paid moving costs reported as income on their W-2 form for 2018 taxes. Click here for the statement provided by the legal team at the General Council on Finance & Administration.

Wespath Partners with NutriSavings 

Wespath's Center for Health has partnered with NutriSavings to bring you a new program adding health-focused, cost-savings opportunities to your grocery shopping experience, recopies, and meal planning. Click here to learn more. 
Wellness Screening
Blueprint for Wellness screenings will be offered at the 2018 Annual Conference at the Wildwoods Convention Center on May 21-22. If you're attending Annual Conference, click here to register before May 6. Additionally, participants may take the screening at their local Quest Lab from April 1 - July 31. 

UMC News, Events, Info
End Racism Rally in D.C. Next Week 
The United Methodist Church is joining other churches in the United States to bring thousands of Christians to the Washington, D.C. National Mall on April 4 for a rally and kick-off event hosted by the National Council of Churches in the U.S. to promote racial justice. The United Methodist Council of Bishops encourages United Methodists who are able to attend. Click here for more info.
Waves of Grace Women's Retreat 
This year's Waves of Grace Women's Retreat: Speak Life, will be held April 13-14 at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood and is open to all women. Click here for more info.
Church Women United 
Church Women United in New Jersey is having their 75th anniversary celebration at Christ Church in Summit on April 28. The event will include worship, speakers, and a luncheon.Click here for details and contact info.
Get Your Church Listed on Guidestar  
GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. Listing your church on GuideStar is free and easy, making your church searchable to 9 million users a year and tens of millions more on more than 230 philanthropic websites including AmazonSmile, Facebook, and Network for Good. Click here to get started. 



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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