Gateway South District Newsletter
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Run And Not Be Weary
Olympics and Faith 2016

I absolutely love the Olympic Games, watching people from around the world who have honed their mind and body to such a high degree. The Olympics bring a sense of team work, stunning feats of poise, endurance, strength, speed and often heroic stories. Today’s Olympic Games began in 1896 but it is astonishing that the original Olympic Games started in ancient Greece in the 7th century before Christ (BC). They were held every four years, almost continually for 1,200 years. They continued until 393 AD when Roman Emperor Theodosius ended the Ancient Games.
The ancient history of the “games” means that the Apostle Paul lived in a time when the Olympics were happening and some of our New Testament passages and images reflect this.
1 Corinthians 9:24-26 (NRSV)
Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.  Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air

2 Tim 2:1-2,5
You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.  And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NRSV)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NRSV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (like Olympic track stadium), let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith

These are only a few of the New Testament verses that draw upon the Olympic Games…can you find some more?
Certainly we are thrilled at the stunning performances of star athletes like Simone Biles and Michael Phelps. Both these individuals have life stories that deal with struggles of addiction and grace. In addition to these two, there are many other stories of courage and perseverance often woven in with strong strands of the strength of the human spirit and power of faith in God.
Frank Molinaro, a South Jersey wrestler and Yusra Mardini, Syrian refugee who saved 20 people by pushing their boat for three hours, are just two individuals whose stories of faith and courage have touched me during these 2016 Olympics. There are so many other men and women from around the world who gathered to compete in Rio who have powerful stories of courage, faith and discipline.
Every Olympics I wonder why, on this small globe where we all live, we can’t we work together to care for ALL the children? Why can’t we build more schools and hospitals and healthy communities and countries instead of creating terrorism and war?

The good news is that as United Methodists, we are all around the world!
The best advice comes from Paul; I keep pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14). We need to keep practicing our faith daily with the discipline of an Olympic athlete, as we share God’s love, peace and joy with the world. 
Guest writer, Pastor Brian Roberts
Cape Atlantic District Superintendent, Southern Region


Church Opportunities and Resources

Church Happenings

Click here to view all the church to church happenings on the Gateway South District! Church events and flyers are updated on a regular basis so you will never miss out. You can also visit the Southern Regional Informational page to view events that are going on throughout the region. If you would like your church event to be posted on the district event page please email  

Southern Region Prayers

Celebration of two births! The Mularski Family welcomes a baby boy and the Ahn Family welcomes a baby girl to the world.

2016 Laity Leadership Academy: Registration Extended

Date: Saturday, September 10
Time: 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Location: The Mission and Resource Center of GNJ, 205 Jumping Brood Rd., Neptune, NJ 07753
Cost: $50 per person
For more information and to register today: Click Here

Evening for Pastors and Leaders Across Southern Region

Date: Tuesday, August 16
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 207 Northfield Ave., Northfield, NJ 08225

Come join in fellowship and work on Church Conference forms. It is an opportunity to review the forms for Church Conference, discuss the Super Church Conference format, answer questions and set up each pastor, leader and congregation for a great conference. There will be plenty of room so registration is not required.

IGNITE: New Artist Announced!

Christian hip hop artist Derek Minor will join the lineup at this years biggest youth event on September 30 to October 3 in Wildwood, NJ. Price break available through August 31. Take advantage of this unique window of opportunity to receive discounted tickets. Register today!

"Preach with Precision, Passion and Purpose"

Preaching and Worship Workshop
: Saturday, September 24
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
Location: St. Peter's United Methodist Church, 501 E 8th St, Ocean City, NJ 08226
Cost: $10 and includes lunch
For more information and to register: Click Here

Catalyst One Day Event: Sponsored by the Southern Region Team of GNJ

Date: Wednesday, November 9
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
Location: Lancaster County Bible College, 2392 Mount Joy Rd. Manheim, PA 17545
Cost: 1-9 persons are $119 each and 10 or more persons are $99 each
For more information and to register: Click Here
Questions? Please contact Nicole Toast
Copyright © 2016 The United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.
Gateway South District

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205 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune, NJ 07753

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