Welcome to the GNJ Digest!
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Sept. 30 - Oct. 2 - Wildwood, NJ

IGNITE 2016 is Here! 

It's finally here. What's turned out to be the biggest IGNITE ever will kick off on Friday night with a beach bonfire. The IGNITE Squad is making last minute preparations to ensure students across GNJ have an absolutely incredible, life-changing experience. Click here to check out the full schedule.

Last Minute Registration is Still Open 

There's still time to sign up for IGNITE, and it's cheaper to register now than to wait until Friday night. Be a part of the movement to transform the lives of youth in Greater New Jersey for Christ. You can save up to $10 per ticket if you sign up today. Click here to save.

PaCE Groups Begin in October for Clergy 

Explore new ideas and expand your horizons within a safe, trusting community of colleagues. PaCE Groups create synergy to empower spiritual and pastoral formation, and unlock the imagination. PaCE groups are made up of clergy who meet monthly for a period of 8-10 months with a curriculum focused on shared learning objectives and group covenants. Click here to sign up as a group or individual before the end of the month. 


The Connection 

Let's spend our fall preparing for December - that holy month when eggnog and church become good ideas. Click here to check out this week's Connectional Ministries blog by Trey Wince, Director of New Disciples. 

GNJ Leadership Survey 

We are conducting a survey to evaluate Greater New Jersey's direction, ministry and service to help us determine how we may best equip you and your congregation for ministry. All clergy and lay in GNJ are encouraged to participate and share their views. Click here and complete the survey. The survey will close on Monday, Oct. 3.

2016 Fall Advanced Lay Servant Registration 

A Local Church Lay Servant serves the community through ministries of leading, caring and communicating. Click here for 2016 Fall Lay Servant ministry certification and re-certification. 

Save the date: 2017 Bishop Convocation

The 2017 Bishop Convocation will be held January 23-25, 2017, at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch, NJ. Come for renewal, learning, and fellowship. Registration opens Nov. 1, 2016. 

Bishop's Days

Southern Region Bishop’s Day
  • Laity Session: The rescheduled laity session will be announced shortly. 
Northern Region Bishop’s Day
  • Laity Session: Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Little Falls UMC
  • Clergy Session: Thursday, November 10 at 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Little Falls UMC
Central Region Bishop’s Day
  • Clergy Session: Thursday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Aldersgate UMC
  • Laity Session: Thursday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Aldersgate UMC


GNJ Development Grant Application for 2017

GNJ is committed to resourcing congregations on their path to vitality. Congregational Development Grant Applications are now being taken for 2017. The deadline is Oct. 5. Click here to find out more.

GNJ Nominations: Boards and Agencies  

The nominations committee is looking for committed disciples of Jesus Christ who have leadership gifts and experience and are ready to join us as we take the next steps in our strategic plans. To recommend a person, or to offer yourself for leadership please complete the survey here. Learn more about the purpose of the different boards and agencies here. Nominations should be submitted by Oct. 10. Contact Ginny Kaiser with questions. 

2016 Annual Conference Journals  

The digital version of the 2016 Annual Conference Journal is now online. Click here to view and download. All pre-ordered printed journals have been mailed.  

A Conference for GNJ Worship Leaders 

Sponsored by the Central Region and hosted by renown worship leader Kurtis Parks, Doxology: A Worship Conference will bring together leaders from around GNJ for a day of learning new ways to embrace the worship experience. Find out more and register here and wach the video above. 

Team Vital for Spanish and Korean Congregations 

Team Vital brochures and workbooks have been translated into Spanish and Korean to better serve congregations in Greater New Jersey. Click here to access the translated Team Vital overviews and learn more about creating a strategic ministry plan using the 5 markers of vitality. 

Career Opportunities 
Are you a people-person with a heart for serving others? GNJ is seeking a Front Desk Administrative Assistant to provide radical hospitality to all who call or enter the Mission and Resource Center and to provide organized administrative support. Click here to read the responsibilities and requirements.
United Methodists throughout the conference are working toward the goal of $12 million to help rebuild homes, save lives and inspire local church mission. Learn how you and your congregation can join the campaign.


Circles of Hope Update 

To acknowledge the generosity and commitment of our congregations to the Mission Fund, we have updated our Hope Circles. Hope Circles recognize churches based on the average dollar per worshiper they have contributed to the Mission Fund. Click here to see the Circles of Hope. This year, have your church take the lead: start a campaign, redouble your commitment, or make a one time gift here.
A Future With Hope is the mission arm of the United Methodist Church of Greater NJ dedicated to helping families with Sandy recovery and developing Communities of Hope resourcing for our congregations.

Share Hope Brochures with your Congregation 

Four years after the storm and nearly 5,000 people are struggling to recover. United Methodists through A Future With Hope remain one of the resources these families can count on. A Future With Hope has produced a new packet calling for volunteers and continued financial support. Click here to print off copies and share with your congregation

Volunteers Wanted

A Future With Hope is equipped to accommodate volunteers for the fall and winter with flexible extended weekend crews for you and your congregation. Teams of 4 or more should email Lisa Park or call 732-359-1012 to schedule a team of volunteers.

GNJ Small Group Symposium 

Clergy and local seminary students are invited to explore a variety of small group approaches, emerging trends, challenges and theological perspectives at a symposium sponsored by the Northern Region Resource Team. On Oct. 20 from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Drew Theological School, experts from Greater New Jersey and beyond will lead panels followed by discussions and workshops. Cost is $30 for clergy and $15 for students. Click here for more information from our website.

Webinar on Confronting White Privilege 

This fall, Drew Theological School is providing a webinar on "Confronting White Privilege in Our Mission Toward Justice." The four-part series will discuss what missional engagement of the church looks like in a highly racialized context on both a national and a local level. The webinar will be held on Oct. 5 from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.

Harvest Festival 

Come enjoy the fall weather at the Pineland's Harvest Festival on October 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be an open house, trunk or treating, hayrides, nature walks, bake sale, activities for kids, a make your own caramel apple, and more. Fore more information call 609.893.3354 or click here to download flyers for your church, group or organization. 

Part-Time Work and Internship 

Pinelands Center at Mount Misery is seeking a part-time kitchen, housekeeping and maintenance staff member with a heart for serving and team work to work weekends and evenings. A Program Internship is also available for college students. Click here for more information. If interested, call 609-893-3354 or send an email. 



Observe World Communion Sunday on Oct. 2

World Communion Sunday on Oct. 2 is one of the six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings. Donations provide funds for World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program. Click here to download a free World Communion Sunday Pastor's Kit which has everything you need to promote this special Sunday and celebrate with a memorable service. You will find content pieces to use immediately with little additional work.This kit has everything you need to empower your congregation to give generously.

Discovering God's Future For Your Church 

On Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. via live stream or Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., attendees will learn how to discern God's vision for their congregations. This process can reveal what God is calling a congregation to be and to do. Click here for more information and to register. 

Looking at core social values 

Members of the newly organized United Methodist Board of Church and Society started to shape some concrete goals during their Sept. 21-24 meeting. Melissa Rogers, White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, spoke to the group after it toured the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill. Read the story here. 

Reflections on Charlotte protests and truth 

The Rev. James Howell, senior pastor of Myers Park UMC, talks about the importance of the larger truth of what's happening in his city. He also talks about clergy working toward racial reconciliation. Read the blog post here. 


UMC "Giving Tuesday" Nov. 29

On Nov. 29, you can extend the spirit of giving thanks into the Advent season by participating in UMC #GivingTuesday. When you give online through The Advance, 100% of your gifts go directly to the project of your choice. 

Communication News and Tips  


Cluster Church Conference Worship Resource 

Since many churches will be celebrating their church conferences in groups, Director of Worship, Eric Drew, created worship resources for individual churches to use with their own congregations. Click here to download Cluster Church Conference worship resources that provide worship elements any church can use on a Sunday morning to celebrate their church conference. 

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.

How to Get in The Relay and Digest

Have a good story idea for The Relay? Contact Josh Kinney at jkinney@gnjumc.org, Do you have information for The Digest? Contact gnjdigest@gnjumc.org. The deadline to send news for the following month's Relay is the 15th of each month. The deadline to send news to the Digest is noon every Tuesday.
Copyright © 2016 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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