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Dear Friends,

One of my confirmation classes was intrigued by Wesley’s concept of grace. They learned the terms—prevenient, justifying, sanctifying, and perfecting. They came up with a mnemonic device to help them remember: “Purple jam spreads perfectly.” During class one Sunday morning we spent time talking about where they saw grace at work in their lives. They easily spoke of how they saw prevenient grace at work in their lives. Their parents brought them to church and youth group. After that, they weren’t so sure. But we began talking further and yes, they could see God’s love at work in their lives, they knew what it meant to accept Jesus and commit to following Jesus. They could also see that they were working on sanctification—they helped at VBS, acted differently in school, went on mission trips. At the end of the discussion one of the class members got excited and proclaimed:  “We’re jam spreaders!” 
For confirmation that year I had purple shirts made for the class. On the back it had Purple Jam Spreads Perfectly. On the front was the proclamation “I’m a Jam Spreader.”  The class all committed to wearing those shirts to school the next day. Just imagine the conversations they had with their classmates!!

Have you ever been in a place of wondering if the foundations of our Wesleyan heritage need to be taught?  Do our churches need to know the quadrilateral, the stages of grace, what a “strangely warmed” heart means to Methodists?  Whenever I wonder about such things I remember my confirmation class and how important this discussion was. It was only possible because they had the building blocks which gave them words to express their faith journey.

What are you being called to learn about and teach? May such times be a part of your work in the church. Who knows what Holy Conversations you will be blessed with because you have taught the words that were needed!

Purple Jam Spreads Perfectly!


Congregational Sharing

Coming up this month...
  • April 14 - Greater South Jersey Annual Men's Good Friday Breakfast
  • April 30 - 150 Year Celebration: Saint Matthew's UMC (Delair)
Click here to view all the church to church happenings on the Gateway South District! Church events and flyers are updated on a regularly basis on the website so you will never miss out. If you would like your church event to be posted on the district events page please email
2017 Appointment Information
New clergy appointments are posted on the website each Sunday by 1:00 p.m. Weekly email notifications are no longer sent. Click here to learn more about the clergy and appointment process and resources here.
Rev. Myrna Bethke Preaching on Maundy Thursday
Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Haven United Methodist Church, 354 Quinton-Marlboro Road, Quinton, NJ 08072
Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: First UMC of Haddon Heights, 704 Garden Street, Haddon Heights, NJ 08035

Calling all Clergy and Laity on the Gateway South District to the First Annual Cheese Day where questions, cheese puns and of course cheese will be shared. 

Big Cheese Day was inspired by Andrew Jackson who placed an almost two ton block of cheese in the White House to symbolize openness and accessibility to everyone.  It was made famous by an episode in The West Wing; and carried on in some fashion by President Obama. Click here to watch episode. Join in the fun for what might become a Gateway South tradition!!
2017 Annual Conference: Registration Now Open!
Date: May 21 - May 23, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. Sunday - 1:00 p.m. Tuesday
Location:Wildwoods Convention Center, Wildwood NJ

Click here for more information about schedule, workshops and to register!
IGNITE 2017: Registration Opens Saturday, April 1
From Dove Award winning artist Meredith Andrews to professional motivational youth speaker Reggie Dabbs, your youth won't want to miss this year's IGNITE. Stay tuned for more artist and speaker announcements. Click here for registration details. 
Copyright © 2017 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.

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