Welcome to the GNJ Digest!
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Click above to watch a new IGNITE 2016 artist promo video and catch a glimpse into the unique, powerful, and exiting IGNITE experience!

September 30 - October 2 | Wildwood, NJ | #ignite16


Best IGNITE Yet 

More students and churches have already registered for IGNITE 2016 than ever before and the registrations continue coming in. You won't want to miss out on what's gearing up to be the biggest IGNITE conference yet. Click here to register!

Beach Bonfire | Meet + Greet | Acoustic Coffee House 

So much to do in one weekend:
  • Come early on Friday to connect with friends over a beach bonfire and music.
  • Meet and greet the artists on Saturday afternoon.
  • Join the fun at the Acoustic Coffee House Saturday evening.
And so much more! Click here to see the schedule.

Watch how IGNITE has changed the lives of youth

Click here to watch youth from past IGNITE conferences share their firsthand experiences and describe the ways in which the event has helped changed their life and grow them closer to God. 
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.

Blues and BBQ Benefit in Boonton on Saturday

Whether your passion is blues, barbecue, or helping others in need, 'Guitabeque' has it all covered this Saturday, Sept. 10 from noon to 5 p.m. on the lawn on Boonton UMC. All proceeds benefit The Mission Fund: A Future With Hope, Imagine No Malaria and Boonton UMC's food pantry. Click here to read more. How is your congregation supporting the Mission Fund? 

Sri Lanka Declared Malaria-Free 

The World Health Organization (WHO) hails Sri Lanka's "truly remarkable" achievement after no locally transmitted cases of malaria for three-and-a-half years. Your work is making a difference. Click here to read the article. 
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 with your Congregation - Volunteers Needed

A Future With Hope has produced a new brochure calling for volunteers and continued financial support. Click here to print off copies and share 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. Active projects: Atlantic City, Highlands, Keansburg, Tuckerton, Brigantine, Long Branch, Ocean City, Longport, Union Beach, Little Egg Harbor, Lanoka Harbor, Neptune, and Toms River. 

Volunteer Opportunities Available 

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.

Grieving Class POSTPONED Until Spring 2017

The Landscape of Loss: Pastoral Care in Situations of Grief and Loss, originally scheduled for Aug. 30 - Dec. 7, 2016 on Tuesdays at the GNJ Mission and Resource Center, will be postponed until Spring 2017. Stay tuned for more information and new dates. 

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 a local level. The webinar will be held on Sept. 14, 21, 28 and Oct. 5 from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.

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 8:30 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.

New Workshops Available 

Click here to learn more about new workshops being offered this Fall by Drew Theological School, available to clergy and laity. Find out what workshop best suits your interests. 


The Connection 

I know, I know... You aren't thinking about Advent yet. But you should be! Christmas is around the corner. Director of Worship, Eric Drew, lets us know what you need to be thinking about for advent. Click here to read the new blog post

Congregational Development Grant Applications 

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.

Conference for Worship Leaders 

Join leaders from around GNJ for a day of learning new ways to enliven the worship experience at Doxology: A Worship Conference on Nov. 12. Sponsored by the Central Region, the event will be hosted by renown worship leader Kurtis Parks and is open to all clergy and lay in GNJ. Find out more and register here. 


Available GNJ 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.

Are you thirsting for inspiration and innovation? Do you want to take your skills to a new level? GNJ seeks an experienced Administrative Assistant who is committed to excellence. Click here to find out more.


Stop Hunger Now Meals Have Shipped 

Meals from the Stop Hunger Now packaging event at Annual Conference have been shipped in a container totaling 278,208 meals from the organization's Philadelphia warehouse. Your meals have gone to impact thousands across the world. Click here for more information about how you can support Stop Hunger Now and continue the fight against hunger. 

Bishop Invites GNJ to "Pray Our Way Forward"

"Pray Our Way Forward" is a new initiative set in motion by the Council of Bishops as plans for the establishment of a Commission on a Way Forward are underway. GNJ Bishop John Schol is praying early mornings and invites others in the conference to pray with him. Click here to read more details about the initiative

Princeton Seminary Blog Features GNJ Pastor 

Wes Ellis, Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Toms River is 'The Unlikely Farminarian.' Click here to check out his blog post and find out more. 

Calling all students new to Princeton University  

Erik "Skitch" Matson, Director of the Wesley Foundation at Prince University hopes to dive into the ongoing faith formation of students throughout their time at Princeton, from meeting one-on-one to worshiping and serving together. If you are or know students coming to Princeton this fall, please have them email Matson. 

Dunkle-Mackey Preaching Seminar 2016

Dr. Maria Dixon Hall will lead a seminar about communicating in a way that creates community and transformation on Sept. 19, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Asbury UMC in Salisbury, MD. Click here for more info and to register. 

Volunteers in Mission Leadership Training 

Join Rev. Tom Lank to learn more about being a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) team leader or hosting mission teams on Nov. 5, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Mission and Resource Center. Click here for more information and to register. 

Join a UMVIM Trip to Haiti 

Need winter plans? Be a part of a UMVIM team to Haiti, Jan. 7-14, 2017, join the GNJ Water Filtration Team or donate to the GNJ Clean Water for Haiti fund. Click here for more information, call 732-865-3730 or email Kathy Ahmad for more to find out more.

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

Available Weekend and Day Retreats 

Pinelands Center at Mt. Misery is a campground and retreats center with availability year-round. Your church or group can use the facilities for adults, children, choir, confirmation, family, or youth retreats. Click here to find out more about what the camp offers.

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. 

Sept. 17th Volunteer Day  

Take part in the Pinelands Center Volunteer day on Sept. 17, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Be a part of a wide-range of projects. Call 609.893.3354 or email to register your group. 

GNJ Finance and Administration

Informational Meetings for New Dental Plans

Three new dental plans, including a managed care plan with a multi-state network, will be introduced during September, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Click here to find out where in-person informational meetings and web conferences regarding the new plan will be held. 

2016 HealthQuotient (HQ) Reminder 

HealthFlex participants and enrolled spouses must take the HQ (Health Quotient) online now through Sept. 30 at wespath.org to avoid paying a higher 2017 deductible. You can also improve your well-being, explore health coaching, and other wellness resources. Click here to get started. HQ information is provided to HealthFlex in aggregate only. Your privacy is ensured, as Health Coaches with access to HQ information are bound by federal HIPAA laws. Email Barbara Gruezke with questions.



Nominations Sought for Culture of the Call Award 

The Foundation for Evangelism invites nominations for its 2016 Culture of the Call Church Award, which recognizes local United Methodist churches that excel in nurturing young people who are called to Christian service. The award includes a plaque and $1,000 grant. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 15 and self-nominations are welcome. Click here to learn more.

Grants for Ecumenical and Interfaith Ministry 

The Council of Bishops Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships will award three Local Initiative Grants of $1,000 to groups within conferences enacting special projects with the goal of strengthening ecumenical and or interreligious relationships. The deadline to apply is Sept. 16. Click here to learn more and submit an applicatio

World Methodists Bestow Peace Award 

The once-every-five-years World Methodist Conference wrapped up this weekend in Houston, having drawn United Methodists and other Wesleyan Christians from around the globe for worship, teaching and fellowship. The final day included presentation of the World Methodist Peace Award. Click here to read the story. 

Fellowship in Global Migration 

Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church is strengthening its mission work in Central America and Mexico, and is partnering with Global Mission Fellows (GMFs), a 2-year Global Ministries Program for persons age 20 to 30, who have a bachelor's degree or equivalent life experience and a desire to explore God's call to mission. Are you interested in becoming a GMF? Click here to learn more.

Generous Living Resources for you 

Explore a collection of generosity resources that you can download to empower your church to live generously. The kit includes how-to videos, booklets, social media images, sermon illustrations and offering talks. Download the Pastor Leader kit here. Additionally, a video introducing resources to help empower your church to live generously is available to watch here. 


"NEXT" Empowers Collegians to Enact Change 

"Imagine What's NEXT" is a weekend event featuring motivational speakers community gatherings and powerful worship helping college students tackle real issues within their communities and around the world by combining faith, gifts, and passion. Nov. 4-6, Tabernacle Theater, Atlanta, Ga. Find out more and register here.

Communication News and Tips 


New GNJ News Stories Posted 

Can't wait for your September Relay? Check out the wide-range of GNJ news stories online from a slam dunk basketball ministry in Hightstown, A Future With Hope's rebuilding efforts, to IGNITE artist interviews. Click here to browse articles.

Interpretation Equipment Available  

GNJ has interpretation equipment available for agencies, committees and other groups so your next event or service can be interpreted in up to four languages. Click here to request use of this equipment.

Logos and Branding Available 

Looking to access logos and branding resources for your church, website, or social media pages? Click here to download materials for your Pace Group, Team Vital, or church. 

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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