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2019-2023 Strategic Planning Update 

The first draft of the strategic plan commissioned by the 2017 Annual Conference Session has been posted online for review here.  As part of the process, the committee is asking for feedback and comments. All United Methodists in GNJ are invited to participate in an online survey and/or participate in one of three in person feedback sessions:

Northern Region
Tuesday, January 16
7:00 p.m.
Chatham UMC

Central Region
Thursday, January 18
7:00 p.m.
Mission and Resource Center

Southern Region
Sunday, January 21
2:30 p.m.
Pitman UMC

Click here for more info, to register for a session, and participate in the survey. 


GNJ's strategic partnership of youth, camping and campus ministries

Bring Your Youth Group to IGNITE Leaders Day 

On Feb. 10, 2018 at Monmouth Grace UMC in Eatontown, youth leaders, young adults, youth workers, students, youth groups and those invested in the next generation are invited to learn how to create space in our churches and gatherings for students to lead and what emerging 21st century leadership looks like. Registration is now open until Feb. 1 at just $5 for students (grades 6-12) and $15 for adults. Tickets will be $30 for all for walk-ins on the day of. Click here to register and here to learn about the event speakers. 


Don't Miss Out on 2018 Summer Camps

Next Generation Ministries has partnered with Barefoot Republic Camp, a Christ-centered, multicultural summer camp, to offer a unique and life-changing camping program at Pinelands Center in 2018. To learn more and explore the upcoming summer programs click here. 
 

Give to the Camping Scholarship Fund in 2018

The cost of a week of camp is simply out of reach for many families. This New Year, give to the GNJ Camp Scholarship Fund. Next Gen board members have enthusiastically agreed to give a "first fruits" gift of their own to get the fund started. If you would like to join them, click here. 


Last Call to Register for a PaCE Group 
Combat isolation in ministry and help engage creativity with others by joining a PaCE Group in 2018. Click here to read a PaCE overview and here to explore the 2018 groups. Register today as an individual or a group by Jan. 15. 

Featured Topics:
  • Relational Communication
  • Conversaciones Teologicas
  • Preaching in Our Own Voice
  • Breaking Growth Barriers 
  • Stewardship as a Spiritual Discipline 
  • 10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church  

 

Register for Clergy Coaching by Jan. 15 
Take advantage of a powerful resource that helps clergy lead a congregation toward greater vitality. Coaches walk alongside clergy assisting in achieving leadership goals and action plans. Click here to learn more and sign up before Jan. 15. 


Pictured above: Team Vital at Covenant UMC in Plainfield 
 

Team Vital Para Congregaciones en Español 

Todas las congregaciones hispanas/latinas en GNJ que hablan español son invitades a participar en el Team Vital, que se llevará a cabo por primera vez en español en la primavera de 2018. Este recurso crucial estará disponible enteramente en español sin necesudad de traducción. Haga clic aquí para registrarse, 

Team Vital for Spanish Speaking Congregations 
All Hispanic / Latino congregations in GNJ are invited to participate in Team Vital, which will take place for the first time in Spanish in the Spring of 2018. This crucial resource will be made available entirely in Spanish with no need for translation. Click here to register. 

Why Foster a Culture of Baptisms? 

Why are we putting such an emphasis on baptism this new year? Director of Worship Eric Drew​ gives his take on the Water & Roots Initiative. Click here to watch. 
 

Sermon Series Begins, Facebook Group Formed 

Get baptism resources, worship series, videos, and access to all the Water & Roots program has to offer here. Join the more than 185 churches who are taking part in the movement and get ready for Reaffirmation Sunday on Jan. 28. Click here to take part in the Facebook GroupHas your church scheduled a baptism? We're collecting stories, photos and video footage to share the power of baptism. Email your materials to Josh Kinney. 

2018 Annual Conference Legislation Open 

Submit reports and recommendations (legislation) here for the 2018 GNJ Annual Conference by Feb. 14. Reports and recommendations received thereafter will not be published in the pre-conference journal, nor will they be addressed at the 2018 Annual Conference without special permission from the Bishop.


A Future With Hope is the outbound mission arm of GNJ, meeting
needs and providing hope for communities throughout New Jersey


Pictured above: The GNJ team and Puerto Rico Bishop Hector Ortiz and his staff
 

GNJ Heeds Call to Puerto Rico Recovery Organizing

On Dec. 27, 2017, a team from GNJ embarked on a trip to Puerto Rico to assist with the organzing of recovery efforts after the recent hurricanes. Bishop Hector Ortiz invited Bishop John Schol and a small team to meet with his staff and leaders about the long-term recovery of the island based on A Future With Hope's Sandy recovery ministry and talent. In 2017, GNJ raised more than $400,000 for hurricane relief. Click here to read more and view photos. 
 

More Hope to Give 

As we begin a New Year, A Future With Hope is committed to the rebuilding effort through June 2018. Our work has brought hope to 256 homeowners and their families, and touched the lives of volunteers and donors. Do you have a little more hope to give? Sign up to volunteer again or donate to help us finish strong. Click here. 


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

It's Time to Update 

It's a New Year with new people in leadership roles. Please contact us at (732)359-1060 to update any records regarding your investment signers or church info. The Foundation is here to help! Click here to learn more. 

GNJ NEWS

Out of the Mouths of Babes: A Conversation on Baptism
A lot about baptism is shrouded in mystery. What does it do, what does it symbolize, who should or shouldn’t get baptized, how do you do it well, and why does it matter? All this, on the latest Uncovered Dish Podcast featuring Director of Worship Eric Drew and Director of Small Groups Gina Yeske. Click here to listen. 
 
Last Call to Submit Your Church's History 
The Commission on Archives and History has announced this year's Local Church History contest. Click here to learn more. The deadline for submitting a local church history is Jan. 18, 2018. 

Wesleyan Covenant Association Holds Meetings in GNJ
The Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) will be holding several gatherings in GNJ January 19-20.  Keith Boyette, President of the WCA, and Walter Fenton, Vice President of Strategic Development will be meeting with a group of Korean pastors and a group of pastors of large churches selected by the GNJ Evangelical Network for Renewal and Growth, in addition to two open meetings. Click here for details and dates.

Early Response Team Training Sessions in 2018
Several Early Response Team (ERT) Training sessions for disaster response will be held in January, March, and April of 2018. Click here for event details, dates, and further info. Click here to learn more about GNJ's disaster relief efforts.
 

Registration Open for Local Pastors Licensing School 

2018 Local Pastors Licensing school dates are Feb. 16-17, April 6-7, May 11-12, June 22-23. All meetings will be held at The Mission and Resource Center. Click here for details and to register. 

GNJ Announcements 
 

Final Approved Church Budget | Reminder 

All churches should send their final, approved budget for 2018 to their regional administrative assistant by Jan. 31. The draft of the budget was submitted with your church conference forms. Click here. 
 

Church Conference Minutes 

If your church has not already done so, please send the minutes from your fall 2017 church conference to your regional administrative assistant. Thank you to all who already submitted.
 

2017 Workers' Comp Payroll Audit Forms Due Jan. 15

Customized 2017 Workers' Compensation Payroll Audit Forms must be completed by Jan. 15 and are to be sent directly to Church Mutual. These forms were mailed to each church in December. Questions? Call Becky Meyer at the Church Mutual Premium Audit Unit at 800.554.2642, option 4, extension 4697. Questions regarding housing should be directed to Veronika Varga, Administrative Assistant at 732.359.1036. 
 

Winter Preparedness 

The cold and snow reminds us all to prepare our churches for winter. Use these resources recommended by Sovereign to winterize all church properties. 
 

New Posting: Communications Assistant, Executive Assistant + Other Job Opportunities 

Are you a communications guru looking for the next step? Do you want to wet your appetite and hone your skills with a wide variety of communications experience? Then the Communications Assistant position is for you. Click here for a full job description, and here to explore other job opportunities at GNJ. 
 

Pre-Retirement Seminar 

The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits is presenting a Pre-retirement Seminar for pastors and their spouses. A benefits educator from Wespath will speak on retirement planning on March 1 at the Mission and Resource Center for those planning to retire in the next five years. The session will also feature a speaker from the Social Security Administration on Social Security and Medicare. Stay tuned for more info. 
 

Church Mutual 2018 Religious Scholars Program 

Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation is offering 50 scholarships of $5,000 each to advanced religious scholars. Click here to learn more. 
 

CF&A Purchasing  

GNJ's Council of Finance and Administration has vetted a number of national and local products and services that it recommends to local churches for their possible contract/purchasing. Click here to read more.

 

Lay Ministry Recognition 2018 

To nominate a person or group in your church for Lay Ministry Recognition to honor their creativity and innovation in transforming lives and making disciples of Jesus Christ, please click here to submit before March 4. Laity will be recognized on April 28 at the Mission and Resource Center. 

UMC News, Events, Info
 
This Sunday, Support Human Relations Day 
On Jan. 14, 2018, United Methodists will celebrate God’s call to empower those struggling to thrive and equip change agents and others to transform the world. To make it easy to celebrate this Special Sunday, download resources from the Human Relations Day leader and pastor’s kit 

Western PA Seeks Treasurer, Director of Administrative Services 
The Western Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church is currently recruiting for Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services. Click here for the job posting. Deadline for receiving applications is Jan. 15. 
 
GNJ Among CORR Action Fund Grant Recipients 
The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) will award $463,025 to projects developed by local churches, district annual conferences, and seminaries in all 5 jurisdictions of The United Methodist Church through the CORR Action Fund (CAF) United States 2018-2020 grant cycle. GNJ is among the recipients. Click here to view the full list. 
 
BMCR Sunday, Feb. 4
Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) Sunday is Feb. 4. Local congregations and individuals are invited to support raising up prophetic and spiritual leaders who will be advocates for the unique needs of Black members of the UMC. Find out more about how you can take part in this special Sunday's offering here.
 
Scholarships Offered for 2018 UMEIT:USA and NWCU Events 
The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults (age 21-35) to attend the 2018 United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT:USA) and the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) this Spring. Click here to read the press release. 
 
ACT Now to End Racism 
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.

 

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.
Copyright © 2018 United Methodists of Greater New Jersey, All rights reserved.


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