Forecast Doesn't Stop Convocation

By Jeff Wolfe LONG BRANCH – The weather forecast may have been discouraging, but that didn’t stop about 300 clergy and spouses from being encouraged at the Bishop’s Convocation. The annual event took place earlier this week at Ocean Place Resort and Spa on the beach, a location that was originally targeted to be in the midst of the 2015 blizzard. While some snow fell and the wind blew off the Atlantic, the predicted blizzard never happened. But GNJ...

Burgos Is New DCM

By Jeff Wolfe The combination of pastoral and business experience has led GNJ to name Rev. Hector Burgos as its next Director of Connectional Ministries. Burgos was named to the position after a team of conference leaders interviewed several strong candidates. Burgos had been a part of the connectional team as the Director of Worship since last summer. Before that Burgos had grown churches as a pastor in the conference for the last 11 years. “Hector comes to this...

Bishop's Convocation - Details Regarding Current Forecast

We are busy preparing the final details of Convocation and due to the forecast we are making special preparations to make your stay in Long Branch this week safe and hassle free. We are working with the hotel so that your safety is top priority. We've made arrangements for you to check in to your room early. There will be hotel staff in the parking lot as of 8:30 a.m. Monday and the hotel is making accommodations for guests to check in when they arrive. There are 150 parking spaces in...

POSTPONED: Raritan Valley District Day of Learning

Raritan Valley District's Day of Learning at Bridgewater UMC has been postponed due to tomorrow's impending snow. It is our hope that the many people traveling to this event stay safe and off the roads. A new date will be announced soon, so stay tuned! ...

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CUMAC Runners Raise Money and Awareness

By Rev. Jessica Stenstrom What do hunger, running shoes and bright green shirts have in common? Eight runners shared those traits on a chilly morning in October for the Trenton Half Marathon to raise funds for CUMAC. Some of them were avid runners. Others not so much. Some trained hard. Others squeaked by, fitting in what they could. All together, they ran 104.8 miles and raised more than $4,000 while raising awareness that hunger is an issue while supporting...

Princeton UMC Takes Lead as Community Kitchen Host

By Jessica Stenstrom What started with some soup leftover from a canceled church event, God has blessed and grown into a feeding program that serves an average of 110 meals each week. Larry Apperson, said that many years ago, a church he attended in Atlanta had a feeding wagon that took breakfast to the streets. The model stuck in the back of his mind for years and eventually inspired the creation of Cornerstone Community Kitchen, a ministry of the Princeton United...

A Future With Hope Puts Lorenzos in Home for Holidays

By Jeff Wolfe TOMS RIVER – Two years ago on Oct. 29 the Lorenzo family nearly lost its house during Superstorm Sandy. And like many since then, the Lorenzos felt lost in their effort to rebuild as well. But that’s when they found A Future With Hope, which with other organizations, had the family of five back in their home for Thanksgiving. “To get this house put back together has been a long journey,” said Chad Lorenzo on the storm anniversary, who...

Questions and Answers about Alpine Community Church

On Sunday, an article appeared in a Bergen County paper about a lawsuit filed by members of the Alpine Community Church. The following is a list of questions and answers about the information in the article. What is the congregation like? Alpine Community Church, was started in the early 1800's by a Methodist pastor from New York and was incorporated in the late 1800's as a Methodist Church. It has had a worshiping congregation of approximately 12-20 worshipers as reported in statistical...

St. Peter's "Pie Girl" Uses Pastries to Fund Missions

By Jeff Wolfe They call her the “Pie Girl.” But behind the cute nickname and sweet pastries that Cat Gleason has made and sold is an unmistakable motivation to serve in a way that belies the sensibilities of most teenagers. Gleason, who along with her family attends St. Peter’s UMC in Ocean City, raised more than $20,000 for missions by selling her specialty pies at the Ocean City Farmer’s Market one night a week during each of the last three...

This is an American Story

By Jeff Wolfe It was called a Just in Time Response, but a Sunday night event in The Greater New Jersey United Methodist Conference discussed an issue that has had a seemingly endless timeline in American history. The GNJUMC Committee on Religion and Race (CORR) was one of the sponsors of a “A Time of Prayer and Reflection for Justice and Peace" at Trinity UMC in Ewing. The service, which was attended by about 300, was organized as a special event to offer an...

Call to Prayer Regarding Ferguson Grand Jury

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I call on United Methodists in Greater New Jersey and people everywhere to pray for our neighbors in Ferguson, Mo and all communities as we wait for the grand jury announcement. Let us recommit to addressing and healing the wounds of racism and the wounds that divide us. John Schol, Bishop The United Methodist Church Greater New Jersey...

Message from Bishop John Schol about Dr. Salia

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,   When people hurt, United Methodists help. I have been using this phrase because as a life-long United Methodist I have witnessed it over and over again. The full impact never fully registered for me until I heard the story of Dr. Martin Salia, a United Methodist and the chief medical officer and surgeon at Kissy United Methodist Hospital in one of the poorest sections of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Dr. Salia contracted Ebola and died...

Advent Outreach Event Set for Train Stations

By Jeff Wolfe Part of the mission of the church is to meet people where they are. With nearly one half-million passengers riding trains throughout New Jersey each weekday, the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey has decided to meet people on their journey during the Advent season. As a part of the All Aboard for Advent Campaign, pastors and lay leaders who live near train stations throughout the Greater New Jersey area are being called to bring communion to...

Speaker Announced for the Multi-Cultural Celebration

Rev. Nora Colmenares Born and raised in Venezuela, she currently lives in New York where she serves as Assistant General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries in the area of congregational development and racial ethnic ministries. Nora focused her graduate studies on Theology, New Testament and on the area of Society, Personality and Culture. She is an ordained Deacon in the UMC and a member of the North Georgia Conference and has worked as college...

Next Goal for Tanzania Is Conference Center

The husband and wife missionary team of Rev. Mutwale Ntambo Wa Mushidi and Kabaka Ndala Alphonsine helped establish the United Methodist Church in Tanzania in 1992. Now the two missionaries for the General Board of Global Ministries want to see the church thrive in the East Africa country. The Greater New Jersey and the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conferences are the two conferences in the U.S. supporting Mushidi and Alphonsine in their call. Mushidi says his primary function "is to...

Multi-Cultural Celebration

By Judy Colorado Team Leader, The Ethnic Local Church Concerns Committee Diversity is one of the key elements of our strategic plan. To celebrate our diversity and cultural heritage, all are invited to worship and fellowship during a multi-cultural celebration sponsored by the Ethnic Local Church Concerns Committee from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 6, at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 2000 Florence Avenue, Hazlet, N.J. To align the focus to the conference strategic goals, Rev. Nora...

Council of Bishops' Update

Christ gave gifts for some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. - Ephesians 4:11-12   Sisters and Brothers in Christ,   I have just returned from the Council of Bishops’ meeting in Oklahoma City where I shared great hope and prayerful concern with the 133 United Methodist Bishops from around the world. The Council of Bishops...

All Aboard for Advent

With a goal of meeting people in the mission field, we are embarking on a campaign to bring communion to commuters in Greater New Jersey during Advent. As a part of the All Aboard for Advent campaign, clergy and church leaders that reside near NJ Transit and PATCO train stations, are encouraged to bring communion to our train stations each week during Advent. The United Methodist Church isn’t defined simply by a building, but by people who have the willingness to step out of their...

Nomination Process for General & Jurisdictional Delegates Announced

Greater New Jersey will be electing delegates for the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences of the United Methodist Church during the Annual Conference in Wildwood on May 28-30, 2015. The nomination process will be open from December 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. The 2016 General Conference will be held in Portland, Ore., May 10-20, 2016 and the Northeast Jurisdictional Conference will be held July 13-16, 2016 in Lancaster, PA. The General Conference of the United Methodist Church...
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