North Hudson Community New Path For 6 Churches

 By Jeff Wolfe The communities of Union City, Weehawken, West New York, North Bergen and Jersey City share the common threads of being next to or very near the Hudson River, sitting in the shadow of New York City and home to six United Methodist churches. Those churches, spread throughout those cities, are binding together in what is called the North Hudson Community Development. This format, which will officially begin July 1, will involve having two full-time pastors...

Toms River Church Discovers Egg Hunt Equals Outreach

By Jeff Wolfe Rev. Mark Fieger has seen a lot in his 25 years as pastor at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Toms River but he didn’t expect to see more than 600 people show up on the church grounds for what was billed as the 10,000 Easter Egg Hunt on the last Saturday in March. It was a first-time event for the church which made a lot of first-time contact with families who said after the event they were interested in attending St. Andrew. “It was just...

Discount Coupons For Dorney Park Methodist Day

Methodist Day at Dorney Park and WIldwater Kingdom is June 27 and thanks to this special promotion United Methodists can buy discounted tickets and also help the conference financially. Tickets are $33, $21 off the regular price, and for each ticket purchased, $3 will be donated to Greater New Jersey. The event is being organized by the United Methodist Men from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. Click here to download and print GNJ coupons....

Rockaways Shares Love with Bilingual Service

 By Jeff Wolfe  When Lysette Perez became the senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of The Rockaways nearly two and a half years ago, she not only paid attention to those attending the church, she took notice of who wasn’t there. “When I looked around at the Hispanic community, I found that it was growing and I thought that this might be a good opportunity,” Perez said. “The statistics of the community and the program of outreach for...

UMC of Absecon Goes Back To Tracks For Lent

By Jeff Wolfe Members of the United Methodist Church of Absecon gave away some goody bags, and to at least some, a bit of good news to passengers at the Absecon train station during the Lenten season. They felt good about participating in the conference’s All Aboard for Advent campaign before Christmas in December as three new people attended a Christmas Eve service as a direct result of the outreach. So, several Absecon members returned to the NJ transit train...

Pastor Making Musical Change In Haiti

By Jeff Wolfe ASBURY PARK - Rev. Sony Augustin loves his native Haiti and loves music. However, the pastor at First UMC in Asbury Park sometimes doesn’t like the music he hears during two yearly visits to his homeland. So Augustin has decided to do something to try and change the sound that at least some Haitians regularly make and hear. He has started collecting musical instruments so they can be sent to schools in Haiti. Augustin’s Haiti music instrument...

United Methodist Council of Bishops Issues Pastoral Letter on Racism

BERLIN:  The Council of Bishops issued a pastoral letter on racism to the 12.8 million people of The United Methodist Church affirming the sacredness of all lives and renewing their commitment to work for an anti-racist, pro-humanity church. The action came at the end of the Council’s weeklong meeting in Berlin after prayerful reflection and discussion about the topic. Earlier in the week, President of the Council Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. had also issued a letter calling for...

A Message from Bishop Schol

Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. -2 Timothy 2:15, The Message   Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,   I have just returned from the Council of Bishops’ meeting in Berlin, Germany and I wanted to update you on the meeting as well as important steps in our own ministry and our upcoming annual conference session.   Annual Conference Each year, lay and clergy representing our congregations...

Council of Bishops Affirms Missional Direction for Next Quadrenniumm

Berlin: The Council of Bishops, meeting in Berlin, affirmed a vision for a missional direction for the next quadrennium which includes partnering with schools to help end poverty, starting new faith communities, building a culture of call, reaching children with life-saving interventions, and equipping congregations with disciple-making processes to continue making new disciples and increasing the number of vital congregations. “Your leadership has led to great success and has changed...

A Call to Prayer from Bishop Schol

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,   I and United Methodists around the world grieve deeply about the impact of the earthquake in Nepal and the unrest in Baltimore. I call all of our congregations this weekend to pray for the people of Baltimore and Nepal. James 5:13-16 is a powerful scripture on prayer. It includes these lines: If any among us are suffering, pray… The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. The people of Nepal and Baltimore need the powerful and...

Journey To Vitality Takes Big Step With Team Vital

By Jeff Wolfe The road to making vital congregations can be a long journey and the next step for GNJ is the creation and implementation of a new ministry and resource for congregations called Team Vital. Team Vital will bring teams of church leaders together to learn from one another, collaborate, spur one another on and hold each other accountable for taking action building on the connectionalism of the United Methodist Church and the Holy Spirit. Team Vital will...

2015 Cooperative School of Christian Mission

July 10-July 12 The 2015 Cooperative School of Christian Mission (Mission u) is a great educational opportunity for local churches across the Greater New Jersey Conference. Mission u provides this economic educational weekend/one day option; for in depth spiritual formation and dialogue, reflection and study which is co-sponsored by The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and the United Methodist Women. The Cooperative School of Christian Mission is for all, women, men, youth, children,...

Elim UMC Combines Services to Celebrate Easter Miracle

By Jeff Wolfe Easter is about tragedy triumphed by a miracle and that’s what Elim United Methodist Church and the Manantial de Vida Pentecostal congregation celebrated last Sunday. The two congregations came together with the community to hold a combined worship service in the church parking lot to give thanks for their own Easter miracle. On Easter Sunday, a few hours after the Elim congregation finished its Easter service and just as the Manantial de Vida...

GNJ Responds to Church Ceiling Collapse

Bishop John Schol and Rev. Leo Park are happy to report that all 14 people injured in the church ceiling collapse at Elim UMC in Rahway, N.J., have been released from the hospital. Bishop Schol shared news about the collapse that occurred during the worship service of the Manantial de Vida Pentecostal Congregation, which rents space in our building. “I am grateful for the pastoral care provided by Superintendent Manuel Sardinas and Rev. Leo Park,” Bishop Schol said. “They...

GNJ Selects New Director of Worship

Eric Drew has been selected as the new Director of Worship of the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey, effective July 1. He is a passionate musician, coach, and worship planner. In 2014 he launched, a website for church leaders, and published the eBook, "Contextual Worship: 4 Steps to Reach Your Community." He has served at Simply Grace UMC and most recently as the worship pastor of Cross Point Church, a multi-site UMC in Harrisburg, Pa. He has...

Backpack Crew's Success Fed By UMC of Red Bank

By Jeff Wolfe It wasn’t a small still voice that motivated Suzanne Dice to help those who were feeling the effects of Superstorm Sandy nearly a year after it had slammed the New Jersey coast. It was her own internal storm that led her and her family to start an organization that helps feed those in need on weekends. “I was just driving down the street, and seeing all of the loss and destruction still there, it was like a punch in the stomach,” said Dice,...

Prayer Request for Union UMC Update

Sisters and Brothers, Christ is risen!   Yesterday I shared with you about a tragic ceiling collapse in one of our churches in Rahway, NJ. It occurred during the worship service of the Manantial de Vida Pentecostal Congregation who rents space in our building. I am happy to report that everyone has been released from the hospital.   I am grateful for the pastoral care provided by Superintendent Manuel Sardinas and Rev. Leo Park. They both visited the hospital and Rev. Park was at...

A Message from Bishop Schol - Prayer Request for Union UMC

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,   A little after 2:00 PM today, Easter Sunday, the ceiling collapsed at the Union United Methodist Church in Rahway, NJ. A congregation of another denomination who rents the facilities had just begun their Easter worship. Fourteen people from the Manantial de Vida Pentecostal congregation were taken to the hospital. None of the injuries were life threatening but one of the worshipers has a serious injury.   Superintendent Manuel Sardinas is at...

Mishandled Ministry Projects Among UMC Church's

Grants from the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) that were destined for various ministry projects among the United Methodist Church’s Korean, Asian American and Pacific Islander Ministries were mishandled by a former staffer during 2006-2010 and some of the funds were used for purposes other than stated in the grant applications. The misused funds were discovered during a routine audit and a subsequent forensic audit. Findings of the audits were turned over to the Davidson County...

Look for GNJ Bus Ads Until May 3!

Check out NJ Transit buses in Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, New Brunswick, and Newark areas to see our Lenten ad campaign. The ads will remain on the buses through Easter and point to the find-a-church webpage on If you haven’t updated your information on, please do so now! And if you see a picture of a bus with our ad, send it in to      ...
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