The United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey is committed to resourcing and supporting congregations and transformational leaders to assess and improve their pathways for disciples to know, grow in, live and share the life of Jesus every day, so that we increase the number of new disciples and vital congregations.

GNJ provides development grants to leaders and congregations that:

  • Encourage innovative ministry that connects with people in the community.
  • Develop lay and clergy leadership for making disciples and transforming the world.
  • Maximize vital congregations.

Applications can be submitted for new worship services, new small groups and mission ministries, congregational development, cooperative parishes, supplemental our equitable clergy salary and planning. Grants will be allocated based on demonstrated willingness and readiness to grow vital congregations.

This is a one-year grant program. Consideration for funding in subsequent years will be dependent on implementation of programs, achieving goals for the grant year, timely reporting, active participation in Vital Signs Dashboard and availability of funds. This grant process does not cover requests for capital.

A church or group of churches should only submit one grant application to cover all of their grant requests. The application is designed to be completed electronically. The application and supporting documents must be submitted in PDF format. Only applications submitted in this format will be considered.

Complete applications with all required signatures and supplemental documents must be received by December 15, 2020.  Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

God also calls United Methodists to do better in ending racism, privilege and oppression in the church and world. GNJ has been a leader in diversity, and yet GNJ still has more journey to travel. It is evident after talking with people who have experienced racism and harm that GNJ has the opportunity at this moment to go deeper in its work to end the sin of racism and take action to repair past harm.

In order to address and end racism in GNJ, A Journey of Hope initiative was presented and passed during the 2020 Annual Conference session. This initiative sets forth a bold plan for GNJ to work together to end the sin of racism as we build on our past progress and go deeper in our ministry to create a more just, inclusive and equitable church and society. It calls us to ACT by creating compelling Aspirations to end the sin of racism, deepening Comprehension and understanding of racism and how to end racism by living and acting differently, and Transform our beliefs, values, policies, actions to be a more racially just, inclusive and equitable church and society.

A Journey of Hope calls us to an urgent and spiritual journey and our destination is the transformation of minds, hearts, actions and systems so that we eliminate the sin of racism in GNJ. Starting in January 2021 and ensured by January 2022, all grants to congregations (and GNJ supported Hope Centers and organizations) must have A Journey of Hope Plan that is appropriate to their context.  The plan will address your resources, leadership, services, policies and procedures, and how you invest in leadership and your community.

While you do not have to submit a Journey of Hope plan prior to or with the 2020 Congregational Development Grant application, you will be asked to commit to submitting a Journey of Hope Plan in 2021.  A guide for developing A Journey of Hope plan and guidelines will be available on the GNJ Webpage in the weeks to come.

For more information, please contact: