GNJ makes grants to further the mission and goals of GNJ and a congregation/organization. Grants are made to congregations that demonstrate the congregation is engaged in the mission and priorities of GNJ. The 2020 Greater New Jersey Annual Conference set as a priority A Journey of Hope plan that integrates all of GNJ’s strategic work and ending the sin of racism. The Journey of Hope Equity & Justice Grants to congregations are made eligible to congregations in economically challenged areas. Therefore, GNJ is providing a grants to reduce the Billable and Shared Ministry rates to these congregations will pay so that they might develop and work toward a JoH vitality plan and develop a sustainable, thriving ministry.
Journey of Hope-Equity & Justice Grants will be given to local congregations that:
- The church is in a community where the median household income is less than $55,000.
- The worshippers of the congregation reflect the people living in the community.
- The congregation does not have reserves/endowment that may be used to sufficiently fund the congregation’s budget including billables.
- The congregation does not have other income including rental income to sufficiently fund the congregation’s budget including billables.
- The congregation does not have sufficient giving by members to fund the ministry including billables for a congregation of its size.
GNJ will make A Journey of Hope equity grant to further help your congregation engage in the mission and priorities of GNJ within your community. As outlined in the legislation, grants are made according to these guidelines:
- The congregation is progressing toward or has completed A Journey of Hope ACT Plan.
- The congregation commits to be a racially just, inclusive and equitable congregation and is demonstrating being just, inclusive and equitable in one or more of the following areas: women in leadership, disability access, LGBTQ inclusion or ministries with low-income persons in rural, urban and suburban areas.
- The congregation has achieved three or more of the markers of vitality or is demonstrating progress toward achieving three or more markers of vitality (see below for definitions of the vitality markers).
- The congregation gives 100% of their new apportioned shared ministry and billables.
Note: Appointment changes and insurance/pension elections could change the amount of the grant. Additionally, subsequent grants in following years must demonstrate progress in all areas of A Journey of Hope Plan.
What Are the Vitality Markers?
Vital congregations cultivate a deeper relationship with God and meet people’s deepest desires through five markers of vitality. Fruitful Wesleyan congregations are considered vital when a congregation achieves at least three of the five.
- Worship cultivates a deeper relationship with God and births hope for living. Marker – grow by one worshiper over a three-year period of time.
- Small groups cultivate growth and deeper relationships with God and one another. Marker – 60% of worshipers in a small group experience.
- Mission through hands on justice and mercy ministries cultivates purpose. Marker – 50% of the worshipers participate in hands-on mission in the community.
- Witness and faith sharing demonstrate our meaning and significance through Jesus Christ. Marker – one new profession/reaffirmation of faith for every 20 worshipers in a given year.
- Giving generously, extends our purpose, significance and making a difference for God. Marker – 18% of a congregation’s budget is giving to mission.