Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 | 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The Foundational Leadership Training is designed for church officers, committee and team leaders, and people engaged in various ministries of the church to provide foundational understanding and leadership skills. Two workshop sessions provide the opportunity for participants to choose different options to learn about their area of ministry and other more general leadership skills. [FULL VIDEO]

Schedule for the Day

9:00 a.m. | Workshop Session 1
10:30 a.m. | Break
11:00 a.m. | Workshop Session 2
12:30 p.m. | Adjourn

Session One


  • Fewer Meetings, More Ministry: The One Board Model for Church Administration
  • Finance Committee
  • The Work of the Staff Parish Relations Committee
  • Nominations Committee
  • Sow What? Steps to Grow Generosity and Vibrant, Sustainable Ministry
  • Hospitality from the Pews
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Grant Writing
  • Resurrection in Spiritual Wilderness
  • International Mission Workshop
  • Environmental Justice

Session Two


  • Fewer Meetings, More Ministry: The One Board Model for Church Administration
  • The Work of the Staff Parish Relations Committee
  • Nominations Committee
  • Sow What? Steps to Grow Generosity and Vibrant, Sustainable Ministry
  • What’s Our Next Faithful Step
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Grant Writing
  • Resurrection in Spiritual Wilderness
  • International Mission Workshop
  • Environmental Justice

Workshop Descriptions

Fewer Meetings, More Ministry: The One Board Model for Church Administration

Facilitator: Rev. Steve Bechtold

This workshop guides church leaders in creating a simplified structure for your congregation’s administrative ministries that is consistent with the Book of Discipline, provides a more streamlined process, and frees congregations to invest more time in creating ministry for Jesus Christ. [Full Video]

Finance Committee Workshop

Facilitator: Rob Zuckerman, GNJ CFO/Conference Treasurer

In this session we will review the finance committee’s role in the financial vitality of congregations,
including: financial reporting, internal controls, budgeting, and other best practices. [Full Video]

The Work of the Staff Parish Relations Committee

Facilitator: Rev. Eunice Vega-Perez

The SPRC has an important role in the life of the church as it deals with personnel matters and is the liaison between the church and the District Superintendent. This workshop will cover the responsibilities of the SPRC, guidelines for dealing with conflict, and outline the committee’s role in the appointment making process.
Join here: Meeting ID:  814 2620 1092 | Dial-in Option: (646) 876-9923

Nominations Committee

Facilitator: Rev. Williams M. Williams, III

An effective Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development identifies, develops, deploys, evaluates, and monitors Christian spiritual leadership so that the congregation carries out the ministries for transformation of the community. In this training, we will discuss best practices for creating and implementing these four areas for an effective Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development team- Meadowlands DS. [Full Video]

Sow What? Steps to Grow Generosity and Vibrant, Sustainable Ministry

Facilitator: Rev. Brian Roberts, Executive Director, The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation

After these last nearly three years, can you identify with those that have been through a time of severe challenge? Join me for a session that is rooted in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 that will provide resources and insights to grow the type of Grace-rooted generosity that provides blessings as it overflows with Joy. In this session participants will learn about:

  • the importance of “Year-Round Generosity”
  • creating and sharing brief, impactful stories that unleash giving
  • giving trends and “best practice” responses
  • building effective “Generosity & Stewardship Teams”
  • steps toward growing stewardship in 2023
  • get information on upcoming trainings: “Growing Legacy Giving” and “Alternate Income Streams”

In addition, we’ll have some fun, laugh, learn, and grow with partners in ministry and colleagues in our connection! We are, indeed, stronger together! Who should attend? Pastors and any volunteer leaders —everybody has a part to play in growing your congregation as a Grace Place full of generosity and overflowing joy. Some interesting facts here:

Join here: Meeting ID: 896 8399 9960 | Passcode: 739944 | Dial-in Option:  1 646 876 9923

Hospitality from the Pews

Facilitator: Rev. Gina Yeske

It’s More Than Being Friendly: What are the hospitality practices that churches need for ministry today. This workshop is designed to help lay persons better live out their call to be welcoming in their church and community. This workshop is lead by Rev Gina Yeske, MHR Resource Director, and various lay leaders in the MHR congregations.
Join here: Meeting ID: 883 5297 3220

What’s Our Next Faithful Step

Facilitator: Rev. Gina Yeske

Exploring the importance of assessment and discernment. Looking at vision and mission of the local church. This workshop will help congregations consider the importance of strategic planning to achieve your mission and vision. This workshop is lead by Rev Gina Yeske, MHR Resource Director and Rev Derrick Doherty, senior pastor of Middletown UMC.
Join here: Meeting ID: 883 5297 3220

Conflict Resolution

Facilitator: Rev. Sang Won Doh & Nicola Mulligan

Conflict can be a catalyst for renewal, health, and change and serve as a mechanism for growth. At other times, however, conflict can be destructive and cause serious dissension. A clear and healthy process for working through conflict empowers a congregation to move forward in the midst of the challenges and increase faithfulness and fruitfulness. Join us in exploring how to address conflict in healthy ways. [Full Video]

Grant Writing

Facilitator: Andrea Wren-Hardin

Many churches do not seek out grant opportunities either because they do not realize that there are grants available for religious organizations or they do not have knowledge or experience with grant writing. This workshop will teach you the foundations of grant writing: how to develop a strong proposal, how to create a realistic funding budget, and how to identify possible grant opportunities. You will leave this workshop with the tools to:

  • Understand what funders are looking for
  • Clarify your mission to align with the funders’ mission
  • Describe your comprehensive project that requires funding
  • Develop a realistic budget
  • Research grant opportunities

Join here: Meeting ID:  849 9407 3605 | Password:  159020 | Dial-in Option: 1 (646) 931- 3860

Resurrection in Spiritual Wilderness

Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Iraida Ruiz de Porras, CSD

Every congregation and community experiences uncertainties and, at times, seemingly dwells in seasons of darkness for longer than desired until a sense of death starts to loom. Some may refer to this period as liminality, and there is such a thing as spiritual wilderness. Many external factors can lead to seasons of spiritual wilderness, adversely affecting and crippling pastoral leadership, congregational leadership, and the church and community’s vision, purpose, mission, and ministries. The church resurrects from such seasons by coming out on the other side with a better understanding of self, God, and community. With lessons learned, and a newfound sense of life, vision, and creativity, the congregation emerges from the wilderness with the spiritual power to heal, grow, follow, and lead. [Full Video]

International Mission Workshop

Facilitator: Sam Perez

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” Psalm 82: 3 (NIV)

The Skylands District leadership is in the early stages of organizing a 7-day holistic mission trip in the summer of 2023 to support the Rice & Beans Ministries (RABMIN) in Costa Rica. RABMIN, an ecumenical organization, “seeks to build relationships, support families and communities, and care for those in need in Costa Rica. We do this through three primary ministries: Food Ministry, Children’s Ministry, and Construction Ministry. All three ministries go hand-in-hand to support each other, and you can join us in making a difference.” You are invited to sign up for this workshop to learn how Bible Study, evangelism, and mission work come together as we minister to the needs of the people in Costa Rica. [Full Video]

Environmental Justice

Facilitator: Rev. Brenda Wheeler Ehlers

“The United Methodist Church is committed to understanding and eliminating environmental racism. In the United States, the extraction, production, storage, treatment, and disposal processes of hazardous materials and wastes are too often zoned within close proximity to where people of color live…”

“The decisions that humans make will either enhance or degrade the quality of life on the planet. We live in an era of energy interdependence. Confronting global issues such as climate change, energy inequity, and pollution will require international solutions based upon the values of justice and sustainability…”

There are many places in the world that are seeing the impact of climate change in profound ways. Puerto Rico is one of those places. Puerto Rico has been hit hard by hurricanes more and more frequently. The island also has a fragile energy infrastructure that leaves residents without water and electricity regularly especially after storms. The island’s history of colonization is one where it has always been marginalized and set aside.

The people of Puerto Rico have become leaders among activists who are working to find ways to build resilient systems through grassroots organizing. They are standing up against a new colonizing threat — gentrification — where wealthy residents of the US mainland purchase heavily discounted property. This property is discounted because of the lack of infrastructure that suddenly gets built when wealthy (whiter) residents pressure the government.

In order to learn from these leaders and those who have responded to environmental injustice with ingenuity and resilience, the youth group of Morrow Memorial UMC made a pilgrimage to Puerto Rico to meet with these leaders and to deepen our appreciation for the creation they love and work to protect.

The group will share what they learned and experienced as well as how they are supporting people locally and how allies, including local churches, can support communities facing environmental injustice.

Join here