A snapshot from GNJ's 2017 Annual Conference session in Wildwood, NJ. Photo by Shari DeAngelo

Annual Conference to Create Space for Spirit Movement

February 2, 2018 | | GNJ News, Annual Conference Coverage

WILDWOOD – For Greater New Jersey, this year’s Annual Conference might feel a bit different from years past. The 2018 “Miracles Everywhere” agenda is designed to include more opportunity to spread and share the powerful, life-changing ministries in GNJ and create room for the Holy Spirit to move among us.

“Miracles are happening everywhere and this annual conference session will celebrate God’s wonders in our midst and the more marvelous works God wants to do in our midst,” said Bishop John Schol. “The annual conference session is more than legislation, more than business, it is God’s opportunity to break in and bless us.”

Eric Drew, Director of Worship is helping compile a ‘Miracles Everywhere’ sermon series package for GNJ pastors. He believes miracles are all about expectation.

“It is about expecting that God is present, and God will do great things among us and through us,” he said, mentioning how in other cultures such as Central America and Asia where Christianity has rapidly spread, believers expect that God is working everywhere and at all times.

“When they pray, they expect that their prayers will be answered,” he said. “It is the act of letting miracles happen rather than legitimizing, and really believing in God’s presence and power.”

“Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never expected?” Schol asked. “Don’t look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for God to come. As followers of Christ, we must learn to give God elbow room. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come as God decides.”

Drew concurred. “Don’t put God in the box and expect that God will do what we want. God moves in ways that go beyond human understanding.”

The 2018 Annual Conference will celebrate the recovery work of A Future With Hope and what’s next for the ministry as it embarks on regenerative transformation to bring about Hope Centers across GNJ. Updates from The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater New Jersey, The Centenary Fund, United Methodist Communities and GNJ’s Next Generation initiative will also be highlighted. Mission partners will be celebrated including GNJ’s commitment to Puerto Rico’s recovery following last year’s devastating hurricane, support for the North Katanga Episcopal Area in Africa and a Rise Against Hunger mission project.

Rev. Junius Dotson, General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries will be joining the conference to share about making, shaping and engaging passionate disciples of Christ. Additionally, General Secretary of the Board of Church and Society, Rev. Susan T. Henry-Crowe will be returning and speaking on breaking the cycle and eliminating poverty in communities.

Legislation items will include budget, shared ministries formula, pension, equitable compensation, discontinuance of churches, and cemetery reports. The deadline to submit legislation online is Feb. 14. Click here  for details.