Essential Actions and Updates | Week of April 27

April 28, 2020 | COVID-19, Essential Actions

Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders,

We continue to witness the gifted and dedicated leadership within our congregations. We are also hearing about how God is at work through United Methodists as they connect with people in their community. Some pastors have offered grief support and online memorial services to people that do not have a faith community. Another congregational leader is guiding an effort to make face shields for hospitals using the 3-D printer. Still another leader continues to feed the hungry from its new food depot while still supporting its ethnically-diverse congregation where 21 countries are represented and 12 immigrant families are being supported. Vital witnesses by faithful United Methodists. Thank you everyone for the courageous and compassionate leadership you are providing during this time.

The following are items to give attention to this week.

Essential Actions and Updates for the Week of April 27

1. Action Required: Lead Pastors  
Survey. The weekly survey is to be completed by noon on Wednesday. This survey continues to provide valuable ministry and financial data that we use each week to make ministry and financial decisions. You may find the survey here.

2. Action Required: Clergy, Mission Chairs
Food Pantries. Food insecurity is emerging as the most critical issue facing our communities. For those congregations who are participating in food pantries, we urge you to practice proper social distancing and to adhere to the state’s guidelines (found here) while serving this vital mission. If your congregation hosts a food pantry, we have two important actions this week.

3. Action Required: Lead Clergy, Finance Chairpersons, Treasurers, Church Council Chairpersons
Financial Assessment. From our weekly surveys we are learning how many of our congregations are significantly impacted financially. GNJ leadership seeks to do everything we can to work in partnership with congregations and clergy during and after COVID-19. It is clear to us that continued critical decisions will need to be made to support our congregations particularly in the areas of sustaining appointments, insurances and ministry. To better serve you and all of our congregations, this week we need each of our congregations to assess as best they can their finances so that we can best help by decreasing shared ministry apportionments, providing grants and making any necessary adjustments to appointments. This link will take you to a worksheet and online form for you to complete a financial assessment by May 7. If your congregation needs assistance, contact the regional administrator who will ensure you receive assistance within four hours during regular business hours.

4. Informational: All
Communion. Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29, there will be two communion worship services, one at 3:00 p.m. and the second at 7:00 p.m., each including a special message for our leadership. Following each worship service, Bishop Schol will stay on the call for those that have questions about GNJ’s response to COVID-19 and the next steps for GNJ and our congregations.

Wednesday, April 29
3:00 p.m. Online Communion Service
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 995 2544 7116
Or you may phone in to participate by calling the following number.
1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 995 2544 7116Wednesday, April 29
7:00 p.m. Online Communion Service
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 943 4424 2785
Or you may phone in to participate by calling the following number.
1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 943 4424 2785

Next week we will update you on finalized appointment move dates and protocols.

Each week we are hearing stories of faith, courage and compassion by you. You continue to deepen faith in God and turn outward to the world in love and grace. The hallmark of a follower of Jesus. Thank you.

In Christ,

The Leadership of GNJ

Quick Links to items mentioned in this letter
Food Pantries
Financial Assessment
Online Communion Services | 3:00 p.m. Zoom | 7:00 p.m. Zoom