Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders,
The following are the essential actions and information for this week:
1. Remote Annual Conference Session October 5 and 6 – All Laity and Clergy Members to the Annual Conference
On Thursday, conference officials counted the mail-in ballots and affirmed the addition of Rule 26 to hold the 21st Annual Conference of GNJ virtually. The conference session has been scheduled for the mornings of October 5 and 6. We will work with clergy and laity members that may have difficulty with remote access to do all we can to ensure those who want to participate can and that it will be a fruitful and engaging annual conference session. A pre-conference journal will be sent to all members by September 20 and be available online by August 20. Registration will also open on August 20. For details.
2. Staff Furloughs – Laity and Clergy Leaders
GNJ staff, including the cabinet, have been furloughed for 10-13 days to support the mission and congregations of GNJ during this financially difficult time. For most staff, they are furloughed on Fridays without pay. If you cannot reach a staff person on a Friday, please try again on Monday. Also, your generous giving through shared ministry giving is making a difference. Already we have given $1 million to assist with food and ministry through our congregations. While GNJ has provided a four-month shared ministry holiday, many of our churches continue to give at the 12 month 100%. We invite all United Methodists to be generous with your giving during this challenging season.
3. Family Camps – All
Next Generation Ministry and Pinelands Center at Mt. Misery are offering a unique opportunity for you and your family this summer with a fun, safe and socially-distanced Family Camp. You are encouraged to renew and restore yourselves by taking advantage of all our camping ministry has to offer including individual cabins, canoeing, swimming, archery, daily devotions and more. Find out more about this opportunity.
4. Reopening Guidelines – All Clergy, Trustee Chairpersons and Church Council Chairpersons
We continue to monitor state guidelines on indoor gatherings and activities with an anticipated rise in COVID-19 cases this fall. Please review your reopening plans to be flexible and responsive to the changing environment. Our goal is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and ensure zero transmission through United Methodist activity. All congregations in GNJ are to continue to follow the guidelines established by their governors and create a plan according to GNJ guidelines that can be found below.
Thank you for your ministry and leadership.