Dear GNJ Leaders and our congregations,
I hope you are finding ways to rest, connect and experience things that bring you comfort. I know it is difficult during the pandemic, and your wellbeing is important to each of us. The following are essential actions and information for this week. We encourage you to read this information carefully as it impacts your congregations and your communities.
1. Food Ministry Funding – All Clergy and Laity
The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF) is spearheading a new $2.8 million initiative to fund small- and medium-sized food pantries and soup kitchens. The NJPRF grants for small pantries will be led by the food banks. Food pantries that are associated with food banks will receive the eligibility and application information from their respective food banks. Additional updates will be provided here as soon as they are available.
2. Update on Vaccinations – All Clergy and Laity
More than a million people in New Jersey have been vaccinated, and a big push is underway to ensure an equitable and inclusive system for vaccine distribution as state officials work toward bringing the vaccine to the most vulnerable populations. Pop-up sites are being placed in the cities hit hardest by the pandemic, and officials are working on narrowing the digital divide. The state’s call center is open from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. at 855-568-0545. For additional information, including links to a scheduling system, tips from the CDC to build confidence in the vaccine, an article explaining the vaccine’s development and procedures in Pennsylvania and New York, click here.
3. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairpersons
Many businesses have received PPP loans, but there is a lot of uncertainty regarding these loans and how and when they will be forgiven. In the past week, SBA has been working on fixing validation and other errors to streamline the PPP funding application process as well as loan forgiveness. Therefore, we encourage you to apply through your bank if you have not done so already because the deadline is March 31, or when funds are depleted. Additional details, including FAQs and a list of dos and don’ts, can be found on the GNJ website here. We will continue to update this page to reflect the most current updates.
4. 2021 Billables and Shared Ministry FAQ Page – Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairpersons
To help guide you in setting up your revised budget plan, GNJ is continuing to update the FAQ page with the questions we receive here. Important note: If you did not receive the billables email, please contact us so that we can ensure you will receive any subsequent emails.
5. 2021 Appointments – All Clergy and Laity
No appointments were taken this past weekend because of the Presidents’ Day holiday, but they will resume this week. Each Sunday at 1:00 p.m. the announcement of new appointments will be posted on the GNJ website. For the latest information on appointments, retirements and open churches, visit here.