Essential Actions and Updates for July 21

July 21, 2020 | COVID-19, Essential Actions

Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders,

This week, as we celebrate the life and ministry of Myrna Bethke, we are reminded of Myrna’s legacy to answers God’s calling to our ministry with love and laughter in our hearts.

The following are the essential actions and information for this week:

1. Celebrating the Life and Ministry of Myrna Bethke – All
On Saturday, July 25 at 1:00 p.m. we will be holding a Memorial Service for Rev. Myrna Bethke. All are invited to join us to participate live for this time of celebration for her life and ministry. The service will be accessible from GNJ’s website and streamed live on Facebook @gnjumc. Click here for event information in advance.

2. Survey – Lead Pastors
Last week, 364 churches responded to our survey. We are learning that most congregations will not reopen their church buildings until the fall, and 71% of our congregations have worship attendance at or above where they were a year ago. You can find the results from last week’s survey here. The cabinet uses the information in our weekly surveys to make decisions on how to best serve local congregations in this time of uncertainty.  This week’s survey can be found here and will be open through Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in order to process the results and consider at the cabinet’s Monday meeting. Please take a moment now to complete the survey. 

3. Extended CARES Act PPP Grants through August 8 – Clergy, Trustee and Finance Chairpersons  
If your congregation did not apply for a PPP Grant through the CARES ACT, there is still time for you to apply.  Do not miss this opportunity to fund salaries for your church. Nearly one-half of our congregations have already received funding totally approximately $6 million. Clergy in new appointments to churches who have not received this funding are encouraged to apply now.

4. COVID-19 Relief Fund Grants – Clergy, Trustees and Finance Chairpersons
GNJ has grant $410,857 to congregations as a part of the COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist congregations with supplemental salary support, emergency assistance in paying bills and emerging needs for food ministry. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis. Apply here.

5. Reopening Guidance – All Clergy, Trustee Chairpersons
Our goal is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and ensure zero transmission through United Methodist activity. The landscape for the pandemic continues to change and you are advised to be ready to make changes to your reopening plans based on state government guidance. Before opening church buildings, 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.

New Jersey         New York           Pennsylvania      GNJ Guidelines

Thank you for your ministry and leadership.

In Christ,

GNJ Leadership

Quick links to items in this email:
Myrna Bethke Memorial Service
GNJ Survey Results
This week’s GNJ Survey
CARES Act PPP Grants
COVID-19 Relief Grants
New Jersey
New York
GNJ Reopening Guidelines