Essential Actions and Updates for Nov 17, 2020

November 17, 2020 | Messages from the Bishop

1. Monthly Survey – Lead Pastors
Each month, GNJ leadership is surveying our congregations so that we can track over time how our ministry is changing and assess the needs of the local church. While some of the questions may remain the same each month, the answers are shifting with the changing environment each of our congregations face. 100% participation is needed and expected for GNJ leadership to make the best decisions. All lead pastors (or their designee) are to complete the survey by November 30.
To complete this month’s survey by November 30, click here.
To view results from last month’s survey, click here.

2. COVID-19 New Guidance on Gathering – All Clergy and Chairperson of Trustees and Church Council
We are in a serious phase of the pandemic. COVID-19 infections are expected to rise throughout the region and the country, with anticipated new cases rising to 200,000 to 400,000 per day in January and February. NJ Governor Phil Murphy has limited indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 150 people. While religious services are exempt from these requirements, we are grateful for pastors and leadership who are moving back to all virtual worship. All congregations are urged to keep abreast of the changing situation, modify their building usage plans as appropriate and care for their communities so that we commit to our goal to have zero spread of the virus through United Methodist activities. For guidance on GNJ’s guidelines and NY, NJ and PA coronavirus regulations, click here.

3. Bishop’s Days on the Region – All Clergy and Laity
Clergy and laity are invited to join Bishop Schol in praise and worship as he shares information on the vision and direction of GNJ and the denomination. Each day also features a time of questions and answers. All are encouraged to join.
Clergy will meet from 9:00 a.m. on the following dates: (If you missed the Southern Region held last week, you are welcome to join one of the others).
Central Region | Dec. 2 
Northern Region | Nov. 19

Laity will meet on the following dates:
Nov. 19, 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 3, 9:00 a.m.

4. 2020 Shared Ministry – Clergy, Finance Chairpersons and Treasurers
In the midst of the pandemic, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our congregations and the spirit of connection that is our foundation. Dozens of congregations have joined GNJ in supporting the COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has already granted close to $1 million in grants for new ministries and for those who are struggling to meet their expenses. As we approach the final weeks of the year, each congregation is asked to commit their fair share to shared ministry. For some congregations, the four-month shared ministry holiday has provided them a path forward during the pandemic, other congregations are in a position to and have committed to give 100%. Shared ministry payments are due on December 30, 2020 so that our Finance and Administration leaders can budget for the coming year appropriately. Everything you need can be found here.

5. New Superintendent and Resource Director – Everyone
The cabinet will discern and Bishop Schol will appoint a new district superintendent to serve the Gateway South District in 2021. Bishop Schol invites input from clergy and laity and has always appointed someone lifted up by clergy and laity to serve as a district superintendent. There is also an opening for a full-time regional resource director to serve in the Central Region. The resource director will work with 20 churches in the Central Region to develop and carry out A Journey of Hope and assist in developing resources to be used by congregations. Bishop Schol invites you to email Soomin Lee (SLee@gnjumc.org) with the names of people you believe will serve well as a district superintendent and the names of people you believe will serve well as a resource director. Please share why you believe the person(s) will serve well.

Thank you for your ministry. You are a blessing to GNJ and your community.

In Christ,
GNJ Leadership