Essential Actions and Updates | Week of May 19

May 19, 2020 | COVID-19, Essential Actions
Those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2
Dear GNJ Congregational and Clergy Leaders,We are witnessing leaders exemplify courage, wisdom, resiliency and progress during COVID-19. Thank you. We also thank you for completing the financial assessment for your congregation. Nearly 100% of our congregations completed the assessment. These assessments are already proving valuable. One of the things we learned is that better than 60% of our congregations are planning on paying 100% of their shared ministry apportionment in spite of the shared ministry holiday. A couple of churches have already paid 100%. Miraculous!

In the weeks and months ahead, as social distancing is relaxed in some areas, the trust we have been given from God as leaders will prove to be more challenging. We are trusted to lead people to make disciples and grow vital congregations, keep people safe, feed the hungry and do the right thing as we spread the good news of Jesus Christ while flattening the virus and ensuring zero infections through United Methodist activity.

Essential Actions and Updates for May 19

1. Reopening Church Buildings: Action RequiredPastors and Church Leadership
Congregations may only open their building for worship and ministry when your governor indicates churches may open and your congregation has a plan to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the virus. You may read the resource guide to help your congregation develop its plan here.

2. Information Session to Reopen Your Church Building: Action Requested – Pastors and Church Leadership
Three information sessions for questions on reopening will be held on Thursday, May 21 at 10:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Dial 1 646 876 9923 to join the conference call, meeting ID: 916 7774 4407.

3. Food Distribution: Information – Pastors, Mission Chairs and Food Bank Coordinators
GNJ has raised and made available $560,000 through its Miracles Everywhere COVID-19 fund. You may learn about our food pantries and distribution guidelines here and find out how you can apply for Miracles Everywhere funds here.

4. Grants for Congregations During COVID-19: Information Pastors, Finance Chairs, Treasurers and Church Council Chairs
GNJ is making $2,000,000 available for congregational ministry and to supplement congregation’s budget during COVID-19. You may read more about this and apply here.

5. Appointment Changes: Information – Pastors and SPRC and Trustee Chairs where a transition in pastoral leadership is occurring
Pastors will transition during the usual time for appointment changes. Guidelines for appointment changes, particularly during COVID-19 may be found here.

6. CARES Act PPP reporting: Action Required – Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairs
Prepare for your PPP funding reporting now. It can mean the difference between your funding being a loan or becoming a grant. We will work with all churches who request support in preparing your report. It must be turned in eight weeks after receiving funding. A portion of some of the money may turn into a loan because your payroll changed since your initial reporting. If you begin working with us now, the interest of any portion of your funding that becomes a loan will be paid by GNJ — but you must begin to work with us now. You can find the report here and you may email us at with questions and to ask for help in submitting your report. Please read the material we have provided here first before emailing. We are here to support you and your ministry.

Each of us has been entrusted by God to lead and be stewards of missional resources during this time. Your leadership is making a difference. Thank you.