Message from Bishop Schol – Laity and Clergy Gatherings

September 20, 2017 | | GNJ News, Messages from the Bishop

Dear GNJ Clergy and Lay Leadership,

Each year, I schedule time with clergy and laity in our districts to listen and learn.  This year, I will be spending time listening about how the clergy and congregational evaluations have gone. I want to learn what has been helpful, what you have learned and what you would modify. Evaluations are important to our continuing learning and growing and we want to make sure we are resourcing you well.  I will also like to hear how the SPRC, pastor and cabinet can align on the priorities for pastors and congregations.

For this reason, I encourage all members of the SPRC and Church Council, including the chairs of both committees, to attend the evening laity gathering. Additionally I will provide updates on:

  • Our strategic ministry plan.
  • The development of a new strategic plan that will take us to 2023.
  • The work of the Commission on the Way Forward as the denomination prepares for a special General Conference about our policies on homosexuality.
  • Other matters clergy and laity want to discuss.

The following is the schedule for the regional gathering:
Southern Region
Including Cape Atlantic, Delaware Bay, Gateway South Districts
Clergy Session
October 5, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. | St. John’s UMC (Turnersville)
Laity Session
October 4, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. | Sicklerville UMC


Central Region
Including Raritan Valley, Capital and Northern Shore Districts

Clergy Session
December 7, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. | Aldersgate UMC
Laity Session
December 7, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. | Aldersgate UMC
Northern Region
Including Palisades, Skylands and Gateway North Districts
Clergy Session
October 26, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. | Grace UMC in Wyckoff
Laity Session
October 26, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. | Grace UMC in Wyckoff

Please look for updates about these gatherings in the GNJ Digest and district communications.

I gain deeper insights from these gatherings that continue to shape my leadership and I appreciate the time you share with me. I look forward to seeing you this fall.

Keep the faith!


John Schol, Bishop
The United Methodist Church
of Greater New Jersey