WILDWOOD – United Methodists in Greater New Jersey committed to making miracles as they passed legislation at Annual Conference to support a new campaign to raise $5.2 million to transform the world by making new disciples, building hope centers and supporting disaster relief.
The Miracles Everywhere Campaign will deepen the lives and faith of GNJ’s Next Generation, partner with Puerto Rico in hurricane relief, launch Hope Centers across GNJ and partner with the Tanzania Annual Conference to train new pastors, build new congregations, and construct a Hope Center for mission engagement.
Because of leadership’s gifts that include a $42,500 pledge from Bishop and Beverly Schol, more than $30,000 from the offering at Annual Conference and nearly $300,000 from staff and agency leaders, the campaign has already received nearly $3 million in pledges towards the $5.2 million goal.
“God works miracles through the ministry of United Methodists of Greater New Jersey,” said Brian Mickle, Director of Develop at The United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Greater New Jersey. “
“Jesus told his followers to be his witnesses in Jerusalem (their own community), in Judea and Samaria (their region), and to the ends of the earth (globally),” said Mickle. “He recognized that people needed God everywhere. . God is calling all GNJ disciples to be witnesses in our neighborhoods, communities and throughout our region and around the world.”
And that is exactly how the campaign is organized.
The campaign has a goal of $3,197,000 to fund Next Generation Ministries to start or grow 250 congregations’ youth ministries for an additional 2,000 youth, start 10 college campus ministries that will grow the faith of 1,000 college students, grow IGNITE to more than 5,000 students and restart GNJ camping ministries with an IGNITE type experience serving 1,000 students.
An additional $1,000,000 of the campaign will go to broaden the scope of A Future With Hope. Having become a leading nonprofit in New Jersey through rebuilding after Sandy, A Future With Hope will pivot to focus on community development through Hope Centers Working with and through congregations, Hope Centers will move disciples from the pews to the pavement to create community opportunities for youth and seniors, provide recovery for the addicted, and offer solutions for homelessness and food insecurities.
In 2017, hurricanes devastated communities in Texas, Florida, Cuba, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.
“After Superstorm Sandy, the people of Greater New Jersey were in need a miracle.” said Bishop Schol, “God called us to action then, just as God is calling us to action now. .
Working through UMCOR, GNJ will raise funds for and send mission teams to these disaster stricken communities. Because of GNJ’s significant ties to Puerto Rico and the extreme devastation after Hurricane Maria, 50% of funds raised will go toward the island’s recovery. In a separate but related action, GNJ signed a new missional partnership with Bishop Hector Ortiz in Puerto Rico that will further this effort.
A missional partnership Tanzania, a part of the North Katanga Conference will provide the opportunity for United Methodists in Greater New Jersey to fund pastor training and missional experiences. The $500,000 goal will help GNJ work with GBGM to build a Hope Center in Tanzania that will house a health clinic to provide life-saving and preventative care to the community, start primary and secondary schools for orphans, raise up and deploy young adult missionaries from GNJ for transformational and immersive mission experiences in Tanzania and host mission teams from around the world.
Resources will be available this summer for leaders and congregations to learn and share for the goals of this campaign.
Bishop John Schol gave a moving account of his and his wife, Beverly’s own personal commitment to the campaign. He spoke of their first-hand experiences in Africa and Puerto Rico and the stirring of their spirits. He shared about their family and two grandchildren, staking claim in investing in future generations of disciples. The two decided to donate $42,500 to the campaign.
“We believe in what God can do through you,” said Schol. “We make this commitment knowing God will pour out a great blessing.”
“We can do this,” Schol declared. “God is doing miracles in GNJ. God won’t just help us raise these funds but God will surpass it through us.”
To learn more about The Miracles Everywhere Campaign, click here.