Greater NJ Ready to Conference! (5/19/19)

Posted by on May 14, 2019 in Church Operations, EventAnnouncement, UMC Shared Ministries | 0 comments

The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference will meet hold their yearly meeting (“annual conference”) in Wildwood next week (Sunday May 19 through Tuesday May 21, 2019).

Our local church is part of a larger Church.  In the United Methodist Church, each local congregation is linked to the larger body of United Methodists world-wide.

Part of Pitman’s connection to that world wide body is our connection to the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference.  The Conference includes all of New Jersey and also a few churches that are located in Pennsylvania and New York (they’re the churches that make NJ Greater!).

The theme of this year’s conference (lowercase “c”…) is called “Rooted.”  By remaining strongly connected to Christ, we will be able to make a difference in the world.  The theme’s key verse is Jeremiah 17:8, “They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.”  In the face of challenges and change, we will stand strong if we stand with Christ. 

Our Bishop, Bishop John Schol, put it this way (as written in the introduction of the conference journal):

This year, we gather in a season of tension and disagreement following the recent General Conference Session.

We have had conferences under difficult circumstances before: while the country was at war, during the Great Depression, with debate on women’s ordination, at the end of segregation within the church and when joining together northern and southern New Jersey as one conference. We have seen challenges and can testify that we have come this far by faith.

As we gather in the shadow of General Conference, its shadow does not dim the light of Christ within us and the commitment that we can find a way forward that will be a testimony and example for the rest of the church. Why? Because we are rooted in the grace and example of Jesus Christ, because our diversity has taught us how to live with difference and because we are committed to being better for the mission of the church.




PUMC will be represented at the conference by Pastor Jim Bolton and Lay Member Larry Bakely.  Each local church sends an equal number of clergy and lay delegates.

Annual conference is a chance to worship, meet old friends, and to hear about the things that are happening in the Conference.  Every four years, we also have the task of selecting delegates to the General Conference (of the United Methodist Church).  This governing body will meet next year, so part of our mission during this year’s annual conference is to elect a slate of delegates to general conference.

The conference will also include a series of recommendations and reports.  Legislation on topics such as shared giving, budgets, and public statements will be considered and voted upon.

To view a copy of the full agenda, click this button:   



To download the full details of the legislation and reports, click this button:

Conference Journal


Streaming the Highlights…

The entire conference will be available on the Conference’s Live Stream feed (note that this isn’t the same as our Live Stream page…). 

To watch the conference’s Live Stream, click this button:

Conference Live Stream

You may not want to watch the whole thing (that’s why each church sends delegates…), but there are some highlights you may want to catch.  Here are a few of them:


Sunday 7: 00 PM Ordination Service
Monday 9:10 AM Episcopal Address
Monday 9:45 AM Legislation: Nominations, trustees, church closings
Monday 11:00 AM Service of Remembrance
Monday 2:40 PM Legislation:  Budget, Shared Ministry, etc.
Monday 3:30 PM Service of Passage (Retiring clergy “pass baton”)
Tuesday 8:45 AM Teaching Session (Kristina Gonzalez, Inclusive Church)
Tuesday 9:45 AM Reading of new clergy appointments
Tuesday 10:15 AM “Holy Conference”: Way Forward
Tuesday 12:30 PM Closing worship, adjournment


Here are some pictures from previous annual conferences…



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To learn more about our connection with the United Methodist Church, click this button:



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