Leading Our Congregations in the New Reality

Time to Discern

The time to start thinking about how we are going to regather in our church buildings is now, so we are not scrambling, and we are making thoughtful, wise decisions.

We may also want to start discerning spiritually how God is calling us to do ministry differently moving forward.

To quote scripture: “God is doing something new, do you not perceive it?”

We are setting up leadership groups to help you lead, to ask good questions in order to garner excellent results.


Before we reenter these are questions we should be asking:

  • What are the consequences of a poorly executed reentry?
  • Who will be making the decisions to re-open our buildings? Will this be session or a special committee? How will that decision be made? When will we make that decision?
  • What information does our leadership need to make a wise decision?
  • What are the State’s mandates?
  • How will we be in conversation with other faith communities in our area?
  • How will the building be affected? How will cleaning be handled? What about other groups that use the building?


What will worship look like in the new reality?

Online? In person? Or both?

What will it look like if:

  • we can’t be within six-feet of one another
  • you can only have so many people in a room
  • singing escalates the chance of spreading disease
  • people are afraid to touch the offering plate

What about our most vulnerable participants? How do we keep them safe?

Ministry to all

Some will rush back to the sanctuary; others will not be back until there is a vaccine. How will you minister to all?

We have connected to people who will never to able to join in the sanctuary. How will we continue to be in ministry with them?

Changes, Blessings and Stories

What changes have we made that we want to keep? What are the blessings that are coming out of this time? What do we need to “let go”?

What are the Stories of hope and life and faith that need to be shared? How might we do that?

Leadership Moving Forward

Here are some questions to be asking leadership about your ministry while still in lock down.

How are we doing meeting the spiritual and real needs of our congregations and larger community?

How can we come of this stronger? What are new and innovative ways to be church today?

We are always stronger in community. So let’s get together and support one another.

Regional Leadership Conversations

The Reentry Team of Presbytery of Newton is hosting Regional Leadership Conversations so that we can together engage the questions that need to asked and assist our sessions, leaders and congregations in planning for move forward into the new reality on the other side of the Pandemic.  The first round of conversations will be for Pastors and moderators.

Additional conversation will be scheduled for all church leadership.

We ask that you register for the conversation by your region. If that date and time doesn’t work for you please choose another date. While participation is not mandatory it is STRONGLY recommended that you participate in the regional conversation.  If any of the dates do not work for you an additional date will be scheduled for the first week of June. Those who do not register will receive a follow up communication.

Please register as soon as possible. A Zoom link will be sent to you following your registration. 

Regional Leadership Conversations Registration

Group 1 – Tuesday, May 26 – 1 pm

Panther Valley, Andover, Blairstown, Hackettstown, Branchville, Franklin, Highlands, Newton, Yellow Frame, Ogdensburg, Sparta, Stanhope, Sussex, Beemerville

Group 2 – Wednesday, May 27 – 10 am

Alpha, Belvidere, Fairmount, Lower Valley, Delaware, Musconetcong, Hazen – First Oxford, Harmony, Oxford Second, Pilgrim, Westminster, Rockport, Stewartsville, Old Greenwich, Washington

Group 3 – Wednesday,  May 27  – 1 pm

Boonton, Chatham Township, East Hanover, Meyersville, Kitchell Memorial, Calvary- Florham Park, Madison, Mendham, Morris Plains, Morristown, New Vernon, Parsippany, Stirling

Group 4 – Thursday, May 28 – 10 am

Hildale Park, Ogden Memorial, Chester, Denville, Dover, Flanders, Long Valley, Mine Hill, Rockaway, Succasunna, Wharton Community, Hungarian, Berkshire Valley, Oak Ridge, Whippany