Job Networking Ministry at Roswell UMC


Phil Schroeder

4/13/2009

Several Sundays ago I attended Job Seeker Sunday at Roswell UMC. What a great idea! On the 2nd and 4th Monday evenings, job seekers and a myriad of volunteers gather for dinner, inspiration and instruction as they seek to find new ways to put their skills to work. In fact, one of their leaders, Katherine Simons, will be interviewed this morning, April 13th, on WGST Radio at 9:45 AM.

Two years ago they averaged around 80 on Monday evenings. Last year 150 and this year over 300 job seekers. Not included in these numbers are the volunteers which have increased from 100 to over 160 during this time period.

This ministry leverages the skills and talents of those that volunteer. Most of the volunteers are skilled professionals from Roswell UMC  and other local churches as well as business owners in the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the Roswell Rotary.  They try to avoid launching anything new unless there are enough volunteers to make it happen. What is amazing is that so many people want to volunteer right now to make a difference. Every week they are adding new volunteers. You may think it would be difficult to maintain the enormous volume of volunteers needed to support this ministry but the ministry sees its volunteers applying their gifts and knowledge every week. They then have the blessing of watching people who are hurting leave with new hope and courage.  Most of the volunteers know the pain of this time and know how this kind of support, caring, skills and knowledge helps. 

One volunteer said, "I think this is the one area where local churches with Job Networking Groups can make a dramatic impact. We believe that God should be part of the job search. Doing this by yourself just causes despair. Also, it helps to meet with other people that you can team up with. Many of the churches have small group programs. By attending these meetings you can get resume help, interview help and meet others in industries you are trying to break into.  Last year we added a start your own business workshop for those that want to move away from corporate America.  The main thing is that these programs are offering
1.  Skills
2.  Tools 
3.  Hope in a desperate time
3.  A Support Network 
4.  Spiritual and emotional encouragement
5.  Industry guides to talk to
6.  Training. 
If you go to www.RUMCjobnetworking.com we have links to many of the groups in Atlanta besides our own including the largest group of churches that have formed an alliance called www.CrossroadCareers.com.  You may be wondering how we can afford to do this…we have had financial support from local churches, Publix, Altanta Business Bank, the Rotary, individuals, local businesses, the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, and people who have become employed and just want to say THANKS!"

Here is a recent email from the leaders of Roswell UMC's Job Networking Group:
Dear Job Networking Volunteers,

We want to be sure that you know how much your efforts are making a difference and appreciated by our job seekers.  Below are just a few of the comments that came in this week to Craig’s desk.  There were other notes saying where they had been hired. People are finding jobs!  Pastor Craig writes an email following every networking night to new job seekers asking them if he can help them and for their feedback.  The response is amazing.  The letter is very caring and inviting. Pastor Nancy reads every prayer request and calls people who leave phone numbers. She has helped some find help with depression at our counseling center. Imagine that!  RUMC is all over it!!

Also, one of the families who came to Job Seeker Sunday came back the following week and asked to join the church!  We saw others in attendance last week as well!  Sounds like we should do it again soon!!! 

Never doubt that you are doing God’s work!

We are also multiplying our efforts.  At least 5 different churches were in attendance learning how to make start this program at their home church!

Blessings!
Katherine Simons
Jay Litton

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 Hello Craig

  Thanks for following up with me. I first must say that I really enjoyed you talking a few meeting ago. I have not found anything nor have I heard from anyone. My faith is being tested. I am sure of it. I have contacted over a hundred companies and have only had rejection letters sent to me. The only glimmer of peace I have is coming to the RUMC meetings. I do my hardest to network and do the right things, but in the end I find that the best part of it is the message you guys bring to the table. I will keep praying.

 Thanks again and I look forward to the next meeting.

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          I recently accepted a position with the American Association for Justice in Washington, D.C., thanks in part to the wisdom I gained at several RUMC Job Networking Ministry meetings. If it had not been for the networking and resume tips attendees and speakers shared so freely (and the moral support to boot), I would not have been empowered or educated enough to find or secure this dream job. I was actually in the process of trying to start my own Job Networking Ministry at my church here in Birmingham when the position came to my attention. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to start on in D.C.!

 Thanks again to you all! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help others network from afar.

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    Thank you for the work y’all put into the job networking functions.  I have been twice now and will be there Monday 13Apr.  The speakers have been top notch and I am learning a new and different way to approach my job search.  I get to meet a few new people each time and come away with some great info from the various sessions.

     I have been out of work for 8 months now, and used up my general savings, plus half the house refinanced a year ago..  I won't be able to last the long run without declaring bankruptcy or something.  The job market for IT people is terrible.

       Jay has turned me around on the interview process and I see that helping tremendously.  There simply are few jobs and no interviews to use his material in.

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      You guys were great I am working on the job seekers ministry at my church. Mount Paran North. I did finally get a great job as director of Corporate safety with (confidential). I travel frequently because I am responsible for over 300 stores. Please let me know how I can help your wonderful ministry.

      Sincerely

      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T 


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