Several Sundays ago Rev. Phil Shroeder from Conference Connectional Ministries attended Job Seeker Sunday at Roswell UMC. Every second and fourth Monday evening, 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.
Two years ago Roswell averaged around 80 on Monday evenings. Last year the average was up to 150, and this year more 300 job seekers attend on average. On Monday, April 13, 400 were in attendance. 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. 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 :
3. Hope in a desperate time
3. A Support Network
4. Spiritual and emotional encouragement
5. Industry guides to talk to
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!"
For more, read Phil Shroeder's Blog by clicking "Blogs" in the header above.