God leads Raleigh UMC in Job Search Support Ministry
By Rita Jones
Outreach Chair, Raleigh UMC
In the midst of this time of economic turmoil, Raleigh United Methodist Church found itself questioning how to help those who are unemployed, underemployed, or in transition.
The answer presented itself in the form of bi-monthly meetings open to the community and congregation to help with Job Support.
During Raleigh UMC’s own economic suffering, depending on God’s direction for what best could be done to help those searching for work, the Outreach Committee challenged the church to step out in faith.
The first gathering was March 25, 2009 and continued through May 22.
The church pulled together representatives from different organizations to assist people with handling their finances, being interviewed, preparing resumes, and transitional training.
Prayer, devotions, friendship, and networking–as well as directions to various churches and organizations offering assistance– were made available.
Sixty plus people from the community attended the five sessions, finding not only job support, but spiritual support .
God blessed Raleigh with the donation of three computers, monitors, and printers as well as a member with the desire to lead classes for those who needed basic computer training.
Time and opportunity to network and use computers for job search and resume assistance were also made available. God continues to grow this arm of the Support Ministry.
Sav-A-Lot Grocery chain became aware of Raleigh’s desire to help. They offered to hold a job fair in Raleigh’s Fellowship Hall. This became a reality on June 24.
Raleigh’s doors were opened that morning at 8 A.M. and stayed open until 4 P.M. Sav-A-Lot representatives interviewed and assisted 103 neighbors searching for employment. Fifty seven of those were management candidates, the other 46 were sent to local stores for further interviews. The day was definitely a blessing and success!
The story does not end there. God continues to fill Raleigh’s membership with passion to help His children.
Through the efforts of Ted Hotaling, Raleigh’s Job Search Support began and continues. Three hours a day, four days a week, Ted and his helpers welcome neighbors. They assist them by actively seeking employment for those who need work, empowering them to better their lives. They spend hours calling prospective employers, helping to match them with those needing jobs.
To this date, 70 plus people have requested and received assistance. Eight of those 70 have found gainful employment.
God continues to bless Raleigh UMC’s personal and collective efforts at transforming individual lives and community as they believe and commit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We trust this story continues.