Monday, February 2, 2009

St. Mary's Starts Work and Employment Ministry

Church Starts FAITH WORK Ministry

Work is an expression of our dignity and our involvement in God’s creation.  In this time of economic crisis, as more and more people are losing their jobs, it is harder for individuals to express this dignity. It is increasingly hard for individuals to pay their bills, provide shelter for their families, and generally make ends meet.  The latest data released by the State of Indiana shows that unemployment in Marshall County is 12 percent and rising. To help families in the surrounding area, St. Mary the Protectress Orthodox Community, 1000 South Michigan Street, Plymouth, Indiana, announces the formation of a new faith based ministry called FAITH WORK.  Because of the rapidly changing employment market and St. Mary’s desire to assist the entire community, the church is establishing Job Support groups at the church and will also have computers available to individuals to use to file unemployment claims and do job searches.   This is a positive process that deals with the universal problem of employment.

St. Mary’s is one of the Indiana faith-based community organizations which Workforce Development will supply computers and training to assist individuals file their unemployment claims and their weekly reports.  Indiana officials hope this new initiative will help reduce the long lines at unemployment offices across the state and cut down on the number of mistakes made by people applying online for benefits. Indiana residents will be able to uses the computers at the church and at other community organizations, and receive extra help in completing their claims.  The state’s stated goal is to give workers more convenient options.

St. Mary’s program is open to all area residents, both those of faith and those of no faith. There are no limitations on those participating in the program. Its mission is to work with all who are unemployed, underemployed, or seeking career changes.  The support groups will provide practical job seeking skills, career information, technology, and support and mentoring to participants.  The program supports the pursuit of work and fair wages.

The program is also looking for volunteers within the community to work with participants, helping craft resumes, develop interviews skills, mentoring and providing spiritual support.  Computers will be used for job searches, filing weekly unemployment claims, creating and printing resumes, and developing new job skills.

For more information about the FAITH WORK ministry or to volunteer or donate to the program at St. Mary’s, please call Father Theodosius Walker at 574-540-2048, or 574-952-4671, or email the church at monastery@synesius.com.

The community is under an allegiance to the hierarchy of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church under His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and the Catholicose of India, His Beatitude Baselios Thomas I. St. Mary the Protectress Orthodox Community is located at 1000 South Michigan Street, Plymouth, Indiana. The local church’s bishop is Mar Cassian Lewis of Columbus, Ohio. For more information, please contact the pastor Father Theodosius Walker at (574) 952-4671.

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