Friday, January 29, 2010

Mor Gregorios Community Center Continues to Provide Free Help and Free Lunch

Free Help with Unemployment and Free Lunch

The Mor Gregorios Community Center continues to provide help for individuals
with their unemployment claims. Using the center¹s computers, individuals
can file their unemployment claims and weekly unemployment reports, as well
as receive other worked related help.

Since the first of this year, the center has seen an increase in the number
of people seeking help. Last week, the Indiana Department of Workforce
Development announced that Indiana¹s unemployment rate had increased to 9.9
percent. This has also meant increased numbers at the Mor Gregorios
Community Center.

The Mor Gregorios Community Center provides free help to individuals in
Marshall, Starke, Fulton, and other surrounding counties. Volunteers trained
by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on how to file
unemployment claims and weekly reports provide the assistance. The DWD also
provided the center with computers for the program. Other computers were
provided by Ancilla College. The center is one of the several community and
faith based organizations, which have partnered with Workforce Development.

On Sunday, lunch is provided to all using the services. And every day there
is coffee and support and help. Lunch is served on other days as well.

According to the Center¹s director, Father Theodosius Walker, ³Work is an
expression of our dignity and our involvement in God¹s creation. In this
time of economic crisis, as more and more people are losing their jobs, it
is harder for them to express this dignity. It is also harder for them to
pay their bills, provide shelter for their families, and generally make ends
meet.²

To file unemployment claims in Indiana, claimants must file online. Many
people lack the computer skills and computers to do so. Some find access at
friend¹s homes and libraries. But, more are turning to the Mor Gregorios
Community Center¹s employment program. For those who lack any computer
skills, volunteers help individuals actually filing their claims. The center
also helps individuals prepare resumes and file for jibs online.
Interviewing skills are also taught and practiced. There is also an
employment support group. The groups and the volunteers also help in any
way needed to provide practical job skills, career information, education,
technology, and support and mentoring to participants. The program supports
the pursuit of work and fair wages.

In addition to the employment program, the Mor Gregorios Community also
provides several other public programs. Some of these programs include the
following:

* Recovery Program: 12-Step classes and small groups for those with
additions, hurts, hang-ups, and other problems. Individual and pastoral and
spiritual guidance and direction are also available.
* Re-Entry Program: Working with recently released inmates from jail and
prison, helping them become productive citizens.
* Information and Referral: Case management. Provides information and
referral for emergency assistance to other agencies and programs.
* Community Development: Help with community outreach, mentoring, and
community development.

Father Theodosius said that, ³The early Christians, because of their faith
and experience of God¹s love, were able to perceive one another as brethren.
In their view, those on the margins of society (the poor, the widows, the
orphans, and the strangers) were the scale by which the justice of the whole
society was weighted. We can make a difference in the lives of your friends
and neighbors, and are called to do so by God.²

All Mor Gregorios Community Center¹s programs are open to all people.
Participants do not need to be Christians. The programs are open for those
of faith and of no faith. Everyone qualifies for the programs offered. All
programs seek to be supportive, respectful, and are always confidential.

The hours of the Mor Gregorios Community Center are as follows:
* Sunday ­ 12:00 noon until 4:00 pm with free lunch served
* Monday ­ 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
* Tuesday ­ 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
* Wednesday ­ 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
* Thursday ­ 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
* Friday ­ by appointment
* Saturday ­ closed

The Mor Gregorios Community Center is located at 1000 South Michigan Street,
in the white A-Frame building on the corner of Oak Hill and Michigan
Streets, across from the Webster Elementary School, in Plymouth, Indiana.
Their telephone number is (574) 540-2048.

The Mor Gregorios Community is under an allegiance with the Syriac Orthodox
Church lead by His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and the Catholicose of
India, His Beatitude Baselios Thomas I. Their bishop is Archbishop John
Cassian Lewis of Columbus, Ohio. The executive director is Father
Theodosius Walker.

For more information, please contact Father Theodosius at (574) 540-2048, or
by email at monastery@synesius.com.

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