After 25 years, the Job Networking Ministry at Roswell United Methodist near Atlanta remains relevant. The outreach serves those between jobs, the "under-employed" and people trying to upgrade from current positions. In addition, the church brings in employers offering jobs, all in an environment that promotes spiritual healing.
(Locator: Near Atlanta, Georgia)
(Women in program sing together)
(Voice of Stacey Howell) "It's the best job I've ever had. When you're empowering people, you get empowered."
Laid off after 30 years working information technology, Stacey Howell found her passion leading a non-profit that helps women overcome adversity.
Stacey Howell, CEO/Executive Director, Every Woman Works: "Finding this position was a spiritual journey through God, and Roswell United Methodist was one of the vessels that helped me get there."
(Facilitator to guests) "So, why did you come?"
The job networking ministry at Roswell United Methodist Church near Atlanta has been helping people find their gifts and their next job for 25 years.
(Greeter) "Welcome to Roswell United Methodist Church."
Twice a month, hundreds gather for resume advice, workshops, and a meal. The program offers much more than career guidance, says the Rev. Nancy Folsom Lane.
The Rev. Nancy Folsom Lane, Roswell United Methodist Church: "Probably one of the most recurring themes that I hear over and over again as a pastor is, 'I came to network, and I met God.' So many folks come here and their faith is renewed. It's renewed because they look across the table and somebody is sitting with them and breaking bread and sharing a meal saying – how can I pray for you?"
(Job networking participant) "Would someone else be like 'Thank God you're here!'"
Job seekers join volunteers to eat dinner, hear a keynote speaker, and share a Bible study at their tables. Paul Godden first came here after losing a 32-year corporate job. He is now a recruiter.
Paul Godden, Recruiter and Jobs Ministry Volunteer: "The verse they pick out makes you think and it's not just about your own situation, but the conversation goes around how you can help the other person at the table, which is just fantastic."
Through good economic times and bad, the jobs ministry remains relevant, says church member and longtime volunteer Katherine Simons.
Katherine Simons: Roswell United Methodist Church: "When the market improved, then they were anxious to get back to finding the job that really fit their gifts. So today there are people that are coming here who are employed, under-employed and unemployed."
After Suzanne Wells relied on this job network to find a job in 2015, she joined the church and now volunteers with the ministry.
Suzanne Wells, Roswell United Methodist Church: "I just felt like this was where I needed to be. This is a place where people really care about you and your life. They want the best for you."
The Rev. Nancy Folsom Lane: "As a United Methodist pastor, I'm very proud that people that come here experience grace. They may have been told some things that really have broken their spirit, but when they come through our doors, they get love! And they get acceptance. And, they get the power of the Holy Spirit. And they may or may not be ready for that! But when the Spirit gets ahold of you– good, good things happen."