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Church offers seminars on unemployment
Series for jobless runs through March
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Forsyth County News
What: Employment Ministry Taskforce seminars for the unemployed
When: 8-10 a.m. every Thursday in March
Where: First Baptist Cumming, 1597 Sawnee Drive
Cost: Free, breakfast will be provided
Like so many Americans, Dennis Weiler lost his job at a construction equipment manufacturing company due to budget cuts.

“I was with them for five and a half years,” he said. “You go through all the getting mad and upset, and finally you resign yourself to the fact that you have to get out and find another job.”

While being unemployed for three months hasn’t been easy, Weiler said he thinks there may be some “light at the end of the tunnel” now, thanks at least in part to his church, First Baptist Cumming.

The church this month will begin a special communitywide outreach ministry to those who, like Weiler, find themselves jobless.

Each Thursday morning in March, the church will offer free seminars for the unemployed through a new ministry called the Employment Ministry Taskforce, or EMT.

First Baptist pastor Bob Jolly said he and other leaders of the church started the ministry because they saw a need in the congregation and wanted to help.

“When you’re in a church, it’s a family, and when one family member is unemployed, the entire family feels the stress,” Jolly said.

Jolly said the church began planning an outreach geared toward the unemployed about three months ago when more members began finding themselves without jobs.

“Every week when our staff met together to pray for everyone on the prayer list, we kept seeing the numbers of people on that list due to unemployment climbing higher and higher,” he said. “That’s when we started seriously strategizing and praying about what to do to help.”

As a result, four free seminars will be held on topics ranging from dealing with stress to improving a resume and better managing money.

Instructors at the sessions include Jolly; Doyle Hamilton, family and marriage pastoral counselor at First Baptist of Roswell; Roger S. Blackstock, a retired army colonel and corporate executive; and Casey Graham, founder of ReThink Money, a financial coaching service.

In addition, the seminars will direct participants to the Crossroads Career Network, a Web-based network working to help churches as they support the unemployed.

Jolly said the network provides a variety of resources for churches and the unemployed, including networking opportunities and career assessment tools.

“Everyone who comes will be given an access code to access materials there,,” he said.

While the communitywide sessions are a major focus of the task force, Jolly said work of the ministry will continue even after the seminars end.

He explained church members involved with the ministry will continue to assist the unemployed, offering them support through prayers, phone calls, emails and general encouragement.

“When you’re sitting at home all week, it’s certainly a great encouragement just to have someone give you a call or send you an email,” Weiler said. “Particularly having Christian friends who are praying for you, it puts a little wind back in your sails.”