Recents in Beach

Cynthia Bernjamin: Faith-based groups help many find work

Have you heard of faith-based networking? I got a question about it from a LinkedIn connection Kurt Prister.

After reading my LinkedIn profile, he was curious about my role as first lady at my church, Rebirth Ministries. My husband Jeff works at Xerox but he also pastors. I work full-time too, and we get to work with a diverse group of people and needs at Rebirth. Prister and I had an interesting talk with a few others at (of course) a networking event. As conversations go, ours evolved into a discussion about the role of faith in helping with job searches. It was good hearing about faith-based networks in which professionals are helping people land jobs.

With news that the unemployment rate rose to 8.6 percent in February, businesspeople can expect to come face-to-face with the local, very real need for jobs. What better place for people to take the conversation than places of worship, and faith networks that offer prayer and spiritual support.

“I heard the calling at my church for an HR professional to sign up and come help,” said Kym Bailey, one of the workers in the Keeping the Faith Ministry at St. Louis Church in Pittsford. She is a recruiter and director at Cochran, Cochran and Yale but says “it’s much more rewarding when you do it just to help people.”

Keeping the Faith Ministry has been active for years and has a LinkedIn group anyone can join. The ministry introduces a five-week series each spring and fall that includes weekly classes on topics such as résumé writing and critiques and what to do and what not to do during interviews. They also offer one-on-one counseling as needed. This year’s series is still in the works because most former members now have jobs.

Thomas Green helped organize a faith-based networking initiative called By Faith Employment Network. The group met at Mt. Olivet where they offered prayer and spiritual support, networking, an inspirational speaker, help with résumés, job preparation and more. Most members landed jobs, including Green.

Supporting the Unemployed with Networking, also known as S.U.N., is a faith-based networking group that meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday monthly at the Church of the Holy Spirit Parish Hall in Webster, says coordinator Kim Haynes. S.U.N. begins with prayer and spiritual reflection. Among its offering, a Mass for the unemployed. S.U.N. is an initiative through the Webster/Penfield Catholic Community and involves four parishes. Email Reach Keeping the Faith at

See original article for credit and authenticity.

Post a Comment