Friday, March 22
The Presbytery of Alaska
Unemployment smothers hope in Southeast Alaska. As in many regions, the economic recession and loss of traditional industries has left communities filled with people who have long been out of work. Many whose villages offer shrinking opportunity for employment come to Juneau, Alaska’s capital city.
Members of Chapel by the Lake, Juneau, sought to help people find work. Under the umbrella of Love INC (Love in the name of Christ)—an ecumenical social services agency—they served as instructors and mentors in the new Jobs for Life program.
Openly Christian and open to all, the program offers instruction, experience, and encouragement in the “soft skills” that so often determine who gets hired. Resumes are written and critiqued, proper dress for interviews and the workplace is discussed, and interviewing skills are practiced and polished. Connections with employers are shared. Scripture informs every topic discussed, so that workplace ethics and interpersonal relations are addressed from a Christian perspective.
Chapel by the Lake members serve as mentors by participating in the classes; developing continuing relationships; offering encouragement, experience, and prayer; and celebrating success.
“Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord, not men,” is Paul’s exhortation in Colossians 3:23 (RSV). For those who have been out of work for months or more, hurdles can be high and hope scarce. Chapel by the Lake, partnering with other Juneau congregations and Love INC, seeks to bring in the name of Christ what individuals alone cannot—“Now I have hope,” as one newly hired man put it.
The Presbytery of Alaska is home to 1,053 members of 15 congregations in the panhandle of Alaska. Rainbow Glacier Camp is in Haines.
Let us join in prayer for:
David Dobler, pastor to the presbytery
Christina Brown, treasurer
Let us pray
Holy God, because we are made in your image, our good work and honest toil bears your imprint, and by it we bless family and neighbor. We pray for those who seek employment, especially those for whom the search is long and responsibilities are heavy. We thank you for those who give of themselves so that others might find work. Sustain those who seek, and use those who help. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.