Friday, December 19, 2008

Let's Start a Movement!

In these economic hard times, the Christian ethic of taking care of one another becomes, if possible, extra urgent. Immigrant communities, such as Greeks, have always taken care of one another economincally as a matter of course. Your nephew comes over from Greece with nothing, you start him in your restaurant until he either finds another job or learns the restaurant business and establishes his own “place”. The trouble is, a young man comes from Serbia and the Greeks may hardly even be aware of his arrival. Perhaps nobody helps him find work. We all need to do for one another what my hypothetical Greek does for his nephew.

People in your parish are going to start losing jobs now, if they haven’t already. Maybe you will even be one of them. So I have a proposal. Let’s all do our share to help each other find work, and do it through our parishes. What if every working member of your parish were to check with his company, check with others, too, to find out about any job openings, and write them down, and leave the list in the church office? And what if every church member who needs a patio built or some trees chopped down or children watched were to notify the pastor or church secretary? Why not call a plumber or pet-sitter from your own parish instead of out of the yellow pages?

So if you are reading this, and you are a priest or pastor, I hope you will encourage your flock to bring you all the job leads they can unearth, from anywhere. And encourage everybody to come to you when they are looking for work, as well. If you are reading this and are a layperson, please, please, go speak to your pastor and ask him to start this little ministry in your parish. And whoever you are, would you please consider spreading this idea via your own blog?

P.S.) This kind of ministry is especially urgent for the Orthodox to start organizing, seeing how many converts, as well as immigrants, are coming to us jobless. We simply must prepare to help them out. (James 2:15-16)


Ioanna said...

A very important thing to do at this point and time. As a graduate student I can't do a whole lot, but my parish has an annual tube sock drive during Advent where people donate tube socks to be given to a homeless ministry, as well as donating food and toys to a local food bank. I'll be passing this blog entry along to my priest (who also keeps a blog) as something to keep in mind during these tough times.