In light of today’s economy, it’s no secret many people are out of work as the unemployment rate continues to rise.
Leaders at University Baptist Church (UBC) in Coral Gables feel the pressing burden to take care of their own–church members who have lost their jobs. In an effort to reach their church and community, UBC launched a job blog through its website, www.UBCJobs.WordPress.com, in hopes to match job seekers with potential employers.
“It’s really easy to use,” says UBC volunteer, Peter Raffalski. “Employers fill out a brief form with their contact information, and job seekers can easily review jobs that are available.”
Raffalski, an executive with Gibraltar Private Bank is part of the volunteer leadership team at the church.
He says, “UBC has always been committed to missions around the world, yet we are feeling an increased burden to act as the church in Acts and take care of each other.”
“We wondered, ‘How can we have a powerful testimony as a church and reach out to others when several of our members are hurting because of job loss and financial concerns?’ We knew we had to do something about it,” he said.
The website is just the beginning of the group’s efforts to help the unemployed find jobs.
“One of our members who is a human resources executive held a resume writing workshop, and it filled up right away,” says Raffalski.
But, the church’s response to this trial is nothing new. UBC is already accustomed to surviving storms.
Founded in 1926, the church sits next to the original location of the University of Miami. That year, South Florida was devastated by a massive hurricane–hence giving the Miami Hurricanes their name.
In today’s dollars that storm left about $2 billion in damages.
Raffalski says, “The founding pastor stood amongst the rubble on the church grounds back in 1926 and told everyone, ‘The Spirit of God is leading us to build a great church joining North and South America.'”
“Eighty-plus years later we are able to carry out that mission and jump in when our metal is tested once again,” says Raffalski. According to Raffalski the site has gotten 100–200 hits per day since they launched it Feb. 1.
The church is also planning a job fair that will encourage networking opportunities. It will include advice from a personal finance expert to help individuals with budgeting issues.
Raffalski has been an active volunteer member of the church for seven years. He credits the church staff for using cutting-edge technology to help the church deal with current issues.
“Pastor Bill White and the staff of UBC are great maestros. They allow the Spirit to work through the congregation,” he says.
“I hope many other churches will be able to replicate a program like this.”
For more information, visit www.UBCMiami.com.