Last Wednesday, Secretary Hilda Solis and I were standing in the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington DC talking about jobs, faith and innovation.
Our partnership with the U.S. DOL began last fall when one of our Atlanta member churches hosted the Secretary at a Jobs Symposium in Atlanta, and she made a video presentation at our annual leader’s conference. Since then, Crossroads Career ministry leaders have partnered with the U.S. DOL in faith-based, career ministry events across the country in Birmingham, AL; Grand Rapids, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Orlando, FL; and Tampa, FL.
Jobs, Faith and Innovation.
The first half of the day was in the U.S. DOL Center of Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships:
- The first thing I noticed was our Crossroads Career “Thank You” banner on display.
- Deputy Director Ben Seigel with whom I worked over the past year reviewed plans for the day.
- I joined Director Phil Tom in a meeting with representatives of the United Methodist Church.
- Three other career ministry leaders and I met to share best practices with one another and Center team members.
The afternoon was spent at the White House for a convening on Faith-Based Social Innovation:
- About 150 participants came representing a variety of faith organizations.
- 14 spotlight presenters described their work from education and entrepreneurial ventures to agriculture and jobs.
- The CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service led a Town Hall session ideas on how to foster partnership and innovation
All Those Words. Any Works?
Yes! I heard lots of stories of cooperation and collaboration – person-to-person – faith-to-faith to government organizations. The results? Lives changed and made better.
But what about the politics? Ah, yes! There are politics, but that does not mean we have to play. May I recommend that we beware and be unafraid. Render under the government what is the government’s.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
1 Peter 2:13-14
Whether you are a job seeker, in ministry or working for the government, you and your work matter to God. You are His masterpiece, created for good works, which He prepared beforehand. Let everyone help everyone else. Together everyone achieves more.
But it is not so important what happened last week. It’s what happens next. I met 19 people, each one offering the possibility of relationship and partnership. As I reach out to each one, I will seek to serve and be a good steward of the manifold grace of God.
Our country continues to endure a serious employment crisis, and as Labor Secretary Solis said last fall, it is time for “all hands on deck.” How about you? What can you do wherever God has led you?
Finally, One Last Faith Statement.
If My people, who are called by My name,
humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14