pastor_mena.jpgLocal faith leaders gathered at Israel Baptist Church Tuesday for an Interfaith Worker Justice of Greater Washington seminar focused on helping congregations support members of their communities impacted by the economic crisis. The 15 participants shared experiences of how the economic downturn is impacting their congregations, and discussed ideas for responding, such as forming support groups, using the congregation website to share job opportunities, and expanding services to the community. rnrnThe seminar also included a tutorial what laid off workers should know about accessing unemployment benefits, provided by Courtney Chappell of the DC Employment Justice Center. Ramon Zepeda of DC Jobs with Justice also explained the recourse available to workers’ who suspect they are being cheated by employers. Participants walked away with armed with contacts for emergency assistance, legal resource referrals, and a Congregational Toolkit published by Interfaith Worker Justice. rn