Praying for Relief for Homeowners

Paulson acknowledged that more needs to be done to help homeowners, telling lawmakers, "I hear your frustration, more needs to be done and we're going to keep working on it."

Many of the faith leaders at today's gathering have gotten a close look at the human effects of the country's economic crisis, hearing of the problems from more and more of their congregants.

"The congregation is on the front lines," Kolin said. "Often the church is the first to know when something goes wrong."

"When people are in trouble and have exhausted their reserves, they come to the church for help," Webb said.

Pastor Bill Knezovich knows this too well. Three families in his congregation are either foreclosed or facing foreclosure. In one family facing foreclosure, the mother works three jobs while the father works split shifts in order to support their three children.

"These aren't people who aren't doing anything," Knezovich said. "Our hope is that Paulson and the rest of the government wake up to the need for modified loans so people who want to pay their mortgages can do so."

These faith leaders see themselves filling a hole left by government inaction to solve the needs of individual Americans.

"When people lose their jobs, sometimes the only hope they have is in God when they lose hope in government," said Father Gene Demecais of St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno, Calif.

And as Webb closed the prayer session, he led the assembled in a rendition of "We Will Overcome," a favorite gospel hymn they all pray will come true for their neighbors in trouble.

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