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Profiles in Courage: UGM Edition

Posted by Lynn Yount Apr 27, 2017 12:00:05 PM

Courage was on display at Tuesday’s phase promotion celebration for the Men’s Recovery program. For one thing, it isn’t easy for anyone to admit they need help. Many of these men have had successful careers and families in the past, but their addictions damaged or destroyed those things. It’s hard and humbling to check into a homeless shelter for a recovery program when you once prided yourself on your self-reliance and accomplishments.

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Jesus Came to the Mental Asylum with Me

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Apr 20, 2017 2:51:02 PM

Heather Pollock, in Phase 4 of recovery at Anna Ogden Hall, gave her testimony at the Easter Sunrise Service. We shared snippets of her story in April's Mission News, but here's the amazing rest of the story:

The Lord’s goodness has followed me all the days of my life. Although my childhood was not the best, I can see that through the scattered ashes and my sad, broken home, he was with me all along. I can see his fingerprints throughout my entire life.

God began wooing my heart at a very young age, and although I did not know him yet, he knew me, and he chose me.

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Five Steps to the New You

Posted by Lynn Yount Apr 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM

 We’re all looking for the easiest way to change things about ourselves – our weight, our wrinkles, our temper, our energy level, our children, our neighbors … OK, maybe those last couple aren’t about ourselves.

In the great tradition of self-help books and magazines, here’s a radical new plan for transforming yourself into the person you were meant to be.

It’s called the Gospel.

Not a new plan, you say? OK, maybe not. But it’s always been radical. Here’s how it can change your life.

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How Failure Revealed My True Calling

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Apr 13, 2017 8:39:41 AM

In the last blog post, we talked about the paralysis and shame some people experience as adults because of their perceived failures in the past. Here's a story of how God used "failure" to inspire one young woman's passion for a career in serving others.

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Recovery and Vocational Education Go Hand in Hand

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Apr 6, 2017 9:42:18 AM

When trauma and schoolwork intersect

By Joel Brown, Vocational Education Manager

It is 9:25 in the morning and Billy (named changed to protect privacy) is just arriving to school.  The rest of the kids have already started their entry task and are working diligently to be the first to complete it.  Billy, however, slowly walks into the class and over to the teacher.  For the most part, he gets along with the adults in the classroom; however, because his clothes are dirty and rarely get washed the other students tend to stay away.  The teacher stealthily reaches into her desk drawer and pulls out a granola bar for Billy to eat.  He rarely gets breakfast. 

Billy isn’t doing very well in school; he participates when he can, but gets easily frustrated when he doesn’t understand the material.  In addition to struggling with learning, Billy also struggles with confrontation and authority and spends a lot of his school day in detention.

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A Ministry of Emotions

Posted by Lynn Yount Mar 30, 2017 4:40:19 PM

“Ah, look at all the lonely people.” – The Beatles

I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way, but let’s check: In which of these situations do you feel LEAST lonely?

A. In an airport. 
B. On a bus.
C. In line at the DMV.
D. Sitting in a pew at church.


I didn’t outline all the circumstances that might influence your answer, but I’m betting I’m not the only one who picked C.

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Recovery. For Life.

Posted by Lynn Yount Mar 23, 2017 1:09:53 PM

I was part of a brainstorming session about how to get the word out about UGM’s relatively new Recovery for Life weekly 12-step meetings. From a broader perspective, we wanted to come up with a brief way to explain why we have a whole department – Aftercare – devoted to people who aren’t staying at UGM.

We found that the answers were in the second half of the names:

For Life.


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Christ is the Light of the World

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Mar 21, 2017 12:50:51 PM

As spring begins, we thank God for light – more sunshine and longer days. They aren’t just conveniences. They remind us, after the cold and darkness of winter, of the hope of Christ’s resurrection and the new life He promises. 

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UGM Core Value: Thankful and Generous

Posted by ugminlandnorthwest Mar 16, 2017 12:42:47 PM

 Gratitude to the Rescue

By Gwen Schwartz

Since joining the UGM ministry team almost two years ago as the Director of Ministry Advancement, God has taken me on a personal journey – a journey I am still on.  He’s been showing me how vital it is to train my heart to respond to all of life with a thankful spirit, even during those difficult situations and seasons. 

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Serious Mental Illness: Four Things UGM Can Do

Posted by Lynn Yount Mar 15, 2017 9:54:45 AM

Serious mental illness. It’s a tough topic. But when we exist to serve the homeless, we simply cannot ignore it.

As we mentioned in a previous post, a common estimate is that one-third of homeless people suffer from serious mental illness. A mental illness that is serious by definition results in “serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.” (NIMH)

There are too many reasons for this to explore here in depth. Strong correlations between drug abuse and mental illness, family conflict and breakdown from untreated disorders, deinstitutionalization – they all intertwine to fuel homelessness.

So, as a homeless shelter provider, what can Union Gospel Mission do in the difficult cases?

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How to Help a Pandhandler


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