“From [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” – Ephesians 4:15-16
UGM couldn’t be the comprehensive ministry it has become without a few “supporting ligaments,” particularly the Auxiliary.
The UGM Auxiliary is only a few years younger than UGM itself. It began as the Women’s Auxiliary, a group of the UGM board members’ wives reaching out to their churches and friends to support the new ministry with donations of food, clothing, linens, and money. Albert Arend, the founder of UGM, said a few years later, “Now, whenever the Mission board has a problem too big for us, we just pass it on to the Women’s Auxiliary, and they do it so easily that we’re embarrassed.”
A few things have changed since then – for one thing, the Auxiliary is no longer restricted to women – but its basic function as an essential support to the work of UGM has never wavered. Our dedicated Auxiliary members explain their work best themselves – if a little too modestly. Pat Matson, a board member for the Coeur d’Alene Auxiliary, recently gave the following presentation to explain to new attendees what it’s all about.
What the Auxiliary Is and Does
By Pat Matson
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “auxiliary” as giving help or aid, assisting or supporting.
UGM Auxiliary is a group of people who help and support UGM, residents and staff, and engage the community to do likewise.
Auxiliary works in 3 areas: Prayer, Presence, and Practical Projects.
UGM’s mission is to partner with the Inland Northwest to reach the poor with the love and power of the gospel so they may become God-dependent, contributing members of society.
We practice our God-dependence by praying for residents and their children, program staff, support staff, leadership team … individuals, groups, and the entire ministry.
“On God we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” - 2 Corinthians 1:10b-11
One time I heard a youth leader say, “Basic to showing love is being there!”
Showing up! Auxiliary get-togethers, work parties, team efforts, phase-up celebrations for residents, Commencement, tours, volunteering, Table Talk, Annual Gathering – these are all ways of “showing up.”
At Auxiliary get-togethers, we gain information about the programs, hear from residents and meet some of them, enjoy fellowship together, and participate in the day’s designated purpose.
Auxiliary teams step up to do a task: wrapping Christmas gifts, prepping for our get-togethers (yesterday, a team of 10 helped set up for this meeting; earlier, a team of 5 met with staff to plan it); taking the Christmas Trees of Sharing out into the community brought in over $5,000 for the ministry.
At each get-together, we take an offering for a designated project. Some of the ones we’ve done in the past include: picture frames, bulletin boards, a quad stroller for the children’s department, study Bibles, diapers, feminine products, gift cards, camp items, summer fun, and the housewarming shower for residents who are soon to move into their own places.
Please remember the awesome ways that you can help and support the ministry of UGM by your prayers, your presence, and your participation in our practical projects.
Anyone interested in supporting the Union Gospel Mission’s ministry is welcome to attend UGM Auxiliary, which generally has five meetings per year. Find meeting dates at our Events page. Please call 509.535.8510 in Spokane or 208.665.4673 in Coeur d’Alene for more information.