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Blog

Read our latest blog posts

Inspiring Stories of Women to Read this Women’s History Month

10/20/2021

The month of October is full of amazing events, celebrations and fall colours, but it’s also Women’s History Month in Canada. So let’s take time to celebrate women and it starts with reading this blog post!  Here at Union Gospel Mission, we know that women are strong, inspiring, resilient and can create lasting impacts for […]

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Every Child Matters. Recognizing Orange Shirt Day and The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

09/29/2021

Since 2013, September 30th has been observed as Orange Shirt Day, a movement to recognize the colonial legacy of residential schools and commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day recalls the experience of residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad. When she was six years old, she was cruelly stripped of her new orange […]

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7 Simple Ways You Can Build Your Resilience

09/15/2021

Lessons In Resilience You Can Apply To Your Life: By Nicole Hui As you know, September is always a busy month, and this year it’s only worse. With the fourth wave of COVID-19 hitting across the country, a federal election well underway, back to school season and more, the transition from summer to fall may […]

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What You Need to Know About the Opioid Overdose Epidemic in 2021

08/25/2021

You’ve probably heard about the Opioid Overdose Epidemic on the news – or maybe you’ve lost a loved one to an illicit drug overdose. Maybe, it feels like you keep hearing the same things over and over – and you aren’t even sure what they really mean. Or, maybe, like so many of us – […]

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Learning to set the table again?…who would have thought?

07/23/2021

As the pandemic has reconfigured how we serve our communities, these two food program leaders rethink what it means to be hospitable and give some practical suggestions on how to approach returning to hosting those in our communities in the midst of a new normal, one step at a time. Main Article Returning to Hospitality […]

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20 Fun, Easy Activities Under $5 To Keep Your Kids Busy This Summer

07/14/2021

By Nicole Mucci Summer is well under underway. If our recent record-breaking heatwave (not to mention spending most of Summer 2020 dealing with COVID restrictions) has taught us anything, it’s that parents need to keep some fun at-home activities on hand for our tiny humans. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some fun, affordable ($5 […]

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10 Bucket List Hikes To Conquer Near Vancouver This Summer

06/24/2021

Hiking season is here again!  By Nicole Hui Hey Vancouver, happy hiking season—aka one of our favourite seasons! After a long season of what felt like never-ending rain and even the coldest Vancouver June Day in decades, we are finally enjoying sunny skies that are perfect to kick off hiking season. Fun (or not so […]

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Holly & Xander’s Story

06/08/2021

Investing in Our Tomorrow When Holly and her children first moved to Vancouver in 2007, they lived in a crowded three-bedroom basement suite with relatives. Eventually, they found housing in the Strathcona neighbourhood right around the corner from UGM. Since venturing through the doors for a meal, UGM has been a core part of their […]

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Rest and Life in Third Spaces

05/28/2021

By: Kari Bergrud The concept of a ‘third space’ was new to me, or so I thought, but when it was explained I could instantly picture many of the third spaces that I have had over the course of my life. The vintage and second hand shops that I would go to just to visit […]

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10 Simple Daily Practices To Improve Your Mental Health

05/21/2021

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month! By Nicole Hui May is Mental Health Awareness month! Focusing on your mental health can begin with this blog post, because we’re bringing you practical tips to help improve your mental health and wellbeing, starting today. Because your mind, body and soul deserve to be healthy and happy! Did you […]

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The Power of Empowering Stories

04/21/2021

Informed Consent – What Is It? Why Does It Matter? Written by: Lindsay Wu, Community Engagement Coordinator People in our community are inspiring. Despite facing intense challenges like homelessness, poverty and addiction, our neighbours live out remarkable stories of resilience, transformation and hope every day. These stories must be told. But how can we at […]

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6 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Life This Spring to Start Fresh

04/16/2021

Less Stuff, Less Stress I think we can all agree that, despite popular belief, “less” can be better—like less stress, less clutter, less burnout. Spring is in full bloom and the new season and extra light is providing a dose of hope. In light (pun intended) of fresh starts, this is the perfect time to […]

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Union Gospel Mission Serving the LGBTQ2S+ Community

04/15/2021

Occasionally we at Union Gospel Mission get questions from the public about our LGBTQ2S+ community in Metro Vancouver. We appreciate these questions, because it provides an opportunity for us to be clear about our policies and practices. You may have heard of other organizations called ‘Union Gospel Mission,’ both across Canada and the United States, […]

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Re-imagining Church Properties for the Common Good: An Interview with Dave Harder from Parish Properties

03/24/2021

Jonathan: Dave, before moving to Ottawa and founding Parish Properties, you were co-pastoring a congregation here in Vancouver.  Did that experience contribute to you launching Parish Properties? Dave: In a roundabout way, yes. The inciting incident in terms of my shift was in Vancouver, where I was part of a more charismatic, performance-driven Sunday expression […]

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6 Easy Ways to Celebrate the Women in Your Life This International Women’s Day

03/04/2021

These Ideas Are So Simple And Impactful By Nicole Hui Behind every successful woman is herself—but it never hurts to have some support along the way! International Women’s Day is coming up March 8, reminding us all to celebrate the strength of women, stand up for gender equality, and uplift the women in our lives.  […]

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Cherishing Life’s Little Miracles

02/12/2021

A UGM Love Story To Celebrate Rodger & Barbara’s Story By Jenessa Chan “As soon as Rodger saw me, he knew I was the one he was gonna marry,” Barbara says. Though it’s been over 40 years since then, she’s still bewildered by his certainty. “It was just a gut feeling,” Rodger explains. “I just […]

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Relationship Tips from this Couple of 35+ Years

02/11/2021

How To Keep The Spark By Nicole Mucci Do you ever wonder how some people can make being married look easy? Are you hoping to fill your love toolbox with practical knowledge? We’ve got you covered — or more accurately, Barbara & Rodger, two long-time Union Gospel Mission staff, and lovebirds of nearly 40 years […]

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A Season to Linger

01/26/2021

By: Louise Tischhauser  “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, and in that waiting a new character in community; and in community, solidarity and hope for 2021 and beyond.” Romans 5:4 We are all somewhere (or everywhere) on Paul’s spectrum. Suffering. Persevering. Building character. Hoping. In these present times, […]

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How To Weather The Winter Blues: Top 5 Ways to Bring the Sunshine Back

01/12/2021

Fact: It’s 2021 now. Fact: COVID did not magically disappear. And you basically feel like you are living one big groundhog day. Fact: Blue Monday is approaching this week (the ‘saddest’ day of the year) and you have the January blues. (Womp, womp.) Did you know the Winter Blues are an actual thing? According to the […]

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Merry Ideas for a COVID Christmas: 9 ways to celebrate a really difficult year

12/16/2020

Sing it with me, to the tune of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas”: I don’t want a lot for Christmas, There are just some things I need… A couple masks in my stocking, And that new COVID-vaccine. I don’t wanna be alone, Love to have guests in my home, Make my dreams come […]

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Finding Community… Even In The Storm Drain

11/20/2020

Who Cares for the City? By Kari Bergrud Welcome to the first edition of the UGM Church Relations InCommon- Community News! As a department at Vancouver’s Union Gospel Mission, our vision is for the Church and communities to be woven together, pursing the Common Good and actively participating in Christ’s call for human flourishing.  By […]

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Shelter From The Storm

11/12/2020

For months, the government has been telling all of us: “Stay safe by staying home as much as you can.” Imagine hearing that message if you didn’t have somewhere to call home. It’s devastating. I work in the Downtown Eastside and, for so many people I know and love, that’s a painful reality. Having nowhere […]

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Crises Colliding: What You Need to Know About COVID-19 & The Opioid Epidemic

10/15/2020

What happens if the very measures that are supposed to keep you safe from COVID-19 put you at risk of another deadly crisis? For many of our neighbors struggling with mental health and addiction, the collision between COVID-19 and the opioid crisis has escalated into a new level of urgent threat. Deaths of our neighbors […]

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September, School & Self-Care During COVID-19

09/09/2020

We’re now 6 months into the turbulent airplane ride also known as COVID-19 and if you’re a parent like me, you still feel like you’re hurtling through the continuously bumpy skies. Metaphorical air masks are dangling, and if you haven’t done it already, you need to put yours on first before you can help anyone […]

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Hiking for Our Lives: Nature as a Lifeline in COVID-19 — and Beyond

08/11/2020

When the world feels like it’s crashing down all around us, drinking in a fiery sunset can remind us that there’s still hope. Whether it’s hiking to a mountain peak or camping by a pristine lake, getting out in nature is a crucial lifeline. But beyond rescuing our sanity during COVID-19, nature is also saving […]

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Save Your Sanity With These 6 Parenting Tips For Summer

07/15/2020

Summer means freedom, especially for kids. Except this time, you’re feeling trapped smack-dab in the middle of a global pandemic. There were no how-to survival guides on parenting during school lockdown restrictions — and you’re desperate for new ideas. Now, you’re trying to figure out how to stay sane this summer, while you’re juggling more […]

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3 Reasons Why We Need to Invest In Women (And How We’re Going to Do It)

07/06/2020

Can you believe that we’re already halfway through 2020? Neither can we! This milestone is especially exciting for Union Gospel Mission because that means we’re steadily inching closer to 2021, when our brand new Women & Families Centre can open up and welcome hundreds of women and children to safety and stability inside. We’ve been […]

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Bridging The Fringes: What It’s Like Delivering Help During a Pandemic

06/12/2020

We never know what we are going to find when we jump inside our rescue vehicle and set out for the day. All we do know is that people always need help, and they need help now more than ever.  A day as an Outreach Worker at Union Gospel Mission means that we are driving […]

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Learning & Unlearning: Building an Anti-Racist Community at UGM

06/09/2020

The past few weeks we have all been grappling with the racist violence that has shaken our world. We have refocused our attention on the deep pain being inflicted on minorities, whether they be Black, Indigenous or People of Colour (BIPOC). More than ever, we are becoming more aware of the deeply rooted racism that […]

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Mothers Day: Celebrating Our Superheroes

05/04/2020

While things sometimes feel like they’re falling apart around us, there’s a hidden group of women silently and resiliently holding us all together with their superhuman efforts—our moms. As we approach Mothers Day, there are two things they desperately need right now: to be celebrated for their everyday heroics and for us to be there […]

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The Business of Hope During COVID-19

04/28/2020

In the midst of hardship, we know it’s still possible – and essential – to maintain hope. I know, I know, how can we possibly say that while stores are boarded up, livelihoods are put into question, and everyone is struggling? While all completely true, this pandemic is most definitely also bringing out the best […]

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Being Kind and Spreading Hope in the Time of COVID-19

03/19/2020

This week has been strange and unsettling! At times, it’s felt anxiety-inducing and apocalyptic. Events are being cancelled and people are required to self-quarantine. Many are exhibiting unexpected hoarding behaviours out of a drive to survive the next weeks. In many other ways though, it’s also brought hope and incredible acts of innovative community and […]

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Being the Church in the Time of COVID-19

03/17/2020

This week has been a bit strange and unsettling! At times it’s felt anxiety-inducing and apocalyptic. Events being cancelled and people requiring self-quarantines. Many are exhibiting unexpected hoarding behaviours out of a drive to survive the next weeks. In many other ways though, it’s also brought hope and incredible acts of innovative community and support, […]

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How UGM is Urgently Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

03/11/2020

Updated July 24th 11:26AM, 2020 We’re so grateful for your support as we confront the COVID-19 crisis together. UGM is committed to continue safeguarding our community amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.  Ever since the pandemic was declared, we have been taking swift and urgent emergency steps to safeguard our guests, volunteers, and staff. We know our […]

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A Love Story that Will Make You Believe in Love Again

02/10/2020

As Valentines Day closes in, we’re all bombarded by love. It feels like it’s in every shop, window, or social media post. Not only are we constantly reminded of how much we all want love, but also how it might have betrayed us in the past.  We have literally every reason to question love: couples […]

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5 New Year’s Resolutions with a “Twist”

12/23/2019

Let’s face it – New Year’s Resolutions can be a bit discouraging, especially when you look back on the trainwreck of last year’s goals. Usually they fade away by the second week of January, if not earlier, and it can be tempting to not even bother. So here’s some “resolutions” that will not only be […]

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How a Homeless Man Found His Voice This Election

10/18/2019

If you’re anything like me, voting in the federal election didn’t exactly fill you with joy. Impatiently standing in line. Marking it with an “X,”  moving on with your day. Voting is a chore, just something we might do if we have time. At least, that’s what I thought…until recently, when my perspective on voting […]

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Why The Best Jobs in Vancouver are Non-Profit Jobs

09/30/2019

Picture this: you groggily roll out of bed and begin getting ready for work with coffee in hand, when you notice something is suspiciously absent from your usual morning routine. Somewhere between breakfast and the front door, the realization slowly hits you that, unlike your typical work day, your feelings of apathy and reluctance are […]

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