About Union Gospel Mission
Union Gospel Mission (UGM) ministers to people experiencing homelessness, poverty, and addiction throughout Metro Vancouver and Mission, British Columbia. The organization meets immediate needs in the region with emergency shelter, chaplaincy services, and meals. Union Gospel Mission also works to restore lives through longer-term programs such as affordable housing, stabilization for moms and babies, education, addiction recovery, job preparation, and more.
Union Gospel Mission’s Faith Community
Throughout its eighty-year history, Union Gospel Mission’s work has been rooted in and motived by its Christian faith. Union Gospel Mission is not a church itself, nor is it led by a church group, but partnerships with local churches are an important part of its mission. The organization has always been intentionally inter-denominational: “We aim to reach out to and connect with as many church communities in the greater Vancouver area as we can,” says Nicole Mucci, UGM’s media communications officer. While this commitment to broad engagement has meant navigating some inter-denominational differences, it has also brought a renewed appreciation of pluralism and dedication to common goals based on the Bible’s greatest commandments—love of God and love of neighbour (Matthew 22:36–40).1
Though UGM is clear that its foundation and motivation are based on its Christian faith, the organization aims to walk alongside others with similar mandates—including those of different faiths and those with no religious belief—to accomplish its goals. “We work with everybody who wants to help people who are struggling,” explains UGM communications manager Jeremy Hunka. The organization knows that demonstrating the love of Christ requires serving without discrimination, and so it ministers to any of its neighbours in need.
Union Gospel Mission emphasizes that the driving force behind all of its work is a commitment to live out the love of Christ. The organization believes that all Christians have a responsibility to respond to God’s call to care for their neighbours, and in particular for those who are experiencing poverty. Union Gospel Mission holds itself accountable to God in its response to this call, and as such it insists that all its work be carried out with excellence and integrity.2 Its mission is also motivated by its commitment to the foundational Christian doctrine of human dignity: “Every person is created in the image of God, and every person has inherent worth and value.”3 Since UGM believes that each person was created to flourish in relationship with others, it focuses not just on transforming individual lives but also on bringing restoration and renewal to whole communities.4