• Pastor Dan Anderson

New Hats and Exciting Plans for 2018

“Wearing hats” is a common metaphor for assuming multiple roles and responsibilities. I have been wearing several hats since arriving at the Union Rescue Mission two years ago. I recently got a “New Hat” and we are working on some exciting plans for enlarging our ministry impact in 2018.

In addition to the “hats” I have already been wearing: Director of Strategic Relationships” and “Staff Pastor” I also assumed the role of Chaplain for the Senior Men who are actually residents of the mission.

The Newest Hat this past four months has been to become the Interim Program Director for Hope Gardens Family Center. It is a 77-acre facility in Sylmar that provides a two-year program for 60 single mothers with their 140 children as well as a permanent residence facility for 25 senior women.

It has been quite a lot to handle. It has experienced a complete change of management staff as well as a significant amount of overall staff transition. Add an emergency fire evacuation to the mix and it’s been a wild ride.

During my interim tenure at Hope Gardens I have observed and strategized on a number of new and improved ways to do ministry and provide necessary resources. Deed and Truth will be focusing a lot on Improvements at Hope Gardens in 2018.

Here’s a list of our proposed project goals this year for both Capital improvements as well as Programming Advancements at Hope Gardens:

Capital Improvements:

  • Purchase a newer vehicle to transport our guests safely

  • Provide a much needed and long awaited facelift for the cafeteria

  • Create Community Lounges for each of the three family housing areas

  • Open a new Youth Center for the Middle and High School students

  • Repair and reopen the children’s playground

  • Develop an outdoor area for the mothers and a play area for elementary kids

  • Renovate the Staff Lounge area for lunch, breaks, and meeting space

  • Provide a facelift for the Chapel area.

  • Create a Laundry Room for our Senior Center

Programming Advancements:

  • Establish an Alumni Association and provide monthly activities for community and service

  • Establish an fund an on-going Scholarship fund for families who move out

  • Develop a Work Therapy element to the program for all guests

  • Hire Youth and Children’s Directors to develop and manage ministries to our children who stay with us for two years or more.

  • Develop partnerships with churches to connect our students with existing youth groups to supplement discipleship

  • Evangelism and Discipleship classes for Staff and Residents

Please pray for the ability to stay balanced with the many Hats I’m wearing as well as the connections and resources for Deed and Truth to make these dreams become reality in the coming year.

Next week we will give you an update on the strategy we have developed to hand off the interim duties and assume a different role to help make these plans become a reality in 2018.

–Pastor Dan

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