Diane Lynn Anderson 2022 Memorial Award Honors Two Local Nonprofit Leaders

CFSA is pleased to announce that Talon Duncan, Ranch Manager of Echoing Hope Ranch, and Jim Roden, Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, have been awarded the Diane Lynn Anderson Memorial Award for 2022.

Established in 1990, the Diane Lynn Anderson Memorial Award honors individuals in Southern Arizona who exemplify the same qualities that Diane Lynn Anderson possessed: active acceptance, respect, compassion, devotion, and caring for people with disabilities. One of the original contributors to the Diane Lynn Anderson Memorial Award shared, “Because Diane knew firsthand the difficulties that people with physical disabilities are confronted with, she made herself available directly to those facing problems; she never wanted anyone to feel lost. Diane was also involved in helping to get systems set up that would continue to provide help.”

Talon Duncan, a Southern Arizona native, began working at Echoing Hope Ranch upon graduating high school. He has since become the Ranch Manager. Echoing Hope Ranch’s mission is growth, discovery, and lifelong learning in safe and respectful homes and communities for adults and teens with autism and other developmental disabilities. The guiding philosophy of Echoing Hope is to acknowledge each person as a dynamic human being and to help them build as full and satisfying life as possible by recognizing each individual with autism’s strengths and putting them to good use.

Regarding his experience working at Echoing Hope Ranch, Talon shared, “My oldest sister is developmentally disabled, and I was fortunate to grow up being around her because it made me more understanding and compassionate towards others with similar disabilities. I’ve now worked for the ranch for almost six years. I love my job and the amazing people I work with.”

Jim Roden and his family have been part of The Journey Church for 19 years. The Journey Church, an Evangelical Free Church, offers a special program, Friends for Life, which provides opportunities for adults with disabilities to develop relationships with each other and the volunteers that serve in the ministry. Friends for Life meets twice monthly for participants to spend time together, have fun, share in small groups, and learn about Jesus. They are also provided with an opportunity for bible study and a social outing each month to help deepen relationships.

Jim recently received his Doctoral Degree at Talbot Theological Seminary, where his dissertation focused on the relationship between disability ministry and church health. Upon being notified as this year’s Diane Lynn Anderson Memorial Award recipient, Jim shared, “I am deeply honored to be nominated for this award, but I cannot accept it alone. This award belongs to the staff, leadership, and congregants of The Journey Church–especially those with disabilities. They are the ones who have embraced the disability-inclusive gospel message of Jesus and created a culture of love, acceptance, and reciprocity.”