The Office of Public Affairs

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July 1, 2019

Isabelle Watkins of Shreveport, Louisiana, has been named United Thank Offering (UTO) Julia Chester Emery intern for 2019-2020.

“I am incredibly excited to work with UTO because I can already tell that it is a community full of support, love, encouragement, and gratitude. I am looking forward to being part of an organization who has such a positive impact on communities around the entire world, and I cannot wait to be part of such a dynamic team,” Watkins said.

Julia Chester Emery interns support the work of the United Thank Offering. Internships begin July 1; this year Watkins joined the UTO board and staff in New Orleans mid-June for the Raising Grateful Voices conference before officially beginning her internship at Jasmine Road, in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. This will be Watkins’ second summer at Jasmine Road, having done a different internship there in the summer of 2018.

Jasmine Road, a UTO grant site and Thistle Farms affiliate, exists to offer women who are trapped in a cycle of sexual exploitation and addiction a path to freedom, a haven for healing, and the opportunity to flourish, leading to generational change and the betterment of the Greenville community. Jasmine Road offers a transformative two-year residential program with an innovative social enterprise component. Beth Messick, Jasmine Road executive director, shares: “We are beyond thrilled to have Isabelle Watkins as our UTO intern this year. She has already proven to be a valuable member of the Jasmine Road family and our residents love spending time with her! She will be a great addition to our Jasmine Road team, and we are so grateful to UTO for making this possible for us.”

Watkins is a graduate of Furman University, where she studied psychology.

For the 2019-2020 internship year, in addition to work with Jasmine Road, Watkins will participate in the UTO Pilgrimage to Spain in October, represent UTO as support staff for The Episcopal Church delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York City in March, attend one of the Thistle Farms Training Conferences, attend UTO Board Meetings or events planned during the year, and travel to speak at public events regarding UTO initiatives.

“We have learned from each of the young women who have joined us and anticipate the exchange of learning and mentoring with Isabelle,” said Sherri Dietrich, UTO board president, “It has been a joy and a privilege for UTO to work with our interns, to share our knowledge and perspectives with them and to watch them grow further into young adulthood. We are truly excited about getting to know Isabelle and working together to spread gratitude throughout the world.”

The United Thank Offering is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute the 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

For more information contact the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, staff officer for the United Thank Offering,

Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer