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Presiding Bishop Curry invites all to Julia Chester Emery’s birthday party

Founder of United Thank Offering
September 19, 2017

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invites everyone to participate in a birthday party for Julia Chester Emery, the founder of the United Thank Offering.

September 24 marks the 165th birthday of Julia Chester Emery. To mark that event, the United Thank Offering is sponsoring a special celebration honoring the life and work of Julia Chester Emery for her 40 years promoting and establishing the United Thank Offering.

Congregations, dioceses, groups and organizations can sponsor a birthday party for Julia on Sunday, September 24 complete with downloadable photo booth props, with a special thank offering to support the annual Ingathering for United Thank Offering.   

The following are resources, available here for your celebration:

  • Presiding Bishop’s video here
  • Two Children’s Sermons
  • Faith Formation Lessons for Preschool, Elementary, Middle and High Schoolers, Adults and an Intergenerational activity for the whole parish
  • Sermons that Work for September 24
  • Sample Newsletter Article and weekly bulletin inserts for September
  • Downloadable Resources and Decorations:  
  • Pinterest Board to help you find other ideas for decorations, games and party ideas to use.

Each Tuesday in September, the United Thank Offering Board will release a special video and letter to encourage participation.  These videos will be available on the resource page and sent directly to those subscribed to the UTO E-Newsletter. See here to receive the videos.

Contests for congregations

The Board of the United Thank Offering is hosting contests for congregations and dioceses.  The first contest invites you to take photos or videos of your celebration and tag on Instagram (@UnitedThankOffering), or post to the United Thank Offering Facebook page to enter to win a prize at the end of September. 

The second contest is to recognize the parish and diocese that contribute the most to the UTO Ingathering during the month of September.  The official rules for each contest can be found here.

More information

Starting as a young adult leader in the Episcopal Church, Julia Chester Emery is best known for dedicating 40 years to leadership and promotion of the spiritual discipline of gratitude and for tirelessly supporting mission and ministry all while championing the role of women’s work in the church.

The United Thank Offering is a gratitude ministry of the Episcopal Church to support innovative mission and ministry in the whole Church. Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering awards grants for new projects and programs that address innovative approaches to ministries within their communities that meet the stated focus for the year.

For more information, contact the Rev. Heather Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering.


Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer