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United Thank Offering announces special anniversary grants awardees

October 27, 2014
The Public Affairs Office

The awardees have been announced for The Episcopal Church United Thank Offering’s special $12,500 grants to one bishop in each of the Church’s nine provinces, and to the Presiding Bishop, for a total of $125,000.

Part of the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the United Thank Offering, these one-time special anniversary grants will be used for a project in each province that will reflect the fourth Anglican Mark of Mission: To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind to pursue peace and reconciliation.

The projects, to be completed by May 1, 2015, will be showcased at 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, UT in June 25- July 3, 2015.


The recipients are:


The Presiding Bishop’s Award

The Episcopal Church Responds to the Central American Migrant Border Crisis

Episcopal Migration Ministries, The Mission Department of the DFMS


To call a missionary and launch new programs which will equip the Church to respond more effectively to the ongoing crisis at the United States’ southern border, which involves child migrants from Central American countries. The children, with and without their mothers, are fleeing gang related violence and insecurity from the unwillingness or inability of Central American governments to protect their own. The programs will build a mechanism to link local needs of the border dioceses with volunteers and donations coming from other dioceses, as well as to establish a pro bono immigration network.


The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, 26th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church


Province I: Diocese of New Hampshire

Just Witness/Remembering Jonathan Daniels

Outreach Commission, Concord, NH


To support three events to commemorate the witness of New Hampshire’s own Jonathan Daniels who suffered martyrdom as an Episcopal seminarian working for voting rights in the South in 1965. The first event will focus on gun violence; the second will be a summit of social justice issues, which will challenge the current unjust structures in place; and the third will focus on peacemaking both interpersonally and globally.

The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Diocese of New Hampshire


Province II: Diocese of Albany

Oaks of Righteousness Transportation

Oaks of Righteousness, Troy, NY


To purchase a used family size passenger van, which will be used for transportation of youth and families, involved in the Oaks of Righteousness ministry. The ministry serves one of the toughest and most dangerous areas in the New York Capitol region. The area has a high rate of poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, single parent homes and gang activity. The van will allow the youth of the streets to participate on a basketball team, which helps them to understand the OAKS ministry team cares for them as does God. The van will also be used to transport the youth to camp and mentoring sessions at various locations.

The Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Diocese of Albany


Province III: Diocese of Southwestern Virginia

Grace House Kitchen

Grace House on the Mountain, Roanoke, VA


To provide a commercially equipped kitchen for Grace House on the Mountain located in the Appalachian region of Southwestern Virginia. Grace House provides meals to the many volunteer workers who come to the area to work to help improve the lives of the coal miners and their families by renovating the substandard homes. A needed breakfast program for the families on the mountain will be launched as soon as the commercial kitchen is in place.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas, Diocese of Southwestern Virginia


Province IV: Diocese of North Carolina

La Sembrada/A Time for Sowing

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Greensboro, NC


To hire a bi-lingual priest with cultural facilities and community building skills to be the key leader in the creating of a strong community of faith outside the walls of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Greensboro. This will involve building mutual and meaningful relationships among believers of many cultures. These relationships can lead to collective action for the well-being of the most vulnerable. La Sembrada goal is to bring the neighborhood community together to identify issues that will make their life more livable and gain allies and partners to help them achieve their goals against domestic violence and social isolation.

The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Diocese of North Carolina


Province V: Diocese of Michigan

The Lazarus Lives! Photo Exhibit: God and Youth on Detroit Streets

Detroit, MI


To provide an opportunity for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-attractional and Transgender (LGBT) youth of Detroit to tell their stories of their experiences with God on the streets of Detroit through a photographic exhibit. They will use their cell phones to photograph where they find God in their daily experiences, including the good the bad and the ugly.

The Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., Diocese of Michigan


Province VI: Diocese of Minnesota

Youth Bicycle Programs Building Community on the White Earth Indian Reservation

RezCycle in Partnership with the White Earth of Ojibwe and the White Earth Boys & Girls Club Network

White Earth Indian Reservation, MN


To rehabilitate a bus which will be used as a roving bicycle shop and purchase the needed tools for the shop. The bicycle programs on the reservation will allow youth between 12 and 18 to have an opportunity to earn bikes after participating in 15 hours of programming and youth with broken bikes will be able to help in fixing their bikes “for free.” Bike-building skills allows the youth to gain self-esteem, job skills and will help to form a positive community as an alternative to gangs and violence. Having the bus as a roving shop will allow the whole reservation of 1,093 square miles to be served.

The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior, Diocese of Minnesota


Province VII: Diocese of Rio Grande

Project Borderland Reach

Rio Grande Borderland Ministries

Albuquerque, NM


To purchase a late model, low mileage, 4-wheel drive pickup truck to help in the delivery of goods such as food, clothing and blankets throughout the expanse of the Borderland area of New Mexico, Texas and Mexico. The region is riddled with violence, poverty, hunger and the disenfranchisement of the poor. In order to provide fresh and frozen foods a refrigerator and chest freezer will be purchase for the food facility in Columbus, New Mexico.

The Rt. Rev. Michael Louis Vono, D.D., Diocese of the Rio Grande


Province VIII: Diocese of Olympia

Lilies of the Field

Santa Maria Magdalena, Burien, Washington

Gray Harbor County, WA


To provide seed money for growing the community of Christ in fresh ways; to build relationships and find ways together to build a more just society; to identify leadership and finding new ways of formation that make sense to “new communities” and the Church today. Two vastly different areas are part of the project: the urban community of Burien at the south end of the Seattle city limits and Grays Harbor Community, a rural county on the coast. In Burien the seed money will be for clergy members to work in the community and in the County of Grays Harbor County to form base communities, which will develop into worshiping communities wherever they may be.

The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Diocese of Olympia


Province IX: Diocese of Ecuador Litoral

Program for youth in recovery process for drug and alcohol addiction

Celebrate Recovery 12 step with the Bible Holy Trinity Episcopal

Santa Elena, Ecuador


To support a professional individual who will provide programs for those who have addictions to alcohol and drugs.

The Rt. Rev. Alfredo Morante Espana, Diocese of Ecuador Litoral



For more information contact the Rev. Heather Melton, United Thank Offering coordinator.

Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally.






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Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer