At its February 2019 meeting, the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church approved United Thank Offering (UTO) grants for five young adults and one seminarian. The focus of the 2019 United Thank Offering Young Adult and Seminarian (YAS!) grants is The Baptismal Covenant.
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.
Young Adult grant awards
- Beloved in the Desert Intentional Young Adult Community (BITD); Taylor Devine, Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, $5,000: An intergenerational Episcopal Church will welcome the BITD Young Adult Intentional Community to the Borderlands to discern vocation and serve the community by seeking and serving Christ in Tucson and in one another through prayer, work, and study, walking toward fuller life of the Beloved Community.
- Young Adult Community Discernment Retreats; Victoria Hoppes, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, $5,000: This project will host two retreats designed to help develop a year-round, residential community for young adults at Waycross Camp and Conference Center. This program will include training in conflict transformation, reconciliation, and vocational discernment. Community members will also implement year-round programming and provide operational support to Waycross Staff.
- Developing Benedictine Community for Discernment and Ministry; Columba Maynus & Abigail Zimmerman, Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, $5,000: The Benedictine Way is a place of prayer and hospitality for those desiring a deeper life in Christ, especially young adults and those living on the margins. Expanding our physical space and programming will allow us to expand our service to those discerning their myriad vocations in life.
- Textile Village Servant Corps; Courtney Watson, Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, $4,000: This grant will support the creation of the Textile Village Servant Corps, which is a service-based intentional community in Greenville, for 21- to 29-year-olds looking for a year of personal discernment, community immersion, and spiritual formation.
- WNC Episcopal Service Corps; Megan Cox, Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, $4,500: The Diocese of Western North Carolina Episcopal Service Corps has recently been accepted into the larger network of ESC. We are a new program site and will officially launch in the Fall of 2019. We will be hosting up to a maximum of 5 young adults to participate in a year of living in intentional Christian community along with service at local nonprofits. Our project proposal is to develop both an Orientation Retreat for the incoming corps members as well as ongoing Learning Modules that build on the Baptismal Covenant as well as the objectives of Beloved Community.
Seminarian (people in process for ordination) grant award
- Messy Church Congregation; Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Angela Lerena, Episcopal Diocese of Idaho, $4,600: This project will develop a Messy Church congregation at Grace Episcopal Church, Nampa, ID. Messy Church, a hands-on program of story, interactive experience, and worship, will be ecumenical, oriented toward young families and children, and offer a weekday opportunity for hospitality, community, study, and worship.
The applications were reviewed by the Board of the UTO and reviewed and approved by the Joint Standing Committee on Mission Within The Episcopal Church.
For more information, contact the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, staff officer for the United Thank Offering.