In Case You Missed It…

August 31, 2018

We’re adding a new section to the newsletter because a lot happened this summer and you might have missed it. Be sure to check out all of this great information!

  1. 2018 Grant Recipients Announced!
    To learn more, follow these links:
    2018 Grant List –www.episcopalchurch.org/uto
    2018 Grant Brochures now available at the distribution center! https://shimaofnavajoland.com/collections/United-Thank-Offering
    1883-2018 UTO Grant List and Map – https://unitedthankoffering.com/granting/1883-2015-grant-list/
     
  2. Materials Released at General Convention
    So many new materials were released at General Convention and others were completely used up and are now being redesigned that we thought it would be good to give you a quick overview of what materials are currently available and where you can find them.

    Available Online Only
    2017 Annual Report:
     For the first time in the history of UTO, we’ve created an annual report to show what work was accomplished in 2017, give thanks for all who helped with the work, and create goals to shape our work in the year ahead. We passed these out at the Triennial Meeting, but you can download a copy here: www.episcopalchurch.org/uto.
    Pilgrimage Brochure: In April 2019, UTO will launch its first pilgrimage for a small group to visit UTO grant sites at the three mission areas on Navajoland. This brochure offers more information about the pilgrimage, as well as ways to learn more about the work going on in Navajoland. The brochure is available for download at https://www.episcopalchurch.org/united-thank-offering-resources.
    UTO Yearly Overview Calendar: We created a one-page calendar with all of the granting, educational, and other offerings UTO participates in on a yearly basis. This handy calendar will help you know when major events and deadlines are happening with UTO (https://unitedthankoffering.com/history-of-uto/uto-overview-power-point/). You can also access the slides that were used at the UTO Overview workshop offered at General Convention.
    Updated Best Financial Practices: Over the past three years, the Board and staff have learned a great deal about the challenges facing UTO leaders concerning parish and diocesan Ingatherings. We’ve streamlined the process and updated all of our handouts on best financial practices. You can access them here: https://unitedthankoffering.com/ingathering/.

    Available at the Distribution Center for Only the Cost of Shipping
    Blue Boxes
    Envelopes
    2018 UTO Prayer Booklets
    Quick Guide Cards to UTO Grant Processes
    Memorial Trust Fund Brochures
    Educational/Leadership Brochures
    UTO Prayer Cards in English
    UTO Prayer Cards in Spanish
    UTO Stickers – up to 100 free
    2018 Grant Brochures

    Available at the Distribution Center for a Small Fee Plus Shipping
    UTO Crosses
    UTO Notecards, Pack of 12
    UTO Thank You Cards, Pack of 12
    UTO Post Cards, Pack of 20
    UTO Prayer Cards – English (coming soon – we’re printing more, so keep checking the website!)
    UTO Prayer Cards – Spanish (coming soon – we’re printing more, so keep checking the website!)
    Coin Purses
    Lapel Pins
    Stress Cubes

    Currently Being Updated
    UTO History Brochure
    UTO Overview Brochure
     

  3. UTO Database
    At General Convention, we launched our brand-new membership database. Thank you to everyone who has already uploaded their current information! This database will help us track what congregations are participating in UTO and better communicate with members and leaders. With that said, the database is only as good as the data in it, so we need your help to keep it current. Please use this link to upload your information or to update it whenever there are any changes in your life or in the leadership of UTO in your parish or diocese. Please follow this link to register and/or update your information: https://unitedthankoffering.membershiptoolkit.com/login?r=%2Fdirectory
     
  4. 2015-2018 Ingathering Totals
    The Triennial UTO Ingathering ceremony held at the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas, took place on July 6. It brought in $3,738,989.47. UTO funds are granted on an annual basis to support mission across the worldwide Episcopal Church. The nine Episcopal Church provinces, as well as Ingatherings from groups not associated with a province, gathered the following amounts to support the United Thank Offering:
    Province One – $173,944.39
    Province Two – $419,107.00
    Province Three – $719,618.33
    Province Four – $797,922.02
    Province Five – $286,315.39
    Province Six – $196,791.36
    Province Seven – $263,595.99
    Province Eight – $328,120.89
    Province Nine – $42,346.84
    Other Ingatherings- $511,227.26
    Other Ingatherings includes the following contributors: The Episcopacy for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries, the Staff of the Presiding Bishop, the Episcopal Church of Liberia, Iglesia Anglicana de México, Iglesia Episcopal de Panamá, Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América, Iglesia Anglicana del Uruguay, and Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America.
    The total Ingathering for the 2015-2017 triennial is $3,738,989.47.
     
  5. 2019 Young Adult and Seminarian Grant Applications Now Available!
    by Joyce Landers, UTO Board Vice President

    The United Thank Offering Board has made some big changes to the Young Adult and Seminarian Grant process. UTO has been offering these grants for several years now, and your prayers of thanksgiving have supported some really great projects. We are committed to continuing this process because we believe these two groups are important to the continuing ministry of the Church. Young adults and seminarian students are excited about ministry and have great, innovative ideas that help our Church take our ministry in new directions. In order to improve our support of these two important granting opportunities, the Board has decided to increase the amounts available from $2,500 to $5,000. The total number of grants to be awarded will be decreased from 10 each to five each. With an increase in the Ingathering funds, we believe we can increase the number of grants awarded in the future. The Board is very excited about these changes because we believe they will increase interest and participation in the process.

    Another big change that has been made is that seminarian grants will now be made available to students in diocesan and regional schools of ministry. The UTO Board understands that more new clergy are choosing diocesan and regional schools because of the financial burdens of seminary, as well as the impact that moving can have on their families. We are enthusiastic about supporting all of our future clergy in their ministry.

    Applications and other important documents were made available on August 1, 2018, and can be found at www.episcopalchurch.org/uto. Applications are due Friday, November 2, 2018, at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. UTO highly recommends submitting your application to your diocesan office at least two weeks prior to this date to allow time for your bishop to read your application, offer comments, and sign it. We also recommend early submission to Formstack, which gives UTO Staff Officer the Rev. Canon Heather Melton an opportunity to scan it for missing documents or signatures.
     

  6. Gratitude Formation Resources Offered for the 2018-2019 School Year
    by the Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering

    Many congregations are in the process of creating their faith formation materials for this fall, and UTO is excited to share with you that we will be offering three faith formation programs for the upcoming school year, beginning with theNovember Gratitude Challenge.

    In the United States when November comes along, many Americans will turn their thoughts to Thanksgiving and the things they are grateful for. We want to help people or groups prepare for Thanksgiving with 30 days of gratitude practices. The November Gratitude Challenge is offered as a free downloadable booklet. Each day of the week has a similar theme but a different focus. People will be invited to write thank-you cards, try different methods of journaling, and even watch TED Talks. We hope this resource will deepen people’s experience of gratitude and will bring them to Thanksgiving full of gratitude for the good things God is doing in their lives and in the lives of their communities. Download the November Gratitude Challenge booklet here: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/united-thank-offering-resources.
     

  7. Gratitude-Based Stewardship Program Materials Now Available!
    by the Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering

    As I begin my sixth year as the UTO staff officer, I am well overdue in addressing one of the major concerns that I hear when I travel around the Church to talk about UTO and when I talk to UTO coordinators who are feeling discouraged: the concern that, if congregations participate in UTO, then giving to the parish will decrease. Every time I hear this, I tell the story of Bishop Frade who found that the congregations in his diocese that participated in UTO actually had an easier time with their annual stewardship campaigns – gratitude breeds generosity. Doing parish stewardship well has been a lifelong struggle for me as a parish priest. I’ve tried all sorts of things, but the one thing that continues to prove true is that, if we can teach our congregations to operate out of a place of gratitude and reflect on the Church with gratitude, then stewardship is a lot easier. I presented this idea to the clergy of the Diocese of Massachusetts and was grateful that many of them later called to hash out what this might look like. Through their support, the help of congregations where I’ve served as priest, and the UTO Board, I learned a lot about how gratitude, UTO, and stewardship can support one another.

    During General Convention, Kathy Mank, the UTO Board financial secretary, and I hosted a workshop on Best Financial Practices and Stewardship. During that workshop, we debuted a new program entitled Building Gratitude and Generosity Together: A Stewardship Guide for Congregations Rooted in Gratitude. This is a complete stewardship program that can be used for a month, six months, or a year. Segments can be used separately, or it can be used in its entirety. We hope that this free resource will help congregations approach stewardship from a place of gratitude and then continue to build on the good work done in the program by instituting UTO. If your parish already participates in UTO, then this program will only enhance the experience of gratitude that UTO has established in your congregation.

    I would love your feedback on these resources in order to update and improve them, so if you use them, please let me know what you think and how we can enhance the experience for others. The entire booklet is available for download here: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/united-thank-offering-resources.

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