In Case You Missed It…
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.
2019 UTO Grant Process Webinars
By the UTO Grant Committee
In order to help people plan, we are releasing the dates for all webinars associated with the grant processes now. Webinars are a great way to learn about the application and submission process, to gain clarity on the focus and criteria for the application, and to ask specific questions about your application. You are welcome to attend as many webinars as you would like. If you cannot make any of the webinars for your grant process, you can still email Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org for help at any time during the process.
Young Adult and Seminarian (YAS!) Grant applications and materials are available from the first Friday in August through the first Friday in November at www.episcopalchurch.org/uto. Awarded grants will be announced and paid in February 2019.
UTO Annual Grant applications and materials are available from the first Friday in December through the first Friday in March at www.episcopalchurch.org/uto. Awarded grants will be announced and paid in June 2019.
Applicants and those supporting applicants through the Annual Grant process should join us for one (or more) of the following webinars on Zoom: Tuesday, January 15, at noon and 8 p.m. Eastern time, and Wednesday, February 13, at noon and 8 p.m. Eastern time.
All webinars are held using Zoom
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/8140408194
Or via iPhone one-tap in the U.S.: +16468769923,,8140408194# or +16699006833,,8140408194#
Or via telephone by dialing: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833
Meeting ID: 814 040 8194
International numbers are available here: https://zoom.us/u/brmt6scCY
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.
UPDATE: If you would like the stewardship materials as a Word document so you can edit them, please follow this link.