Changes and Growing Gratitude
April showers bring May flowers, but I’m afraid those flowers may be snowdrops this year in Maine. I like winter, but I confess that I had a hard time being happy about the beautiful half-foot of snow that fell in the middle of April this year. I’ve always lived in places with four very distinct seasons, and I love watching the small changes that signal the approach of the next season in the ever-changing cycle of renewal. While many people are complaining that winter will never end this year, I’m gratefully noticing the buds swelling on the trees, the birds chirping again in the mornings, and the frost heaves in the roads confirming that the earth is warming up again.
United Thank Offering is showing signs of change, too, growing our Ingathering and trying new ways to spread the word about practicing gratitude. We are working on partnerships with other ministries in The Episcopal Church to share resources, work together to spread our messages to different groups of people, and offer workshops and conferences together. Raising Grateful Voices is our joint project with Missional Voices, and we hope many of you will join us in New Orleans this June 12-13 for the excellent workshops UTO is offering, and then stay for the Missional Voices conference to learn about the newest ministries the Church is offering. The UTO Camino Pilgrimage is another new way to learn about the work of UTO and its impact on the life of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Spain, to make a pilgrimage of your own and understand what that has meant to pilgrims over the centuries, and to make new friends while walking together in gratitude.
We want to spread the daily practice of gratitude from the smallest child to the wisest elder, the laity to the clergy, the powerless to the mighty, because we know that gratitude has the power to change individual lives, the Church, and the world. We will keep you up to date on our projects, and we look forward to changing the world with you all, one blessing and one offering at a time.