“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and this is the end of my season as UTO president as I pass the leadership to Sherri Dietrich, the incoming president. I have the usual people to thank: the entire UTO Board, the UTO staff, other women’s organizations in The Episcopal Church, the staff members of DFMS who have made my life easier, the people of the Diocese of Nebraska and of my parish St. Augustine of Canterbury, and my family and friends. I also want to thank every diocesan and parish UTO coordinator, grant writer, grant recipient, bishop, and support staff member for doing the work God has called you to do on behalf of UTO. I am beholden to you all.
But mostly I want to thank the children who give me hope: Avenly, Josi, and Lilli who love putting money in their Blue Boxes so much that they’ve needed new ones when their boxes were ready to split; to Carrie and Lucy, Heather and JK’s girls, who have often been parked, surrounded by UTO stuff, so mom could get some photos for a UTO cover or slide, or had to share mom to a Zoom meeting or a meeting away; and to Elora who also shared her mom, Sarah, during our meetings. Thanks to the many children who love to fold their flattened box into a little Blue Box, or who drop “found money” in their Blue Boxes. These early teachings about giving and gratitude are the ones they will carry for the rest of their lives. I thank the children and their parents because they are the ones who will continue to change lives by supporting UTO generation after generation.
With a grateful heart, I say good-bye to my role on the UTO Board, and I pledge – in addition to my regular giving to my Blue Box – that, for every book I read over the next three years, I will give extra to my UTO Blue Box. Thank you and God bless your work.