The Importance of Ingatherings
Has your church done an Ingathering yet this year? This year, UTO Grants are focused on COVID-19 relief projects, and the first round of grants will be awarded based on Ingathering funds we receive by August 31, so send in those thank offerings as soon as you can to enable UTO to give out grant money as quickly as possible to places and people in desperate need of help.
Very little is unchanged about life in 2020, but there are still many things to be grateful for and UTO Ingatherings go on! We might not get to meet together in our churches and celebrate UTO with blueberry muffins and stick-on UTO tattoos, but there are great ways to have an Ingathering that celebrates gratitude and community and helps to support our neighbors near and far through these difficult times. If your church is meeting in person, have everyone bring their Blue Boxes or checks and place them into a big cardboard box you’ve painted blue. Or schedule a “Drive-By Ingathering” for parishioners to place their offerings into that blue cardboard box, while volunteers greet them and say “thank you” from a safe social distance and watch over the Blue Boxes. Taking all of those Blue Box coins to the bank will help get them back into circulation and ease the U.S. coin shortage. Or just mail in your individual checks made out to “DFMS” with “UTO Ingathering” and your church’s name in the memo line to:
United Thank Offering, DFMS—Protestant Episcopal Church
PO Box 958983
St. Louis, MO 63195-8983
If you want to eliminate paper, go to our website at unitedthankoffering.org and click on the “Give” button at the top, or text to give by texting “INGATHER” to 41444.
Our second round of grants will be based on the offerings UTO receives between September 1 and December 31, so plan another Ingathering in November when all of America is thinking about gratitude. Both rounds of grants will go to COVID-19 relief projects, so think now about needs you and your church could use a UTO grant for and keep the thank offerings coming.
We are all eager for things to feel normal again, but this is not the time to stop being grateful or being the church from wherever we are. COVID-19 is not taking a break and is having a terrible impact in so many places; it’s time for each of us as The Episcopal Church to remember our blessings and share our offerings in gratitude to create blessings for others around the country and the world.