The Importance of Saying Yes

July 31, 2018
Sherri Dietrich, UTO Board President

I didn’t grow up in the Episcopal Church, and my parish didn’t participate in UTO, so my introduction to UTO was when my diocese needed a new UTO coordinator and asked for volunteers, noting that the job was “all about gratitude.” I thought, “Well, I’m all about gratitude,” so I volunteered, and the job was mine. The more I learned about UTO’s ministry of encouraging lives of gratitude, the more certain I became that this was work I wanted to do. A few years later, I attended the Triennial Meeting, knowing that my province was still looking for a representative on the UTO Board. I hadn’t put myself forward for the position because I still work full-time and more, running my own business, and knew that being on the Board would be a big job. However, on my way to Indianapolis, I told God I would offer myself for the job if no one else came forward. Guess what?

Three years of working with the rest of the UTO Board has been inspiring, fulfilling, and occasionally exhausting, and my passion for the work of UTO continues to grow. As elections approached for the next Board’s officers, I once again struggled with the question of whether or not to say yes, this time to being president of the Board. I still work full-time, and the president’s job is a very big one, but there were very few continuing Board members and too much wonderful work to do. So “yes” it was, with equal excitement and trepidation.

Eight years ago, I had never heard of the United Thank Offering, and now I’m president of the Board. Never say yes to God unless you’re willing to find yourself somewhere entirely unexpected! This rise to the top hasn’t happened because I’m such a spectacular person (though I am somewhat spectacular), but because I said yes when no one else would or could. The UTO Board and staff have so many exciting materials and programs prepared and planned for the next three years, and we’re all eager to encourage and enable lives of gratitude throughout the Church and the world. We’ve all said yes to serving and are grateful for all we’ve gained from it. Thank you, too, for saying yes to UTO. I look forward to the next three years of working together.

And thank you to everyone who said yes to serving on the UTO Board! To see photos and bios of all of the new Board members, please visit