Welcome to September and a Special Celebration of Julia Chester Emery!

September 5, 2017
The Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering

I know that I promised all of you long ago that we would only send out one email a month, so I apologize for breaking that promise during the month of September. This month, you’ll get three follow up e-newsletters with just a quick spotlight on an idea to promote UTO and Julia Chester Emery’s birthday celebration and then a letter and a video. Today, you are getting a letter and video from our Board president, Sandra Squires, sharing why we are doing this special celebration. Next week, you’ll hear from the Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, and then the following week, you’ll hear from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The last video will be from the entire UTO Board when they gather in Baltimore to meet and celebrate Julia as well, so I hope you’ll keep an eye out for all of those and please share them with your diocese, parish, and community.

Because so many will be sharing their stories this month of why gratitude matters, I’ll keep mine until next month (although I can’t help but share one photo of two of the biggest reasons in my life that I am grateful). Please be sure to read all the way through this month’s e-news – there’s a really important story from one of our 2017 grant applicants who didn’t receive a UTO grant because we ran out of funding about why they keep giving to UTO nonetheless. There are two reasons why participating in UTO is so important: First, I truly believe that if we teach people to be grateful, then we will change our world. Second, if UTO had more money to give away, then our grants would be able to support even more mission and ministry in the Church, such as the campus ministry grant that this church requested and just missed out on funding for. It’s very hard each year to say “no” to people who are doing amazing things, so I asked them to share their stories to help inspire all of you in your giving like it does me each year.

Thank you, as always, for all you do to promote, participate in, and live grateful lives, but thank you especially for joining us this month in celebrating a very special leader in our Church and the legacy she entrusted us with. Happy Birthday, Julia – I’m thankful for you.

P.S. For those of you that have seen the historic binders I found three years ago and wanted to look at documents more closely, Kayla has digitized them and they are available here for the first time ever: https://uto2014.wordpress.com/history-of-uto/a-brief-history-of-the-uto/