United Thank Offering's report 2017
During 2017 I worked towards recruiting more parishes to yearly UTO ingatherings. It is slow work. Much to my surprise many of our rectors and parish leaders do know the mission of the thank offering. My goal is to educate the ENTIRE diocese on the theology of thanksgiving and the ministry of the United Thank Offering. I have sent several emails to each parish to let them know I am very willing to do an adult forum at their church on the UTO. Three parishes did accept my offer and I was pleased to go and share my experience in the sacredness of grateful living and giving. Presently the number of parishes that faithfully participate in yearly UTO ingatherings is 12. Tradition had the ingatherings at 2 a year, on in spring (Ascension Sunday) and one in fall (All Saints’). Most parishes choose a yearly ingathering and have chosen the fall, All Saints’ as their day.
In 2017 there were 3 grant applications submitted from our parishes. I recruited a committee to review the applications before giving to the bishop’s office for final approval. I am sorry to report that the grant submitted was denied by the national UTO grant committee. I have already contacted the other 2 applicants on the dates for the 2018 grant cycle.
In February I was interviewed for the JesusHacked podcast. I was pleased to be asked because it certainly supports my desire to educate on the beauty and comfort of the theology of thankful giving. Also, last spring I was nominated to represent Province V on the national UTO board. I declined the nomination because I have not yet met my goals for the Diocese of Missouri and UTO.
In July 2018 I will represent the Diocese of Missouri UTO at the ECW Triennial Convention that runs in conjunction with the Episcopal Church General Convention. There will be a liturgy, where as the representative for Missouri I will present, along with representatives from every other diocese in the Episcopal Church, to the Presiding Bishop the total ingathering amount from this diocese (for the Triennial 2015, 2016, 2017).
In 2015 the total was $8,259.51. In 2016 the total was $7,591.65. To date 2017 total is $914.91. Most parishes do their ingatherings in the fall, so the total amount for 2017 will increase. But if I use the figures known now, our Triennial offering will be $28,000 short of our general convention presentation in 2015.
I continue to believe that the United Thank Offering is a sacramental sign of our inward gratitude for each blessing that we receive, turned outward to a visible mission, and I plan to develop better skills to communicate and educate our diocese on this ministry. This is not a fundraiser; it is a missional portion of our church. When we practice gratitude, we make the world a better place.
I remain blessed and grateful,
Jeanne Lucas King
Diocese of Missouri UTO Coordinator
“our change changes lives”