We believe that when daily thanks is given and money is placed in the Blue Box, the money becomes an outward and visible way to say thanks. It is a way to take our Baptismal covenant seriously ~ to love God, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
The UTO program culminates each year in the May In-Gathering, when the offerings of each parish family are collected ... offerings that are combined with those of Episcopal parishes everywhere to support projects worldwide for missions and ministry.
History of UTO
The first United Thank Offering was in 1889. It began as part of Missionary efforts of the Women's Auxiliary to the Board of Mission, authorized by General Convention in 1871. Julia Emery, secretary to the Women's Auxiliary, and Ida Soule, who counted the missionary offering of the 1886 Triennial meeting of Women, inspired women to pray and give coins with the idea of building a new church in Anvik, Alaska and sending a woman missionary to Japan. At the 1889 Triennial Meeting, the offering was $2,188.64 and accomplished those purposes.
Through the decades the United Thank Offering has expanded with changing leadership and expectations. Through prayer and thankful giving of our gifts, we reach out into the world. It is a part of our heritage and an important part of the Episcopal Church history.
What the future decades will bring, we do not know. The women who dreamed of supporting mission work are the beginning of the story.
It is our time to dream and to carry on the message of thanksgiving and self-giving with grateful hearts.
What is the United Thank Offering (UTO)?
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It is with great joy and excitement, during this glorious Easter season, that I invite you to the Spring Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women. The meeting will be held Thursday, May 23rd. The women of historic St. Mary's Whitechapel, Lancaster and the Rev. Torrence Harman have graciously agreed to host the meeting. The day should prove be both informative and spiritually renewing!
Registration will begin at 8:45 AM with coffee and fellowship. Our business meeting will start at 9:30 AM. During the business meeting, we will have updates and new information on some of our ministries. The Theme of our meeting will be Many Paths, One Journey; Many Challenges, Going Home.
We are fortunate to have as our Keynote Speaker, Joshua Bailey. Joshua is the Co-Founder & CEO of The Gray Haven, an organization that provides needed services to victims of human trafficking. Based in Richmond, Virginia, The Gray Haven provides a safe place where victims can rebuild their lives. Joshua, and his lovely wife Andrea, work closely with law enforcement and other service providers to assist those affected by human trafficking.
Please see the enclosed flyer/registration form for more details. Joshua will share stories of trafficking within our Diocese and help us to discern ways in which we can help. The Gray Haven website address is: http://thegrayhaven.org/
Also on the agenda, The Rev. Torrence Harman will guide us as to how we may weave spiritual responsibilities into our journey. If weather permits during lunch you will have the opportunity the walk the beautiful outdoor labyrinth with her. Lunch will be provided in the parish hall following the meeting and you will have an opportunity to visit the ECW displays. We will gather at the church for Holy Eucharist at 1:30. We hope that our Bishops may be able to join us!
ECW Annual Report
Marion Mahoney, President
Eunice Key, Vice-President
We had a mild fall day with 40 present at Eucharist. Only two more Sundays left in Pentecost. A brilliant November sun provided angled light through our sycamore leaves still on the trees. Still plenty of leaves on the ground for the kids to play :
Today was Veteran's Day when we remember those who served in the miliary. Catherine invited those who had served to the front. Each person listed his/her years of service, representing the navy, army, marines from the 1950's to the present.
We had also had the flags out on the graves of those who previously served.
In addition we read a special litany recognizing :
-Those that are in our presence that are either in active duty or reserve duty, and the fathers, mothers, siblings, spouses and grandparents of those that are currently serving.
-Those that are in our presence that have served in the military in the past.
-Those that are in our presence who have lost a loved one in war.
-Those who have gathered in your name in safety because of the sacrifices of others.
Finally we had prayer chain in honor of Alexander Long V who will be deployed back to Afghanistan. It was quite a moving ceremony, connecting to one another:
Today we also had the final collection for Operating Christmas Child of Samaritan's purse. 21 boxes were brought in
We started collecting Christmas candy to over three hundred prisoners at Peumansend
Creek Regional Jail.
More immediate was the loose offering which will go to the Moravian Board of Central Elders on Staten Island to be used for Hurricane Sandy cleanup. There are plans for a small group to help with this process in early December. The sermon topic was the Widow mite, moving us to give out of our abundance for causes.
We celebrated numerous birthdays, including Susan and David, including those not present