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.
From these beginning the UTO has carried on as one of the oldest women missionaries.
The 2020 grants were announced in June. They raised $1,548,013.66 in thank offerings compared to $1,484,693.66 in 2019. Of this, $30,600 went to support 6 Young Adult and Seminarian grants within the focus of Holy Gifts: bringing together blessings and gifts to breathe love, liberation, and life into our Episcopal communities.
The UTO program culminates each year in the spring and fall In-Gatherings, 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. In 2019, the Diocese of Virginia led Province 3 with donations exceeding $75K.
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.
You know where some of the money goes – St. Peter’s was one of recipients in a UTO grant ($15k) to refurbish our kitchen. Please consider a generous gift in 2020!
For 2021 grants, The United Thank Offering will accept applications in two categories, Sustaining Ministries and Innovative Ministries, at two different funding levels through two granting cycles.
Sustaining Ministry Grants are applications for previous UTO grant sites that are addressing the increased needs in their communities caused by COVID-19. Applicants in this category must demonstrate that the funds requested to sustain current ministries, which were started with UTO funds (e.g. elder care, post-prison reentry, preschools, food insecurity ministries, substance abuse) and will be used to directly offset the increased need caused by COVID-19 and the economic downturn
Innovative Ministry Grants are applications that are for start-up costs for new ministries or new projects/programs within an existing ministry program beyond simply increasing the number of participants in the current program that address community needs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.
The deadline for submitting an application for the first round of grants is: August 14, 2020. The deadline for submitting an application for the second round of grants is February 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm Eastern / 4:00 pm Central / 3:00 pm Mountain / 2:00 pm Pacific / 1:00 pm Alaska / 12:00 pm Hawaii time.