Made Possible by Moments of Thankfulness: A Message from United Thank Offering
By Wendy Grace | Diocesan United Thank Offering Coordinator
As Christians, we are taught from the beginnings of our faith to be thankful. We give thanks to God for all the gifts in our lives. We say “grace” at mealtimes, giving thanks for the food we eat. We say prayers of thanksgiving at every worship service. Many of us are even practiced in offering thanks to God daily. What if we made our prayers of thanks practices as well? What could we accomplish together if we acted in mission as we gave thanks? The United Thank Offering (UTO) is just such a practice!
Most of us recognize this image: It is the little, blue mite box UTO provides to catch our moments and gifts of thanksgiving. This Lent, or Eastertide, or whenever your parish schedules an ingathering for UTO gifts, make this a daily practice: Every time you say, “Thank God” or “Thanks be to God” or some other variant, make note of it and drop a coin into your mite box. Then when your church calls for your gifts to UTO, look back on all the grace that you’ve received and see how blessed you are!
When we send our gifts to UTO, they in turn provide support for some truly loving missions and ministries through their grant program. Some of the most recent grants include missions, like providing sewage disposal tanks in a remote area of rural China for healthier standards of living; building a solar array in Costa Rica for clean and renewable energy; rehabilitating an old barn at a retreat center in Alabama to be used as an educational facility; and, in Vermont, granting funds to Rock Point for its land use programs. All these things and so many more (including scholarships for seminarians) are made possible by coins collected at each moment of thankfulness. In these days of so much anxiety, conflict, and strife, there is great relief and satisfaction in being part of something filled with love and hope!
Pick up your blue box at your church and start your own collection. If your church does not have any blue boxes, feel free to contact me by phone at (802) 345-7455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain them.
When we send our gifts to UTO, they provide support for loving missions and ministries through their grant program.