[Episcopal News Service] The United Thank Offering of the Episcopal Church has awarded 59 grants for 2011 totaling slightly more than $1.6 million to aid the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
The grants were awarded to projects in 39 Episcopal Church dioceses, eight companion diocese relationships, and 12 international provinces. All told, $1,634,526.19 was awarded.
United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally.
Most of the grants focused on assistance to food ministries, health clinics, refugee needs, young adults and the construction of classrooms and program space, according to a press release from the church’s Office of Public Affairs.
For example, the Diocese of Minnesota was awarded $15,725 for a First Nations Kitchen renovation and community garden project, a ministry of All Saints’ Episcopal Indian Mission in Minneapolis. The Diocese of Newark was granted $7,547.00 for the Learning Through Literacy program at St. Paul’s Episcopal Anglican Church in Paterson, New Jersey.
The smallest amount awarded, $1,039.70, went to the Diocese of Western North Carolina for developing a web seminar and facilitating contact with small isolated congregations, a project of the Christian Resources Center of the diocese and its canon for small churches.
Thirteen grants totaled $50,000 or more, with the largest at $95,000 to the Anglican Church in the Province of West Africa toward the cost of constructing a church building in the Diocese of Tamale, Ghana, the release said.
Among the companion diocese relationship grants was one for $40,000 to the Diocese of South Dakota for the Diocese of Twic East in South Sudan, Africa. The grant is meant to aid construction of a primary healthcare unit for the community of Panyang. The Diocese of Milwaukee was awarded $11,576.00 toward medical equipment for the maternity ward at St. Michael’s Health Center in its companion diocese, Newala in Tanzania.
The Episcopal Church in the Philippines received a $50,000 grant toward construction of a two-story multi-purpose center for women, and $35,000 went to the Anglican Church of Central America Region for reconstruction of the Diocese of El Salvador’s pastoral and retreat center.
The complete list of grants is here.
UTO was established in 1889 as the United Offering by the Women’s Auxiliary to the Board of Missions and primarily supported the work of women missionaries. UTO later broadened its emphasis to include all areas of the church’s work. More information about UTO’s history is available here.
UTO suggests that people should daily pray and give in recognition of their daily thanks for what God has given them. Often the people whom the UTO calls “thankful givers” supplement their daily contributions before sending the money to UTO either individually or through a process known as the diocesan in-gathering. The UTO believes that thankful giving spiritually unites the givers with the people who benefit from their gifts.