[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The United Thank Offering of The Episcopal Church awarded 55 grants for a total of $1,558,006.85 for the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The announcement was made by Samuel McDonald, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, during the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, meeting June 25- July 3 in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah).
The United Thank Offering is a ministry to promote thankfulness and mission in the whole Church. Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally in The Episcopal Church.
The 2015 grants were awarded to projects in 46 dioceses, which included 34 dioceses located in the United States, five non-domestic dioceses, five companion dioceses, and two grants to the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society: one each for missionaries serving internationally and Young Adult Service Corps (YASC).
Also, in honor of the 125th Anniversary of the United Thank Offering, nine special grants were awarded to young adults (ages 21-30), one in each Episcopal Church Province. (see info here)
“In celebration of the 125th anniversary of the United Thank Offering, the annual grants and the young adult grants are sound steps in striving for God’s vision and are seeking to change lives in a new way by a variety of actions,” commented Peg Cooper of Missouri, United Thank Offering board member.
Recently, the Rev. Heather Melton, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s United Thank Offering Missioner, reported that the United Thank Offering experienced a record year of generosity, marking a 2.14% increase for 2014-2015 over the previous year. She noted that the United Thank Offering was able to fund 35% of requests in 2014; 38 dioceses of The Episcopal Church increased their Ingathering amounts in the past year; six of the nine Provinces increased their overall Ingathering amounts; and Anglican Communion donations also increased over last year.
The focus for the 2015 grants was the Fourth Anglican Mark of Mission—to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation. The focus of the young adult grant was to provide seed money for a new project that was based on any of the Five Marks of Mission.
• Diocese of Alabama – Christ Church Cafe, Christ Episcopal Church, Fairfield, AL: $36,687.46
• Diocese of Alaska – Good Grief – Working Together to Overcome Grief, Formalized relationship with Diocese of Navajoland: $29,750.00
• Diocese of Albany – Support Group Beginnings and One in 4 Awareness Healing a Woman’s Soul, Inc., Capital District Area, Albany, NY: $13,650.00
• Diocese of Atlanta – Early Childhood Program at Rainbow Village Rainbow Village, Inc., Diocesan Program: $75,000.00
• Diocese of California – Stairway to Greater Learning, Holy Trinity/La Santisima Trinidad Episcopal Church, Richmond, CA: $54,398.00
• Diocese of Central Florida – Itolwa Water Well Project, Companion Diocese of Kondoa, Itolwa, Tanzania: $46,464.00
• Diocese of Chicago – Workforce Development Program, Lawrence Hall Youth Services; Joint Venture with Episcopal Charities, Chicago, IL: $ 9,820.00
• Diocese of Delhi – Province Haryana, Nurses Hostel, Philadelphia Hospital, Ambula City, North India: $30,000.00
• Diocese of East Tennessee – Interfaith Congregation Organizing, FISH Hospitality Pantries; Episcopal Led Interfaith Community Organization, Knoxville, TN: $20,000,00
• Diocese of Ecuador – Litoral – Reconstruction of housing for the missionary and his family in the Episcopal Church of San Pablo Quevedo, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Canton Quevedo, Los Rios Province, Ecuador: $62,000.00
• Diocese of El Camino Real – Expansion of Los Puentecitos/Little Bridges Bilingual Preschool, St. Lukes’s Episcopal Church, Hollister, CA: $75,000.00
• The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe – Navigating New Life, a project of the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center (JNRC), St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church, Rome, Italy: $22,800.00
• Diocese of Fond du Lac – Organizing for Justice in North Central Wisconsin, John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Wausau, WI: $34,000.00
• Diocese of Georgia – The Community of St. Joseph, The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, Savannah, GA: $19,660.00
• Diocese of Idaho – The House Next Door: Mentor, Grace Episcopal Church, Nampa, ID: $20,000.00
• Diocese of Indianapolis – Swords to Plow Shares Community Farm, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Indianapolis, IN: $16,151,77
• Diocese of Iowa – Luyengo Farm for Food Equity and Self-Determination, Companion Diocese of Swaziland, Luyengo, Kingdom of Swaziland: $40,000.00
• Diocese of Jerusalem – Renovating and Equipping St. Luke’s Hospital Intensive Therapy Units for Improved Quality Services, The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, Nablus, Palestine: $136,750.00
• Diocese of Lexington – Hazard Episcopal Ministries, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Hazard, KY: $24,000.00
• Diocese of Liberia – Portable Science Laboratory Project, Monrovia, Liberia: $40,040.00
• Diocese of Louisiana – A Safe Place: Ensuring Fire Safety for Our Children, St. Anna’s Episcopal Church, New Orleans, LA: $16,260.00
• Diocese of Michigan – Kids in the Kitchen, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Pontiac, MI: $32,430.00
• Diocese of Missouri – St. Stephen’s Industrial Kitchen – St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Ferguson, MO: $31, 804.00
• Diocese of Montana – “Keeping the Feast:” A Nutrition Education Program, Camp Marshall, Polson, MT: $8,000.00
• Navajoland Area Mission – Blue Corn Meal Project, St. Christopher’s Mission and Good Shepherd Mission Bluff, UT and Fort Defiance, AZ: $97,400.00
• Diocese of Nebraska – Friends of Tamar: A Ministry of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Omaha, NE: $33,300.00
• Diocese of Nevada – Community Immigrant Legal Services Project, Christ Church Episcopal, Las Vegas, NV: $25,000.00
• Diocese of Newark – Vehicle Replacement for Bishop of Liberia, Companion Diocese of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia: $48,000.00
• Diocese of North Carolina – St. Cyprian’s Afterschool Literacy Center, St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, Oxford, NC: $ 5,000.00
• Diocese of North Dakota – Tiny Houses Building Life Capacity, St. James’ Episcopal Church, Cannon Ball, ND: $43,500.00
• Diocese of Northern Indiana – Camp New Happenings, Camp Alexander Mack, Milford, IN: $ 5,360.00
• Diocese of Olympia – Sports for Peace, Companion Diocese of Aweil, South Sudan: $15,000.00
• Diocese of Oregon – St. Michael/ San Miguel Playground Equipment, St. Michael/San Miguel Episcopal Church, Newberg, OR: $27,813.46
• Diocese of Pennsylvania – The Darby Project: Collaboration between the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, Episcopal Community Services and the leadership of Darby Borough, Darby Borough, PA: $12,050.00
• Diocese of Rorya, Province of Tanzania – Community Vehicle, Rorya District, Tanzania: $28,200.00
• Diocese of South Dakota – The Dakota Territory Human Trafficking Project, Formalized relationship with Diocese of North Dakota: $54,800.00
• Diocese of Southwest Virginia – New Music Program at St. Paul’s, Martinsville, VA, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Martinsville, VA: $3,795.00
• Diocese of Spain, Extra-provincial jurisdiction – Pilgrim Center for the Anglican Communion in Pontevedra, Spain, Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal, Pontevedra, Spain: $60,000.00
• Diocese of Utah – Ministry through Journey of Hope, Journey of Hope, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT: $25,000.00
• Diocese of Virginia – St .Peter’s Episcopal Church Community Kitchen Upgrade, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Port Royal, VA: $14,996.16
• Diocese of Virginia – Vehicle for the Rt. Rev. Wilson Kamani, Diocese of lbba, South Sudan, Companion Diocese of Ibbba, Ibba, South Sudan: $46,290.00
• Diocese of West Tennessee – Friends of Thistle Farms, Calvary Episcopal Church and Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, Memphis, TN and Cordova, TN: $22,591.00
• Diocese of Western Massachusetts – Mission de Gracia /Mission of Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Holyoke, MA: $30,000.00
• Diocese of Western Michigan – Durable Medical Goods Lending Pantry, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Cadillac, MI: $35,800.00
• Episcopal Church Department of Mission, The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society – To provide monetary gifts for discretionary use of women and men who serve overseas (outside the United States) as Episcopal Missionary Personnel; this also includes individuals in religious orders outside the United States; these gifts are to be sent to the recipients at the same time as all other United Thank Offering grant awards: $40,000.00
• Episcopal Church Department of Mission, The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society – To provide for the continuation of the Julia Chester Emery, Young Adult Service Corps/United Thank Offering intern: $35,000.00
The United Thank Offering award funds are derived from the Ingatherings/funds/contributions received through offerings from the well-known and easily recognizable UTO Blue Box.