[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] The United Thank Offering of the Episcopal Church has awarded 48 grants for a total of $1,517,280.91 for the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The 2013 grants were awarded to projects in 38 Episcopal Church dioceses, six international provinces and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS) Mission offices.
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.
The awards ranged from $2000 to the Diocese of Mississippi to $162,817 to the Diocese of the Dominican Republic.
A total of 86 grant applications were received. The awarding of the 2013 grants focused on two (of the five) Anglican Marks of Mission: To respond to human need by loving service; and to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
“Grants represented many needs in our world,” commented Barbi Tinder, United Thank Offering Board President. “The top 15 rated grants addressed the teaching of gardening and creative food preparation; providing for continuing clean water; providing wood for warmth during cold months; providing for many forms of special needs for children; creating buildings that built community.”
The complete list of grants is located here.
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.
This year, the Grants Committee conducted all of its work electronically, thereby “going green,” a process initiated by Sarita Redd, who was president when she died suddenly in January, and Tinder.
“As a result of the Grants Committee’s initial effort in creating the new granting process, and the participation of the entire Board in implementing the needed steps, the United Thank Offering Board can now state that the footprint of the Board in terms of environmental impact has been dramatically reduced,” explained Tinder. “Last year the board estimated approximately 10,000 sheets of paper were used in the granting process; this year the only paper to be used will be 86 official letters to grant applicants with 86 envelopes, and 48 printed award certificates to be presented to grant recipients whose applications were funded! A total of 134 pieces of paper and 86 envelopes! An enormous reduction of use of trees!”
United Thank Offering Creates John Hines Award
The United Thank Offering Board created a special Triennial Award that addresses issues of social justice.
Named for the 22nd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the John E. Hines Social Justice Award will be presented after each triennial General Convention.
A highlight of each General Convention is the United Thank Offering Ingathering Eucharist, in which donations are provided by each diocese. During this service, the plate offering is given to the United Thank Offering. This offering will now be used to fund a grant application that presents a grassroots, innovative and creative project that addresses significant issues of social justice and how to change unjust structures in a community.
At the 2012 General Convention United Thank Offering Ingathering Eucharist, $34,280.91 was received. The first John Hines Social Justice Award has been given to the grant titled “Five Smooth Stones,” a film created for kids by kids from St. Anthony’s Episcopal Church in Winder, Georgia (Diocese of Atlanta) to address the issue of bullying. The grant will be used to fund the initial publishing of the film on bullying and its companion Facilitator/Study Guide, for distribution, marketing and sales for the purpose of anti-bullying education.
“The John Hines Social Justice Award has been created to honor the history of the relationship between the Presiding Bishop and the Women of the Church, still a continuing relationship supported by The United Thank Offering Board,” explained Tinder.