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1st Week of September, 2017

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Welcome to September and a Special Celebration of Julia Chester Emery!

by the Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering 

I know that I promised all of you long ago that we would only send out one email a month, so I apologize for breaking that promise during the month of September. This month, you’ll get three follow up e-newsletters with just a quick spotlight on an idea to promote UTO and Julia Chester Emery’s birthday celebration and then a letter and a video. Today, you are getting a letter and video from our Board president, Sandra Squires, sharing why we are doing this special celebration. Next week, you’ll hear from the Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, and then the following week, you’ll hear from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The last video will be from the entire UTO Board when they gather in Baltimore to meet and celebrate Julia as well, so I hope you’ll keep an eye out for all of those and please share them with your diocese, parish, and community.


To the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement

by Sandra Squires, UTO Board President

Sandra Squires video screenshot.pngI am inviting you to celebrate the 165th birthday of Julia Chester Emery, one of the most remarkable women in the history of our beloved Episcopal Church! The United Thank Offering Board is asking you to help celebrate Miss Julia’s birthday during the month of September with a special offering in recognition of her mission work in the Church and her 40 years of service.

Julia Chester Emery was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on September 24, 1852. Her parents, Captain Charles Emery and Susan Hilton Kelly Emery, had 11 children, eight of whom survived. As a seafaring man, Captain Emery had traveled the world, but retired from the sea to engage in coal and copper mining and raise a family. Mrs. Emery inspired her children’s interest in mission work. Captain Emery had been raised Unitarian and Mrs. Emery Congregationalist, but they followed their oldest child, Mary, into The Episcopal Church. Over time, four Emery sisters—Mary, Julia, Susan, and Margaret – worked for the Church on behalf of women and children in New York, while Helen kept a home for her sisters and two brothers became Episcopal priests.


A Parish Speaks for UTO

by Julia (Parish UTO Coordinator) and Mo Littlefield, R. E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church, Lexington, VA

UTO Blue Box.jpgHow important is the United Thank Offering mission and ministry to individual Episcopal parishes? Certainly one sponsoring a successful application for a grant may place it high on its priority list in thankfulness to God. But what about other parishes that participate regularly in Ingatherings without the blessing of immediate reward?

Although the founding of R. E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church in Lexington, Virginia, occurred nearly five decades before that of UTO, as one of 56 parishes now in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, it has maintained records of UTO Ingatherings since 1938, when our beloved Elizabeth Galt Welles was custodian. In those early days, leaders among the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) managed the program by collecting the humble offerings from parishioners and sending them to the national Triennial meetings held every three years.

In a tiny black book, Mrs. Welles handwrote the total offerings of our parish until 1943, after which time successor custodians or ECW treasurers carried on the practice. As the UTO story grew in prominence among churches throughout the country, the funds collected, meager at first, and sent united to the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS), provided for more UTO grants for mission. By the end of World War I, for instance, UTO Ingatherings grew sufficient to grant more than $1 million!


Young Adult and Seminarian Grant Applications Now Available

by Caitlyn Darnell, UTO Grant Committee Chair for Young Adult and Seminarian Grants

On Friday, the UTO Board released the Grant Focus and Criteria for the 2018 Young Adult and Seminarian Grant application process. We hope you’ll share this information with your network!

The UTO Board will continue to award up to 10 grants of $2,500 each to young adults and up to 10 grants of $2,500 each to seminarians regardless of age. The purpose of these grants is to provide start-up money for new projects. There is a separate application form for young adults and seminarians, but the deadlines, criteria, and focus are the same. 


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The Rev. Canon Heather Melton

Staff Officer, United Thank Offering

(212) 922-5130

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