This September we want to invite you to join us in a special celebration in honor of the life of Julia Chester Emery and her work with the United Thank Offering. This September, Julia would have celebrated her 165th birthday. She is best known for the 40 years of her life that she gave in leadership and dedication to promoting the spiritual discipline of gratitude and for tirelessly supporting innovative mission and ministry. For this reason, we want to invite you to spend September focused on the importance of gratitude and grit, as exemplified in the life of Julia Chester Emery. (Don’t know much about Julia? Don’t worry; we’ve included some biographical information with this mailing along with a ton of resources.) Then, we want you to end the month by throwing a birthday party for Julia on Sunday, September 24th complete with downloadable photo booth props, with a special thank offering to support the annual Ingathering for UTO.
We know how busy the beginning of the program year at the church can be, so to help you out, we’ve created the following resources to use during the month of September to learn about Julia and her grit and to deepen gratitude within yourself, your congregation and your community.
- Two Children’s Sermons
- Faith Formation Lessons for Preschool, Elementary, Middle and High Schoolers, Adults and an Intergenerational activity for the whole parish
- Sermons that Work for September 24th
- Sample Newsletter Article and weekly bulletin inserts for September
- Downloadable Resources and Decorations
- Bulletin Inserts. Sept. 3 and Sept. 24.
- Spanish Bulletins. Sept. 3 and Sept. 24.
Each week we’ll email out a video, bulletin insert and a note encouraging and supporting you in participating in this celebration. Finally, we’ve created a Pinterest Board (www.pinterest.com/UnitedThankOffering) to help you find other ideas for decorations, games and party ideas to use. And to make it even better, we’re hosting a contest for congregations and dioceses. Take photos or videos of your celebration and tag us on Instagram (@UnitedThankOffering) or post on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UnitedThankOffering) and the UTO Board will chose their favorite to win a prize package. Are you a UTO Grant site? You can win a prize pack as well by submitting your photo of your celebration featuring your grant site. Be sure to include your grant year in your post so we can identity you in this competition. Also, the congregation and the diocese that gives the most money to the United Thank Offering Ingathering during the month of September will also win a prize package and major bragging rights. (Remember, 100% of what is given to UTO each year is given away the following year as grants to support innovative mission and ministry in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion.)
Thanks for joining us in this awesome celebration, for committing to living a more grateful life and for spreading that gratitude out into the world!
With deepest gratitude,
The United Thank Offering Staff and Board