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United Thank Offering celebrates founder Julia Chester Emery’s birthday in September

August 15, 2017
Office of Public Affairs

The United Thank Offering is extending an invitation for the Episcopal Church to join in a special celebration honoring the life and work of Julia Chester Emery for her 40 years promoting and establishing the United Thank Offering.

September 25 marks the 165th birthday of Julia Chester Emery. Starting as a young adult leader in the Episcopal Church, she is best known for dedicating 40 years to leadership and promotion of the spiritual discipline of gratitude and for tirelessly supporting mission and ministry all while championing the role of women’s work in the church.

“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, culminating in a birthday party on Sunday, September 24,” explained Sandra Squires, United Thank Offering Board President. “Julia’s life was focused on showing her gratitude by collecting funds and supporting missionaries and congregations both in the West and abroad.  She was a pioneer in organizing and supporting women sharing God’s message. So we invite you to take up a special UTO offering during September in gratitude for Julia Chester Emery and her legacy.”

Every penny collected and all other 2017 Ingathering funds will be granted in 2018.

The United Thank Offering is a gratitude ministry of the Episcopal Church to support innovative mission and ministry in the whole Church. Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering awards grants for new projects and programs that address innovative approaches to ministries within their communities that meet the stated focus for the year.

Congregations, dioceses, groups and organizations can sponsor a birthday party for Julia on Sunday, September 24 complete with downloadable photo booth props, with a special thank offering to support the annual Ingathering for United Thank Offering.   

The following are resources, available here for your celebration:

•           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 24

•           Sample Newsletter Article and weekly bulletin inserts for September

•           Downloadable Resources and Decorations

  • Pinterest Board to help you find other ideas for decorations, games and party ideas to use.

Each Tuesday in September the United Thank Offering Board will release a special video and letter to encourage participation.  These videos will be available on the resource page and sent directly to those subscribed to the UTO E-Newsletter. See here to receive the videos.

Contests for congregations
The Board of the United Thank Offering is hosting contests for congregations and dioceses.  The first contest invites you to take photos or videos of your celebration and tag on Instagram (@UnitedThankOffering), or post to the United Thank Offering Facebook page to enter to win a prize at the end of September. 

The second contest is to recognize the parish and diocese that contribute the most to the UTO Ingathering during the month of September.  The official rules for each contest can be found here

More information
For more information, contact the Rev. Heather Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering.