All Saints’ Sunday, Ascension Sunday, or What Works for You?
By Kathy Mank, Financial Secretary
In trying to locate a current source of why All Saints’ and Ascension Sundays have traditionally been selected by congregations throughout The Episcopal Church for UTO Ingatherings, I found little, except for lots of old UTO Blue Boxes with dated UTO slogans and prayers and the infamous UTO basin. In short, if I cannot track down a source for this and have served on the UTO Board for six years, why should anyone be relegated to All Saints’ and Ascension Sundays for UTO Ingatherings? If these Sundays fit into your congregation’s liturgical cycle and expand the circle of thankful givers, please continue to prepare for the feast days of All Saints and Ascension with UTO in mind. However, if your priest and liturgical ministers would prefer a different Sunday or Sundays for an Ingathering, please have conversation with them and discuss what would work best to promote gratitude in the form of thank offerings and the periodic blessing of the tangible results of our gratitude in worship.
UTO has resources on its blog for liturgy and worship that incorporate gratitude and UTO, including updated graphics for donating online, texting to give, and mailing in thank offerings. At one point, a UTO worship hymn was composed, which can be a delightful challenge for your musicians to interpret, and it is available on the blog. The UTO Board would enjoy hearing musical interpretations of our hymn. Sadly, we have lost its audible history.
In the publication Thankfulness Unites, UTO treasurers/coordinators were enthusiastically propelled into their work: “Like all Church work, this work of UTO Coordinator requires tact, constant tact, Christian tact, loving tact. You will have numerous discouragements, certainly enough to keep you humble, no matter how much you may accomplish; but forget those things that are behind and press continually forward. And pray, do not fail to pray; pray constantly; pray before you start out with the boxes; pray before you tell about them; pray without ceasing.”