In Case You Missed It…
- As many of you know, I am a big fan of Brené Brown and her teaching on shame, resilience, vulnerability, and gratitude. I find it helpful and challenging. (I’ve even taken her online parenting class, which was really useful.) Dr. Brown, an Episcopalian, has come out with a new book that looks at how we lead. Since many of us are leaders in our churches, in our communities, or within UTO, I felt like this would be a great book to read and then discuss together as a group via Zoom. The book is just under 300 pages, and I know we all read at different rates, so go get the book today and then we’ll gather in January to discuss it. I look forward to reading the book and hearing your thoughts! If you aren’t familiar with Brené Brown, be sure to check out her TED talks (https://www.ted.com/speakers/brene_brown)to get you started. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, January 23 at 6 p.m. Eastern time. See login information below.
All webinars are held using Zoom
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/8140408194
Or via iPhone one-tap in the U.S.: +16468769923,,8140408194# or +16699006833,,8140408194#
Or via telephone by dialing: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833
Meeting ID: 814 040 8194
International numbers are available here: https://zoom.us/u/brmt6scCY
- UTO Database: At General Convention, we launched our brand-new membership database. Thank you to everyone who has already uploaded their current information! This database will help us track which congregations are participating in UTO and better communicate with members and leaders. With that said, the database is only as good as the data in it, so we need your help to keep it current. Please use this link to upload your information or to update it whenever there are any changes in your life or in the leadership of UTO in your parish or diocese. Please follow this link to register and/or update your information: https://unitedthankoffering.membershiptoolkit.com/login?r=%2Fdirectory.
- Gratitude-Based Stewardship Program Materials Now Available!
By the Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering
As I begin my sixth year as the UTO staff officer, I am well overdue in addressing one of the major concerns that I hear when I travel around the Church to talk about UTO and when I talk to UTO coordinators who are feeling discouraged: the concern that, if congregations participate in UTO, then giving to the parish will decrease. Every time I hear this, I tell the story of Bishop Frade who found that the congregations in his diocese that participated in UTO actually had an easier time with their annual stewardship campaigns – gratitude breeds generosity. Doing parish stewardship well has been a lifelong struggle for me as a parish priest. I’ve tried all sorts of things, but the one thing that continues to prove true is that, if we can teach our congregations to operate out of a place of gratitude and reflect on the Church with gratitude, then stewardship is a lot easier. I presented this idea to the clergy of the Diocese of Massachusetts and was grateful that many of them later called to hash out what this might look like. Through their support, the help of congregations where I’ve served as priest, and the UTO Board, I learned a lot about how gratitude, UTO, and stewardship can support one another.
During General Convention, Kathy Mank, the UTO Board financial secretary, and I hosted a workshop on Best Financial Practices and Stewardship. During that workshop, we debuted a new program entitled Building Gratitude and Generosity Together: A Stewardship Guide for Congregations Rooted in Gratitude. This is a complete stewardship program that can be used for a month, six months, or a year. Segments can be used separately, or it can be used in its entirety. We hope that this free resource will help congregations approach stewardship from a place of gratitude and then continue to build on the good work done in the program by instituting UTO. If your parish already participates in UTO, then this program will only enhance the experience of gratitude that UTO has established in your congregation.
I would love your feedback on these resources in order to update and improve them, so if you use them, please let me know what you think and how we can enhance the experience for others. The entire booklet is available for download here: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/united-thank-offering-resources.
UPDATE: If you would like the stewardship materials as a Word document so you can edit them, please follow this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/smaqo60jit8cteb/UTO%20Stewardship%20Guide%20FINAL.docx?dl=0.