United Thank Offering

UPDATE: UTO Pre-Convention Packet Updated!

May 1, 2018
United Thank Offering

As General Convention draws closer, we get better information and more details, so we’ve updated the pre-convention packet. We’ll update it once more in June with any last-minute information. With that said, we are really excited about some of the new things that are coming together as convention draws closer. Here are the updates:

  1. Ingathering Date Changed – Seasoned Convention goers will tell you that this year’s Convention schedule looks a lot different than it has in the past. For one thing, we’ll be attending worship in the evening instead of in the morning. Also, the Sunday morning worship has shifted over the last few months, as the liturgy committee and the planning committee finalize details. On Sunday morning, those attending are invited to worship in local congregations, since the main worship service will be the previous night at the Revival. So, the UTO Ingathering will be held on Friday during the evening worship service. This service will have the traditional procession of UTO and bishops and the Ingathering collection. We will utilize the same process we used in Salt Lake City. There will be a rehearsal, but it has not been scheduled yet. Each person will be given a card with a number on it to help us line up easily and quickly. During the rehearsal, each diocese will also be given the list of every grant awarded to the diocese from 1883 to 2018, as well as its 2018 Ingathering amount update.
  2. Bags of Grace – Each day during Convention, the UTO Booth will be “taken over” by a recent UTO grant site. On Saturday, July 7, we’ll host Missional Voices, with whom we’ve partnered this past year for our Julia Chester Emery Internship. Missional Voices is an annual gathering for conversations about innovative mission and ministry. Missional Voices is doing a really innovative giveaway at the UTO Booth, called Bags of Grace. People will be invited to come to the UTO Booth and pick up a Bag of Grace, which is a kit of needed items for individuals living on the streets. Those who take a Bag of Grace will be encouraged to take the bag’s items out onto the streets of Austin as they head to the revival and give them to people they meet along the way and talk with them, and then to come back and tell us about the experience the next day. UTO is donating the bags and Shima of Navajoland is donating soap. We would love your help with other items to fill the bags. Our intern, Katelyn, has created an Amazon Wish List, so you can purchase and send items to help fill the bags with gratitude, joy, and love. Click here to participate.
  3. Daily Offerings – In addition to having grant sites take over the UTO Booth each day and give a quick presentation at lunch, we’ll be offering a different gratitude practice to come and engage with and a different giveaway daily. We’ve listed these on the UTO calendar but created an additional handout for the pre-convention packet that gives more information about each grant site and each day’s giveaway and gratitude practice. We especially hope that this will generate ideas for ways to promote UTO in your context. We’ve also included the map of the Exhibit Hall so you’ll know where to find us!
  4. UTO Board Triennium in Review –In preparation for General Convention, the UTO Board creates a report for the Blue Book the year before Convention. As Convention drew closer, we realized it might be good to update and share this information with our community. Please check out the updated pre-convention packet for the Triennium in Review.

The Rev. Cn.
Heather Melton

Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering