United Thank Offering

UTO at General Convention

March 11, 2024
United Thank Offering

By UTO Executive Committee

We’re getting lots of questions about the UTO presence at General Convention this year, so I wanted to share what we know and what we don’t know. The pandemic changed a lot of things, and instead of going back to the way that we always did things, we want to use what we’ve learned to try to be as effective as possible. With that said, there are changes that affect UTO in which we did not have input. Here is a summary of what we know about convention so far:

  1. This year’s General Convention is shorter than in previous years, which means that there will not be an Ingathering at convention. 
  2. UTO will not hold training events at convention. The UTO space is smaller than in the past and doesn’t really allow for extra seating. With that said, we will have some events in the UTO office (see below). We also know that many of our UTO leaders, particularly parish leaders, cannot afford to attend General Convention, so we will be holding our annual training day on Zoom. (See the next article for more on the date and how to register.)
  3. UTO Board members will attend General Convention in a variety of roles this year. There is so much happening at convention and we want to make sure UTO is represented in as much as possible. Therefore, our Board is splitting up to participate in the following events: ECW Triennial, DOK Triennial (we’ll have a table in their exhibit hall, so come see us in the Galt House), Young Adult Festival, and as visitors to General Convention. We’ll be splitting our time between hearings, the UTO Booth in the Exhibit Hall, and helping with the children’s program which is featuring our Vacation Bible School program: Waves of Gratitude.
  4. We’ll be doing some fun events as well—UTO is bringing back our virtual scavenger hunt, bringing in some of our partners to the UTO booth to share about their work and ministry, and we’ve got some super awesome giveaways.
  5. We’re using space in the UTO office (right inside the front door of the Hyatt Hotel) for a material swap and UTO leader gathering. Bring with you UTO materials you no longer need and swap them out for new ones or ones that other people brought and don’t use. We’ll have some snacks and time for UTO leaders and members to hang out, share and get to know one another. 

There’s more coming as we do plan to have two workshops (along with the ability to order and pick up Spanish language materials) in the UTO office, but we’ll share more about that next month. We’re excited to be together again for this short and busy convention. Be sure to stop by the UTO booth to say hello, or we’ll see you in the halls of convention.

Finally, a big thank-you to our UTO coordinators in Kentucky who are helping us get all the things ready. Thank you to Deb, who is holding all our UTO giveaways at her church, and to Carol who is trying to track down some historical UTO items. 

The Rev. Cn.
Heather Melton

Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering

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