United Thank Offering
This Sunday, November 5, there will be United Thank Offering boxes available for people to pick up. For those familiar with UTO, the blue boxes are a familiar sight. For those who have never heard of it, UTO is an organization in the Episcopal Church that supports different ministries throughout the world, from clean water initiatives, and sustainable agriculture, to affordable childcare.
Each ministry is done in and through Christ so that the love of Christ is shared in both word and deed. So how does it work? Every day when you come home, or before you put the kids to bed (or whenever), you get out the UTO box and pull the change from your pocket. Every time you put a coin in the box you give a prayer of thanksgiving, for family, friends, socks, the gospel, or whatever it is you’re thankful for. The boxes are picked up, the money is counted, and a check is sent to UTO. Except…so few of us carry cash anymore that the UTO box seems outdated.
Here’s your challenge: carry cash between now and January 6 (Epiphany, that time when the Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus), and each day put your change in the UTO box.
If you don’t like that challenge, try this one: get a roll of quarters from the bank and use that to fill your UTO box. It’s a tactile experience, holding the coin, naming something you're thankful for, and putting it in the box; it’s a habitual experience that becomes ingrained.
Writing a check is not the same; if this was only about giving money to UTO we would hold a one-day event or send a UTO pledge card to the congregation. This is about being aware of what we have, mindfulness and gratefulness.
I hope that everyone will prayerfully consider taking a UTO box and filling it with thankfulness and gratuity. And money.
We will collect the boxes on Sunday, January 7, 2024, offering them to Christ in imitation of the Wise Men.