Bulletin Insert – November 4, 2018

United Thank Offering Ingathering Sunday

Today many churches will celebrate the feast of All Saints’ Day, when we remember the lives, work and ministry of all of the saints of the Christian faith. In many congregations, parishioners will also observe the feast of All Souls’ Day or All the Faithful Departed, by reading the names of those who have died who are not recognized as saints by the church, but are saints in the lives of those who knew and loved them.

The tradition of remembering the saints began in the early fourth century as a way to lift up the example of the lives of the saints for the support, encouragement and emulation of believers. For those of us gathered together in worship today, All Saints’ Day is a reminder of the great cloud of witnesses encouraging us to follow the teachings and example of the Jesus of the gospels in our daily lives.

Today is an important day in the life of one of our oldest ministries in the Episcopal Church, the United Thank Offering (UTO). UTO was founded in 1883 as a way to encourage people to commit to a personal spiritual discipline of gratitude. Recognizing that all good things that happen in our lives are gifts from God, UTO encourages Episcopalians to make thank offerings to God in gratitude for the blessings of our lives. In the early 1900s, as the United Thank Offering became a ministry of the whole church, the women leading the ministry decided that the collection of individual mite boxes – known today as Blue Boxes – should be held on All Saints’ Day. The women felt that All Saints’ Day was a time when the church stopped to give thanks for the blessings of the lives of the saints, big and small, and is thus a wonderful time to gather up all of our blessings, so they might go on to bless others.

UTO now encourages congregations to have an ingathering of UTO Boxes during the month of November. November has become a month to reflect on all of the things we are thankful for in our lives, from the saints of the church and our lives at the beginning of the month, right through Thanksgiving at the end of the month, it is a beautiful time to reflect and give thanks for all the good God has done in our lives.

If your congregation doesn’t participate in UTO yet, we hope you’ll start this month. Please visit our website, episcopalchurch.org/uto, to learn more or find resources to help teach about gratitude in your congregation or home. 100% of what is donated to UTO through the annual ingathering is granted the following year to support innovative mission and ministry in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

Download the bulletin insert as a PDF:

full page, one-sided

half page, double-sided

Comments

  1. All Saints Episcopal Church says:

    This UTO insert which is listed for Nov 4th along with the one for All Saints’ Day has a date of Nov 11th.

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