The United Thank Offering (UTO) of the Episcopal Church in the United States has announced that the Diocese is to receive funding for Ministering to Families and Individuals in need from St Paul’s, Nicosia. The focus of the granting process this year was ‘Recovering with Love and Gratitude: An Episcopal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Local Contexts.’
Ministering to families and individuals in need from St Paul’s, Nicosia
St Paul’s Nicosia has an established and thriving food ministry to migrants, asylum–seekers, refugees and others in need in the local community, most of whom are single adults. This ministry has continued through two 9-week lockdowns with home deliveries and take-away meals, highlighting the acute needs faced by families during the pandemic.
In response St Paul’s, in partnership with UTO, is to launch a new project to support families’ nutritional needs, in addition to their children’s educational and social needs. Under the project, families will be offered customised food parcels via its food bank, as well as three family-friendly hot meals each month over the next year. Children will be able to enjoy a new supervised play area, as well as accessing informal homework/language support offered by volunteers, including local students.
St Paul’s food ministry is an integral part of the diocese’s parish-based social concern work across Cyprus, which is co-ordinated and supported through its archdeaconry social concern officer, the Reverend Anne Futcher.
“Choosing which grant applications to fund and not fund is always difficult, but during this extraordinary time of suffering in the global Covid-19 pandemic we had to prioritize mere survival over thriving,” said UTO Board President Shared Sherri Dietrich. “As always, if we’d had more money to grant, we would have been delighted to fund more of the excellent grant projects submitted, so please continue to be thankful and make your thank offerings to UTO.”
UTO funding will be used to support the nutritional needs of families, by providing 40 customised family-sized food parcels each month, and a family-friendly hot meal for 100 family members on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Monday of each month, served at St Paul’s (with adapted arrangements in the case of lockdown). The UTO grant will also fund a temporary, part-time family worker, to support the purchase, preparation and distribution of food parcels and hot meals.
Additionally, UTO funds will support the play and social needs of children attending the family meals, with the construction of a levelled, grassed and fenced outdoor play area, complete with play equipment, benches and storage space.
United Thank Offering Funding
Every penny given to the United Thank Offering is given away the following year, to support innovative mission and ministry in the Episcopal Church. Through the gratitude and generosity of those who contributed through Blue Box donations, UTO awarded over $400,000 in grants during the second round of grants to address the pandemic.
The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute the 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.
To find out more about UTO, please contact
The Revd Canon Heather Melton
Staff Officer, The United Thank Offering