A bright, colourful children’s playground has recently sprung up in the grounds of St Paul’s Cathedral in Nicosia—part of a Diocesan project to support families in need, funded by The Episcopal Church of America’s United Thank Offering (UTO).
UTO makes regular grants to the dioceses of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The latest grant, to the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, supports St Paul’s in its work with needy families, most of whom are refugees and asylum-seekers. As well as playground equipment, including a trampoline and slide, the grant pays for hot meals and food packages.
Hot meals—served at St Paul’s three times a month—are a welcome opportunity for otherwise isolated families to connect, socialise and share experiences. As the number of people attending grows, it is also hoped to add an educational element for the children of uprooted families. Food packages contain staple products for home-cooked meals, such as rice, flour, pasta, cooking oil and tinned tomatoes.
The Diocese and St Paul’s are deeply grateful for UTO’s help in improving the lives of people who find themselves many miles away from home and in an increasingly desperate situation.
The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church of America 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.