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A Song of Gratitude

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson

What makes your heart sing?  The exuberance of children splashing in the ocean?  Yellow sunshine in an impossibly blue sky?  Warm cinnamon buns?  The intricate glories of baseball? The possibilities are endless, but the probability is that each of us could fill pages and pages with the things that reliably bring about our inner smiles -- if we thought about it.  Which is exactly what we hope you will do, because such thoughts almost always beget further thoughts of gratitude, and sometimes our bursting hearts are inspired to reach out to lighten other hearts as well. 

Such is the idea behind the United Thank Offering (UTO), a ministry of the Episcopal Church, which encourages us to live a life whose background music is a song of thanksgiving, and then to share these beautiful melodies with others in the form of monetary contributions to support domestic and worldwide projects that address human needs.

The first UTO began in 1889 as part of the Women’s Auxiliary to the Board of Mission, and it awarded two grants.  Last year, thirty-four grants were given for such projects as the provision of water tanks for 4,500 starved people in Kenya; a housing, recovery and support program for formerly incarcerated women in Arizona; the building of indoor classrooms to accommodate 450 children in South Sudan; an after-school mentoring program called Kids’ Orchestra serving 800 low-income students in Louisiana; and an environmental agriculture initiative in Haiti. 

If your thankful heart can help, look for the blue and white envelopes at worship this weekend, or contact the church office.