Prayers pay off

Prayers of gratitude multiply into blessings around the world.

United Thank Offering, gathers the prayers of women, men and children in contributions of money into Blue Boxes. Coins and bills are pushed through the slot of the little blue cardboard box each time a someone remembers to give thanks to God in his or her lives. These offerings result in the ability ot support mission at home and around the world. This year UTO approved approved 104 grants totaling $2,439,342.46

Many of the 2007 grants were given with the Episcopal Church’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals in mind. For instance, the hospital-completion grant in the Diocese of Sialkot in Pakistan focuses on the goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, Chapman said. A $50,000 grant to the Diocese of Banks and Torres in Melanesia will help build the Mothers Union Training and Resource Centre in Vanuatu, thus addressing the MDG of empowering women. A nearly $62,000 grant to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Jerusalem will support a health clinic and nursery hall in Ramallah to assist working mothers who need a secure place for their children to stay during the workday.

The MDG concern of reducing HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases was addressed by the $30,000 grant to the Cathedral Outreach Ministries in Bridgetown, Barbados in the Church in the Province of the West Indies. The money is meant to help renovate the old cathedral clerk’s house to be used as a center for HIV/AIDS education and counseling.

The needs of immigrants and refugees were also a focus this year with grants going to efforts to care for and integrate migrants and refugees into the life of their communities. Such grants include $40,000 to Iglesia Espanola Reformada Episcopal to renovate its immigrant center in Oviedo, Spain; $8,400 to Exodus Refugee/Immigration, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana to provide professional English training, and $14,000 to the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Omaha, Nebraska in part to offer space to Sudanese refugees.

The committee approved 104 grants totaling $2,439,342.46. The average grant amount was $23,455.22. The two largest grants were $79,722 to the Diocese of Sialkot in Pakistan to finish a hospital and $68,000 to the Diocese of Alaska to build a new church for St. Augustine’s congregation in Homer. The smallest grant was for $750 to the Diocese of Mississippi to start a Sunday school program at St. Mark’s in Jackson.

Read the story here.

For more on how you can participate and information on the United Thank Offering click here

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