May Missive #5

Photo of Virginia Theological Seminarians In elevator after meeting about UTO

In this Missive:

  • Message from Continuing Review Chair
  • Fun Assignment
  • Agenda for meeting in Puerto Rico
  • Schedule of Bible verses for Friday morning study
  • Grants Committee thank you
  • Self-study Committee reminder


Continuing Review Committee—From Sherri Dietrich, Chair

One of the things we will all be working on in Puerto Rico (PR) is review and updates of the Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, and all of the committee handbooks. Next week I will send to you all the “official” files for those documents so you can look them over and think about needed changes before we get to PR. Make note of any changes you think should be made to the documents and we will discuss them both as the whole Board and as individual committees/small groups during our Board meeting. Sherri will take a few minutes during our Zoom meeting on the 24th to explain this a little more, but wanted to give you a heads up on what will be coming.  (Note from Sandra:  Sorry this did not get covered at the Zoom meeting.)

Meeting Agenda 

No breaks have been built in since we will take hourly breaks for our interpreter.

Fun Assignment:  What is the most unique thing about your home?  Bring a photo and a few words to tell the story.

Wednesday, May 3
4 p.m. Executive Committee meeting in my suite—minutes to approve 2/10 and 4/7
6 p.m. Dinner with entire group—Blessing–Joyce Landers
7-9 p.m. Business meeting #1—minutes review and approval, agenda modifications, overview of finances, what financial obligations do Board members have to UTO?
9 p.m. Compline—Elizabeth Campbell
Thursday, May 4
6 a.m. Breakfast on your own
7 a.m. Depart hotel for visits to Aibonito, St. Judas Tadeo Church (grant award) and Espiritu Santo House Church and Retreat Center site—in planning stageLocal contact:  Lorraine Candelario, UTO Coordinator Lorraine will meet the bus half way. “Let the bus driver know to take Exit 21 towards Cidra off route 52 South. He’ll make a right at the light and I’ll be waiting by the gasoline station ECOMAXX going up the mountain. There’s plenty of room for them to park.”
12:00 p.m. Lunch at Diocese, Brown Hall
1:30 p.m. Depart diocese to hotel (30 minute drive)
2:30 p.m. Debriefing of visits
3:00-5:30 Business Session #2    Focus on Triennial (July 5-13, 2018)—schedule, booth, workshops, etc. “What is the best use of my gifts?”
6 p.m. Dinner Blessing–Sherri Dietrich
7:30-9 p.m. By-laws and Policies and Procedures review with entire Board – Led by Continuing Review Committee chair and President – Bring by-laws and any recommended changes
9 p.m. Compline—Valinda Jackson
Friday, May 5
Breakfast on your own
9 a.m. Morning Prayer with Bible Study component—Marcie Cherau  (45 minutes or less)  Be prepared with these readings
9:45-12 p.m. Business meeting #3 Committee Reports and Discussions:

·      Education and Training—Blake-Reid and Carver (60 minutes or less)

·      Grants–debrief, rubrics discussion, and tweak grant process—Landers, Darnell and Cooper  (45 minutes or less)

·      Self study—review survey and develop a timeline—Squires   (30 minutes or less)

Noon Lunch—Blessing–Birdie Blake-Reid
1:15 p.m. Business session #4

·      Companion grants—Buck Blanchard  (1 hour)

·      UNCSW Report—McDaniel and Squires plus Damaris de Jesus, PR (45 minutes)

·      Policies and Procedures—Dietrich

·      Meet in large group initially, then in committees to work on parts of P&P:

o   CRC, Communication, Grants, Finance, Memorial Trust Fund, Education and Training

6:00 Dinner out on your own—make sure everyone is included!
Saturday, May 6
9-11:30 a.m. Business session #5

·      Approval and actions required before departure on committee work:  CRC, Grants, Education and Training, Self-study, Triennial

·      Open time for topical discussions

·      Each Board member make a list of assignments with dates to work on






Additional Information for the Meeting

You have received several things from Patrick Haizel which will come through the GCO Extranet email.  Please be aware that these are important communications about the meeting, how to get to the hotel, etc.

Marcie has also sent you a schedule of arrival times and dates so you might share rides.  She has also sent a list of verses for our Friday morning Bible study.  You are responsible for having a copy of that verse with you.

  1.  1 Peter 5:7;  Matthew 11:28-30 – BIRDIE
  2.  Hebrews ‪3:13;  Ephesians ‪4:29;  – BARBARA
  3. Proverbs 15:4 – RACHEL
  4. Philippians 2:4 – SANDRA
  5.  2 Corinthians :16-18 – KATHY
  6.  Romans ‪10:17;  Matthew 7:24-27 – SHERRI
  7.  1 Thessalonians ‪5:17;  1 Timothy 2:8- JOYCE DOUGLAS
  8.  Romans ‪10:15– VERNESE
  9.   Galatians ‪3:27– PEG
  10.  1 John 1:7;   Hebrews 12:1 – JOYCE LANDERS
  11.   Ephesians  ‪6:10– VALINDA
  12.   2 Corinthians ‪2:15-16– ELIZABETH
  13.   Matthew. ‪23:27– REINA
  14.  Proverbs 31:30 – CAITLYN
  15.  1 Samuel 16:7 – SARAH

Grants Committee

Many thanks to the Grants Committee for their amazing work, and to Heather for her innovations in making the review process for the Committee easier.  How do I express gratitude in enough ways and enough times to recognize the incredible work by all of the Board, but especially for that committee and our staff officer, Heather.  Twice a year this committee works under impossible deadlines, with an impossible job of preparing things for review, and for making it look to outsiders like it is not impossible, but easy.  Good job and thank you, thank you, thank you!

Self-study Committee

I have sent copies of the rough draft of the study committee questionnaire.  Committee members, please review that and come with any suggestions so we can move to the next step.  Study committee members include:  Birdie Blake-Reid (EC & E&T), Elizabeth Campbell (recently added), Sarah Carver (E&T), Marcie Cherau (EC), Caitlyn Darnell, Sherri Dietrich (CRC), Valinda Jackson, Kathy Mank (EC), Heather Melton, Barbara Schafer, and Sandra Squires.  When we get together, we need to confirm that this is the correct committee list.  Some are added as Executive Committee (EC), Continuing Review Committee (CRC), and Education and Training (E&T) members, and others whose committee work impacts the survey.


Everybody is unique. Do not compare yourself with anybody else lest you spoil God’s curriculum.


Invitation to contribute to the United Thank Offering pocket book of prayers

Dear Friends, Participants and Leaders of the United Thank Offering,

Warmest of greetings from the Board and the staff of the United Thank Offering, we hope that this letter finds you well. As you may know, every three years, the United Thank Offering gathers original prayers from around the Episcopal Church to create a pocket book of prayers available at General Convention. Last Convention we were able to collect 125 prayers of gratitude in honor of 125 years of the United Thank Offering. This year we are hoping to collect original prayers from nine categories: gratitude, guidance, fear/danger, forgiveness, healing, loneliness, crisis/dealing with disappointment or crisis, love of God or other. Children, women, men, clergy, seminarians or groups may write prayers for this edition of the booklet. We welcome prayers from every diocese and province of the Episcopal Church and prayers can be submitted in any language. Prayers can be submitted in any format: collect, litany, free form or prose. We encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit and write a prayer to be used through out the church by individuals, to begin or close meetings, or in a variety of settings.

Please submit all prayers by July 1, 2017. All prayers must be submitting using this webpage: You’ll be asked to select which category your prayer fits into best for the pocket prayer book. Please provide your name, parish, diocese, province and, if applicable, your position within UTO. You’ll also be asked to provide a title for your prayer. You may submit multiple prayers, however, you will need to fill out a separate form for each prayer. If you need assistance with the submission process, please contact our staff at

Thank you, in advance, for participating in the 2018 United Thank Offering pocket prayer book and for inviting others to participate as well. The past editions of these small prayer books have become treasured items and a wonderful way to continue to infuse our lives, work and gatherings with prayers when words escape us.

With gratitude,

Sandra Squires

President, United Thank Offering Board