How to Host
a UTO Ingathering
Talk to your priest/senior warden about starting UTO and order supplies.
- Not sure where to start with talking about UTO? No problem. Here are some sample elevator speeches to get you started. You can use them as is, combine them, or if inspiration strikes, you can write your own.
- Bring with you an overview brochure to help explain UTO,
- and a grant brochure to show where the funds went last year.
- If you decided to get started, register your parish, and receive a sample packet of information.
- Determine a small budget for ordering materials or printing locally. Currently, we offer a kit for just $10 for 50 people or $20 for 100. A list of all resources available for print and download can be found here.
Pick a date to hold a UTO Sunday/Ingathering.
Work backwards to determine when to start sharing formation materials. For example, if you’re going to focus on gratitude during November, you will want to start talking about UTO in October to prepare people and hand out materials. You may also want to start with a UTO kick off that introduces UTO to your parish without collecting funds.
- Each year, we create gratitude resources for Sunday School, families, and individual adults for November and Lent as those are the most common times congregations promote UTO. We also have wonderful formation resources created with Illustrated Ministries and focused on gratitude that can be used at any time of the year. Coloring sheets/posters can also be used separately.
- Share UTO videos on your congregations social media pages and website.
- Use the UTO branding guide to proudly display that your parish participates in UTO on your website.
- Check back in on the Elevator Speeches, in case people ask you about UTO. You can also use those as a quick announcement during worship.
- If you want steps for every week, follow this sample timeline for pre and post Ingathering.
Promote and remind your congregation that it is time to focus on gratitude with UTO.
- Sample Newsletter articles and sample Bulletin and spoken announcements that you can use, adapt or expand upon for your context.
- Create a visual reminder in your church with our funny, “Fear Change?” poster and a blue box or a blue water jug.
- UTO cards are great to put in Prayer Books or Hymnals as a bookmark and a reminder of the focus on UTO.
Let your congregation know there are multiple ways to give to UTO and be prepared to use them.
- QR Code – can be placed in your bulletin for easy connection to donate online. Be sure to have available the “I gave online” cards during UTO Sunday.
- Text to Give – is another way to help people connect to our online donation service. Simply share that if they text INGATHER to 41444, it will open the online donation page.
- Boxes and Envelopes – are available at the distribution center. If using boxes, pass them out at the beginning of the month, if using envelopes, you can simply include those in the bulletin a week or so prior to the collection. Be sure to have extras on UTO Sunday!
- UTO Blue Box App – is coming soon!
Make your Ingathering a celebration!
- Use the Liturgy booklet to help plan the service. The Ingathering Sunday liturgy is available here as a downloadable and editable document to get you started.
- UTO also has a list of Suggested Hymns to share with your music team.
- Photo Booth Props
- Have fun giveaways (tattoos/stickers/etc.) ready for coffee hour.
- Sample sermons for adults and children are available to help support your leadership in keeping the focus on gratitude.
- “I gave online” cards are a great way to help those that don’t use a lot of cash or change to still participate.
Collect and Submit Funds
Please send all UTO funds as quickly as possible, but no later than December 15 to:
United Thank Offering
DFMS – Protestant Episcopal Church US
P.O. Box 958983
St. Louis, MO 63195-8983
- Please follow the financial practices of your congregation for handing donations, if you need more information for how to handle UTO funds specifically, we’ve created a handy guide to best UTO financial practices for a parish.
- Send thank you cards to anyone who helped your congregation focus on gratitude, from Faith Formation to Worship leaders. Any card will do, but if you’d like UTO stationary, it is available here.
- When you send in your funds, we are happy to send thank you cards for you. Please submit your lists to email@example.com.
- Think about ways to continue to remind people to practice gratitude throughout the year. Perhaps work with your congregational leaders to try the UTO stewardship program, or simply the parts of the program that help you recognize the good work that your congregation is doing in the world. All gratitude formation resources for adults and children can be found here.
Register Your Parish
Register your parish with UTO to access perks and help us keep in contact.
Please fill out this form if you are a new UTO Coordinator or if you are transitioning out of leadership.