The Episcopal Church’s United Thank Offering ministry is producing throughout Lent a series of daily texts on the theme “Noticing and Giving Thanks for Small Things in Our Daily Lives.”
The 2023 Lenten Gratitude Challenge consists of signing up for the texts via mobile phone. They contain such messages as “Today, notice and give thanks for a chore that you enjoy,” or “Today, notice and give thanks for your comfort food.” Another message was, “Today, reflect on how you’ve evolved and adapted throughout your life and give thanks for whom you are becoming.” No messages or appeals are sent other than the daily Lenten text.
Participants may post photos on social media that illustrate a daily text at #utogratefullent.
The Diocese of Virginia posted on its Facebook page a photo of a flowering tree (left), writing that “in the spirit of the UTO Lenten Gratitude Challenge and noticing the small things in our daily life, we share this wonder of creation that faithfully blooms forth each year in front of our staff’s office windows.”
The Diocese of California, on its Facebook page, encouraged readers to “join us this Lent in participating in the United Thank Offering’s 40-day Lenten Gratitude challenge! We’ll share a prompt each weekday in our story with an option for you to respond. Then we’ll share the responses so we can celebrate all that our community has to be thankful for. Looking forward to hearing from all of you!”
Founded in 1889, the United Thank Offering encourages donations as a form of gratitude to God for the many blessings of life. From the collected donations, the UTO awards grants to innovative ministries in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion, totaling more than $1 million per year.
The 2023 grant focus is on mission and ministry projects addressing all aspects of the worldwide incarceration crisis, specifically, preventative programs and intervention; prisoner support outreach; prison reform work; post-prison re-entry. The deadline for the 2023 grant cycle is March 10, 2023 and grant information is here.