Those little blue boxes…

We are coming to the celebration of United Thank Offering Sunday this week—which happens to coincide with the Wellsboro Men’s Chorus Pizza Party. We’re looking forward to the men being present and singing at the 10 AM Service next week, which is always a treat for us.

It is said of the United Thank Offering that it was begun at a meeting of the Women’s Auxiliary to the General Convention in 1886. According to the story, the offering taken at the service (at which some 500 delegates were present) amounted to a rather modest $87.00. Dismayed at the less than generous response, Ida Soule (a delegate from Pittsburgh) suggested that it might increase a more generous response if there were a designated project. After all, the money raised had been intended to make grants and to underwrite projects for missionaries, the building of hospitals, churches and schools. Even in 1886, $87.00 did not go that far.

From that modest beginning, the United Offering was born. It then became known as the United Thank Offering in 1919 when over $1,371,537.00 was raised, chiefly from the practice of putting leftover pocket change into little blue boxes at the end of the day, with a moment of gratitude taken for God’s blessings.

In the present time, the United Thank Offering still relies on the generosity and thankfulness of people to fill up those little blue boxes. From those modest beginnings, annual grants are made now that add up to approximately two million dollars a year. That is an astounding accomplishment! And it shows what God’s people can do when they pitch in together. Extraordinary things happen from a few pennies here and a nickel there!

So, remember to come to Saint Paul’s this week. Enjoy the music offered by the Men’s Chorus, and bring your blue boxes. Come hungry–our UTO Chairperson Chris Osgood will be hosting Coffee Hour. Be prepared to make an offering to the United Thank Offering with thankful, grateful hearts.


Father Greg+


About canongreg

I have been Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Wellsboro, PA since 1994.
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