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Executive Council expresses deep regrets re: UTO

Executive Council expresses deep regrets re: UTO

Episcopal News Service reports on the Executive Council meeting and the outcome of discussions about UTO:

The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council formally moved Oct. 17 to try to heal the wounds incurred during the recent controversy over the functioning of the United Thank Offering.


Council’s efforts included two resolutions and many statements of support for the future of UTO and its relationship with the wider church. In addition, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told council that she and UTO board president Barbara Schafer, from the Diocese of Nevada, were working on a joint statement to later release to the church.

Steve Hutchinson, chair of council’s Joint Standing Committee on Governance and Administration for Mission (GAM), told his colleagues that his committee’s Oct. 15 discussions with four UTO representatives were “substantive, frank and productive.”

He characterized the attitude as one of “very strong support and high hopes to move forward – not to dwell on the past – but to move forward cooperatively.”

….

In one of council’s two UTO-related resolutions, passed on the final day of its Oct. 15-17 meeting here, members “acknowledged with deep regret the breakdown of communication and relationship between the board of the United Thank Offering and leadership of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.”

They “committed to a season of reconciliation and renewal of all involved in a thoughtful and faithful engagement and conversation to resolve matters of governance and administration, while honoring the UTO’s historic promotion of a theology of thankfulness, so that the mission of the UTO can be strengthened.”

Council’s Joint Standing Committee on World Mission also brought forward a resolution Oct. 17 expressing thanksgiving for the ministry of the UTO and support of its work going forward. Resolution WM015 affirmed the UTO board’s 2014 United Thank Offering Grant Focus and Criteria (to be posted Nov. 1 on UTO’s website). Finally, the resolution also encouraged every Episcopalian to get and use daily a UTO Blue Box.

Resolution from Governance and Administration for Mission:

TO: Executive Council

FROM: Joint Standing Committee on Governance and Administration for Mission

RE: United Thank Offering

Resolved, That the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, meeting October 15-17 in Chicago, Illinois acknowledges with deep regret the breakdown of communication and relationship between the board of the United Thank Offering and leadership of the DFMS; and be it further

Resolved, that the Executive Council is committed to a season of reconciliation and renewal of all involved in a thoughtful and faithful engagement and conversation to resolve matters of governance and administration, while honoring the UTO’s historic promotion of a theology of thankfulness, so that the mission of the UTO can be strengthened; and be it further

Resolved, that we commit ourselves to continuing support of the UTO by offering gifts of thankfulness on a regular basis through the “little blue box” or direct gifts to the Spring and Fall Ingatherings, and inviting the whole Episcopal Church to join us; and be it further

Resolved, that we give thanks for the years of inspirational and prophetic service to the wider Church that the United Thank Offering and generations of women leaders have made, and look forward to celebrating the 125th anniversary of this important work as we seek renewal of this mission for generations to come.

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Ann Fontaine

The version that caused the controversy did not come up for a vote - so UTO continues with what Executive Council approved before GC2012 and in the report to GC - also the granting procedures remain the same. As far as I can tell from reading reports.

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Bruce Parker

Ann you say elsewhere, "UTO to continue with current bylaws and granting procedures." Do you mean the version with the recent changes that ignited the controversy or the earlier version approved by GC and EC. If the latter, I can't find that in what has come out so far (ENS release and EC resolution). Did I miss it?

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Elizabeth Kaeton

I don't know the answer to your question, but, if we are a church that believes in forgiveness and reconciliation (and I believe we are), that is my expectation. My hope is that I am not disappointed.

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DeaconEm540

Does this resolution extend to the four leaders from the UTO who stepped down?

[Editor's note: Thanks for the comment. Please sign your name next time.]

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