Episcopal Diocese of Kansas to receive UTO Grant to respond to Environmental Justice Issues

United Thank Offering announced the grant recipients for the 2022 granting cycle, and we are excited to share that the Diocese of Kansas will receive funding for Cultivating Earth Stewards at The Gardens at Bethany House. The focus of the granting process this year was “Care of Creation: Turning love into action by caring for God’s creation to protect the most vulnerable who will bear the largest burden of pollution and climate change through: justice, advocacy, environmental reparations, or the development of formational materials.”

Cultivating Earth Stewards at The Gardens at Bethany House

After listening to the needs of the neighborhood and the ecosystem of urban Topeka, we came to understand that the children in our surrounding community did not have easy access to an outdoor classroom. We also noted that, while we are in the Monarch migration path, the area lacked the milkweed and water that Monarchs require for nutrition and breeding. In partnership with the local Elementary School, we collaborated on a plan to raise, tag, and release butterflies during the final generation of butterflies of the migration. The Monarch education project aligned with the diocese’s goals to teach, equip and send earth stewards. This primary project is supported by systems developed to provide education for, and hands on experience with, caring for creation. A Lead Gardener, working with three interns, will tend the gardens at Bethany Place and provide educational events for the neighborhood and the diocese, working with the Diocesan Missioner.

“Caring for God’s creation is one of humanity’s first tasks according to Genesis, and we have done a pretty poor job of it so far. UTO’s 2022 grant recipients will play a great role in remedying that situation through the ministries they develop and disseminate to encourage greater participation in creation care. As always, if we’d had more money to grant, we would have been delighted to fund more of the excellent grant projects submitted, so please continue to be thankful and make your thank offerings to UTO,” shared Sherri Dietrich, UTO Board President.

United Thank Offering Funding

Every penny given to the United Thank Offering is given away the following year to support innovative mission and ministry in the Episcopal Church. Through the gratitude and generosity of those who contributed through Blue Box donations, UTO awarded more than $1,051,154.14 in grants to address environmental issues.

The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings, and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

For more information on UTO:

The Rev. Canon Heather Melton, Staff Officer, The United Thank Offering

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