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United Thank Offering grants $2.4 million; coordinators from 107 dioceses attend ingathering
Coindet-Segura elected UTO president

By Daphne Mack
[Episcopal News Service]  [ENS] The United Thank Offering (UTO) committee's 2006 grants include two to the Diocese of Louisiana for projects related to Hurricane Katrina.

While UTO's grants criteria exclude emergency relief, "We have the potential to respond to some of the longer term needs created by the hurricane through our regular granting process," said JoAnne Chapman, UTO coordinator.

UTO is a spiritual and financial partner in the mission work of the Episcopal Church which focuses on addressing compelling human needs and expanding mission and ministry.

The Diocese of Louisiana's Office of Disaster Response will receive $85,000 to help renovate an office building, and provide housing for office staff, displaced survivors, and volunteer groups.  In addition, Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans will receive $35,000 to fund a coordinator of disaster relief for one year. This will help the church implement a mobile Loaves and Fishes ministry as part of the clean-up and resettlement effort.

UTO received 196 requests totaling $7,235,649.77 for 2006. They were able to fund 112 grants of which 87 received partial funding and 25 received full funding.

* 59.4 percent was granted to U. S. dioceses

* 40.6 percent was granted to overseas and regional grants.

The grants committee finalized the 2006 grants list in Columbus at General Convention. The total granted is $2,419,628.54.

Sources include:

* 2005 offerings collected               $2,190,953.42

* Trust income                                      1,921.84

* Interest                                            54,572.95

* Returned/rescinded grants               151,556.18

* GC Eucharist offering                        20,624.15

"This offering comes from thankful giving, and we are really grateful that we can respond to diverse needs identified by the church throughout the Anglican Communion," Chapman said.

The geographical breakdown for 2006

* Africa                                       5 grants                        $184,011.68

* Asia/Pacific                             10 grants                      $300,313.07

* Caribbean                                4 grants                        $165,000.00

* Central America                       2 grants                        $120,000.00

* Mexico                                       1 grant                          $30,000.00

* South America                          3 grants                        $89,000.00

* Jerusalem/Middle East              1 grant                          $30,000.00

* United States                            84 grants                      $1,437,003.79

* Regional                                   2 grants                        $64,300.00

* Total                                        112 grants                    $2,419,628.54

According to Chapman, there are provinces in Africa who "no longer submit requests" but we will continue to invite them to do so because "we want to leave the door open on our side."

Ingathering at General Convention

UTO coordinators from 107 dioceses of the Episcopal Church participated in the Convention Eucharist and Ingathering on June 17.  Ingatherings from 2003, 2004, and 2005 totaled $7,719,279.49.  All offerings are granted each year, along with interest, income from small trusts, and any returned or rescinded grants.  The total granted in these three years was $8,454,410.65.

The plate offering at the Eucharist was $20, 624.15, which the committee used to fund additional grants for 2006.

UTO was established in 1889 as the United Offering by the Women's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions and was primarily used to support the work of women missionaries and expansion of the church. That emphasis has broadened to include all areas of the church's work. The mission of UTO is to expand the circle of thankful people.

A 2006 grants list will be distributed to all parishes in a fall mailing. This list will be available at no cost from Episcopal Book and Resource Center and will be published on the UTO website at




Coindet-Segura elected UTO president

[ENS] Connie Coindet-Segura of Honduras was elected UTO's president for the 2006-2009 triennium.  Coindet-Segura has served one term on the committee as the Province IX representative, and will continue in that capacity.

She was born in Puerto Cortez, Honduras, where she and her family still reside.  She was Province IX Representative to the ECW National Board 1991-1994.  Coindet-Segura was the first woman in the city of Puerto Cortez to be elected to the office of vice mayor, from which she recently retired.  She has many administrative talents, and a true heart for the work of the UTO.

The 12 members of the 2006-2009 UTO committee are:

Province I, Dorothy Smith, Diocese of Connecticut; Province II, Pamela Stewart, Diocese of Long Island; Province III, Wilma Johnson, Diocese of Central Pennsylvania; Province IV, Zona Tounsley, Diocese of Alabama, Province V, Jan Goossens, Diocese of Springfield, Province VI, Mari-Lou Triebenbach, Diocese of Minnesota; Province VII, Elaine d’Lys McClurkan, Diocese of Texas; Province VIII, Lynn Headley, Diocese of Los Angeles; Province IX, Connie Coindet-Segura, Diocese of Honduras; and three Members at Large, Patty Tourangeau for Jerusalem, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific; Gurtie Berkner for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Regina Ratterree for Africa.  Contact information for Committee members can be found on the UTO web site at