Perhaps you are aware of the controversy that will be voted on tomorrow by the Executive Council concerning the future of UTO. Below you will see a letter I have written, though I'm not sure who will actually get it before the meeting. Other letters have been circulating, there has been much discussion on the List Serve for the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. There is also a petition for you to consider at
I pray that these are His Words in the letter. I ask you to pray for all involved and also to forward to any and all you think would be concerned and will join us in prayer.
My love and God's Peace,
As the fig tree says in Judges 9:11 “should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit and go to sway over trees.” UTO, just as Gideon has fought for you, has played a huge part in encouraging the Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society in a history, a lifetime of mission. Praise be to God.
And they have done it through, with and in the structure first called Women’s Auxiliary and then Episcopal Church Women both of whom are the women of the Episcopal Church, not an organization per se, but the women of this church - operating yes, with Bylaws and organizational structure, but women of the church – FREE of polity and prejudice and utterly capable.
Many, many groups work within or adjacent to this framework which is not really just one of many. This network operates on a parish, convocational or deanery or district, diocesan, provincial, national level just as our church does. It is the lay ministry of women in our church encompassing all, NOT as card carrying, join or not join members, but rather all. It includes many ordained women as well who have served and are serving on all levels of the network.
Would that we could have Episcopal Church Men build such a powerful contribution as UTO for the benefit of all. Imagine what that could mean to our church, our nation, the Anglican Communion and our world. And perhaps ERD fits that bill today in many ways.
We learned to tell our stories at General Convention 2009. How can any part of any bureaucracy duplicate in any way the history that powerfully included this story during a most memorable granting session at the Triennial Meeting in 1994. In a room of 400+ women the Diocese of Mississippi partitioned that their grant to help reading programs for the underprivileged in their diocese be granted at least at some level. To this the Sisters from the Diocese of Haiti went to the microphones to say “We give back our grant to be used for the children of Mississippi. Our Lord will supply our needs in Haiti.” After a very pregnant and poignant pause, the women of the Diocese of Texas went to the microphones and said “The women of our diocese will raise the funds for Haiti.” The room erupted in thanksgiving and witness to God’s love and provision. This is UTO. UNITED and THANKFUL Offering! This is the women in action for the good of all.
In Habakkuk we are told “though the fig tree shall not flourish……the Lord is my strength and He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and will make me to walk upon my high places.” I believe if this process does swallow up UTO as we know it today, the “very stones will cry out” and something will rise out of the phoenix. BUT GOD will then have provided for two good things to go forth to His glory and the good of all mankind. Thanks be to God!
President, National Board Episcopal Church Women