Pilgrimage to Spain with Bishop Sparks and UTO

During a recent UTO grant site trip to Spain, UTO Staff Officer, the Rev. Cn. Heather Melton, heard on several occasions how The Spanish Episcopal Church might not exist had it not been for the assistance of a bishop from Northern Indiana in the 1950’s. Heather was intrigued both by the historical facts and the ongoing goodwill of Spain towards Northern Indiana and decided to do a little research.

With the assistance of the archives of Northern Indiana, an article written by Bishop Reginald Mallett was discovered. It’s quite a story. In 1890, Archbishop of Armagh (Ireland) consecrated the first Bishop of The Spanish Episcopal Church and assisted in providing both guidance and protection. By the 1950’s, after two World Wars and a Spanish Civil War, the church was persecuted and at risk of disappearing under the Franco regime.

Bishop Mallett, and his wife, made an inaugural trip in 1954, under the guise of taking a vacation. Their fact-finding mission only intensified their desire to help the Spanish Church. In April of 1955, behind locked doors and with “a congregation of over two hundred who had come by twos and threes at an early hour in the morning” the second Bishop of Spain was consecrated, the Rev. Santos Molina, by Bishop Mallett, the Bishop of Europe and the Bishop of Meath. What a fascinating story. To most thoroughly enjoy this, please access the June 1956 issue of Northern Indiana’s monthly newsletter, the Beacon, here: https://archive.org/details/beacon1026epis/page/n171.

To honor this wonderful ministry of Bishop Mallett, and to continue to support The Spanish Episcopal Church, The United Thank Offering has partnered with The Diocese of Northern Indiana to arrange a pilgrimage to Spain. With the help of Corazon Travel, a UTO Pilgrims on the Camino adventure will be offered October 5-14, 2019. This will celebrate Bishop Mallett’s brave action while at the same time raising awareness and funds for an Anglican Center in the city of Santiago de Compostella (where all Christians are welcome to receive communion). For more details on this pilgrimage please refer to https://unitedthankoffering.com/camino or contact Michelle Walker (Missioner for Administration and Communication at the Diocese of Northern Indiana and Associate Staff Officer for The United Thank Offering) at miwalker@episcopalchurch.org.

- The Rev. Cn. Michelle I. Walker

UTO Associate Staff Officer & Missioner for Administration and Communication for the Diocese of Northern Indiana

2019 United Thank Offering Grant applications now accepted


Applications are now accepted for the 2019 United Thank Offering grants.  More information and the application forms are available here.

The focus for the 2019 United Thank Offering grants is Go: Crossing boundaries created by race, culture, and economics to create communities that listen deeply and learn to live like Jesus.

“Boundaries divide us and encourage us see each other as more different than we are. Jesus was always crossing those kinds of boundaries to include the 'other,' and UTO wants to encourage projects that will continue that work of Jesus to heal divisions and grow the beautifully diverse kingdom of God," commented Sherri Dietrich, United Thank Offering Board President.

Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address a new focus area each year, both domestically and internationally in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The United Thank Offering was founded to support innovative mission and ministry in the Episcopal Church and to promote thankfulness and mission in the whole Church. 100% of thank offerings given to UTO are granted the following year.

Detailed guidelines for applying for the grants are available online. The deadline is March 1, 2019 at 5 pm Eastern/4 pm Central/3 pm Mountain/2 pm Pacific/1 pm Alaska/ 12 pm Hawaii.

The UTO Grant Committee will offer webinars to answer any questions and go over the application on Tuesday, January 15 and Wednesday, February 13 at noon and 8 pm Eastern/7 pm Central/6 pm Mountain/5 pm Pacific/4 pm Alaska/3 pm Hawaii at https://zoom.us/j/8140408194

The list of allowable and projects not eligible are listed on the UTO website.

The United Thank Offering will accept:

  • grant applications for start-up costs of a new ministry.

  • grant applications for seed money for start-up positions.

  • one grant application per diocese within the Episcopal Church and one per province of the Anglican Communion.

  • one additional application for a companion/partnership grant from a diocese of the Episcopal Church.

United Thank Offering will not fund the continuation of ongoing ministries.

For more information about guidelines and applications, email our EDNIN UTO coordinator, Rev. Canon Michelle Walker.

Submitted by: The Episcopal Church media release

The Reverend Matthew Cowden Candidate for Eighth Bishop of Northern California

The Reverend Matthew Cowden  Rector, Saint Michael and All Angels (South Bend, Ind.) Candidate, Eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Northern California

The Reverend Matthew Cowden
Rector, Saint Michael and All Angels (South Bend, Ind.)
Candidate, Eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Northern California

5 December 2018

Dear Sisters, Brothers, Siblings,

Grace and peace be with you in Jesus, the Risen Christ, whose coming we await!

Earlier today, the Diocese of Northern California announced their candidates for bishop and the Rev. Matthew Cowden, a priest of our diocese who serves as Rector of St. Michael and All Angels in South Bend, is one of their candidates. Please join me in praying for Matthew and Melissa and their family as the public part of this process now begins. The next step is the walkabout which will occur in January. The Electing Convention is scheduled for 9 February 2019.

I invite you to pray for the people of St. Michael and All Angels as well. The bond between a clergy person and those they are called to serve is deep. While it is a time to rejoice and give thanks for this potential opportunity for Fr. Matthew to be called to serve the wider church in episcopal ministry, this process profoundly effects the life of the faith community of St. Michael and All Angels.

By God’s providence, this news comes to us during Advent, a season which invites us to watch and wait. So, let us pray for all those involved in this process of discernment and election.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine:  Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen!

Advent Blessings,


You can view the official release from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California here.