Invite Welcome Connect, created by Mary Parmer and developed through the Episcopal Diocese of Texas Newcomer Ministry Project, is a transformational ministry that equips and empowers clergy and lay leaders to cultivate intentional practices of evangelism, hospitality, and connectedness rooted in the Gospel imperative to "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Invite Welcome Connect is currently in a season of transition, and effective July 1, 2017 became a ministry of the Beecken Center at the School of Theology, University of the South.
Designed to accommodate congregations of all sizes, the work has been integrated into 40 dioceses in The Episcopal Church, seminaries, colleges, and other parts of the Anglican Communion. The ministry crosses all social, economic boundaries, and explores the ways creativity and relational ministry go hand in hand in effecting culture change. The assessment tools, surveys, checklists, and ministry materials are designed to be adapted based on the interests and needs of a particular locale.
In speaking of her work, Mary Parmer writes, “We need to be agents of imagination in our communities and empower people to take risks, trying new things for the sake of the gospel. In order to expand this important work, a home for Invite Welcome Connect that honors this approach is needed. I am confident the Beecken Center is just the right place for this work to thrive, to develop, and to grow.”
As of July 1, 2017, Invite Welcome Connect is a proprietary, trademarked ministry, co-owned by Mary Parmer, its founder, and the University of the South. We are pleased with the community of users and participants in this ministry to date. With its arrival at the Beecken Center of the School of Theology in Sewanee, we are committed to a faithful oversight of the use of Invite Welcome Connect in dioceses and congregations.
We are in the early stages of visioning the expansion of this ministry from our new home, updating content, and creating protocol for facilitator and coach training. Within a few months, we hope to have an initial stable of trained certified facilitators.
We value your connectedness to this ministry. If you are presenting this material to an audience wider than your congregation, we are interested in discussing with you our vision for facilitator and coach training. The University and the Beecken Center has assumed responsibility for credentialing facilitators and coaches for this ministry. Please be in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, if you are interested in scheduling an Invite Welcome Connect workshop or other event, please contact us at email@example.com
We look forward to making this ministry a point of flourishing for the Church in the 21st century.