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). Effective July 1, 2017, Invite Welcome Connect became a program 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.”