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About Us

Book a Coach

We are thrilled to introduce you to our team of trained and certified Invite Welcome Connect Coaches who are available to assist your clergy and lay leaders in the implementation of Invite Welcome Connect. Successful engagement with the ministry of Invite Welcome Connect depends on intentional collaboration between clergy and lay leaders, and the addition of a Coach significantly increases the ability of a faith community to creatively live into the ethos of this ministry.

 

An Invite Welcome Connect Coach works with the clergy and/or Invite Welcome Connect team(s) of a faith community to support, encourage, and hold them accountable to envision, plan, and implement the Invite Welcome Connect ministry into the life of that congregation. The focus for a Coach is on the congregation building its own capacity as it creatively utilizes Invite Welcome Connect resources.


For more information about booking a Coach email iwcteam@invitewelcomeconnect.com

MEET OUR COACHES

Leticia Alanis

Leticia Alanis is an ordained Pastor in the ELCA. She serves as Pastor and Mission Developer for “Unidad y Fe/Unity and Faith” a growing mission in Woodhaven (Queens, NY). Leticia loves to build bridges of communication and to participate in meaningful collaborations. She has engaged in initiatives headed by the Diocese of Long Island and provides pastoral care to the Latinx community of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Flushing, NY.

Leticia and a group of lay leaders participated in an IWC training sponsored by the Diocese of Long Island and in training to coach communities in IWC. She knows by the fruits in ministry that Inviting, Welcoming, and Connecting are Jesus’ chosen and blessed ways to advance God’s work in the world Leticia has the expertise and brings great passion to revitalizing communities through their continued re-centering around the newness and potency of God’s love in action in us and everywhere.

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Kevin Caruso

Kevin is the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Wheaton, IL.  He has been blessed to share in ministry with the people of Trinity for the past 7 years.  
 

Kevin is also blessed to be the father of 3 wonderful children who fill his days with laughter and love. As a priest, he seeks to support people in discerning how God calls them to live with purpose and passion. He's excited to serve as Invite Welcome Connect Coach.  

In addition to attending the IWC 2-day training and the IWC coach’s training, Kevin presented at the IWC digital gathering in 2020 and currently serves on the IWC Advisory Board.  He's a graduate of the College for Congregational Development, and one of the Episcopal Leadership Missional Cohorts.  He also currently serves as a consultant for the Diocese of Chicago and supports congregations by facilitating the search process for clergy leadership and Mutual Ministry Reviews. 

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Diane Gaidon

Diane was excited about the transformative power of Invite Welcome Connect when introduced to it several years ago.  As a trained coach, she is eager to assist individuals and congregations lead gospel-inspired lives.  Diane has found that her other roles as a trained transition consultant for parishes in the Diocese of Long Island and a life-professed Third Order Franciscan inform her passion for radical hospitality, loving the vulnerable, and growing the body of Christ.  Diane is self-employed as a manual physical therapist and is a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Babylon NY.

Lieve Hendren

Lieve Hendren has been privileged to serve in Invite Welcome Connect ministries since 2018, helping to launch a Greeting team at St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago and to navigate the unique challenges from the COVID-19 transition to virtual worship. Lieve has volunteered in church ministries engaging all ages including adult formation, young adults, liturgy teams, and music education. Outside of church, Lieve works as a nonprofit strategy consultant. As an Invite Welcome Connect coach, Lieve is committed to building consensus around a shared vision and ensuring that everyone has a voice at the table. Most of all, Lieve loves walking into new churches and meeting parishioners passionate about living out their shared values in Christ.

Mary Alice Matheson

Mary Alice was first introduced to Invite Welcome Connect in the spring of 2016 at a diocesan event in the Central Gulf Coast. A spark was ignited in her and she committed to looking outside the Church walls where God's people are also doing amazing things, to celebrate the good within our communities, and to look for opportunities to bridge gaps between the Church and the world. In the ministries she has served, Invite Welcome Connect has inspired new offerings and new ways of thinking.

Currently, Mary Alice serves as the Missioner for Mobile in the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast and as the part-time associate at St. Luke's Mobile. She hopes your community will take the opportunity to live into Invite Welcome Connect, and she and the other coaches look forward to walking with you in this ministry.

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Lea Anne Schmidt

Lea Anne embraced Invite Welcome Connect several years ago while building a new member ministry at her home church. She has since become a trained facilitator and coach of Invite Welcome Connect. Her work is grounded in the belief that everyone, lay or ordained, has invaluable gifts to bring to this ministry. She especially enjoys equipping and empowering lay ministers, like herself, with the practical skills and ideas needed to build and grow a more inclusive, life-giving parish. When Lea Anne is not coaching churches, she coaches families and young children with special needs as a Speech-Language Pathologist for an urban school district. Lea Anne is a member of Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Saint Paul, MN.

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Toni Snow

Toni Snow attended her first Invite Welcome Connect event a few years ago, where Mary Parmer shared this ministry with the Episcopal Church in Delaware. She immediately embraced this ministry, understanding the impact and possibilities of incorporating it within the churches. Toni is now an Invite Welcome Connect coach, assisting her diocese to lead their Invite Welcome Connect ministry. She believes that Invite Welcome Connect provides the church with a road map to carry out the Great Commission, showing us how to reach our communities for the plan of God. Her passion is to see people come to the Lord and help them grow and become disciples for the Kingdom of God. Toni works for the Episcopal Church in Delaware as the Project Support Manager, where she helps the visions, plans, and goals of leadership and others come alive.

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Nicole Spencer

Nicole Spencer is a parishioner of the Cathedral Church of St. James (Chicago). She was first introduced to Invite Welcome Connect during a coffee hour after the 11:00 AM service a few years ago.  It was a casual mention “have you heard about...” What piqued her interest was her sense that Invite Welcome Connect aligned with where they were as a congregation and more important, what they wanted to become – authentically welcoming and hospitable.  Through training and practice, she discovered that Invite Welcome Connect was a framework to focus and support the collective enthusiasm around extending God’s hospitality to those who encountered St. James. 
 

Nicole is excited to support parishes as they embark on their journey with Invite Welcome Connect. She is honored and humbled to be a member of the first cohort of coaches trained in March 2020.  

Nancy Talmo

Nancy Talmo is part of the Diocese of Delaware's Invite Welcome Connect Team, and they are in the process of visiting each Episcopal church in Delaware. Her journey began a few years ago when the Lord put on her heart to reach out to her neighborhood and ask the question - what do you need? The answer - food and clothing.

 

Nancy's small parish has hosted multiple food bank events as well as coordinated a clothing giveaway. The parish weekly supports food pantries in their community with items as well as manpower for distribution. Nancy feels that becoming a coach for Invite Welcome Connect is a privilege as well as a gift. Being a 20-year veteran teacher, Nancy is familiar with making assessments and providing coaching and advice to a diverse group of people. She does not know where her journey will take her, but she trusts the Lord to know her path.  

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