Schedule a Workshop
A congregation can implement the ministry of Invite Welcome Connect on its own by following the instructions for implementation found on this website and in the Appendix section of the Invite Welcome Connect book.
For further education and training, our team of certified Invite Welcome Connect Facilitators are available to kick start your engagement with the ministry of Invite Welcome Connect through intensive and interactive four or six-hour workshops.
An Invite Welcome Connect workshop includes actual hands-on training and creative idea generation using the Check Lists and Ideas-Resources pages. Suggested implementation procedures for this important transformational work are offered throughout the day, and best practices from congregations around the country currently doing the work are discussed. Congregations will do the small group work for themselves, and they leave with creative ideas for evangelism, the ministry of hospitality, and the ministry of belonging.
For more information about scheduling a workshop email firstname.lastname@example.org
MEET OUR FACILITATORS
Kathy Culmer is an author, storyteller, speaker, teacher, and retreat leader. A graduate of Spelman College, the University of South Florida, and United Theological Seminary with a D. Min. in Biblical Storytelling, she has taught on the secondary and college levels in a variety of subject areas ranging from English to Speech Communications, to Broadcast Journalism, to Religious Education. Kathy was the Mission Funding Coordinator for the Diocese of Texas from 2007 - 2013 and currently serves as Director of Religious Education for St. James Episcopal Church in Houston, TX. Kathy is editor of Yes, Jesus Loves Me: 31 Love Stories, a collection of personal narratives, the author of the story series: “Moving Forward in Faith: The African American Experience in the Diocese of Texas,” and has been a contributor to Forward Day by Day.
Mary retired from the bishop’s staff of the Diocese of Texas as Canon for Congregational Vitality in 2017 after 20 years of service. It was during this time that she became significantly involved in promoting Invite Welcome Connect in the congregations of her diocese. Mary’s expertise has been in the continuing education of clergy and lay leaders in visioning/planning, ministry assessment, search committee training, and all aspects of vestry life. She was instrumental in the founding of the Iona School for Ministry and believes this work to be her legacy Over the course of her career she has spoken, consulted, or done training in 44 dioceses. Mary is a graduate of Louisiana State University, has her M.Ed. from Southern University. and was awarded in May 2017, an honorary doctorate from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest for her contributions to the Episcopal Church.
Elaine d’Lys McClurkan
Elaine d’Lys McClurkan is a “cradle Episcopalian”, and long-time resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Elaine has been a member of 4 different parishes in Texas and Georgia, and served on vestries and finance / insurance committees. Over the last 30+ years, she has been active in ECW, UTO, and DOK, attended Province VII, Triennial, and General Convention meetings, and served on the United Thank Offering National Committee. In the Diocese of Texas, Elaine completed the Crosspointes Lay Leadership and Congregational Development programs and served as the Mission Funding Volunteer Coordinator. She has planned and chaired the Diocesan ECW Annual Meeting, Diocesan Spiritual Growth conferences, and various parish quiet day retreat weekends. Elaine retired from the corporate world in 2019, just in time to start “living la vida covid” and collect dust on her Passport, and now lives in Houston. She is a member of Christ Church Cathedral, Houston TX.
Mary Foster Parmer
Born and raised in the deep South, Mary Parmer is the founder of Invite Welcome Connect, a transformational ministry of evangelism, hospitality, and belonging. Invite Welcome Connect has circulated throughout The Episcopal Church and Mary has presented this ministry in 60+ dioceses, three seminaries, three universities, the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, and the Anglican Church in Canada. Mary’s award-winning book, Invite Welcome Connect: Stories & Tools to Transform Your Church, was published by Forward Movement in 2018. Mary served as Lay Deputy to four General Conventions of The Episcopal Church, and she is past director of the Gathering of Leaders, a national leadership gathering of young Episcopal clergy. Mary holds a degree in Religious Studies from St. Edward’s University in Austin, and she formerly served as Director of Adult Ministries & Evangelism at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beaumont, Texas.