Invite Welcome Connect workshops — Oct. 12 and 13
In-person at Church of the Advent, Colwood and via Livestream
“I will always remember my visit to Mondeor Methodist Church in Johannesburg in 1994, before I became an Anglican. We had just moved house, and I was looking for a spiritual home nearby. I visited a few of the local churches. My husband’s colleague and his wife invited me to come to their church. The service was pleasant, if a little confusing. I had to figure it out for myself. Afterwards, I walked out to join the congregation at coffee hour. The colleague and his wife disappeared. I stood alone with my teacup in its saucer and sipped the tea. Nobody approached me. I felt very awkward indeed. After I had finished the tea, I went home. I didn’t go back.”
So many people have had experiences like this in parishes. This is part of what drew me to training in Invite Welcome Connect in Pennsylvania back in 2019, where I and my parishioners met Mary Parmer. She who taught us:
- The best way to Invite newcomers to our parish
- How to make them feel Welcome when they visit, and how to
- Connect them with parish life and community, so they belong.
It turned my parish around, gave us energy and the mindset and the skills with which to grow the congregation, just by being ourselves, and listening and paying attention.
Here’s the good news: Mary Parmer is coming to Canada for the first time, to lead the workshops she founded 13 years ago. She will be holding Invite Welcome Connect workshops on Oct. 12 (part 1) and Oct.13 (part 2) at Church of the Advent, Colwood. These will also be livestreamed.
Would your parish leadership teams benefit by learning some of the best ways to foster church vitality and growth? To have an opportunity to re-examine their own parish systems of invitation, welcoming and connection, and to create strategies and implement those strategies?
What is Invite Welcome Connect?
The ministry of Invite Welcome Connect is a useful framework, gathering existing best parish practice and supporting its parish implementation in ways that thrive in today’s culture. It equips and empowers congregations to practice invitation, hospitality and connectedness. Invite Welcome Connect relies on the collaborative creativity of clergy and laity who choose to actively, intentionally embody the principles of hospitality, making this method adaptable to any parish, age group or location.
Invite elcome Connect is not a program. It is a ministry that moves parishes from a maintenance culture to a Gospel-driven mission culture. Its strength lies in the excellence of the workshops, the accessibility and applicability of its resources, and the ways to acknowledge and work with the discomfort some of us might have with inviting people to join us in worship or fellowship.
Invite Welcome Connect began in 2010 as a pilot “newcomer welcoming” project in four Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Houston, Texas. Thirteen years later, it has been run in more than 60 Episcopal dioceses, and it is recognized nationally as an asset in the Episcopal Church, with the support of presiding bishop, Michael Curry.
To watch a brief introductory video (11 minutes), please click here.
Each person who attends the workshop will receive a copy of the award-winning book, Invite Welcome Connect: Stories & Tools to Transform Your Church, published by Forward Movement in 2018. This book will be used for the follow-up Zoom book study in October and November. As well, it can be used by parishes as a workshop process to design and implement their strategies. The books will be given out at the workshops.
Workshops on Oct. 12 and 13
Mary Parmer will run a two-part workshop at Church of the Advent on Thursday, Oct. 12 to Friday, Oct. 13. Each evening starts with a finger supper at 6 p.m. The session begins at 6.30 p.m. and ends at 9.30 p.m. (Thursday) and at 9 p.m. (Friday).
These sessions will be livestreamed as a Zoom webinar for those who cannot attend in person, but who wish to participate in the Q & A afterwards. The sessions will be recorded for the use of our diocese. The workshops will be followed by a 6-week parish implementation book study via Zoom during October and November, in which parishes could work together to create a strategy for their parish, and the steps to implement that strategy.
Registration Fee (In-Person + Invite Welcome Connect Book): $50
Registration Fee (Zoom webinar + Book): $25
Registration Fee (In-person – no Book): $30
There is no charge for the Zoom webinar.
Registration will ongoing until Tuesday, Oct. 3.