MAY 15-16, 2020
On Saturday, May 16, the Diocese is hosting an all-day workshop at The Heartland Center for Spirituality in Great Bend. On Friday evening, we will gather for a meal and begin sharing with one another about this ministry. The workshop will be led by one of the Senior Facilitators who travel throughout the country training people in the art of Invite Welcome Connect. The workshop is six hours and includes actual hands-on training and creative idea generation using the Invite Welcome Connect 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.
TRANSFORMING: Evangelism. Hospitality. Belonging.
“Go. Recruit. Wash. Teach. You’ve got this because I am with you.” That, in a nutshell, is the mission the Master gives his apprentices before taking leave of them. In the closing scene of Matthew’s Gospel, the Risen Jesus returns to where it all began… Galilee. There Jesus appears to his disciples and tells them that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. Because of that, they are to go forth to the ends of the earth and make more disciples, by baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus taught. And they did, which is why we are here in Western Kansas seeking to become as faithful and effective as possible in “Spreading the Good News on the Plains!”
Invite Welcome Connect. That’s why we are so excited about an opportunity coming up in May. Last October, Mary Parmer came to convention and spoke to us about a tried and tested ministry of her creation called Invite Welcome Connect. Now Mary is not a cradle Episcopalian. She found the Episcopal Church later in life, and she fell in love. And so she wants others to find the Episcopal Church as well. Actually, she wants the Episcopal Church to take the initiative and to go out and find people instead of waiting for them to come in the front door and then quietly leave by the back door. She wants the people and parishes of the Episcopal Church to have the tools to go out and INVITE people into the church, to WELCOME them fully when they arrive, and to CONNECT them deeply to the life and mission of the church.
Who Should Attend. We recommend that leadership at all levels participate (i.e., clergy, vestry, pertinent staff, past and present ministry leaders) and anyone else in the congregation who is interested—both adults and youth. We definitely want an inter-generational mix, as well as a mix of long-time and newer (less than a year) members. We recommend getting those people identified as soon as possible so that the can begin meeting together and reading and listening and processing.
Pre-Workshop Work. In addition, we strongly recommend that people visit the newly-redesigned website: www.invitewelcomeconnect.com. Watch the overview video on the home page, then dig into the rest of the website—explore the Essentials, review the Resources, and check out the Checklists. The more pre-work that you do, the more you and your congregation will benefit from the training and the more likely you are to implement what you learn. I would also recommend getting some copies of their new book Invite Welcome Connect: Stories and Tools to Transform Your Church.