Invite Welcome Connect, a ministry of the Beecken Center of the School of Theology at the University of the South, is hosting its fourth national Invite Welcome Connect Summit June 12–14 in Sewanee, Tennessee. Invite Welcome Connect is a ministry that provides a practical, theological framework and comprehensive process for engaging communities in the all-important disciplines of evangelism, hospitality, and belonging.
The 2019 Summit will feature workshops led by seasoned practitioners of Invite Welcome Connect. In addition to dynamic presentations, attendees will have opportunities to network, trade ideas, and socialize. The opening worship service will include a sermon by the Rt. Rev. Carlye J. Hughes, 11th Bishop of Newark. The plenary talks will feature the Rev. John Ohmer, rector at The Falls Church Episcopal in Falls Church, Virginia, and Jerusalem Greer, staff officer for evangelism at The Episcopal Church.
The primary vision for the ministry of Invite Welcome Connect is a hopeful one, with a dream of transforming the culture of The Episcopal Church. Director Mary Parmer writes, “I am convinced that we can change the narrative and culture of our beloved Church to move from maintenance to mission, from calling ourselves the ‘frozen chosen’ to people who are energized and transformed, who are co-creators with God as we imagine the limitless possibilities for our congregations.”
Rooted in the Gospel directive to “Go and make disciples of all nations,” Invite Welcome Connect utilizes the God-given resources of a community to help build the Body of Christ. Designed to accommodate congregations of all sizes, crossing all social and economic boundaries, Invite Welcome Connect explores the ways creativity and relational ministry go hand-in-hand in effecting cultural change. The assessment tools, videos, and ministry materials are designed to be adapted based on the interests and needs of each community of faith.
Invite Welcome Connect has circulated throughout The Episcopal Church and has been presented in 50+ dioceses, three seminaries, three universities, the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, and the Anglican Church in Canada. The award-winning book, “Invite Welcome Connect: Stories & Tools to Transform Your Church,” was published by Forward Movement in 2018.