“Ultimately, Invite Welcome Connect is all about relationship.” - Mary Foster Parmer
By now, many of you will have read the announcement in the bulletin about Invite Welcome Connect. Perhaps you still have some questions, or wonder what it will be like. I hope that you will take a moment to visit the website where you will find a variety of information and resources, including a video endorsement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
There are two points of clarification that I think may be helpful. First, this is not a program, but a way of doing ministry. It is not to say that we are not doing these things well. Our facilitator, Catherine Miller, has been to Ascension and remarked that we are doing "Welcome" well. She is also aware of some of the things we have done lately to invite people.
All of this leads to my second point of clarification; namely, these three elements, Invite Welcome Connect, are not independent activities. I believe this training will help us to more fully integrate these aspects. What are we inviting people into? How and when do we work to connect people with small groups and ministry? I suspect that "Connect" is where the church at large struggles most. Connection is essential for guests to have a sense of belonging and a long-term interest in our common life and ministry.
I hope you will consider joining us for the workshop at Ascension on March 1st and 2nd. On Friday March 1st, we will start at 6pm with a reception and an overview of the training being offered. On March 2nd from 9am to 4pm there will be a facilitated training. If you're unable to attend but are interested in knowing more, please let me know, as this will continue to shape how we engage with all who come here in the coming weeks.