Invite-Welcome-Connect Summit

This event is now closed.  If you would still like to register please contact Suzi Bailey at 936-870-2423 or



Thursday, April 28 - Saturday, April 30

*Summit: A conference of leaders called to shape a program of action

“The Invite-Welcome-Connect ministry is a theological and practical initiative, which goes beyond making “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” a reality, but also insures those who do come to faith in our churches do not leave by the back door.  It provides a theological rationale for outreach to the spiritually hungry, a means of engaging those who come into our places of worship, and a way to engage those who become a part of our community of faith.”  The Rt. Rev. Claude E. Payne, 7th Bishop of Texas, Pensioned


Inviting, welcoming and connecting people who come to our churches are critical and strategic steps for building healthy, vibrant and growing congregations.Mary Parmerdeveloped the Invite-Welcome-Connect materials out of the Diocese of Texas’ Newcomer Ministry Project, and she has taken the work to 32 dioceses throughout The Episcopal Church, including teams of college missioners and two Episcopal seminaries.


This 2nd national summit will promote the principles of Invite-Welcome-Connect with concrete examples, featuring many stories of success.  Dynamic speakers include The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining, The Rev. Marcus Halley, The Very Rev. Carol Wade, and The Rev. Jimmy Abbott.  Workshops on how to use the Invite-Welcome-Connect materials will be held in addition to a number of practical offerings from those who have used the resources in their own churches. These materials provide excellent congregational development tools that include creative, concrete resources to form a strategic, intentional, and transformational newcomer ministry. 


Keynote Speakers

Our speakers head a dynamic group of experts devoted to building God’s Kingdom.

The Rev. Dr. Patrick Gahan, Rector, Christ Church, San Antonio, guest preacher

The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining, Rector, St. Christopher’s, Gladwyne, PA.

The Rev. Marcus Halley, Associate Rector, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, MO

The Very Rev. Carol Wade, Dean and Rector, Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, KY

The Rev. Jimmy Abbott, Rector, Holy Comforter, Spring, Texas


Who Should Attend

Clergy and Lay leadership who not only want to see their congregations grow, but who want them to flourish and transform into vital, creative communities of faith. Whether your congregation is small or large, new or established, this summit is designed to educate participants on how to create intentional and transformational newcomer ministries.

When & Where

Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas (about 60 miles north of Houston) will host the summit from Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30. An overview schedule can be found at the end of this document. The summit will be held at the main Conference Center. Transportation may be arranged from Houston's Intercontinental Airport (IAH) through Camp Allen.

Summit High Level Schedule 
(Workshop details to follow)
Thursday, April 28
3pm          Registration opens
6pm          Dinner
7:15pm     Worship
Friday, April 29
8am          Breakfast
9am          Opening Keynote
Followed by workshops, plenaries, panel & round table discussions
Saturday, April 30
Workshops end by 12:20pm
Box lunches to go 

What does it Cost?

All hotel rooms are at the Conference Center. Summit registration includes lodging for two nights, six meals, socials and all materials.

Double Occupancy is $200 per person

Single Occupancy is $245 per person (first come basis)

Day Guest is $125 per person (entire conference)


How to Register

Enter your email address at the bottom of this page.

Our online registration only accepts credit card payments.  If you need to pay by check, please contact Suzi Bailey at 936-825-7175.

Travel to Houston

There are two major airports that are close to Camp Allen.

            1.  Bush Intercontinental (north Houston. IAH) - Transportation to Camp Allen.

            2.  Hobby International (south Houston. HOU) - Camp Allen does NOT provide transportation to Hobby.

The closest airport to Camp Allen is Bush and it is the only airport to which Camp Allen offers shuttle service. To arrange shuttle service and for fees contact Josh Fultz at Camp Allen, 936.825.7175. 


Conference Attire

Conference attire is informal and comfortable. This time of year the weather is leans toward the warm side, shorts, T-shirts, polo shirts with chinos, would be appropriate. Clerical collars are entirely optional.



Any questions you have regarding the Summit may be directed to Mary Parmer, Creator, Invite-Welcome-Connect, 512-439-0320 or Julie Heath, 713.353.2125.

For Registration Assistance please contact Suzi Bailey at Camp Allen, or 936-825-7175.


Thursday, April 28
3:00 Check-In
6:00 Dinner
7:15 Worship
8:30 Reception

Friday, April 29
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Keynote #1
10:00 Keynote #2
11:00 Workshop Session A
Noon Lunch
1:00 Keynote #3
2:00 Workshop Session B
3:15 Digital Ministry Panel
4:00 Round Table Discussions
4:45 Free Time
6:00 Sharing Faith Dinner
7:30 Reception
9:00 Compline

Saturday, April 30
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Keynote #4
10:10 Workshop Session C
11:20 Workshop Session D
12:30 Lunch

Invite*Welcome*Connect Summit 2016
Workshop Presenters and Topics
The Rev. Jimmy Abbott & Faith Almond
Fostering a Culture of Hospitality

The Rev. Michelle Boomgaard
Everyone is Gifted: Encouraging and Connecting to Spiritual Gifts

The Rev. Mark Brown

A Church’s Guide to the Social Media Galaxy Telling the Story:

Using Social Media to Promote, Inspire and Recruit

Molly Carnes
Cracking the Connection Nut
Going Deeper with Invite, Welcome, Connect

The Rev. Gar Demo & Sue Elliott
Great Coffee! Now What?
From Excitement to Implementation
to Growth with Invite*Welcome*Connect

The Rev. Donna Gerold & The Rev. Paul Pradat
The Basics: Invite The Basics:
Welcome TheBasics:
Connect Invite, Welcome, Connect: Wrap Up

The Rev. Christopher Girata & Ebet Peeples
Making Visitors into Members in 12 Months

The Rev. Marcus Halley & The Rev. Megan Castellan
What a Cloud of Tweets:
A Theology of Social Media I Have a Twitter Account,
and I Know How to Use It

Chris Harris
Turning Your Church Inside Out

Mystery Worshiper:
How to Use Fresh Eyes to Refresh Your Welcome

The Rev. Matt Holcombe

Holy Listening


Sally Mahon
From a Place of Strength:
The 4C Process

The Rev. Lisa Mason
Hospitality and the Holy Spirit
Life After Invite, Welcome, Connect

The Rev. Brent Owens
Where the Rubber Meets the Road:
From Visitor to Member

The Rev. Dr. Hillary
Raining Making it Work
in Your Setting

This event is now closed.
Please enter your email address.
To edit your current registration enter the information below.

Your password will be reset and emailed to you.

* Field is required
You have filled out this registration in the past. To fill it out again choose 'Create new' below otherwise choose 'View' to see your past registrations.
Are you sure you want to delete this registration?
Thursday, April 28, 2016 3:00 PM - Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:00 PM