"We have a story to tell, a story filled with hope and love and God’s grace and mercy. We’ve got a story of God in our lives, a story of ways that Jesus has already been working in our lives sometimes without our even knowing." Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Visit Invite Welcome Connect website for events, training and toolkit.
The Welcome Roundtable is a monthly educational forum for Episcopal welcome leaders, newcomer ministers, and others who are passionate about the stranger in our midst. Gatherings are open to clergy, laypersons, both paid and unpaid, in Houston and surrounding areas. The purpose of the group is to create a network of evangelists to share best practices, resources, and encouragement. The group has been meeting monthly since March 2015 with a different church hosting each month.
Molly Carnes, former Connections Missioner at St. Mary’s-Cypress, is the organizer and is also a Certified Facilitator for Invite Welcome Connect ®. The Welcome Roundtable is very much a “boots on the ground” type of organization and is grounded in the Great Commission to make disciples and the Baptismal Covenant to seek and serve Christ in all persons.
The monthly meetings follow a structured format, on the last Wednesday or Thursday of each month from 11 am to 1pm :
- Tour the hosting church to experience welcome in their particular context; walk the physical flow of guests, learn the welcome process and see connection opportunities following worship. (30 minutes)
- Over lunch provided by the hosting church, three agenda topics are discussed. (90 minutes)
Previous topics include:
- Paths to membership
- Building connection / sharing story
- Data tracking and analysis
- Connection/follow up processes
- Branding and social media
- Technology and software
- Missional community
- Invitation Sunday
- Guest brochures, info cards, etc.
- New Member Liturgy
- Spiritual Gifts Discernment
- Confirmation / new member classes
- Lenten, Advent, and Stewardship resources
- Training welcome teams
- Ashes to Go
- Learnings from various conferences
After the meeting, an email is sent to all Roundtable members with photos of worthy ideas from the hosting church, electronic copies of hard copy materials, and links to online resources. Most of the resources come from churches within the Diocese but through Molly Carnes’ network, resources are shared from Episcopal churches across the country. Photos are also shared in the Facebook group, Welcome Roundtable. Members are able to pose questions and gather feedback in the Facebook group as well.
Each Lent, The Best of Roundtable is held on a Saturday to share best practices presented by participants of the Roundtable. This is a free learning opportunity and replaces the usual monthly meeting. There are no meetings during August or December.