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.
Houston Welcome Roundtable
The Houston Welcome Roundtable is a monthly educational forum for welcome leaders, both paid and unpaid, clergy and lay. The purpose of the group is to create a network of evangelists to share best practices, ideas, and resources. The group has been meeting monthly since March 2015 with a different church hosting each month. It began with the San Jacinto Convocation and grew to include other churches in the Houston area.
Molly Carnes, Connections Missioner at St. Mary’s, is the organizer and also serves on the national advisory team 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, typically from 11 am to 1pm on a weekday:
- Tour the host 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 host church, three agenda topics are discussed. (90 minutes)
Previous topics included:
- Paths to membership
- Building connection / sharing story
- Data tracking and analysis
- Connection/follow up processes
- Utilizing technology and social media
- Missional community
- Invitation Sunday
- Guest brochures, info cards, etc.
- New Member Liturgy
- Spiritual Gifts Discernment
- Confirmation / new member classes
- Lenten, Advent, and Stewardship Resources
- Rally Day events / themes
- Ashes to Go
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 Carnes’ network, resources are shared from Episcopal churches across the country.
At times, guest speakers are invited to present on a particular topic such as the Rev. Jimmy Abbott who presented using meetup.com for invitation and missional outreach or the Rev. Genevieve Razim who shared her learnings from the Disney School of Hospitality. Carnes shared her 2016 summit workshop on using data analysis to enhance evangelism ministry and build accountability. Following conferences or training, attendees share their learnings with the other Roundtable members.
Participate in the Roundtable include: Good Shepherd, Tomball; St. Cuthbert, Houston; St. Mary’s, Cypress; Good Shepherd, Kingwood; St. Aidan’s, Houston; St Christopher’s, Spring Branch; St. John the Divine, Houston; Emmanuel, Houston; St. Martin’s, Houston; Holy Comforter, Spring; St. Timothy’s, Lake Jackson; St. Catherine of Sienna, Missouri City; Trinity, Galveston; St. Francis, College Station; Holy Cross, Sugar Land; Palmer Memorial, Houston; Christ Church Cathedral, Houston; Trinity, The Woodlands; Ascension, Houston; St. Thomas, Wharton; St. Andrew’s, Pearland; Good Shepherd, Friendswood; St. Christopher’s, League City; Ascension, Houston; St. Thomas, Houston.
For more information, contact Carnes or phone 713.562.1660 or request to join the closed Facebook group, Welcome Roundtable.