Dallas Leadership Shores Up National Conference
Leadership in the Dallas diocese is showing up in a big way at the national Evangelism Matters Conference scheduled next month in Ohio. Speakers from the diocese include Canon Evangelist Carrie Headington, the Rev. Ryan Pollock, the Rev. Pedro Lara, the Rev. Dr. Samira Page, the Rev. Leslie Stewart, the Rev. Ryan Waller and Amanda Payne.
The conference is scheduled for March 15-17, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and is aimed at growing the Church’s capacity for evangelism.
Headington is one of four speakers headlining the opening plenary discussing the definition of evangelism and its role in the Episcopal Church. She has served as consulting evangelist for revivals for the Presiding Bishop and traveling throughout the Episcopal Church teaching workshops on personal and parish evangelism as well as organizing diocesan revivals. “God is certainly moving in our church and it has been amazing year seeing the Episcopal Church hold public Gospel proclamations in city centers, public squares, tents, and on the streets. We are taking the good news of Jesus Christ beyond the walls of the church and it is exciting to see.”
The Dallas contingent is speaking on a diversity of evangelism topics including Page who is excited to share her experiences with refugee ministry to a national audience. She plans to speak about God’s purposes for refugees and the role of the church. “According to Acts 17, God wants everyone to seek him. Supporting and helping refugees ought to be combined with the declaration of the love of God and the name of the Lord. It is only by knowing the Good News of God’s redemptive love through Christ that true healing and peace can come (2Chronicles 6:32-33).”
Pollock said he and Waller are presenting ideas and generating discussion on how to attract younger generations to Episcopal churches. “Our topic will be “Good News for Millennials,” which will explore ways for churches to reach this demographic,” Pollock said. “If current studies are to be believed, this group is among the lowest represented in the Episcopal Church. We want to talk about why this happened and what can be done about it.”
The is the second Evangelism Matters Conference, the first was held last year in Dallas. Anne Schmidt of Saint Michael and All Angels and Carrie Headigton Co-convened the first Evangelism Matters Summit in November 2016.
The high number of Dallas leaders speaking at the event is a credit to the good work of Dallas diocese churches, Headington said. “We are a diocese on mission. Some of the most innovative outreach is happening in our diocese and we are sharing these gifts with the wider church,” she said. “One example is the work of Mother Leslie Stewart. We are using her evangelism model, BLESS (Be, Listen, Eat, Serve, Share) in all of our national and international evangelism workshops.”
Stewart and Headington are leading a workshop titled: Cultivating an Evangelistic Parish. “We’ll talk about designing the systems and structures that cultivate the habit of sharing the story,” Stewart said. “I’ll tell about the ways I’ve equipped my congregation to be an Inviting community.” Stewart said she also expects to learn from others at the conference. “I always want to hear from the practitioners about the practical next steps to take, that are road-tested,” she said. “That’s what you get at the Evangelism Matters Conference - action steps.”
Registration is now open and available in English here and in Spanish here. Registration includes attendance, handouts and lunches. Registration does not include transportation or lodging. General registration is $125. Students, seminarians, youth, young adults, church planters and participants residing outside the continental U.S. may register at reduced rates.