What Ed Offers – Greeting, Welcoming and Integrating Newcomers

Posted by on Nov 3, 2005 in good idea!, Speakers | One Comment

Available as a PDF This Article is originally from the Fall 2005 edition of good idea!, also available here in a fully formatted PDF file.
The version below was updated January 3, 2009

Many people in our society would say they are “exploring their spirituality.” Some of them at one time or another will check out the church, to see if we have anything to offer them in their explorations. What will their experience of our church be like? Will it be welcoming? Will their encounter with Christians be such that they want to repeat it the next week-and the next-or will it be such that they never want to come again?

Often parishes will identify themselves as welcoming, nurturing communities, when in reality there are numerous barriers that make it difficult for newcomers to enter into the life of our congregations.

Ed Dallow has adopted and adapted principles from Andrew Weeks’ book Welcome! (The Alban Institute, 1992) to create a highly effective program of welcoming and integrating newcomers at Christ Church-so effective that a couple of years ago they erected a new building to accommodate the enlarged congregation. He has also developed a very helpful workshop in response to those who have asked about the practices which have been so fruitful in Cataraqui.

Ed’s presentations are therefore designed to provide ideas, tools and techniques to help congregations with skills of Greeting, Welcoming and Integrating Newcomers into the Body of Christ. Our goal should be that someone visiting us for the first time will discover something exciting and God-inspired in our worship services and in our community, and be drawn to return and learn more.

In the workshop we examine such things as:

  • Evangelism and stewardship as they relate to our culture
  • the ‘real-life’ situations of the churches represented at the workshop
  • the pros and cons of ‘marketing techniques’
  • responding to those who come wanting ‘Rites of Passage’

• providing opportunities for ‘seekers’ to become involved in the life of the congregation.

A key part of these workshops is looking at case studies provided by those attending, with a view to discovering workable solutions.


Ed was born and grew up in St. George, Ontario, where he was a member of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1958 as a Soldier Apprentice, and has since served with the Royal Canadian Engineers, The Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada, and the Logistics Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces. He has also served in Command and Staff positions with various Regiments and Combat Groups in Canada, Northwest Europe, and the Middle East. After a rewarding 30 year career, Ed retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 1988 with the rank of Major. In 1990, Ed graduated from Montreal Diocesan Theological College and was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Ontario. His first parish was Camden East, Odessa with Morven, a three point rural parish outside of Kingston. After spending 4 years in that parish Ed was chosen to become rector of Christ Church Cataraqui, a small parish in Kingston Township (now part City of Kingston). During his 10 years as rector, the parish became financially self-supporting, experienced significant numerical growth, and constructed a new multi-use worship facility. Ed served as Rector of Christ church and Archdeacon of Kingston until his retirement from parish ministry in 2006 in order to devote more time to ministry with the Ontario Provincial Police. Initially appointed as OPP Provincial Chaplain in 2003, Ed is now the OPP Director of Chaplaincy with the responsibility for recruiting and training chaplains to be deployed in the six regions policed by the OPP in the Province of Ontario. Ed is also padre for a local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion as well as the Kingston Branch of St. John Ambulance. In 2005 he was invested by the Lt. Governor of Ontario as a Serving Member of the Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Ed is now an Associate of Christ Church Gananoque. Married for 46 years to Lynn, a native of Holland, they have two married sons and three grandchildren. In addition to offering a Parish Development workshop on Welcoming Visitors, he also offers workshops on Evangelism and Discipleship (From Being a Visitor to Being a Disciple) and Spirituality (Sabbath Dancing – Awakening the Sacred Within).

1 Comment

  1. avatar
    Pat and John Allison
    October 17, 2008

    Thanks for all this. GOOD IDEA !!!
    We are right now working to understand welcoming.


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