Litany of Farewell
Congregational Leader: Dear Christian Friends; A church family is constantly changing. It is right and important that we recognize these times of passage … of endings and beginnings. Today we share the time of farewell with Pastor _____________ whose term as our Interim Pastor is coming to an end.
All: Gracious God, You have blessed and sustained us for many years and have given us life together in the Christian community of this congregation. Be with us now, we pray, as we enter this in-between time. Comfort us as we grieve the past or look anxiously to the future. Bless us and guide us as we reflect upon our history and dream dreams about our future, so that we might prepare for the next stage in this congregation’s life. Give us courage, patience and vision; and strengthen us in our Christian vocation of witness to the world and service to others, through Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Interim Pastor: Today I thank _______________ Lutheran Church, its members and friends for the love, the kindness and the support shown to me [and my family] these past ____ months. I ask for your understanding and forgiveness for any mistakes I may have made and for expectations unmet.
Congregation: We receive your thankfulness, and we offer our genuine forgiveness for any failures and our heartfelt thanks for all accomplishments in our renewed mission and ministry. We now acknowledge your departure from this congregational ministry and we accept that you now leave us as our interim pastor. We express our gratitude for your time among us and ask for your forgiveness for our shortcomings … and sometimes our flagging faith. Your influence in our lives will not leave us, even though you depart from us as our interim pastor.
Interim Pastor: I forgive you for your failures and accept your gratitude, trusting that our time together, and our parting, are pleasing to our forgiving God and to the Christ we are called to serve.
Congregational Leader: Do you, the members and friends of _______________ Church, now release Pastor ______________ as interim minister? Do you offer your encouragement and support to Pastor ______________ in the next step in his/her journey?
Congregation: We do, and we ask God to help us.
Congregational Leader: Do you, Pastor _______________, release _______________ Church from turning to you and depending on you?
Interim Pastor: I do, and I ask God to help me.
Congregational Leader: Let us pray
All: O God, whose everlasting love for us all is trustworthy, help each of us to trust the future which rest in your care. The time when we were together here in your name saw our laughter, our tears, our hopes and disappointments. Guide us as we hold close there cherished memories, but now move in new directions, until that time to come when we are completely on with you, and with each other. In the name of Jesus the Christ, we pray. Amen.
Congregational Leader: Go now, Pastor ________________, surrounded by our love and led by the promises of God, the presence of Jesus Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Amen.