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Pastors in the later phase of their career look ahead to retirement with both eagerness and trepidation. Here are some of the thoughtful things that we have heard from them over the past few years:

  • I can’t wait for an end to my schedule of evening meetings!
  • The prospect of retirement brings the reality of my mortality to the front of my mind. I may need help attending to that.
  • My age is a value and a liability in some ways. How do I become the 65-year-old pastor that I admire (rather than the bitter grouch, the sad sack, etc.)?
  • I view the sojourn towards retirement as a spiritual journey, not just a chronological one.
  • [As I think about my retirement it] is important to recognize the presence of grief– in me and in them [the congregation]. 

This fall we hope to have more conversations with such pastors, pastors who are in the third third of their ministry careers (55 years old and older)—to listen to them, encourage them, equip them, and build community with them. 

Would you like to join us? Thrive is gathering CRC-ordained later career pastors into two more “Finishing Well” conversations, funded by Thrive through the generosity of CRC ministry shares, church offerings, and a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. The first gathering, for later career pastors living in mid-to-eastern regions of Canada and the U.S., is scheduled for October 22-24, at Maranatha Bible Missionary & Conference in Norton Shores, Michigan. Each participant will be asked to pay a $100 non-refundable deposit to offset event costs. If you are interested then please fill out this interest form by Monday, June 24, using the following link:

Note: If the link doesn’t work, please copy/paste the link into your browser. 

In the meantime, if you are interested today in learning more about retirement for pastors then feel free to explore our recently published resource called “Retirement from Pastoral Ministry: Guidance for a Healthy Transition”

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