At the Bishop’s Fall Clergy Retreat in 2012, Bishop Johnston released a new document detailing a general policy for clergy who are resigning for a position from a congregation. “The intentional way in which you depart is your last significant opportunity to nourish Christ’s people who have been in your care and to strengthen them to glorify God in the next season of the congregation’s life,” reads the policy.
Recently, the Rev. Bob Friend, a retired priest of the Diocese of Virginia who previously served as rector of All Saints’, Richmond, shared with our transition ministry officer a helpful article on “Graceful Departing: Healthy Leaving of One’s Rectorship.” In addition to providing helpful tips and a list of other resources, Friend offers a benediction for departing clergy: “If you have been called to let go of your congregation, may your departure be a graceful one. May God’s blessing be upon you. May Jesus Christ protect you and his Spirit nurture you. May you take seriously the tasks of closure and find the life God is calling you to on the other side of this significant transition.” Read the full article here.