AN ORDER FOR DISBANDING A CONGREGATION
The final service of worship of a congregation that is disbanding should follow a pattern familiar to the congregation, concluding with An Order for the Leave-taking of a Church Building (UMBOW 648-50). Following the Declaration of Deconsecration of the Church Building within that service, the congregation may form a circle and be disbanded with these or other words.
The bishop or bishop's representative (who may be the pastor) may make this or another Declaration Disbanding the Congregation:
This congregation, named the Name United Methodist Church,
was organized as a part of Christ's holy Church
and of The United Methodist Church.
It was God's gift for a season.
We are thankful for the many ways it has served the mission
given to it by Jesus Christ.
It has accomplished its purpose.
We declare that it is no longer a United Methodist congregation
and is now disbanded.
But Christ's holy Church is of God,
and will be preserved to the end of time,
for the conduct of worship
and the due administration of God's Word and Sacraments,
the maintenance of Christian fellowship and discipline,
the edification of believers,
and the conversion of the world.
We remain part of Christ's ongoing Church,
and as we scatter into other congregations
we shall still be one with Christ, one with each other,
and one in ministry to all the world,
until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
The congregation may continue in a circle and conclude the service as on 649-50, with sung response, Closing Prayer, The Lord's Prayer, Closing Hymn, and Going Forth. The Closing Hymn may be one that is especially beloved by the congregation.
Copyright: “An Order for Disbanding a Congregation,” Copyright © 1992 UMPH.