AN ORDER OF FAREWELL TO CHURCH MEMBERS
This is an act of public farewell to a church member or family moving to another community.
In any service of congregational worship, as a Response to the Word, or at some other suitable point in the service, the pastor calls forward the person(s) who are moving to be recognized. They face the congregation.
The pastor may briefly describe the contributions of the person(s) to the congregation and then proceed with this order.
The church is a family.
United by the common recognition of Jesus Christ as our Savior,
we are all brothers and sisters.
And, for a time, Name of congregation is our home.
Like every human family,
our church family is formed and reformed over time:
as members are born, as they die,
as members are adopted into our family,
and as they leave our congregation for a new home, in a different place.
For a time, Name(s) has/have lived with us.
We have shared with each other good times and bad,
we have shared each other's joys and sorrows,
we have lightened each other's heavy loads.
Together we have laughed and cried,
together we have worshiped and praised God,
together we have lived.
We feel sorrow in your leaving,
yet we rejoice with you in anticipation of this new phase of your life.
We will miss your love and support,
yet we know you will add much to the lives
of those who will be your new church family,
as you have added much to our lives.
Congregation and pastor:
We will pray for you and for the whole family of God.
Let us pray:
O God, you are the strength and the protector of your people.
We humbly place in your hands Name(s) of this congregation
who is/are about to leave us.
Keep and preserve him/her/them, O Lord,
in all health and safety, both of body and soul;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Go in the peace of Christ. Our prayers go with you. Amen.
A hymn or response may be sung. Suggested from UMH:
|952 Hymns listed under Sending Forth||557 Blest Be the Tie That Binds|
|438 Forth in Thy Name, O Lord||
383 This Is a Day of New Beginnings
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Copyright: “An Order of Farewell to Church Members.” Copyright © 1992 UMPH. Prayer by E. Hawkins (England, 1789).