Ministry is marked often by beginnings and endings. Of life, of relationships, of calls. Last year several of my friends and colleagues left the churches they had been serving. Some for other church calls, some for different kinds of ministry. Some of the goodbyes were expected, were full of both grief and hope. Other goodbyes were born of conflict, were unexpected and painful.
I wrote this benediction for a friend as they prepared to leave a call under someone else's terms. Since then, I have shared it with several others as they prepared for their final Sundays in their congregations. While written with ministers and churches in mind, it is a benediction fitting for other goodbyes, other occasions of parting ways and relationships ending. May we in such times remember the joy, forgive the hurts, and send one another forth in the care of God.
For the gifts of what has come before,
we give thanks.
For the pain of what has been,
we ask for healing.
For the growth and joy we have known,
may we find them etched in our memories
For the sin that has marred relationship,
may forgiveness be given and received
For the in between time,
we pray for rest and renewal
For the unknowns before us,
we pray for patience.
For the decisions to be made,
we seek Holy Wisdom.
For the winding path we walk,
we seek guidance and direction.
For future blessings to come,
we hold on to hope.
For the doors that will open,
may we discern wisely.
For the new calls we will hear,
we pray for the courage to say yes.
For the changes to come,
may we trust in...
God our Creator, present from the beginning,
Christ our Comforter, who knew the sorrow of good-bye,
Spirit our Guide, who surrounds us and calls us into the future.
May it be so. Amen
If you are interested in a personalized prayer, blessing, or worship liturgy, I would love to write something for you! For more information, visit my Writing Commissions page.