Ending with Hope grows out of the understanding that although closing a congregation is in many ways about dying, it can also be about new life. Closing a congregation does not have to be about failure but can be about redirecting resources for new ministry. Contributors represent eight denominations and include more than a dozen pastors, lay leaders, judicatory staff, and others who have “been there” – who have helped congregations through the painful closing process. Resources include models for assessing whether a congregation should close, reflections on members’ and pastors’ experiences during closing, case studies, guidance for deciding what to do with a building, suggestions for selecting and preserving documents and artifacts, rituals for healthy closings, a survey of historical trends regarding closings, and other helpful materials.
A Resource for Closing Congregations