Interim Pastor Online Survey

Interim By Design is conducting an initial online survey to learn about the spiritual and vocational practices of interim and transitional pastors who serve the Presbyterian Church.

The survey takes about three minutes to complete. Answers are anonymous. Results will help to shape a future participatory action research project among practitioners. The goal is to discover what spiritual and vocational practices sustain well-being among leaders who guide the church during seasons of change.

Insights will be shared in upcoming posts.

Survey URL

Thank you for taking & sharing the survey.

Books I read in 2018

Fiction, theology, leadership, biography, poetry, prayer, story, classic, and something else. It has been my joy this year to read broadly, to read academically, and to read and listen for sheer enjoyment. I am grateful for the courage of each author whose craft enriches our common humanity.


A Light So Lovely the Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle by Sarah Arthur*

America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story by Bruce Feiler*

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones*

Around the World in 80 Dinners by Cheryl and Bill Jamison

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown*

Celebrations by Maya Angelou

Change Leader: Learning to Do What Matters Most by Michael Fullan*

Christianity and Politics: A Brief Guide to the History by C. C. Pecknold

Creating a Healthier Church by Ronald W. Richardson

Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover*

Falling Upward by Richard Rohr*

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson*

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee*

Growing Young 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin

Healing the Heart of Democracy by Parker J Palmer

Heartfulness: Renewing Heart, Mind and Spirit on Retreat and Beyond by Valerie Brown

Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story by Barbara Brown Taylor

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars by Mark Batterson*

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor

Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs*

Making Happy the Art and Science of a Happy Marriage by Les and Leslie Parrott

Never Alone by Tiffany Bluhm

One Blood: Parting Words for the Church on Race by John M. Perkins

Pauses for Advent by Trevor Hudson

Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice by Brene Brown*

The Road Back to You by Ian Cron

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Who Moved My Pulpit? Leading Change in the Church by Thom S. Rainer

Your New Money Mindset: Creating a Healthy Relationship with Money by Brad Hewitt

*enjoyed as an audiobook

A Farewell Litany for an Interim Pastor

An elder: A church community is constantly changing. Babies are born and baptized into the faith community, individuals and families join with us and sometimes move away, loved ones are called home to Jesus. It is important for us to recognize and mark well these times of passage - these endings and beginnings. Today we bid farewell and Godspeed to Pastor [name] who has served us as Interim Pastor for the past [number] months, as his/her time with us has now drawn to a close.

Interim Pastor: I thank you, the people of [church name], for the love, kindness, and support you have shown me these past months. I thank you for accepting my leadership and receiving me as pastor in your midst for this time of transition. I recall with joy the many things we have been able to accomplish together, and with sadness the things we were not able to do. I trust that God will continue to work in your midst as you embrace new leadership.

Another elder: We receive with thankfulness the ministry you have offered us in the time we have shared. We accept that you now leave us to minister at [church/ministry name if known]. We bid farewell to you trusting that God goes with you on that journey. Your presence among us will not be forgotten. We are grateful for the time you have been with us.

An elder: Do you, the people of [church name], now release Pastor [name] from the duties of Interim Pastor?

Congregation: We do.

Another elder: Do you, Pastor [name], release [church name] from turning to you and relying on you to serve them as Pastor?

Interim Pastori: I do.

An elder: Let us pray.
O God of hope, whose love for us is trustworthy and true, we are grateful for the ways we have grown as a congregation during the season of transition; you have used Pastor Shari’s gifts for the furthering of your kingdom among us. In looking toward tomorrow, we trust your hand to guide us. Send Pastor [name and their family] forward in your grace, by the power of your faithful Spirit. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Another elder: Go now, Pastor [name], with our blessing, surrounded by our love and led by the promises of God, the presence of Christ Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And all of God’s people joined their voices to say, Amen!

 Litany may be lead by any appropriate church leader whose voice adds meaning and dignity to marking this time of passage. 



Proverbs 2/Wisdom speaks: “If you . . .receive and treasure my words . . . if you call out for insight . . . if you seek it like silver . . . Then you will understand awe, righteousness and justice and equity and every good path; you will find knowledge of God; this knowledge will be pleasant to your soul and discretion will watch over you. Then you will walk in the way of the good . . .”



The Lord’s Prayer is so familiar to us and standing in church on Sunday mornings saying it week after week I admit that at times I can forget to really pay attention to the words.…can forget to actually pray. During this time of Lent I’ve been trying to be more attentive to prayer in general, and specifically to the Lord’s Prayer.