Clergy Retirement: Every Ending a New Beginning for Clergy, Their Family, and the Congregation (Paperback) book cover

Clergy Retirement

Every Ending a New Beginning for Clergy, Their Family, and the Congregation

By Daniel A. Roberts, Michael P. Freidman

© 2016 – Routledge

224 pages

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About the Book

Clergy Retirement: Every Ending a New Beginning for Clergy,Their Families, and Congregants, emphasizes that retirement is much more than a significant personal loss and has an impact on more than just the retiring clergy. Besides saying goodbye to congregants, colleagues, and a career, clergy are encouraged to devote time discovering new meaning in life and seeking potential opportunities, both personal and professional. At the same time, the impact of this retirement on others who significantly shared the clergy’s life is sensitively highlighted. The ripple effects of this transition are broad, but can be most meaningfully addressed with sensitive consideration and thoughtful planning.

This book, therefore, offers practical advice, serving as a manual for transition for the entire congregation.Everyone touched by this retirement is guided to find new meaning for their future after honestly and sensitively facing the end of a career.


"Warning! Do not wait until retirement to read this indispensable book. At last, this is the groundbreaking volume that will offer understanding and support to those transitioning from the active ministry. Assembled are contributions from experts offering unique recommendations for complex problems that may arise. Thoroughly researched, with compelling wisdom and guidance, this is a book to be read and reread years before retirement, not only by the clergy but by their families as well. My only regret—I wish I had discovered it before I retired."

Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, D.H.L., D.D., Author, Living When A Loved One Has Died

"Coauthors Rabbi Daniel Roberts and Michael Freidman look at the many dimensions of retirement and aging: the purposes and concerns, the struggles and surprises, the potential and joys. The book reflects on the temptation to isolate oneself from the changes taking place and on the need to stay involved. It talks about the fear of tomorrow and the mystery of forever—and how to cope with it all. It is a panoply of the central issues that emerge with retirement and aging to bring us to the fullness of life, to make us new again."

The Most Reverend Anthony M. Pilla, Bishop Emeritus of Cleveland

"Rabbi Roberts and Dr. Freidman have delivered work that focuses on how we, as clergy, can best ‘say goodbye’ and yet embrace a sacred hello to our new life stage. Combining humor, practical advice, and personal reflections, Roberts and Freidman create the framework for enabling a meaningful transition into what we all hope will be a sacred and purpose-filled future. Their challenge to us is to seriously plan for our next life chapter, a chapter that we have the freedom and power to write for our own selves.

Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min., Founder and Director:

"Dan Roberts and Michael Freidman have written something that should be read and considered by every member of the clergy in every faith tradition, as well as by the lay leaders that work alongside them. The transition from a long career in ministry to the ranks of the retired is unsettling at best and, for some, is a cause for despair and even depression. For the clergy, the questions might be: Who am I now that my career is effectively over? How do I relate to my former congregation, and they to me, now that I am no longer the spiritual leader? How do I spend my time now that I have no full-time responsibilities at the synagogue, the church, or the mosque? For lay leaders, trustees or deacons, the question is: How does the retirement of the clergy leader affect the role of lay leadership, both in saying farewell to the retiring rabbi, pastor, or imam and in aiding in the selection and welcome of his or her replacement? All of these questions and many more are helpfully addressed in this timely book. I recommend it not only to those clergy that are already retired but also to those still working that are worrying and wondering what will happen when retirement brings their ministry to an end."

Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D., President, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Rochester, New York

"There is much here that we can extrapolate and apply to our lives."

David Zucker, PhD, BBC, Neshama Association for Jewish Chaplains

Table of Contents

Introduction: Clergy Retirement: Endings and New Beginnings Part I: Perspectives on Retirement 1. Grieving a Retirement: Reflections of a Thanatologist 2. Opportunities of Transition: A Psychologist’s Perspective of Retirement Part 2: For the Clergy 3. Retirement is Not a Dirty Word 4. Saying Goodbye 5. Dangers to Watch Out For 6. Thinking About New Meanings 7. Finding Spirituality in the Next Stage of Life Part 3: For the People in Your Life 8. Listening and Sharing with Spouses 9. For Children of Retired Clergy 10. Clergy Transition: Engaging the Congregation 11. The Responsibilities Leaders of Religious Organizations Have to Their Retirees 12. Encouraging the Other: A Successor Interacts with a Predecessor 13. Encouraging the Other: A Predecessor Interacts with a Successor 14. Part 4: Conclusion Every Ending a New Beginning Appendix I: Other Resources Appendix II: Survey

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health