Ministry Tool Box

LifeLongFaith – John Roberto

Roberto photo (5-2012)John Roberto is president of LifelongFaith Associates, editor of the journal Lifelong Faith, and works as a consultant to churches and national organizations, teaches courses and conducts workshops in faith formation, and has authored books and program manuals in faith formation. John created the theory and practice of Generations of Faith—an intergenerational, lifelong approach to faith formation; and administered the five-year Lilly Endowment funded project to develop lifelong faith formation in Catholic parishes across the U.S. He is the founder and was director of the Center for Ministry Development, where he worked for 28 years. In addition to his work at Lifelong Faith, John works on the Vibrant Faith team as Special Projects Coordinator involved in research, training, and consulting. His publications include Seasons of Adult Faith Formation (editor and co-author, 2015) Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century (2015), Generations Together: Caring, Celebrating, Learning Praying, and Serving Faithfully (co-authored, 2014), Faith Formation 2020: Designing the Future of Faith (2010), The Spirit and Culture of Youth Ministry (co-authored, 2010), and Becoming a Church of Lifelong Learners (2006).


A Liturgy of Farewell


(To be used at the end of the worship service)

Senior Lay Leader (or other Leader)

O God, you have bound us together for a time as Interim rector and people to work for the advancement of your kingdom in this place: We give you humble and hearty thanks for the ministry which we have shared in this time now past.


We thank you for your patience with us.  We thank you for offering us your forgiveness and mercy.


Especially we thank you for your presence with us through this time, and for the deeper knowledge of you and of each other which we have gained.


We thank you for opening our hearts and minds again and again to your Word, and for feeding us abundantly with the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of your Son.


Now, we pray, be with those who leave and with us who stay; and grant that all of us, by drawing ever nearer to you, may always be close to each other in the communion of your saints. All this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Then a Representative Leads the Congregation in the following:

 Representative of the Congregation:  Our worshipping family is constantly changing.  Loved ones come and go in our community’s life.  It is important and right that we recognize these times of passage… of endings and beginnings.  Today we share the time of farewell with The Reverend Alan Mead, whose term as our Interim Rector is ending.

Interim Rector:  Today I thank the people of Ascension, its Wardens and Vestry, its staff, its parishioners and its friends for the love, the kindness and the support shown to me and to my family during this past Eighteen months.  I ask for your understanding and forgiveness for mistakes I may have made and for expectations which have been unmet.  I am grateful to God that so many here have graciously accepted my leadership. With sadness I remember those things not accomplished.  With deep joy I recall the many things we have been able to accomplish together in this short time.  As I leave, I carry with me many good memories of the extraordinary people who are the members and staff of Ascension and, of the wonderful experiences we shared together.

People:  We receive your thankfulness, and we offer our genuine forgiveness for any things left undone, and our heartfelt thanks for all accomplishments in our mission and ministry.  We now acknowledge your departure from this ministry and we accept that you now leave us as our Interim Rector.  We express our gratitude for your time among us.  We will remember you and the influence you had in our lives even though you are leaving us as our Interim Rector and Pastor.

Interim Rector:  Thank you!  May our time together, and our parting, be pleasing to our loving God and to the Risen Christ we are called to serve.

Representative of the Congregation:  Do you, the members and friends of Ascension, now release the Reverend Alan Mead as your Interim Rector?  Do you offer your encouragement and support to him in the next step in his journey as a retired priest in the Church of God?

People:  We do, with God’s help.

Vestry Representative:  Do you, Alan, release the people of Ascension from their pastoral relationship with you?

Interim Rector:  I do, with God’s help.

Leader:  Let us pray.

All:  O God, whose everlasting love for us all is trustworthy, help each of us to trust the future which rests in your care.  The time when we were together here in your name saw our laughter, our tears, our hopes and our disappointments.  Guide us as we hold close these cherished memories, but help us now also to move in new directions, until that time comes when we are completely one with you, and with each other.  We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN.

Leader:  Alan, we wish you joy on your journey as you begin again retirement, surrounded by our love and by the promises of God, the presence of Jesus Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

All children are asked to join The Warden (or Vestry Representative) at the Chancel steps. together they say:

We send you into the world in peace to love and serve the Lord!

 People:  Thanks be to God! Alleluia. Alleluia.

Created by Rev. Alan Mead 4/21/2015

Disaster Preparation Project in Support of Congregational Development

Disaster Preparation Project in Support of Congregational Development

CONCEPT: Respond to the following disaster preparation scenario with a congregation based program that develops intergenerational interaction through care and support

SCENARIO: FEMA and/or the Red Cross will not be available for a minimum of  three days when disaster strikes (hurricane, severe winter storm, tornado, flood). People should have a three-day supply of life essentials (food, water, medicine) according to Peter B. Gudaitus, President, National  Disaster Interfaiths Network.

PROGRAM: Serving all members of a congregation means knowing

  • who the members are
  • what they need for those three days
  • when to best be in contact
  • where they live
  • how to stay in supportive relationship

Preparing for the three-day disaster scenario provides a topic that builds strong inter-personal congregational relationships through the introduction and maintenance of the three-day supply of life essentials.

Sample organizing approaches


Practice: Interact with elderly members.

Principle: When youthful energy and the wisdom of a lifetime meet the reality of God (the love that is heaven) becomes more apparent.

Outcome: Loneliness and disenfranchisement is less likely to be felt by either generation.


Practice: Focus moves to managing the needs of others rather than fund raising.

Principle: All possessions and talents are gifts from God and we are called to be God’s stewards.

Outcome: A giving spirit evolves when centered on caring directly for others. Such a mission-based approach builds a culture of generosity.


Practice:  Zipcode based adult facilitated sub-groups provide the organizing mechanism.

Principle: Recognizing and caring for our neighbors.

Outcome: The group expands to care for those who are neighbors of the members of  the congregation.

Submitted by:

The Rev. Dr. William Carl Thomas
POC: 252-876-6841;;

Interim Pastors Quarterly Report -Martin Homan

Interim Pastors Quarterly Report

By Rev. Martin J. Homan


Many of us were trained in the earlier system of developmental tasks rather than with the current focus points of Heritage, Leadership, Mission, Connection and Future. The Rev. Martin J. Homan has used a reporting tool (initially developed by Rev. Tom Green) for several years and has adapted it to the new focus points. The tool, which should prove helpful for an evaluative process as well as for reporting, may be found here IP Quarterly Report.


This tool can be a useful tool for the congregation, the Interim leader, and the judicatory. It establishes a reporting procedure between all three parties involved in the Interim process on the local congregational level.


I first used this tool with a congregation over ten years ago. I used this report as a way to communicate what I was learning in the congregation with the members of the church as well as the judicatory. As I use it, I am able to help keep the judicatory as well as the congregation on the same page. After I share this report, I am able to ask the question of the judicatory and the congregation “What do we want to do next?” This information helps the judicatory and the church understand better what they need in a new pastor or rabbi.


Why do I work with the focus points and the process tasks?  Originally, I worked with the developmental tasks and the process tasks. Congregational change has shifted from episodic to continual –  quicker than most people want to acknowledge. I am able to expand the focus points to include other actions in the congregation. We are moving away from a linear set of tasks to issues in the congregation to items we all need to focus on. These focus points help us all to answer the dialog questions: “Who are we?”, “Who are our neighbors?”, and “What is God calling us to do?”  Selfishly, I am able to understand better the focus points as I work with the congregation.


As I work with my own process tasks and the congregation, I am able to make visible to the congregation what I am working on. These process tasks are cyclical in nature with the exception of joining and exiting the congregational system. I want to help the congregation and the judicatory to understand what I am discovering.


The third part of the report is the all important aspect – Is there something else I am missing that the local congregation and the judicatory needs to know? I want to make sure that both the congregation as well as the judicatory knows what is going on during the interim time.


Why is such a report so important for both the judicatory as well as the congregation? The more they both understand about the local church the better the fit for the new pastor. Such new understandings help the congregation prepare better for a new future with a new pastor.


I commend this revised Interim Pastor Quarterly Report to the congregation, judicatory, and transitional clergy. Please feel free to reproduce and alter to fit your local needs. All I ask is that you share your learnings with the Interim Ministry Network so that we all can continue to be a learning community.


Rev. Martin J. Homan has been an ordained pastor in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod since 1981 and has served as an Intentional Interim Pastor since 1995. He specializes in churches with multiple staffs and schools and in after pastor churches. He is an active proponent of Intentional Interim Ministry in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and the Interim Ministry Network. He served as the newsletter editor for the LCMS Interim Ministry Conference newsletter.  Rev. Homan has a distinguished record of service to the Interim Ministry Network. He has been Chair of the Research Committee, elected to the Board of Directors, member of the Executive Committee and Vice-President. Is presently serving on the IMN Faculty and Continuing Education Committee.


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