Taking inspiration from the Spanish word for retirement—jubilacion—veteran minister Bruce Epperly challenges and empowers clergy to see retirement as a celebration of new possibilities. Similar in spirit to the Jubilee year described in scripture, retirement can be a time of transformation and exploration, of freedom to try on new versions of yourself and new paths of service. In that spirit, clergy can embrace creative transformation in their relationships, neighborhoods, religious communities, and politics. No longer tethered to the politics and administrative duties of congregational leadership, they can now freely commit themselves to relational, intellectual, and spiritual growth. They can also focus on personal, community, and planetary healing and transformation. Retired clergy can become sages and wisdom givers sharing their insights and energy with seminarians and novice pastors, congregations, and communities.
Bringing together the fruits of conversations with more than 100 retired clergy, theological reflection, and spiritual practices, this text provides a way forward for clergy considering retirement and retired clergy. Based on interviews from persons from diverse denominations, theological perspectives, and ethnic and racial backgrounds, this book garners wisdom from pastors on their retirement journeys, from personal preparation and public announcement to first steps following retirement and long-term adventures.