|Some ideas I've seen or heard of that were particularly meaningful...
Create a "sentimental journey" video, collected from many pictures over the years--include THEIR children, as well.
Add commentary (voice-over or otherwise) from long-term and mid-term.
Create a photo and/or letter album (the letters would be from members expressing their love and appreciation, along with, perhaps, a picture of them from some meaningful time.
ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS: For my mom and dad's 20th church anniversary in Tampa, we contacted General Headquarters and they sent a very gracious letter (written or signed by the Gen. Overseer), expressing his congratulations, etc.
When my mom and dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, I think it was Gen. Overseer Raymond Culpepper who filmed a warm and thoughtful expression of appreciation, etc.
And when they retired from pastoring, Gen. Overseer Dennis McGuire filmed another encouraging congratulation on dad's time in the ministry, etc.
So that might be a good idea.
A "homecoming style" dinner where member from long ago--or perhaps even from past churches--who have moved on, etc., join the congregation to send him off in style.
Monetary gifts are, of course, appreciated at that stage in life, I imagine.
That service should be organized by someone who is adept and thoughtful, careful to not embarrass the pastor, etc., who will emcee the event.
Give the pastor the opportunity to say some concluding remarks before breaking for dinner (if that is on the agenda). If you stop the dinner so he or his wife can speak, it can be a bit of a damper.
LASTLY, this is not always politic, especially if you don't know who is coming after him, but the "Pastor Emeritus" title is one that I see far more regularly now--especially after a long pastorate. Of course, some new pastors don't want the old pastor around. But if that is a settled matter already, it allows the pastor to remain among cherished friends, be a source of encouragement, counsel, and prayer for the new pastor, perhaps preaching every so often, and perhaps even drawing a small stipend.
Just my thoughts. (I don't know if it would be the thing, but back to my dad's 20th church anniversary...they sent him and mom on a tour of Israel--they had never been.)
|Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
5/23/22 1:25 pm