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Gail Cafferata was heartbroken when the church she pastored voted to close its doors. It may have been the right decision, but it led to a million questions in her mind about her call, leadership, and future. She began to think that other pastors who close churches perhaps go through this same experience. This led her to obtain a grant to conduct a sociological study of over 130 pastors in five historically established denominations (Episcopal, Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ) who were called to serve churches that closed. This book tells the results of that study, which consisted of many interviews, and the hard-won lessons learned by these courageous pastors.
“Gail Cafferata helps us understand the complexity of deciding when and how to conclude a ministry. She does so with sensitivity to the spiritual and practical dimensions of the decision to close a church that is informed both by extensive research and personal experience.” —William McKinney, President Emeritus, Pacific School of Religion (United Church of Christ)