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WAYS TO SHAKE OFF THE DUST

Steps to putting a forced farewell behind you.

"This is probably no surprise to you, Pastor, but the board has decided to ask for your resignation." Frank, the board chairman John had always considered his friend, now looked cold and distant.

"Well, it is a surprise," John stammered, feeling his pulse quicken and his face flush. "This is the first inkling I've had of any problem. There must be some mistake, Frank!"

"No mistake. We expect your resignation at the board meeting Wednesday night. We'll give you a month to vacate the parsonage and three months severance pay. Are there any questions?"

There were lots of questions racing through his mind, but John heard himself whisper, "No, I guess not."

This not-so-good-bye scenario is repeated in hundreds of pastors' lives every month. Like John, they are often caught off guard and retreat in anguished silence, not knowing how to cope.

At some point, however, they must deal with their fear, their sense of failure, their anger. I'd like to suggest an approach for tying up the common loose ends ...

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