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.
Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly has served as a congregational pastor, university chaplain, professor, and seminary administrator for nearly forty years. He is the author of over 50 books on practical theology, ministry, and spirituality, including the award-winning Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry. Most recently, Bruce has served as interim pastor at First Christian Church, Falls Church, Virginia, and visiting professor of process studies at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Lincoln University in California. Committed to the practice of public theology, Bruce regularly writes lectionary commentaries for www.patheos.com and www.processandfaith.org.
Filled with a kaleidoscope of wisdom, astute insight, and engaging prose, The Jubilee Years sings of fresh possibilities for a spiritually adventurous retirement.
Always the pragmatic thinker, Bruce Epperly has written a well thought out, theologically relevant book for retiring clergy who still want to honor their call, make a difference, and enjoy all that life has to offer.