(for members of the congregation who are moving to a new location)
On the Sunday prior to their moving, the pastor may announce at an appropriate time in the service, perhaps before the prayer of thanksgiving and intercession, that N (family/individual) will soon be moving. The family/individual may be invited to come forward to stand before the congregation.
The pastor addresses the congregation:
The Scriptures are filled with stories of people
who have been called to move to new places:
Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Joseph,
Paul and Barnabas, Priscilla and Aquilla.
Filled with uncertainty about what lay ahead,
these people of God could not have found their moves easy.
Yet they were also filled with excitement,
trusting that God was calling them and guiding them to a new place.
And now you, our beloved friend/s,
are preparing to leave us
and go to a new place, a new home, and a new church.
As a part of this body of Christ over the past years,
you have given of yourselves/yourself
in ways that we have appreciated and will miss.
Here the pastor may mention the gifts and qualities of those who are moving as well as their specific contributions to the life of the church.
We ask God’s blessing upon you as we lift our hearts in prayer. Let us pray.
Blessed are you, O God,
for you have created the wide and wonderful world in which we live.
We praise you for your constant care
for those who have trusted you in ages past,
who journeyed in faith to new lands of promise.
We trust that now you will hold N___________
securely in your hands as they, too,
follow/s your call to a new place.
May they take with them
hearts filled with your love and grace,
that those with whom they live and work
may see in them the face of Jesus Christ.
Bless them that they may be a blessing.
Guide them to a new church home,
where they may continue to grow
in grace, in Spirit, and in truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Pastor (to those moving):
N____________, may God’s rich blessings be yours!