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Cultivate Community

I’ve Been Honored (Learning from the Lab)

Churches have found creative ways to honor pastors
by Emily McQuillan | September 25, 2020

During the pandemic many of our usual celebrations like birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been disrupted, but people have found creative ways to continue to show they care. It’s been no different for milestones in the church. Throughout this year, pastors everywhere have been celebrating ordination and call anniversaries. Due to churches not meeting in person, some of these events have been skipped over or quietly forgotten. Yet, we have also heard about ways churches have been honoring their pastors during this difficult time. 

We asked members of the Learning Lab how their congregations have recognized them this year. 


One pastor has been honored by a yearly donation made in their name every fall. This donation goes to a scholarship fund at their seminary.

Community Support

Some groups have chosen to give back to their communities in honor of their pastor. One church started a Little FreeFood Pantry, similar in style to a Little Free Library. Another group planted a community orchard. 

Gifts and Cards

We heard from several people who received gift cards, gifts, and greeting cards since their congregations were not meeting in person. These treats through the mail made a huge difference to the pastors.

Clergy Subscription Box

One person has started a subscription box service for women clergy, with books and self-care items of interest. Congregations could subscribe to this for their clergy, as a gesture of appreciation. 

Outdoor Events

Two different congregations honored their pastors with outdoor celebrations. This included outdoor worship at one church with a drive-through parade past the pastor’s house. Another church did a similar parade and delivered flowers, cards, and held up signs of gratitude as they drove past. 

What About You?

Are you a pastor who was honored this year? Are you a church looking for a way to remember an important milestone? Join us in the Learning Lab to keep the conversation going. 

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