Church Legacy and Closure – UCB&LF


Local Church Ministries UCC, Church Building & Loan Fund and United Church Funds offer this Living Legacy workbook as a discernment and decision-making resource for “Legacy Congregations,” churches that conclude their ministry and seed new ministries. This mixture of narratives, guidelines, inventories and resources is designed for use by leaders from all church settings who work with congregations who are considering their ‘capstone’ ministry.

Click here to order. See PowerPoint about Living Legacy below.

Who will use this Workbook? You may be a…

• Leader/member of a congregation who wonders if you need to ‘get real’ about your church’s future
• Congregation seeking guidance in implementing your decision to close
• Pastor who seeks to guide your congregation in implementing a decision they have already made
• Conference staffperson or volunteer consultant to congregations
• Interim pastor who specializes in transitioning congregations
• Member of your Association Church & Ministry Committee and assisting churches
The Living Legacy Workbook includes these chapters and resources.

Chapter One – Mind the Gap sets the context for the challenges our churches encounter in recasting their vision and call to mission for today and tomorrow.

Chapter Two – Is it Time? introduces tools for congregational assessment and methods of decision-making; by David Schoen,  Congregational Assessment, Support and Advancement,  UCC Local Church Ministries

Chapter Three – Legacy Inherited, Legacy Futured clarifies the concept of Legacy.  In following this program, a congregation is helped toward a longer view of its gifts and mission. 

Chapters Four – Role of the Legacy Pastor introduces the role of the pastor who ministers in a Legacy setting and pastoral care needs in these congregations.

Chapter Five – Church Buildings as Living Legacies describes the several options for  a congregation to consider for  the stewarding and disposition of church-owned real estate;  by Patrick Duggan, Executive Director, UCC Church Building and Loan Fund.

Chapter Six –  Financial Assets as Living Legacies addresses the stewarding of assets and presents a variety of bequest vehicles that legacy churches may use to distribute their assets;  by Cheri Lovell,  Director, Marketing & Strategic Initiatives, United Church Funds.

Chapter Seven –  Legal Issues in Church Dissolution and Merger covers the fiduciary responsibilities and legal process of church dissolution, merger, and asset purchase, addressing liabilities for dissolved churches;  by Heather Kimmel,  UCC Associate General  Counsel.

Bible Studies and Discussion Questions are for use in the process of closure and legacy discernment; by  Kate Huey, Dean of the Amistad Chapel at the UCC Church House.

Bibliography points toward helpful books, websites and resources including worship liturgies.


Living Legacy Powerpoint
Ministry in Times of Church Discernment and Closure Webinar.
A video, audio and powerpoint of the webinar.

Closure and Legacy Blogs

“Let’s Have the Conversation”
“Mind the Tiller: Leading a Church to Closure”
“Final Act of Faith: Closing Congregations Nurture Next Generation of Mission”
“What Do 111 Closed Congregations Tell Us?”
“Caring for Pastors in Closing Congregations”