Image: A box with the words Preparing for Retirement: A Practical Spirituality at the top, with the URL below.
Event Date: April 15, 2021 to April 29, 2021

Three sessions: April 15, April 22, and April 29, 1:30-3:15 p.m. Eastern Time.

Course Description

Retiring is one of the major transitions in our lives, and like all transitions it raises many spiritual questions. We often find ourselves asking questions about identity, purpose, and value. As the day comes closer we can be both excited at the prospect of having more unstructured time to spend with family members or on other life passions, but also anxious about how to plan for and cope with the inevitable losses.

Ministers and church leaders also often experience a perceived loss of community status, and sometimes loss of many of the social networks that helped us to stay grounded. In the midst of the losses, the uncertain in-between times, and the new beginnings, there are important spiritual questions to ask and dilemmas to prepare for.

  • Part 1: Endings. The Exodus
    • We'll spend some time articulating the variety of things that are coming to an endthe things we're relieved to be letting go of, and the things we'll miss the mostand take some time to compare this to other life transitions we've already been through. What helped us cope then? Where was God in those earlier transitions? What can we learn from other transitions that help us find meaning in this one?
  • Part Two: Life in the Wilderness
    • Almost nobody ever moves immediately from ending to new beginning; the time in-between is often the most uncomfortable and yet the most creative part of the whole transition. We'll reflect on what the Israelites learned between the Red Sea and the Jordan River, and how that might offer some insight into managing the chaos and anticipation of the in-between time.
  • Part Three: The Promised Land
    • Crossing the Jordan River brought the Israelites all sorts of new possibilities and some new structure and regularity to their lives. But there were struggles too; things they weren't expecting; things that surprised them; things they'd never planned for. We'll explore how their journey into Promised Land can be a fruitful metaphor and guide as we plan for the unexpected in the next stage of life.


$29.99 for the series $5 discount if you pay online


Sheila Macdonald Macgregor has served as an ordained minister in The United Church of Canada for more than 30 years. She holds an M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary and a DMin from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, where her research focussed on spirituality in the second half of life. Sheila is the author of Re-designing Your Life: A Practical Spirituality for the Second Half of Lifewhich was generously supported by a McGeachy Senior Scholarship from The United Church of Canada Foundation.


All three sessions will be recorded and will be available in the Recorded Webinars section of United in Learning.


For more information and to register, visit United in Learning.