With General Conference over, it's time to focus on reality. For about a third of us, it's time to move. And because moving is just a part of our lives, we might as well focus on doing it well.
Making a good move begins--no surprise-with planning. The first step of planning, in my experience, is getting out the family calendar to map out who has to be where when. You can also do yourself a favor by talking up the family who is
following you. You might consider leaving the new spouse a list of names, locations, and phone numbers of the local schools, drug stores, groceries, etc. Consider leaving the area phone book where the new spouse is sure to find it. And you might send the new spouse a card to wish them well.
If you are excited about leaving, try not to show it. There are always people in the congregation who really love you and will be sad to see you go. Remember that the UMC is really like a family; you never know who will move into the new church neighborhood or whose mother attends your new church or which kid will grow up and want your spouse to do the wedding--all these things have happened to us.
If you are sad about leaving, that's ok, but don't overdo it; and try not to ruin it for the next family. The Church isn't very good about transition from one clergy family to another. Some take steps to help the clergy person, but most don't help the spouse or family. While most people will say, "Just be yourself" when leaving, I'd say, "Be your best self."
The same holds for the kids. But in our experience, kids handle change pretty well. But you may have to have a conversation about staying in contact with friends from the previous church. With Facebook and other social networking, it will be hard for kids not to stay in touch. But you might want to talk through some of the issues, so that the next family has a chance to bond and make new friends.
If you have experiences or wisdom you'd like to share, please take this opportunity to help.