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Tie Themed Pastor Goodbye Party

It's definitely not my favorite kind of party to have-- saying goodbye to a pastor and his family.  I hate saying goodbyes. Don't you?

Our church wanted to have a goodbye party to honor our pastor and his family.  We wanted to thank them for the time, energy and love they've invested in our congregation and our church. Sounds easy enough, right?  Ummm...
Let me walk you through how I pulled this off with a little creativity, love and lots of volunteers.

First task: set a theme.
Our pastor was known for always wearing ties. (Our church is quite casual, so this was definitely his trademark.) His wife loves Swedish Dala horses.
(We attend a Swedish church- Covenant denomination).
Their young daughter loves art and drawing.

Ties...Dala horses...Art...what?
How do you make a theme out of that?  Well, I asked myself that question over and over.  We really wanted each member of the family to feel loved and appreciated.  I needed to somehow incorporate all those 'unrelated' things into this event.  This was definitely my most difficult themed party to date!

Men's ties were the easiest to start with.  I started collecting old ties from thrift stores and from newly retired men in the church.  I put in the church bulletin for, women and children to wear a tie to the party to honor our pastor.  On the day of the party, I had a box of extra ties in case someone forgot the dress code!

Gift bags on the tables were decorated with fabric ties.  (Cards and money gifts were collected in the bags.)  Instead of ribbon on the tables, we used mens ties.  I went with the traditional blue and yellow Swedish colors to honor the pastor's family heritage and our church's denomination.

The Swedish Dala horses were a little bit harder.  I couldn't find any to purchase that fit the budget, so I printed out the horses on red card stock and taped them to painted wood skewers.  These were placed in the flower centerpieces.  It tickled our pastor's wife that we thought of her and not just her husband.

To bring in the art theme, we placed blank cards and crayons on each table with directions.

Directions read:  "Decorate a notecard with crayons.  Write a note of thanks inside the card.  Place finished cards in gift bag."

Blue and yellow plastic buckets held the blank cards. 
There were 3 types of cards to go with the 3 themes. 

A tie card, A Swedish Dala horse card, and a frame card to create art. (Yes, I tried to get a tie around the horse...)

Directions were glued onto both sides of colored cardstock, so everyone at the table could see them.  Large colored sticks were used to raise them up from the buckets.

Yellow and white flowers with greenery were stuck in vases, along with the Dala horses on skewers painted blue.

Clotheslines with ties added to the d├ęcor.

Yellow and blue round, plastic tablecloths covered the tables.  One large strip of white butcher paper created a table runner.  Blue and yellow crepe paper added some color as well.


Many volunteers in the kitchen helped prepare the delicious brunch.  Families in the church were asked to bring in egg casseroles.  One church member is well known for her Swedish Cardamom Bread recipe.  She made bread and rolls for everyone!  I used extra Dala horses to label the foods.

A friend of mine planned out the program.  It included the pastor's favorite songs, special gift presentations to each family member and she 'tied' it all together with a few 'tie-related' jokes.
You know, like What did the tie say to the hat? "You go on ahead, I'll hang around."

Oh, I almost forgot..we had a tie contest, too!
Craziest tie, Best-liked by our Pastor tie, and most 'Swedish' tie.

Gifts for the winners: 
Tie-dye kit, hair ties, cable ties and a box of Swedish Fish candies.

A great time had by all...
That's a 'wrap'.

For more posts on decorating for church functions, check these out.

Pastor Retirement Party

Themed Decorating for a Fundraiser Dinner

Fundraiser Dinner

Pastor Appreciation

Celebration of Life