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Presbytery Pastoral Care Network


Providing professional development, support, and resources for those caring for ministers throughout the Presbyterian Church (USA)

January, 2009 


 Nurturing the health of the Body of Christ through caring for its pastors.

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PPCN Officers:


President: Dan Corll


Vice President: Julie Johnson

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Secretary: Carol Allen


Treasurer: Alan Baroody


Editor: Stephen McCutchan




Members At Large:


Brenda Jarvis, Detroit

Joe Sandifer,Greater Atlanta

Lou Snead, Mission

Ken Waddell, Cherokee 



Denominational Advisors:



 Marcia Meyers,

PCUSA Office of Vocation 


  Helen Locklear
Board of Pensions


Barbara Kranendonk,

  Career & Personal Counseling Center, FLorida






































































Stephen McCutchan
Newsletter editor

Gleanings from our 9th Annual Conference 

Helping Presbyteries Care for Clergy:  Shifting from Crisis Management to Prevention 


It Takes A Village to Develop Healthy Pastors

by Lou Snead 


At our recent PPCN Conference a number of conversations among COM representatives, presbytery staff members, and pastoral care givers underscored the current need within the PCUSA for a more systematic approach to creating healthy ministers and helping pastors deal with the leadership challenges that face our denomination in the 21st century.  We were concerned about the disconnect between presbyteries and seminaries in the process of preparing ministers to serve churches in these changing times.  Presbytery CPMs need to work with our seminaries to strengthen the process of vocational discernment and help potential inquirers understand that most of the calls open for ministers in the PCUSA today are with small membership churches who cannot afford full-time pastors.  We affirmed the value of more interpersonal skill development and efforts to strengthen emotional intelligence among ministers in the seminary curriculum and continuing education programs.   We envisioned ways that presbytery COMs and seminaries could help ministers manage conflicts in their congregations in healthy ways and to encourage ministers to build the supportive relationships needed to sustain themselves spiritually, emotionally, and professionally.   One concluding recommendation was that the PPCN should encourage the Vocation Office of the General Assembly to hold a consultation among presbytery leaders, pastoral care givers, and seminary faculty to address these concerns and find ways to better prepare and support ministers for the vocational challenges that now confront the PCUSA.   



"Creating Trust Among Clergy in Divisive Times in the Church"
led by Don McDonald and Julie Johnson


     Divisive times are inevitable in the life of the church and its clergy. If trusting relationships are not cultivated before such conflicts occur, the effectiveness and health of the clergy family is at great risk. A trusting relationship is a friendship. Trusted relationships have healthy boundaries that are often tested.
     Some of the suggestions for COM's, and Presbytery Staff  that emerged from the seminar were

1. Get to know your clergy as pastors and persons. 

2.  Ask how you can help the pastor in ways outside tri-annual visits and other prescribed meetings.  
3.  Speak the truth in love about the church and clergy.  
4.  Encourage self-care by organizing Sabbath time for clergy and inform sessions about this necessity along with a fair salary for their pastor.
5.  Help clergy be aware of emotional intelligence as a tool for better understanding of themselves and church members.     
6.  Teach COM's and all those working with churches and pastors systemic family theory as it applies to the church and its servant leaders. 



Spiritual Care is Essential

to Self-Care

by Carol Allen 


    Sabbath is at the heart of spiritual care. Times for personal reflection were interspersed throughout each day as a preface to the workshops, evoked by the music of composer and singer David Bailey and meditations and prayers by Steve McCutchan on their CD "A Deep Well for the Pastor." Midway through our meeting, two small group experiences were offered that centered on the Ignatian spiritual practice of Examen.
    To promote the self-care of ministers, it was suggested that presbyteries might encourage:

    1. Pastoral Nominating Committees to include provision for periodic Sabbaticals in pastoral calls, and require thoughtful planning of study leaves, retreats, and vacations.
    2. Ministers make use of allotted times away and include Sabbath experiences.
    3. Congregations and Presbyteries to offer newsletter articles about how minister, members, and educators plan their times away and benefit from the gift of Sabbath.
    4. The practice of spiritual direction/companionship and refer people to Spiritual Directors This site includes a directory for locating a spiritual director in communities around the U.S. and beyond.

 More gleanings in future issues



Two Events


April 17-20, 2009

Sawgrass Marriott Resort and Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (new location confirmed) 
A time of rest and relaxation, of celebration and worship, of spiritual growth and renewal.
Keynote by Walter Brueggemann.  Co-sponsored by national agencies of the PCUSA.

For further information and to register online visit





June 11-13, 2009

Hyatt Regency Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia
Come, join the Presbyterian family for the Big Tent Event - "and the Word became flesh . . . "
This event joins 10 PCUSA conferences for common worship, celebrations, meals, exhibits, and a common workshop time, as well as focused time around particular ministries. Partner conferences include:

Healthy Ministry Conference (CPM/COM)

National Elders Conference

New Immigrant Groups Consultation

Presbyterian Communicators Network

PHEWA/Social Justice Biennial Conference

Presbyterian Multicultural Conference

Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference  

Evangelism and Church Growth Conference

Racial Ethnic Convocation

Stewardship Conference


For further information:  Registration will be open in January.


  Resource for Pastors



Deep Well CD Front Cover

This CD, based on music by david m. bailey and meditations by Stephen McCutchan, is offered as a resource to the pastor. Through a series of reflections and songs, the pastor is invited to renew his sense of God's call and experience the power of God's spirit energizing his or her ministry.
The cost of the CD is $10.

To order call 1-800-524-2612 PDS# OGA-08-099. Or order online at PCUSA Marketplace





Presbyterian Writers' Conference


Sponsored by Presbyterian Writers Guild and Cecil Murphey

April 23-24, 2009

 Harrington Center, Columbia Seminary ~ Decatur, GA
Make this your big step to becoming a published author.
Speak with a literary agent.
Learn about the needs and opportunities in Presbyterian publications.
Get the answers and direction you need from a professional staff.
Conference Faculty
Dr. Cecil Murphey, Bestselling Author/Speaker/Teacher
Author or co-author of more than 100 books, including the NY Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven.
Vince Patton, Westminster John Knox Press
Rev. Jerry Van Marter, Presbyterian News Service
Rev. James Clinefelter, Freelance Writer
Deidre Knight/The Knight Agency, Literary Agent
Dr. H. Michael Brewer, Pastor/Writer/Teacher
Mitali Perkins, Young Adult Novelist
Patrick Borders, Freelance Writer/Ghostwriter
Twila Belk, Writer/Speaker/Publicist
Conference Fee:
$200 ~ Presbyterian Writers Guild members will
receive a 10% discount.
A limited number of rooms are available at Harrington Center for early registrants. There are also nearby hotels.
Meals are available at the campus cafeteria
for less than $20 per day.
Contact Columbia Seminary to register.
(When at the online site, scroll down to April 23.)
(404) 687-4578
Conference begins with registration at 8 a.m. on Thursday, 4/23. Conference ends at 5 p.m. Friday, 4/24.
Contact Rev. Steve McCutchan, or Twila Belk,