Nurturing the health of the Body of Christ through
caring for its pastors.
website for details
how to join.
President: Julie Johnson
Joe Sandifer, Greater Atlanta
Lou Snead, Mission
Ken Waddell, Cherokee
PCUSA Office of Vocation
Board of Pensions
A Tool Kit
Held in Conjunction with
the PCUSA Big Tent Event
On Thursday, June 11, 2009 the PPCN will hold a
one-day conference prior to the beginning of the Big Tent
Event in Atlanta.
How to Register
Go online to pcusa.org/bigtent
or call 1-888-728-7228, ext. 2417
Select the pre-conference event "Presbytery Pastoral
Care Network Gathering" under Healthy Ministries
Division. Make your reservation, which includes lunch ($50.00)
Is This Conference For?
leaders (staff, committees, volunteers) can learn Major
Keys to Thriving Ministry, hear how other presbyteries are
doing clergy care in large and small presbyteries, share
resources with participants, receive input from the Board of
Pensions, and discover some new tools for healthy
ministries all in one day.
While this year's conference is
shorter, some new and exciting ideas and opportunities will
come your way at the PPCN National Gathering. The plan is to
incorporate spiritual nurture, important information on
resources, and practical ideas about sustaining excellence in
We gather at 9 for worship
we focus on the lessons drawn from the Lilly Foundation's
multi-year study of how to sustain pastoral excellence and the
report emerging from that study, Keys
to Excellence: Pastoral Imagination and Holy Friendship,
by Craig Dykstra.
we continue our reflections by hearing about how Committees on
Ministry of both large and small presbyteries are practicing
pastoral care. We will hear from Dave Kivett: COM
Moderator-Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, Sue Westfall: Assoc.
Executive for Ministry-Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, and
Janet Williams: COM Moderator -North East Georgia
we will have a brief Membership Meeting of the PPCN and then
enjoy a Networking Lunch
(included in the PPCN Gathering Registration)
We will reconvene at 1:00
to hear from Helen Locklear about some of the resources being
developed by the Board of Pensions to nurture and sustain
pastoral health and well-being. (See the accompanying article)
you will have the first look at the Tool Kit, a new set of
resources being developed by PPCN, in cooperation with the
Office of Vocation as an on-line resource for Committees on
We will examine a sample of these
resources in small groups, get your feedback on new areas that
need to be developed, identify resources that are already
available and explore the best means of sharing this material
across the denomination.
we will have a brief discussion of the systemic issues that we
face and possible next steps for addressing them.
We will conclude with worship at 3:50
and prepare for participation in the opening events of the Big
at the Big Tent
11-13, 2009, Hyatt Regency Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia
"and the Word Became Flesh ..."
or call 1-888-728-7228, ext. 2417)
As you register for events at the Big Tent, we draw your
attention to several workshops under the section on Healthy
Ministries that the PPCN are providing:
Morning: Sustaining Healthy Pastors-AB11:
How to move beyond putting out fires and attend to the
preventative work of support.
afternoon: Nurturing New Pastors-CH05:
How to develop a program that helps pastors in their first
call to be supported and strengthened in their ministry.
Morning: Pastors Need Pastors Too-EH03:
Examining best practices in a presbytery's care for the
afternoon: When Pastors Get in Trouble-HH05: Intervention strategies
Each of these is a resource for the work of COMs in sustaining
of Pensions Highlights
By Helen Locklear
Jesus, who came in the flesh, gave significance to flesh.
"...I have come that you might have life and that you
might have it abundantly" (John 10:10 ff). He
demonstrated concern for wholeness in persons as well as in
the community in which they live. Health and
healing are central dimensions of the faith we profess.
The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has
introduced Stewardship of Self, a comprehensive effort to help
Benefits Plan members understand and use Board plans,
programs, and services to improve self care.
It is based on the premise that both the Board and its Plan
members share a responsibility to enrich all aspects of one's
life: spiritual, vocational, health, and financial. The
Stewardship of Self is a comprehensive effort to help Benefits
Plan members understand and use the Board plans, programs, and
services to improve self care. Through the benefits,
programs and services provided by the Board, members can
improve their own lives and thus fulfill a responsibility to
help care for the greater Presbyterian Church community.
A number of services are available to Plan members and their
· Mayo Clinic
Assistance Program (EAP)
For more information or program
details, please visit the Board of Pensions Website, www.pensions.org,
or call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752.
For the next several issues of the
PPCN Newsletter, we will focus on the various programs of the
Stewardship of Self which are listed above.
Presbytery is currently working with the Rev. David R. Sawyer,
Ph.D. (Professor of Ministry and Director of Lifelong Learning
and Advanced Degrees, Louisville Seminary, PCUSA) who draws on
his experiences as a pastor to help equip leaders to find the
hidden health in congregations that are mystified by emotional
Sawyer's approach is summed up in his
book Hope in Conflict: Discovering Wisdom in Congregational
Turmoil; Pilgrim Press, 2007.
In his introduction, Sawyer comments:
"As a leader you know that a congregation can be
wonderful and terrible, exciting and discouraging, nurturing
and demanding, healing and hurting. You are familiar with the
discouragement of disagreements, difficulties, or outright
conflicts. If your experience is anything like mine, you have
felt helpless and hopeless in the face of the mystery of a
congregation that has emotionally blown up.
But hold on to that sense of mystery.
If you are willing to live with mystery, study its hidden
meanings, and perhaps even trust that God might be in that
confusing uncertainty, you can find your way back onto the
path to hope (p.7)."
Using a variety of congregational
case studies, Sawyer offers an approach by which to find hope
in conflict, because conflict may be a sign of resistance to
change that is emerging from God's creativity. He outlines
ways to pay attention to structures, stories, and symptoms in
conflicted congregations. He draws from what have become
classic approaches to conflict and from family systems theory and
goes beyond them to a new understanding and a method that aims
at avoiding the temptation of the quick fix of simply
"removing a 'broken part' and replacing it with a
Care for the Totally Depraved
Since I make this claim to be a Calvinist, I admit to my
depravity and need for lots and lots of prayers, wherever I
can get them. This includes friends on Facebook, other
churches, family members, family pets et al.
HUMOR: I can be very entertaining...
especially in my attempts to be Sovereign of the
Universe. That itself is worth a good laugh.
SWEAT: I find I am far less
disgruntled with congregants when I'm working out my
frustrations regularly in a good sweat at the gym.
INSTANT GRATIFICATION: Serving people can
take eons to see results. Next to that, cooking dinner
only takes a few hours and then the food is ready! This
kind of small accomplishment helps me maintain a sense of
DIRECTION: I have been blessed with gifts,
as well as a whole smorgasbord of errors. I need daily
doses of the Word, and the objective listening ears of a good
counsel at least once a month. A good spiritual director
or psychologist is invaluable.
COMMUNITY: I am called to have a life
abundant which entails having a life. I go out regularly
with women friends and my husband, and keep myself busy in
non-church community activities.
SILENCE: I find it really hard to solve the
world's problems when I'm getting a good back massage.
RELEASE: I may want to save the world, but that's
already been done. Sometimes the best I can do at the
end of a long day is to have a glass of wine and watch
NAPS: Almost every Sunday afternoon, I fall asleep on
the sofa attempting to do the crossword puzzle.
GRACE: This goes along with my general theme, that
I would be a really sorry Sovereign of the Universe.
Thankfully God has called me to be a special part of the
world, but really, Jesus is way better at pastoral care and
the Spirit will always be more inspiring. Thank goodness