Nurturing the health of the Body of Christ through
caring for its pastors.
more about PPCN
and our 11th Annual Gathering
President: Dan Corll
President: Julie Johnson
Secretary: Carol Allen
Treasurer: Alan Baroody
Editor: Stephen McCutchan
Members At Large:
Christine Sage, Pacific
Joe Sandifer, Greater Atlanta
Lou Snead, Mission
Ken Waddell, Cherokee
PCUSA Office of Vocation
Board of Pensions
perfect gift to recognize the excellent work of pastors
A CD designed to support pastors, featuring song
writer david bailey
order call 1-800 524-2612
and ask for item OGA-08-099
Join these Judicatories
in Supporting PPCN
Synod of South Atlantic
website for details
on how to join.
resources on pastoral care may be found on the blog at www.smccutchan.com/blog
Plan now to attend the 11th annual conference of
the Presbytery Pastoral Care Network. Maybe you can
even build in a few days of vacation on either side of
the conference and explore the wonders of San
Whether you are an individual
pastor concerned with how to maintain a rich, creative
balance in your ministry; have a responsibility for
helping prospective members prepare for the ministry;
or are a member of a presbytery committee charged with
care of pastors, plan to attend. Arrangements are
underway for Keynote Speakers and Workshops on the
theme of Coaching, Mentoring and Spiritual Direction.
This is an opportunity to share with colleagues who
have the same interest and participate in invigorating
workshops that will increase your skills.
The PPCN Board will be
meeting in February to pin down the details and they
will be available on our web site. We will also
provide more information in future newsletters.
So mark your calendars and
prepare to be enriched in ministry.
and Identity Theft Support
Assistance Program (EAP)
Theft is a growing phenomenon in our society; causing
one to expend countless hours and thousands of dollars
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resource you need.
help assess and resolve legal problems, you can
speak to a licensed attorney through a 30-minute
telephone or face-to-face consultation|
services beyond the initial consultation, receive
a 25% discount on most legal services, if using an
attorney from the provider network|
legal support to other members of your household and
your parents for direct legal consultation on senior
care issues such as estate planning, power of
attorney, living wills, death of spouse, etc.
Employment-related issues are not covered.
help manage the recovery process after an identity
theft event, you can receive a 60-minute
consultation with a fraud resolution specialist
who will work with you through seven emergency
response activities to restore your identity and
- Counsel on how to
notify the proper authorities,
agencies and creditors
- Provide forms or
letters to help you report and
itemize each fraudulent occurrence
- Advise on how you
can dispute fraudulent debts
*The specialists can also advise you on how to:
- Obtain and monitor your credit report every
- Place a fraud alert or credit freeze (if
your state) on your credit record
- Take future preventative measures
Whether you're finding a lawyer or dealing with the
fact that your Social Security Number has been used to
open a credit care in someone else's name, you can
call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for help.
For more information, contact the Board of Pensions at
the Pastor Gets Sick:
Story About How a Connectional Church Can Help
Lou Snead, Mission Presbytery
was the pastor of a small-town Presbyterian church in
South Texas when she learned she had cancer.
Her congregation rallied around her in support as she
underwent surgery and then received radiation
treatments over the next several months. Our
presbytery leadership quickly offered to provide the
church with pulpit supply preachers to allow Nancy to
focus on getting the medical attention she needed.
She was touched by the out-pouring of cards, flowers,
phone calls, and meals that she received from both her
congregation and a number of colleagues in ministry
around our presbytery.
Fortunately, we have within the structure of our
presbytery a Pastoral Care Committee made up of 12
volunteer ministers and lay people who seek to provide
pastoral care and support for ministers and church
professionals on an on-going basis. So, when our
Pastoral Care Committee was alerted to Nancy's illness
shortly before she was scheduled for surgery we were
able to contact her and let her know that we had her
on our prayer list and we wanted to know how we could
best be of help to her during this difficult time.
She was grateful for the contact and she expressed
concern about how her disease and treatments would
impact her disabled husband who depended on her
heavily. One of our Committee members at the
time was a pastor with a long-standing relationship
with Nancy so he volunteered to drive over to be with
the husband and other family members during the
surgery. After the surgery he took Nancy's
husband to dinner to hear his concerns.
a year and a half later, after Nancy had seemed to
recover from her surgery and chemotherapy treatments
she learned that she had a recurrence of her cancer
that was now attacking her liver. The pastor who
had volunteered to go and be with the family during
surgery had a number of conversations with Nancy
during this time. He learned that she had begun
to realize that her condition may be terminal and she
wanted to make plans for her husband's well-being if
she died. Our committee member contacted us and
we discussed possible resources or contacts we could
make to help Nancy with the decision-making she was
worried about in regard to her husband's future care.
Nancy died, our Presbytery planned with her
congregation a memorial service to celebrate her life
and ministry. Without any formal effort to do
so, a memorial fund was established in Nancy's name
for our presbytery to use to help other ministers who
were facing life-threatening issues. One of our
Committee members made a point to go visit with
Nancy's husband on a regular basis for the next
several months until he got situated in a new living
arrangement with his family.
We have learned as a pastoral care committee that our
level of care in these situations depends on our
awareness of the health issues our ministers are
having. Also we have learned that congregations
and sessions need special attention and assistance
when an illness disrupts a minister's ability to
fulfill his/her pastoral duties. Given the financial
difficulties that many small church pastors face when
serious illness or injuries happen, we are blessed to
have the Pastoral Care Crisis Fund that our presbytery
has had to foresight to put in place to meet such
needs. Interfacing with our presbytery's
administrative leadership and with our denomination's
health care provider are important resources we can
draw upon to care and support ministers and their
congregations when illnesses occur. Perhaps most
importantly in these situations, having a network of
relationships with ministers is vital to accessing
pastoral care when pastors get sick.
The Tool Box that was introduced at the 10th PPCN
Conference at the Big Tent is now available on line.
Go to www.pastoralcarenetwork.org
and click on the Tool Box icon.
This is intended to be a resource for the entire
church. Feel free to recommend it to others. An
example of the resources is:
the Pastor's Spouse Have a Pastor?
for the Pastor's Spouse
pastor once lamented, "My wife was the only
person in the congregation without a pastor." He
recognized the unique qualities of both
pastor-congregant and husband/wife relationships, and
he, a solo pastor, understood that he could not be his
wife's pastor. Even in multi-staff churches, dynamics
between the ministers may preclude a spouse from
having a pastor in the church. Further, because both
men and women are pastors and because many spouses are
working, the supportive forms of clergy wives' groups
have generally not survived, often leaving clergy
spouses isolated. Yet they need care, too. Spouses
report that they have unique challenges in the
congregation. Sometimes they are viewed as extensions
of the pastor, or congregants treat them as the
pastor's secretary. This can get even worse when, for
example, a spouse is part of a church school class
that has members who are in tension with the pastor.
Some regret having to live a model marriage or having
to present a model family life when what they often
want is to be normal, to have a normal family, to be
recognized as a normal member of the congregation.
Sometimes when the pastor is always away from the
home, they have neither pastor nor spouse. Ultimately,
they are often the uncredited partners who handle
family needs evenings, weekends, and holidays, thereby
making the pastors' public ministries possible. The
stress put on marriages by the demands of ordained
ministry threatens both marriages and the church.
How can sessions and committees on ministry support the
pastor's spouse? Every situation is unique, but here
are some general principles and possibilities:
Stress the responsibility of the pastor to his or her
family: Pastors are often tempted to
put the church first for a number of reasons: sense of
call, ego needs, a demanding congregation. Pastors may
need a governing body to help set appropriate
boundaries that will make it possible for the pastor's
spouse to have a spouse.
visits need to inquire about the pastor's family:
COM visitors need to ask the session, not just the
pastor, about how the clergy spouse is doing.
Heightening session awareness may be a helpful first
step. A session member can be a liaison with the
spouse, if that is appropriate.
Some presbyteries have a designated person as the
clergy spouse care coordinator or minister.
Pastors' spouses have a right to be normal Christians.
They should be treated as other members of the
congregation, not held up as role models (or lightning
· Who will be
the spouse's pastor?
The spouse may need to develop a relationship with
someone outside the denomination, as s/he might not
feel comfortable with someone from within the
denominational system. Spouses lose many normal rights
as clergy spouses, and they should be encouraged to
feel free to develop their own forms of discipleship
and spirituality even if this is not connected to the
clergyperson's own church.
for one presbytery's example.
for Pastor's Wives Ten Most Wanted (A Wish List).