April / May 2015  
In This Issue
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Presbytery Pastoral Care Network (PPCN) is a 501(c)3 non-profit providing professional development, support, and resources for those caring for ministers throughout the Presbyterian Church (USA).
PPCN Board

Jim Splitt, President  Email 

   Homestead Presbytery 


Stanley Jewell, Vice President

   Presbytery of Denver

Anne Lange, Secretary

   White Water Valley Presbytery

Gary Weaver, Treasure
r  Email
   Presbytery of Pueblo     


Steve McCutchan,  

Newsletter Editor   Email 

    Salem Presbytery 


Susan Holderness

   Western Reserve Presbytery


Dan Corll 
   Pittsburgh Presbytery  


Carol DeVaughan

   Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery 


Raafat Zaki 

   Synod of the Covenant 



Denominational Advisors:

SanDawna Ashley

   Mid Council Ministries, Office of the
   General Assembly PC(USA) 

Helen Locklear

   Board of Pensions, PC(USA)

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2015 Memberships 


Individual membership $45

Institutional membership $200


More info

2015 membership brochure  


A note from the Board 
Thank you for supporting Presbytery Pastoral Care Network in its work to provide resources for those caring for ministers in the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Our work is made possible through the purchase of Memberships, attendance at Conferences, and through individual financial support.  

Your tax deductible contribution may be mailed to:

Presbytery Pastoral Care Network
Rev. Gary Weaver, Treasurer
396 W. Archer Dr.
Pueblo West, CO 81007

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Lead From a Posture of HOPE!


Job 11:13ff from The Message

"Still, if you set your heart on God and reach out to him, if you scrub your hands of sin and refuse to entertain evil in your home, you'll be able to face the world unashamed and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless. You'll forget your troubles; they'll be like old, faded photographs. Your world will be washed in sunshine, every shadow dispersed by dayspring. Full of hope, you'll relax, confident again; you'll look around, sit back, and take it easy. Expansive, without a care in the world, you'll be hunted out by many for your blessing."


I can't imagine starting a day off angry, full of resentment, swimming in despair, or just plain being a humbug. The posture of discouragement is not a good place to be. Pastors who find themselves starting the day off in a bad mood (and sometime we can list a lot of reasons why we might), need to phone a friend.


WHO DO WE CALL, when we need a shot of HOPE in the arm? A few years back when I was directing a Lutheran Summer Camp in Virginia, our theme song was "You've Got A Friend". Remember the refrain: "You just call out my name, and I'll be there, yes I will! You've got a friend." (written by Carole King, 1971).


Every Pastor needs a strong shot of HOPE now and then to get them out of the vortex of unwanted angst or discouragement. And this phone a friend caregiver is NOT the person you want to play "Ain't It Awful" with. It is the person who can re-empower your CALL! It is the person who will listen to you and offer guidance built on hope rather than despair. It is the person who can encourage and stimulate your strengths. It isn't the person who sides with your blaming or goes along with your complaining. A spiritual friend you can call on in a time of doubt and uncertainty says just enough to remind you of your gifts as a pastoral leader.


PPCN is a team of HOPE energizers. Anyone reading this article who needs a dose of good spiritual Jesus centered hope, can email anyone of us on the Board with a phone number. We will call you back and we will do our best listen to your story. We aren't therapists or psychologists. We are simply spiritual care givers who love pastors. We are a network of people who want the best for the men and women who serve our church.


FULL OF HOPE is the posture for good pastoral leadership!


Note: The term "Ain't It Awful" is a game described by Eric Berne, M.D., in his book The Games People Play. (1964).

Rev. Jim Splitt, H.R.
Homestead Presbytery

President, Presbytery Pastoral Care Network
Building Community Among Churches
by Steve McCutchan


For lots of reasons, churches have begun to pull away from their connection with other churches. The dream of the 50's that denominations could work together and make a common witness symbolized in the church center built on Riverside Drive in New York fell apart. Then increasingly    read more

Part 2:  What is your Presbytery doing to provide care for Pastors? 
by Dr. Stanley Jewell 


In the last issue I wrote about the various models for providing pastoral care for pastors in your presbyteries and a process to determine the right model for your presbytery. In this issue I want to build on that by sharing the "Best Practices" for care as you define the role and job description of what ever model you choose. (Note past issues of this newsletter are available on the PPCN Website if you need to look at Part 1.)


As you write the Job descriptions for people providing care there are some specific concerns that need to be addressed.

 read more 

What are the top 10 things Pastors like to hear???

Looking toward the Future... Redesigning the Benefits Plan of the Board of Pensions


Rev. Frank Spencer, the new president of the Board of Pensions, challenged the Board of Directors during a recent meeting, with an optimistic view of the future to pursue ways to enable churches and employing organizations to extend benefits to their church workers not currently covered.   Rev. Spencer sees the potential for growth in the number of church workers served by the Board of Pensions, even as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) experiences dramatic demographic shifts.


Shifts in congregational hiring practices and church demographics seem to guarantee that the one-size model of

read more

Presbyteries & Churches Can Grieve in Hope


by Steve McCutchan




I will speak specifically of presbyteries, but what I say can be applied to any judicatory or church. Any Christian community is an expression of the Body of Christ. It is important for us to recognize that this applies not only to individual congregations but also to churches as they connect with each other.

Repeatedly we hear of the drop of membership among our churches and the reduction of financial support for the larger church. Recently I heard from a presbytery staff member that the whole staff was preparing itself to be laid off. This was not for reasons of incompetence or moral failure but lack of financial resources. Not long ago I heard of a presbytery that suffered major financial issues because the court held the presbytery accountable for a moral lapse of a pastor in one of their churches. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are hurting and as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:26, "If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; . . ."




What I want to suggest is that it is time for presbyteries to grieve but not without hope. I want to propose a specific design for how we can grieve together. It is important that we         read more  

Resources for support of clergy

Steve McCutchan, Author.  Now available on Amazon.com.

(Reminder:   Shop through AmazonSmile and generate donations to PPCN!   To access AmazonSmile use this link, sign in and search for "Stephen McCutchan."



This book offers a fresh resource for clergy support groups. Building on judicatory efforts to counter the problem of isolation and loneliness in ministry, the author describes how the use of stories about clergy can provide a basis for clergy to explore in support groups some of the signal issues experienced in ministry. The design offers a 20 meeting framework for building what John Calvin called "A Company of Pastors."



This book provides strategies and techniques of humor to be applied to the practice of ministry. The author demonstrates how comedy can lessen tension, bridge differences, and strengthen relationships in the church. With a variety of examples, the book shows how humor can be utilized in sermons, liturgies, counseling, funerals, and other dimensions of ministry. It also provides a "Pastor's Survival Notebook " that offers several techniques of comedy that a pastor can use to personally address the stresses of ministry.




This book introduces the idea that an interim is in an ideal position to advocate for good health strategies for the next pastor. The author offers exercises and directions on how to raise the congregation's awareness and specific steps the congregation can take to shape a healthy relationship with their new pastor.


Resources available through PPCN

Webinar:  Teaming With Your Clergy, a resource webinar offering a plan to strengthen the healthy nurture of the teamwork between session and pastor. Co-sponsored by the Presbytery Pastoral Care Network and the Presbyterian Outlook.  (fee /inquire about bulk discounts)  Email | Ph. 800/446-6008 Ext. 758    

Deep Well CD Front Cover
Laughter from the Well CD
tool kit

Deep Well for the Pastor
CD with spiritual meditations and music to support the pastoral vocation.  Price $10 

(limited supply)

Contact Steve McCutchan

Laughter from the Well
CD with 70 minutes of humorous & musical reflections on the challenges of ministry. 

Price $9.99


The Toolbox

Paper with strategies bringing a healthier perspective to the work of ministry.  Free. 

(Toolbox is at bottom of page)