Presbytery Pastoral Care Network
                                                             July 2015  
In This Issue

2015 PPCN
Annual Conference & Education Event

Embassy Suites
Kansas City Plaza

Kansas City, MO


Sun., Oct. 25 at 5:00 pm to Tues., Oct. 27 at 5:00 pm

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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    

   Salem 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


The 2015 Annual PPCN Conference will be held in partnership with the Synod Of Mid America and the Presbyterian Association of Christian Educators at the OASIS REGIONAL CHRISTIAN EDUCATION EVENT.


For the first time, Presbytery Pastoral Care Network will not only embrace the Care of Pastors but will recognize the need for Care Resources for Christian Educators! We will offer a number of workshops to address this mutual care issue for leaders in our church. In addition, there will be a number of Christian Education related workshops addressing ministries to youth & adults.


Mark the dates October 25 - 27 on your calendar, register early and plan for this very special event.


THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER is John W. Vest. He will address the theme "Now is the Time! Living the Gospel in a Post Christendom World."  


PPCN will hold a special session on Tuesday afternoon from 1 PM - 5 PM with learning sessions on how we need to care for pastors as they face controversial issues within the church.  There will also be a short business meeting to fulfill  Annual Meeting requirements and election of officers. Topics which will be presented and discussed are:

  • The recent decision of 14F - how to resource, issues of reconciliation, realities for clergy in preparation for Pastoral Care for same sex couples.
  • How do we deal with mistrust within our presbyteries and with each other after this decision?
  • With respect to Call and theological issues, how do we address anxiety on theological issues of pastor and church differing values and how to navigate Calls?
  • How do we equip pastors theologically to evaluate Call and respond effectively?
Plan to stay for this free PPCN session.


Click below to register, learn more about the Keynote Speaker and the workshops offered, and reserve your hotel room.

For more information contact
Rev. Jim Splitt, H.R., Homestead Presbytery
President, Presbytery Pastoral Care Network
Email  |  Ph. 402-277-0912
Soul Care:  Experiencing God through our Senses
by Anne Lange


My senses are often all engaged experiencing parenting of two boys under two.  From an astounding variety of smells, tasting food to make sure the temperature and spice level are appropriate or young tongues, listening for their cries and giggles, and above all, holding them in my arms for long snuggles.  I wonder if my senses could be fully engaged when experiencing God? Listening for God's transforming word, tasting grace and forgiveness at the communion table, feeling for the word made flesh in the hands I hold at the bedside or the embrace of hug. Sometimes it is the smell of incense burning or anointing oil associated with healing and blessing services. These are all common practices I engage in when encountering God and yet sometimes I need more. I wonder if there are other ways to engage God and spiritual practices. Labyrinths, prayer mandalas, art, and gratitude journals come to mind.


Years ago I began exploring other practices to bring to my patients in the hospital. All of sudden I found myself and my patients encountering God in new, deep and rich ways. Some people shared more deeply than they would with just a conversation. Others were glad for a new practice to add to their prayer life (labyrinth or prayer mandala). As for myself, I found a restful pause in these practices. My image of God became more vivid in the colors and images of my art, my call to ministry deepened as I was able to leave the stories of loss, trauma, and heartbreak at my make-shift Ebenezer and release the angst I carried in the walking or tracing a Labyrinth or expressing gratitude a journal. I began to offer these practices every couple of months for my nurses and began to see a transformation in their work. For some a renewed sense of compassion and caring emerged for their patients and families. For others these practices and taking time to reflect on their lives allowed them courage to make changes in their careers or life situations. Still others would share easy it felt to access God and be cared for by God through these sensory practices.


These restorative spiritual practices engage our bodies, minds and souls in ways that shed new perspective on our faith journeys, our ministries, and our work-life balance. I invite you to join us this fall at the Oasis Educational Event in the Heartland Presbytery. Sensory Spiritual Care will be one of the workshops offered on the PPCN track. I hope to see you there!!
Doctrine, Doctrine, Who's Got the Doctrine 
A theological game for clergy fun by Steve McCutchan


The set up for this game is that you invite three or four colleagues to breakfast or lunch and tell them you are going to introduce them to a fun game that may have rich resources for some of their future sermons and ministry. When they have gathered and have their food or drink before them, explain that you want to play a game you have titled "Doctrine, Doctrine, Who's Got the Doctrine." Set a pair of dice on the table. Explain that when you roll the dice, you will use the die on your left to identify the person sharing a pastoral issue and the die on your right will indicte the person whose task is to name a theological doctrine that s/he thinks speaks to that situation. For example, the first person may say "I think many churches are facing financial concerns." The second person would respond, "The doctrine of stewardship should be explored. And one aspect of that is that stewardship explores how all we have is a blessing from God and we are called to be good stewards or managers of what we have."

The idea is not to completely develop the implications of the theological doctrine but simply suggest its relationship to the issue raised. When the dice are cast again, the next person indicated might suggest that many people are becoming anxious about the threat of terrorism in our society. The responder might suggest that churches could benefit from examining the meaning of the sovereignty of God. The idea is to have fun among colleagues while relating some of the primary doctrines of faith to challenges facing the members of our churches. Each time the die is cast, a new pair is identified. Don't get into long discussions about the doctrines. Keep the game moving. Have fun and even make exaggerated connections that might stimulate laughter.  You might even invite the participants to share any sermons that have been stimulated by the conversation.  

Getting Started Right

 by Steve McCutchan 


OK, a new pastor is coming to be pastor of the congregation. Now, how do you help make the beginning a good one and establish from the start a culture of mutual caring? In consultation with the pastor and family, consider the following where appropriate.


First, does the family need to look for housing either for purchase or to rent? Help them identify a knowledgeable realtor. (A word of caution; it would be best if the realtor was not a member of the congregation in case the house shopping is not an easy task.)


Second, ask the pastor and family to identify some of the community locations in which they are interested. Offer them a good map already marked with significant institutions like hospitals, groceries, shopping sights, banks, drug stores, etc. Also, they may need suggestions with respect to identifying medical professionals for their family.


Third, if the pastor has small children, there will there be times in the early weeks when   more  

Shop on AmazonSmile and Amazon will make a donation to
  Presbytery Pastoral Care Network for every eligible purchase.  
Resources for support of clergy

Steve McCutchan, Author.  Now available on

(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) 
Take time to do something fun this summer!