September 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

shepherd's crook logo

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 is rapidly approaching.  The dates are October 25-27 in Kansas City, MO, held in partnership with the Synod Of Mid America and the Presbyterian Association of Christian Educators at the OASIS REGIONAL CHRISTIAN EDUCATION EVENT. 

PPCN will hold a special session on Tuesday afternoon from 1 PM - 5 PM.  Plan to stay for this free PPCN session.


There's still time to register.  Click learn more about the Keynote Speaker and the workshops offered, register for the conference, and reserve your hotel room (note:  conference discounted rate for hotel room expires soon.)


For more information contact
Rev. Jim Splitt, H.R., Homestead Presbytery
President, Presbytery Pastoral Care Network
Email  |  Ph. 402-277-0912
Church Conflict 
by Steve McCutchan
A pastor and session draws the congregation's attention to the recent conflicts both within the denomination and between churches over the last fifty years. With that in mind, the leadership has invited the pastor to lead the congregation in a discussion of a healthy approach to conflict among Christians.

Tell them that the initial conversation will be through a series of email exchanges. While anyone can opt out, the leadership invites everyone with an email address to participate in this initial conversation among the whole congregation.

As you move through the phases, there may be several email exchanges during each phase.

The pastor begins the email contact with the membership by engaging them in an exchange around the topic of historic conflict within the church. Your first message would be like this:
A Spiritual Gathering Around Conflict
by Steve McCutchan
If you have engaged your congregation in an email exchange regarding conflict in the church over several months, you may want to explore developing that conversation in a church gathering. It is best if your whole church leadership engages in this process as a team.

As a way  of setting the tone for the gathering, you are inviting people to build on your past discussions and enjoy each other as you play a game about church conflict. Invite them to share a meal together. During the meal, invite each table to identify three benefits and three costs that resulted in the major splits in church history. They can either reflect on the split in 1000 CE, the Reformation in 1500, etc. or they can choose to focus in on the various splits in the Presbyterian denomination.

Before people begin reporting in from their tables, read to them from 2 Corinthians 4:7. "But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us."

Ask them to first report the costs of the conflict and then the benefits that came out of the conflict. (e.g. The Reformation cost the unity of the church. A benefit was that people were able to worship in their own language.) After each table has reported in, ask the whole group to respond with the words of 2 Corinthians 4:7 which you can either flash on a screen or have printed copies on each table.

Ask the group to identify a list of 10 issues that either have in the past split the church or are currently causing splits among churches. (It is a good idea to gather a mixture of historic and current issues.) Place the list in a visible place.
Have copies of 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 available on the tables. Read 12:12-13 aloud. Then ask half of the tables to compose paraphrases of 12:14-26 substituting three or more of the issues identified for the parts of the body mentioned but phrased in an accusatory manner.

Have a table read their accusations aloud and with feeling.(eg. "Because you don't believe . . . you are not part of the church body."

Select some tables to prepare a paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 as a response to those who have judged that some group does not belong to the church body. Ask other tables to prepare a paraphrase of Ephesians 4:1-6 as a response. Encourage them to have fun making the paraphrases as contemporary as possible.

When one table has read an accusation aloud, have one of the tables with the healing responses to read their response. Then proceed to another accusation and another healing response.

After sharing the work of the tables and comments from the experience, conclude the evening with singing together "The Church's One Foundation."
It's Your Time to Shine
Now is the time for all good storytellers to come to the aide of the church.
  • Get recognized for your writing skills by those in the media,
  • Apply your creativity to address issues confronting the church,
  • Get connected with other writers like you,
  • Have some fun, and maybe become a winner.
The Presbyterian Writers Guild is holding a three phase writing contest over the next nine months that offers all those opportunities.  Hurry, the first deadline is October 12, Columbus Day. Spread the word. Copy this to your own Facebook friends and invite them to participate. Send your submissions to

Find out more details Click here.  Let others enjoy your creativity and maybe get noticed by those who publish.

The contest is free for all members of the Writers Guild and you can join the guild for $25. You don't even have to be a Presbyterian. We strive to be open minded as long as you join the Guild.
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 Autumn!