January/February 2016   
In This Issue
2016 Memberships 

Individual membership $45

Institutional membership $200


2016 membership brochure

More info


shepherd's crook logo

Presby tery 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 


Carol DeVaughan, V. President 

     Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery  

Anne Lange, Secretary

     White Water Valley Presbytery

Gary Weaver, Treas.

     Presbytery of Pueblo

Steve McCutch
an, Editor 
     Salem Presbytery    
Jim Burns    
     Indian Nations Presbytery

Dan Corll 
     Pittsburgh Presbytery

Holly Samborski

     Christian Educator, Lee's Summit, MO 


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)
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


Like us on Facebook


"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone." I Cor. 12:4-6 NRSV
The Presbytery Pastoral Care Network has a rich history of providing resources for the Care to Pastors for almost 25 years. Our purpose of "Advocating, Educating, and Encouraging and Equipping for the Care of Pastors in the Presbyterian Church (USA)" has been the guiding force of our ministry. There is no other group within the PCUSA who provides this kind of Network on a national / denominational basis.

What's new on the horizon for PPCN may mean an expansion of our network and ministry to include CHRISTIAN EDUCATORS who serve our congregations in vital roles of teaching and serving families in a variety of contexts. We are exploring how this might happen and what steps we can take to embrace Educators in our future.
The Board of Directors participated in the OASIS event in Kansas City this past Fall and there was an enthusiastic interest in exploring a new identity and expanded purpose for PPCN. Even a name change is being considered as we move forward. During our annual meeting we elected Holly Samborski, our first Christian Educator to the Board of Directors. Holly is a Christian Educator serving a congregation in Lee's Summit, MO. Her presence on the Board will help guide us in this direction and provide a crucial link to establishing a wider network or those who follow our purpose.
As the Board moves forward, we look for input, ideas, responses, and comments that will assist us in discerning how best to proceed and if this is the right direction for us to take. Please feel free to contact any member of the Board to share your thoughts and feelings. 
Blessing for a wonderful New Year. Take time to thank a pastor for following the Call!

For more information contact
Rev. Jim Splitt, H.R. , Homestead Presbytery
President, Presbytery Pastoral Care Network
Email  |  Ph. 402-277-0912
To Members of PPCN 
by Jim Splitt 
I recently talked with Pastor Jimmy Shelbourn, a member of Homestead Presbytery who serves a congregation in Beatrice, NE. He shared a great idea that I want to pass on about his commitment to spiritual direction and mentoring.

Here's what he wrote me with the title:     
Intentional designation of a minister not of the same denomination as "pastor"

When I was ordained by Louisville Presbytery in 1980 and began a call at Buechel Presbyterian Church, I remembered from classes that pastors need pastoral care, but that the bugaboo was that ministers in the denomination might one day influence future calls, limiting how open a pastor can be in sharing one's struggles. We had an organization in our section of Louisville called South East Associated Ministries with both Protestant and Roman Catholic members. I asked the rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church if he could serve as my confidante. He did. Just over five years later, I took a call in Nebraska, and similarly asked the rector at Christ Church Episcopal for the same consideration. I have had such an informal arrangement with five of the past six rectors. In an interim period at Christ Church, I availed myself of the counsel of the local General Conference Mennonite pastor. The last three rectors have been in a yoke and the weekday service was no longer offered, but for the first decade of my pastorate in Nebraska, I also attended the weekday Eucharist.

Pastor Dr. Jimmy Shelbourn, FPC Beatrice NE
Rising Divorce Rate Among Clergy
by Steve McCutchan
Along with the increasingly disturbing statistics about the decline of clergy physical health, comes the unpleasant reality that the clergy divorce rate is now above the average in society as a whole. In contrast to earlier years, getting a divorce doesn't destroy a pastor's acceptance in the church. In one way, that is good. Plenty of people in our society have gotten a divorce but have many other excellent qualities and gifts that contribute to society. Yet the very increased acceptance of divorce in the church, for both conservative and liberal churches, removes the pressure to maintain a marriage among the clergy.

The fact that the rise in divorce rates among clergy is        read more

Reality Testing Expectations
by Steve McCutchan

Make a list of the presumed expectations of the clergy and clergy spouse and beside each of them you put a scale from zero to ten. Ask the members of your session to personally mark each expectation as to its validity within the congregation with one being not valid and ten being a very valid expectation of the clergy and spouse.

, you will discover a variety of understandings even within the smaller body of the session
which will allow for a deeper discussion of what is valid and what is not. Second, you will  
read more 
Satisfaction in the Ministry
 by Steve McCutchan

There is another aspect of the ministry that has some deep impact on the family. Sometimes we neglect to acknowledge and affirm the deep satisfactions that come from participating in the ministry. Of course that satisfaction can be part of the clergy person's experience, but it can also be experienced by members of the family. It is important to recognize some of the negative pressures and develop strategies to counter them. But it is also true that if we focus on the negative, we can easily forget how much is also positive.

As a first step, let each of you think back to when you first realized that one of you was going to be a pastor. Try to make at least three statements of what it felt like to consider that either you or your spouse was being called by God to enter the ministry. Share those statements with each other and any discussion that might result from hearing those statements.

Of course with the passage of time and the build-up of the stresses caused by the reality of being a pastor, some of those dreams may have been lost or at least weakened. However, either new satisfactions or new forms of old satisfactions may have emerged. Affirming those can strengthen one's ability to cope with the other stresses. So the second step is for each of you to try to write out 3 to 5 statements describing a satisfaction that you get from being a pastor or a member of a pastor's family. You might also make a couple of statements about a satisfaction you think the other person may derive from God's call which has resulted in you being in a clergy family.

My guess is that you will be surprised at the results from actually engaging in this process.
Session's Support of a Pastor's Family
by Steve McCutchan

A major contribution to the loneliness experienced by a pastor is a strong feeling of guilt associated with the tension between attending to the needs of the congregation and the needs of his or her family. While this is not unique to the profession of ministry, sometimes that feeling of guilt can be affected by one's understanding of God's call to the ministry. Sometimes, as with other professions, it is also affected by the pastor's need to be a success in the ministry. A pastor may get praised for extending himself or herself on behalf of the needs of a congregation, but s/he rarely gets praised for how well s/he balances attention to the needs of the congregation and the needs of the family.

What if a session occasionally recognized this tension by publicly thanking the individual members of the family for their support of the pastor's ministry. For example, after a pastor has been through a particularly stressful season at the church, what if an Elder spoke to the congregation with words of appreciation for the excellent work of the pastor during, for example, the Lent and Easter season, and also led in a prayer of thanksgiving for each member of the pastor's family by name for their willingness to support the pastor's work even though it denied them family time.
If a pastor has to cut short a vacation or give up a day off because of a pastoral emergency and this affected the individual members of the family as well, what if someone wrote to the other members of the family, recognizing their sacrifice as well and offering them thanks?

To add a little fun to the appreciation, what if the session told the children of a pastor's family that in thanks for the pastor's ministry, they would pay for the children taking the pastor to a movie of their choice and buying them dessert following the event.
The idea is to signal to the family that the church is aware that the quality of the pastor's ministry is affected by their efforts as well.
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 Winter!