Praying for You

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1:3-5)

Pastor, you’ve been sharing that good news in a wide variety of ways this past week. I’ve seen countless Facebook posts, live streams, Instagram and YouTube videos, and emails of how you have been connecting with your congregation. I’ve seen one pastor who is leading his church in organizing a drive-in worship service while another pastor took to her car and left devotional materials in parishioners’ mailboxes in rural Tennessee. I’m proud of you, Pastor.

I want to encourage you to remember your own self-care during these challenging days. It will be easy to become so consumed with providing pastoral care for your flock that you experience burn-out or depression. Find time each day to focus upon your own needs. Read a book. Take a walk. Color. Call up a longtime friend. These days of uncertainty require us to take care of ourselves so we can be effective pastors for our congregations. It’s like the airline attendant’s instructions – place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping the person next to you. Put on your own oxygen mask each day.

For those of you whose presbytery participates in the Employee Assistance Program, you might want to take advantage of those services in the coming days. While they are not doing face-to-face counseling, they are providing telehealth (video) or telephonic visits. I will be sending information on how to access care to your presbytery’s Clerks, Committees On the Ministry and Clergy Care chairpersons to distribute out to the ministers. In addition, you can always contact me for information on how to access those services.

Lastly, the Pastoral Development Ministry Team is here for you. You have spent the last week praying with, and for your congregation. You will be providing pastoral care to your flock in the coming days during an unprecedented and challenging time. We want to pray with, and for YOU, Pastor. To that end, we invite you to join us in one or all of the following online prayer times next week – Monday 10:00 am, Tuesday 2:00 pm or Thursday 7:00 p.m. I will send out a Zoom meeting invite for each prayer time through this newsletter and via the PDMT Facebook page. If you do not have the Zoom application on your device, you will be prompted to download the free app. Once the download it complete you will be able to join the prayer meeting. The first Prayer for Pastors will be Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. Please join your clergy friends and PDMT members for this time of prayer. The link to that meeting is below. Hope to see you there.

Grace and Peace,
Pam Phillips-Burk
Pastoral Development Ministry Team Leader

Prayer for Pastors Zoom Meeting
Mar 23, 2020 10:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 958 602 922
Password: 464669
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Meeting ID: 958 602 922

Pam Phillips-Burk – email – 901.276.4572, x203

Matthew Gore

Matthew Gore

Matthew H. Gore is a British journalist, historian, popular culturist, archivist, and educator residing in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the immediate past-president of the Society of Tennessee Archivists and is best known for his book The History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Kentucky to 1988 (2000). He has also published on a variety of topics as diverse as The Origin of Marvelman (a British superhero of the 1950s and 1960s), the relative scarcity of East German philatelics, and the biography of British pulp artist, Denis McLoughlin. He is employed by the Ministry Council of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the Cumberland Presbyterian Center in Memphis, Tennessee, as editor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Magazine and as publications manager. He has been associated with both Western Kentucky University, which honored him with their James H. Poteet Award, and the University of Kentucky. He also serves as editor for all Boardman Books (Memphis, Tennessee) publications.
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