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Rev. Dr. Deborah Boucher-Payne

Since arriving in January, I have enjoyed the privilege of getting acquainted with many extraordinary pastoral leaders throughout the Presbytery.   As I have preached at different congregations, words of affirmation, praise and enthusiasm characterize conversations with church members regarding their pastors.   MUP is blessed to have such highly valued and gifted pastoral leaders!

The month of October is “Pastor Appreciation Month.”  Why do we have such an observance? One reason is that our pastoral leaders labor so tirelessly to serve God and God’s people.  They have accepted a vocation that places many demands on them and their families. They deserve to be honored and recognized for their dedication.

Ministry is a very fulfilling, yet challenging vocation and over time, it can take a heavy toll.  While 90% of pastors report being satisfied with their calling to ministry, and 74% are “very satisfied” in their current position, below are some statistics that we should care about as the Church:

  • Clergy have twice the rate of depression versus a comparative sample in the general population (NY Times, 2010)
  • 25% of clergy experience functional impairment due to depressive symptoms (UMC, 2014)
  • They have the highest death rate from heart disease of all professional groups (Carroll, 2002)
  • 79% of clergy are overweight or obese compared to 61% of the population (UMC, 2014)
  • 40% report moderate to severe financial stress (UMC, 2014)
  • 73% of clergy spouses have fair to poor health (Carroll, 2002)

Not only in the month of October, but throughout the year, I encourage our congregations to care for and support their pastoral leaders.  I also want to urge pastors and those serving in other validated ministries to practice self-care on a regular basis.  Take at least one day off every week, spend time with your loved ones, have friends outside of your ministry context, find a support group, meet with a spiritual director, use your vacation time — YOU are a gift from God, and we appreciate and value your ministry in MUP!


Your partner in Ministry,



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Continuous Discipleship

The Continuous Discipleship resource is provided for individual devotion and study or for use as an opening devotion for a session or committee meeting. The articles can also be used for adult, new member, or confirmation study. There are twelve article on five topics: Presbyterian, Book of Order, Bible, Worship, Mission. These brief one page articles provide small nibbles of the enormity of God and discipleship guidance.

Presbyterian Book of Order Bible Worship Mission
God Christ is Head of the Church How the Bible Came to Be Service of the Lord’s Day Church as Reign of God
Christ Great Ends of the Church Authority of Bible Daily Personal Worship Discernment
Holy Spirit Glossary Biblical Interpretation Christian Nurture Evangelism
Trinity Confessional Standards Old Testament Joyful Worship Congregational Meetings
Scripture Presbytery New Testament Prayer Administration
Grace Synod
General Assembly
God Speaks through the Patriarchs Scripture Church Property
Sin Presbyterian Seal …Kings and Prophets Preaching Pastoral Care
Church Diversity and Inclusiveness …Exile and Restoration Baptism Mission
Worship Membership as Ministry …Jesus Christ Lord’s Supper Compassion
Sacraments Ministers and  Church Professionals …Apostles and Early Church Self-Offering Justice
Predestination Elders and Deacons Revelation Relating to Each Other Caring for Creation
Presbyterian God Alone is Lord of Conscience Versions Church Year Church Discipline


Churches of Missouri Union Presbytery

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