Helpful Links

Clergy resources


  • Stop Trying to Work Things Out on Your Own: What Faith Leaders Can Do [to both help people with mental illness as well as to reduce stigma against mental health treatment]
  • Mental Illness & Families of Faith: How Congregations Can Respond Resource/Study Guide for Clergy and Communities of Faith (article) Brochure to supplement the article
  • 21 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser - People pleasing can be big problem for clergy who are always trying to win the approval of others and struggle to say no because it can lead to feeling pressured, stressful and even make you sick according to the article.  This article provides 21 very practical ways to move from being a people pleaser to someone who practices better self care.
  • Coping with Appointment Changes and Relocation Stress -- This article should be given to all Pastors, when they get "the call" that they are moving. It should be included in the New Pastor's Orientation, Congregational Relations, Spouses and PK's. This information is so vital and all concerned needs to hear it. Many times, Spouses and kids have lots of questions; I believe after reading this article, it will help alleviate some of the necessary stress. New Pastors and/or Seminary students should definitely get their hands on this. A lot of families break up because they don't fully understand the itinerant system.
  • Not "Whose Fault Is It?" sermon -- A lot of our congregations have not been educated on what Mental Illness means. Education and maybe some training as to how to deal with Mental Illness and Mental Disease and any kind of behavioral issues should be addressed by the whole church. Many times, from the Pastor on down, need some educational awareness. What we should be saying is, it is no body's fault that this person has a mental illness. But, how we as a "church" and love and support this person thru this and at this time. Congregational Relations, Pastor's Orientation and S/PPRC should be the first to be trained or attend some workshop on this issue.I too believe this is a great article to be under PCC.
  • How People Pleasers Can Learn to Say "No" More Often -- Part of the problem of being a people pleaser is the inability to say no easily.  This article provides examples of how people pleasers get this wrong and then provides a very easy model for how we can learn to say no when necessary and deciding when the right time for that is.
  • Duke Clergy Health Initiative -- A seven-year project focused on studying and improving the health and well-being of United Methodist clergy in North Carolina.  Offers insightful articles and programs relevant to ministers in all faith traditions.?
  • Real Live Preacher -- Written by a pastor in Texas and reflecting on his experience of ministry.  A great conversation starter, meditation opportunity, or Sabbath exercise - a thoroughly good read.
    Inspiring Examples of Faith-Based Initiatives to Help Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Participate Fully in the Life of Religious Congregations
  • Journal of Pastoral Care  -- A comprehensive resource for clergy combining the theory and practice of pastoral care.
  • Lifting Arms -- A ministry devoted to encouraging, training, and inspiring pastors with opportunities for coaching, workshops, and retreats.
  • Say It Out Loud -- One in five teens lives with a mental health condition and yet more than half are not getting the help they need. Stigma remains a huge barrier to teens seeking help. Say it Out Loud gives adults the tools they need to hold conversations about mental health with teens in faith-based or community youth groups. 

IGRC and UMC-related links

  • Illinois Great Rivers Conference - Your local link to all things UMC.  Find information on all 10 districts in the IGRC, a conference directory, annual conference reports, and a calendar of events.
  • Northern Illinois Conference -- Our neighbors to the north, the NIC is a valuable resource for IGRC and home to over 400 local churches in the northern third of the state.
  • UMC -- Information on the United Methodist Church. Learn about our church, our faith, our people, and our world through the lens of the United Methodist Church. (Available in Korean and Spanish.)

  • Clergy Age Trends in the UMC -- Article is reporting on a 2014 UM report and talks about the changing age demographics of the church. Elders and local pastors are appointed as pastors of congregations. The number of active elders continue to decline as the number of local pastors grows.
  • General Board of Pension and Health Benefits --Offers information on retirement, finances, and healthy living for UMC pastors. Of special note is their Center for Health, "Connecting Parish/Faith Community Nurses, Health Advocates and Others with a Passion for Health Across the Denomination."
  • UMCOR -- The United Methodist Church's committee on humanitarian relief, alleviating suffering in times of war, conflict and natural disasters. Find news, programs and ways to help out here.
  • Faith and Mental Health -- How to create caring and sharing communities put out by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits.

For spouses

  • Preaching Partner -- Clergy spouses sharing their experiences, concerns, and pressures as a pastors wife.
  • First Husbands -- An article about the experience of men who are married to pastors and the different concerns they have from those of pastors' wives. A UM survey cited in the article reports that the primary concern of "first husbands" is that they worried about time demands and the potential for burnout by their pastor-wives.







Self-care articles

  • Saying NO to Obligations -- Talks about how to identify your priorities (which is what matters most) and to give yourself enough time to consider the request before making the decision without feeling pressured, This article refers to 'Saying No' as a life skill. Knowing why you are afraid to know requires that we understand our 'emotional hooks' and this article talks about that.
  • 10 Tips for a Healthy Marriage -- It takes work to have a healthy marriage but it is possible. Just like good nutrition and regular exercise can help you have a healthy body, there are things you can do to have a healthy marriage. This article talks about 10 tips to strengthen your marriage.
  • Successful Relationships & Communication Skills -- This article advises you on how to improve your communication skills. Good communication is where information, ideas, thoughts or feelings are clearly transmitted from one person to another. In this article you can find a definition of good communication, the key to good communication, and ways to get your message across.
  • Setting Healthy Goals: Tips for Families -- Having a plan is the best way to make any life change—big or small. It's the difference between a goal and a wish. A resolution is more of a decision than a plan. To make a life change, you need more than a decision. You need a plan to put your decision into action so that you can reach your goal.

Mental health organization resource links

For pastors' kids

For clergywomen

  • The WellSprings Journal -- The WellSprings Journal is an online journal for United Methodist (UM) clergywomen, by UM clergywomen, and of UM clergywomen. This online journal is an expression of "who we are as United Methodist clergywomen" and is published by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to address the need for "an instrument of some kind that could not only connect, but bond United Methodist clergywomen in a new and exciting way."

Clergy wellness resources

  • 13 Clergy Health Factors & the 5 Dimensions of Health -- The five dimensions of health (physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial) paired with the 13 factors that are most important for healthy clergy leaders. The short Clergy for Health article also identifies 13 clergy health factors and how they align with the UMC career aspect.
  • Clergy More Likely to Suffer From Depression, Anxiety -- The demands put on clergy by themselves and others put them at higher risk for depression. This new study by the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School offers information and some practical suggestions on how to proactively take steps to bolster one’s own mental health.
  • Divine Intervention: Helping Clergy Help Themselves -- It’s okay for clergy to think about themselves.  It’s a concept that is often counter intuitive for devoted clergy used to being on call 24/7.  A pastor in North Carolina took advantage of an opportunity  to develop good strategies for stress management, exercise, and healthy eating.
  • Separation Anxiety -- An article adapted from The Graceful Exit, a book by Lutheran pastor Mary Lindberg, about the transitions inherent in ministry.
  • The Upper Room -- A good, all around, site for encouraging a holistic relationship with God. (Available in Spanish.)

Congregations and S/PPRC resources

Health -- A link within the SAMHSA (substance abuse) website that is designed to faith leaders prepare and enable clergy to talk about mental illness in church as one way to reduce the stigma regarding mental illness and counseling.