Friday, June 26, 2015

Laboring Outside the Bounds

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


"Tell everybody everywhere about Me."




"He is like a kite.  He soars where others fear to fly.  While he needs you
as a lifeline lest he gets lost in the clouds, don't dare try to control him
with the earthly and ordinary or he will not be what attracted you
to him...and he will die...and he has never feared death."

June Hunte


    While this will come as a great relief to many, I will be out of cyberspace between the next two Sundays as I ride Return2 to my outlaws and inlaws in Pennsylvania.

    Shortly after that, KD's webmaster Kathie will be on vacation for a spell.

    On top of that, my computer has finally been declared obsolete and I've been told I will have to learn how to use a new one on July 6.

    Considering my technoignoramity and the challenges provided by cages on the open road, you may never hear from me again because I can't figure out how to get back in cyberspace or the prayers of my enemies have been answered.


    Did you know ordained undershepherds in the PCUSA are expected to get permission from their primary judicatory aka presbytery to "labor outside the bounds" of their, uh, primary judicatory?

    That means we're supposed to get permission before preaching or teaching or presiding at weddings/funerals or, uh, whatever "outside the bounds" of our, uh, primary judicatory.


    Talk about control needs.


    I learned the hard way.

    A pastor and session in another part of the country asked me to help them to part ways in an irenic to redemptive way increasingly uncommon in churches.

    I did.

    Been doing it for years.

    Well, get this, somebody in that church who hated the pastor in a Christian kinda way and hated the session and me in a Christian kinda way for working out a deal that wouldn't totally emasculate the pastor filed charges against me for "laboring outside the bounds" of my presbytery without permission to do it.

    He wanted to hurt me for not hurting his pastor who he wanted to hurt; and because he could no longer hurt him, he transferred the target to moi.

    Truth is that dude wanted to hurt not help by contributing to the healing of that pastor.

    Happens all the time.

    We like...crusades.

    Anyway, I didn't get punished or anything; but I learned not to do anything "outside the bounds" of our presbytery without telling somebody important in our presbytery that I was gonna labor "outside the bounds" of the presbytery.

    Since then, I do that...mostly.


    I'm wondering if anybody expects me to get permission to talk about Jesus if I'm outta town.


    Should I say no/sorry if somebody asks me to preach or teach or preside at the table or do a funeral or...if I haven't had time to get permission to labor "outside the bounds" of my presbytery?

    What if...?


    Yeah, I'm into the "decently and in order" thing.

    Buuuuuuut if presented with an opportunity or need to provide or do something that I've been called/equipped/trained to do, I'll be damned if I'm gonna say no/sorry if I don't have time to get permission to do it.

    Very, very, very seriously!

    Truly, sometimes ya gotta ask forgiveness if you haven't had the time to get permission.

    I know it's a roll of the dice; but I'd rather fail for tryin' than fail for not.


    BTW, for reasons not totally known to me, I talk a lot about Jesus wherever I am; especially when ridin' outta town on Return2.

    He told me to do that.

    I like to do that.

    It's/He's good news.

    So I guess somebody's gonna bring charges against me again because I'm not gonna stop...



"Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that
Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me
from harm so that it might not bring me pain!"



Blessings and Love!



Joseph Cejka, TE HR said...

You got a blog. Did your presbytery of jurisdiction give you permission to use it to tell others about Jesus? And, as for the other undershepherds, if they use snail mail, email, cell phones with nation-wide LD service (or, horrors, International service and so now they are engaging in foreign missions work) and say the name of God, do they have permission to do this labor? Really, now. They may--and my P of J-- may %&^, kiss my.

Anonymous said...

Oh...oh. I've preached and led communion at a church in the Navajo Nation a number of times in the past decade. I was supposed to have permission. I plead ignorance, which if you knew me, would be easy to plead.

Anyway, I love reading your blog...and I do so without permission too!

God bless you,

Chris E.

Bill said...

When I was in seminary under care I did all sorts of stuff that supposedly might require COPM permission.
I found my way around this by not so much asking permission but informing my liaison what I was going to do and that I would assume it was OKI unless I heard from her not to do so within X days. I never heard from her, not even once. At a conference she thanked me for keeping her informed.

Laboring outside the bounds? Send the COM chair a note along the same lines. See what happens.