16609RE: [Covenanted Reformation] Los Angeles bound
- Dec 3, 2008I think it important to keep the language right. My observation of the OPC is that a call is approved by the Presbytery, the candidate is approved and given permission to receive the call, the call is place in the candidate's hand by the presbytery, then the presbytery schedules the ordination/installation.
A call from SRPC here in Boise was voted upon by the congregation in October of 2004. The next regular meeting of presbytery was not until April of 2005. As I was coming from a denomination not in a formal ecclesiastical relationship with the OPC, I had to be examined at a regular meeting of presbytery, not a special called one. For personal and family reasons, I opted to move to Boise in January of 2005; but realized I could not presume my call would be approved by presbytery. I communicated this to the appropriate committee of presbytery, made sure the congregation knew I could not assume any pastoral duties, and did not engage in any pastoral ministry among them in the interim. After approval by presbytery in late April, I was allowed to supply the pulpit. It was three weeks later before I was actually installed as pastor, May 21, 2005. The five month delay was difficult, could have given me reason not to pursue the call, but was the right way to do it. Anyone moving to the field of ministry before approval of a call is doing so at his own risk. If there is the presumption a call will be approved, the presbytery may not be doing their job.
None of this is meant as a criticism of Nathan. I pray for a smooth transition and fruitful ministry for him. I just hope congregations, presbyteries and those seeking a call will remember how our polity functions.
J. Glenn Ferrell, Pastor, Sovereign Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Boise, Idaho http://sovereignredeemer.org
> To: email@example.com
> From: lbump@...
> Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 12:50:00 -0500
> Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Los Angeles bound
> Glenn Ferrell wrote:
> > Nathan:
> > Where is the RP Church in LA. I lived in the LA area for five years.
> > It is not an easy place for an Easterner to live; but there were some
> > things I liked about it, especially the weather in January.
> > I might caution you on your non-Presbyterian language used in
> > describing your call. Can one under RPCNA polity "accept a call"
> > before it and you have been approved by presbytery?
> Technically he has not been certified eligible to receive a call, and if
> he was actually forwarded a call by Presbytery someone messed up;
> licentiates are not to be given a call.
> He may have been informed of an intended call, and given an intent to
> accept it; but he really should not have been called and cannot accept
> it; especially since he has not passed his final examinations. I have
> never been comfortable with the practice of scheduling exams, ordination
> and installation all at the same time. It puts an undue expectation to
> vote "sustained" upon the elders at the meeting, and violates a
> scriptural principle.
> James 4:13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow £we will go to such
> and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;
> 14whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your
> life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then
> vanishes away. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall
> live and do this or that.” 16But now you boast in your arrogance. All
> such boasting is evil.
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