In a recent post, I discussed the growing disregard of the Constitution of the PC(USA) by imperial Louisville and its barons in some synods and presbyteries. I observed that in response, some churches have decided to forego requesting that their presbyteries dismiss them with their property and have exercised their “permissive powers of the congregation” to simply disaffiliate from the PC(USA).
A number of folks have posed a very astute question, to wit: “Huh? What are ‘permissive powers’?”
Good question. So following a practice of many pastors, I will begin a sermon series entitled “Permissive Powers 101.” Shall we begin?
Today’s reading comes from Chapter VII of the Book of Order.
Section G-7.0304a, provides:
a. Business to be transacted at meetings of the congregation shall include the following:
( 1 ) matters related to the electing of elders, deacons, and trustees ;
( 2 ) matters related to the calling of a pastor or pastors;
( 3 ) matters related to the pastoral relationship, such as changing the call, or requesting or consenting or declining to consent to dissolution;
( 4 ) matters related to buying, mortgaging, or selling real property (G-8.0500) ;
( 5 ) matters related to the permissive powers of a congregation, such as the desire to lodge all administrative responsibility in the session, or the request to presbytery for exemption from one or more requirements because of limited size. (Emphasis added.)
As you now peruse your well-thumbed copy of the Book of Order looking for the definition, I bid you a fond adieu.