So in a previous post I mentioned that the AJC described me as a former pastor... well I mentioned it to the journalist who referred my name to the editor of corrections who called me trying to get his mind around the issue. It went a bit like this:
AJC: So when Chris interviewed you were you a minister?
TB: Yes, I was ordained in July of 2006 and have been a minister ever since, serving at large within the presbytery for the past year.
AJC: So does "at large" mean you were not at a church? 'Because the AJC is committed to being accurate from the perception of a bystander, and not neccessarily the technical terms of a particular denomination.
TB: Well, I have been doing minister things, like marrying people and leading funerals and preaching at churches. But I was doing that before I was ordained.
AJC: So would someone in your church say you were a pastor?
TB: Well it depends on what you mean by church. I am a part of the universal church but I don't belong to a particular church. Reformed churches generally considers an ordained minister a pastor for her/his whole life. But my denomination did change my "standing" from "At Large" meaning in no presbyterian post, to "organizing pastor" meaning starting a congregation that is as yet not chartered. So the problem includes one's definition of "church" too.
AJC: So you mean you do "have" a church?
TB: I'm not trying to be evasive here. But all I have is friends who are meeting oneanother on the journey that might end in becoming a formal church. We plan to meet monthly for the next half year and to seek God's dreams in the city. But thats it- so far. And I guess 2 or 3 meeting for this purpose includes the presence of Christ who is both Word and Body broken... so you could say this is church. But none of us thinks so, yet. Not yet, at least.
Well this went on a bit more until I apologized and said, "Sorry for complicating matters. My primary concern here is that folks in my neighborhood, colleagues in my denomination, and potential benefactors beyond those groups not think I've jumped ship." To which he said, "Oh, I see. Well, thank you for your time."
And after that I think we both hung up the phone and went our separate ways to find a stiff drink and this is what resulted in the paper the next day:
A story in Saturday’s Living section about author Phyllis Tickle included incorrect information about Troy Bronsink’s status with the Presbyterian Church. He is a pastor."