24 Apr GS 1980 art 68
GS 1980 ARTICLE 68 – Re-opening – Departure of the O.P.C. Delegate
The Chairman re-opens the meeting and grants Prof. N. Shepherd the privilege of the floor. Prof. N. Shepherd states that he appreciates having been able to observe the workings of the Synod. Although he regrets that the matter of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was not on the agenda while he was present, he is grateful for the fact that he was able to meet with Advisory Committee IV of Synod which is dealing with the O.P.C. He remarks that the members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Churches need to know more about the Canadian Reformed Churches. and that he hopes to contribute to a better understanding in the future.
He also notes that “ecclesiastical contact” is a temporary relationship which raises the question, “where do we go from here?” They, in the O.P.C., are watching with interest how we will proceed further in this matter. In connection with this, he states that the O.P.C. letter of April, 1976, was an attempt by them to show that the Westminster Standards are compatible with the Three Forms of Unity. As for our letter of October, 1978, the O.P.C. still needs to respond to that. On a related note, he informs Synod that the O.P.C. is currently involved in merger talks with the Presbyterian Church of America and with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. As for the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, he reveals that a conference will be held between them and the O.P.C. with regard to the singing of Psalms, the place of Hymns and the use of musical instruments in the worship service. He states that the Canadian Reformed Churches have also been invited to this conference through the channel of their Committee for Contact, in the hope that they with their rich tradition of Psalm singing and the careful use of Hymns may make a contribution.
On a more personal note, he declares that he is grateful and awed by the gifts that the LORD has given to The Netherlands in the last century. He hopes that the rich gifts from this tradition may benefit the Church of Jesus Christ and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He bids his farewell to the members of Synod. The Chairman thanks Prof. Shepherd for his kind words and expressed the appreciation of Synod for the fact that we might have a delegate from the O.P.C. in our midst for several days. He wishes Prof. N. Shepherd the LORD’s blessings, also in his work as Professor in Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.