GS 1986 art 160

GS 1986 ARTICLE 160

Letter from br. C. Groenewegen (Re Church Order)

Committee 3 presents:


  • -Agenda, VIII, F, 4 Letter from br. C. Groenewegen regarding revision of the Church Order (with appendices)


  • 1.    Br. Groenewegen requests this synod “to appoint a committee on revision of the Church Order. This committee is to consist of ruling elders, pastors and/or theologians. The ruling elders (in service or retired) should make up 50% of the committee,” and he suggests that this committee receive the mandate to under­ take a general revision of the present Church Order.
  • 2.    Br. Groenewegen proposes a revised Church Order which should not be bind­ing upon the congregations but should rather be understood as a model of an “ongoing revision.”
  • 3.     Br. Groenewegen complains that important information concerning his proposal and suggestions have been withheld by the 1983 General Synod of Cloverdale from this generation and those to follow.
  • 4.     Br. Groenewegen claims that he presents new grounds for the same material (Letter, April 15, 1986, p. 3).


  • 1.     It is evident from the Acts of the 1983 General Synod, Art. 91, C. Considerations 2, a and b, that it paid attention to the suggestions proposed by br. Groenewegen. The 1983 General Synod discharged the Committee for the Revision of the Church Order.
  • It is not possible to appoint a committee as envisioned by br. Groenewegen, since the churches do not have the type of office-bearers which he suggests (ruling elders in service or retired).
  • 2.    A Church Order is binding by mutual consent of the churches, and its purpose is to maintai11 good order in the church of Christ, I Cor. 14: 33, 40.
  • 3.     It is left to the discretion of each general synod to judge what is to be recorded.
  • 4.     Scrutiny of material and grounds, presented to the 1983 General Synod of Clover­ dale and to the 1986 General Synod of Burlington West, warrants the conclu­sion that br. Groenewegen submits the same material without new grounds.


Synod decides to deny the request. The recommendation is ADOPTED.