GS 1989 art 153

GS 1989 ARTICLE 153

In closed session Committee II presents:

Agenda Item VIII, D, 19


Appeal br. L. VanZandwijk re Acts Synod 1986 Art. 101.


  • 1. Synod Burlington-West 1986 decided “to declare the document which br. L. VanZandwijk added to his letter about the word ‘Christian’ and to which he gave the title ‘I believe . . . a “Christian” Church’ is inadmissible on the basis of its harsh, unbrotherly, and therefore unchristian, language.”
  • 2. Br. VanZandwijk requests Synod to decide “that alleged sins of a church member, even less when such an alleged sin is not of a public nature, should not have been dealt with in an open, public session of synod, nor have been published in the (public) Acts of synod.”


  • 1. Synod Cloverdale 1983, Acts art.45, proposed guidelines for Synod IV,A,2, stipulates: “A closed-restricted session shall, as a rule, mean a session where members of Synod only may be present. This shall only take place when Synod judges that such a course is dictated by due regard for personal honour or the welfare of churches in extremely delicate situations.”
  • 2. Although a matter may be dealt with in a closed-restricted session, it is customary to record the procedures and decisions in the Acts of General Synod.


Synod judge:

  • since the matter pertaining to br. VanZandwijk’s submission involved his personal honour, Synod should have judged on the nature of his submission in closed-restricted session. Synod should have expressed the reason for this with greater discretion in its Acts.