10 Aug GS 1992 art 112
GS 1992 ARTICLE 112 – Relations with Churches Abroad re Committee Mandate
Committee I presents:
- Agenda item VIII G1a,b,3,4,5,6
The following motion is made and defeated:
- To delete Consideration G and Recommendation C.
- A. Report from the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA) re the Mandate of the Committee.
- B. Letter of the church at Guelph, ON.
- C. Letter of the church at Attercliffe, ON.
- D. Letter of the church at Burlington South, ON.
- E. Letter of the church at Fergus, ON.
- A. The CRCA recommends that they receive the following mandate:
- 1. To investigate diligently all the requests received for entering into a sister church relationship;
- 2. To respond, if possible and feasible, to specific requests made to attend Assemblies, Synods, or meeting of other churches;
- 3. To report on its findings with suitable recommendations, to the next General Synod.
- B. The CRCA considers that the ecumenical calling which our churches have, may better be carried out if the CRCA receives a mandate to respond to the various requests received, as well as to the invitations extended, if feasible, and report its findings to the next General Synod.
- C. The churches at Guelph, ON and Attercliffe, ON ask Synod to maintain the present mandate because it prevents the CRCA to make decisions that properly belong to the churches in common.
- D. The church at Guelph, ON acknowledges the concern also expressed by the CRCA to the Dutch churches that “the Dutch approach does not sufficiently recognize the fact that the churches and not committees are to determine the agenda of the major assemblies. Such an approach can easily lead to excess” (p.34).
- E. The requested mandate by the CRCA to respond to requests made to them by other churches is not nearly as far-ranging as that which our Dutch sister churches have given to their Committee, which is to charge the deputies to seek and initiate contact with other churches. The CRCA in its requested mandate aims not to seek or to initiate contacts, but only to be able to respond to overtures.
- F. The church at Burlington South, ON is of the opinion that a renewal of a specific mandate with specific contacts every three years is beneficial as a “sober” second thought and will prevent “hasty” reactions.
- G. The church at Burlington South, ON also suggests to establish a budget for the CRCA because the financial implications on our relatively small federation, may be too great, if the CRCA is going to respond to all the invitations and requests that may come their way
- H. The church of Fergus, ON is of the opinion that the CRCA is moving far too quickly and is demanding too much autonomy in making the Recommendation “to investigate all requests to enter sister church relations.”
- I. The CRCA recommends to Synod that study should be undertaken of the Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA) and the Reformed Church in Zaire known as the Eglise Reformee Confessante au Zaire (ERCZ).
- A. According to the Word of God and the Confession (John 17:11, 17,20,21; Eph. 3:14-4:16; 2 Tim.3:15, 16; L.D. 21, H.C. and Art. 27-29 B.C.), true believers and churches have the calling to seek ecclesiastical fellowship with all those who with them confess the same faith and maintain and practice it in preaching, worship, discipline and government.
- B. The following up of this calling lawfully belongs to the jurisdiction of the combined churches, on the ground that this calling has been accepted by the churches together in their confession (Art. 27, B.C.; Art. 50, C.O.), and should therefore not be made dependent on the initiative of a local church only.
- C. A regional approach towards contact with other churches does not exclude the worldwide calling, and cannot avoid worldwide contacts, although by reason of proximity, resources and other practical factors, priority should be given to the ecumenical calling in the churches’ own environment.
- D. Investigating requests and responding to invitations is the most efficient and responsible way of gathering the information needed for the churches in common to judge whether ecclesiastical fellowship ought to be pursued or not.
- E. The churches at Attercliffe, ON, Burlington South, ON, and Guelph, ON do not sufficiently consider that the task of a federation can only be properly executed by deputies appointed by the federation.
- F. The adoption of the recommended CRCA mandate would make possible the further investigation of the Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA) and the Eglise Reformee Confessante au Zaire (ERCZ).
- G. The financial requirements of the CRCA, and its implications for the churches, do require further consideration. Therefore a detailed financial statement and budget ought to be submitted by the CRCA to Synod 1995.
- A. to give the CRCA the following mandate:
- 1. to investigate diligently all the requests received for entering into ecclesiastical fellowship;
- 2. to respond, if possible and feasible, to specific requests made to attend Assemblies, Synods, or meeting of other churches;
- 3. to report on its findings with suitable recommendations, to the next General Synod.
- B. this mandate allows the CRCA to further investigate the Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA) and the Eglise Reformee Confessante au Zaire (ERCZ).
- C. that the CRCA submits to Synod 1995 a financial statement and budget.