GS 1992 art 43

GS 1992 ARTICLE 43Address of Rev. F. Walker

The chairman gives Rev. F. Walker, who is an observer to this Synod from the RCUS, the opportunity to address Synod. Rev. F. Walker addresses Synod with the following words: (here follows an abridged version of his address)

Brethren in Christ:

I come to you this day in behalf of the InterChurch Relations Committee of the Synod of the Reformed Church in the United States. I bring you greetings from our Synod and from the Peace Reformed Church of Napoleon, Ohio.

It is a joy for me to be here with you today. Although my contact with the Canadian Reformed Churches has been minimal, what I have had so far was interesting and profitable. It is clear that we are basically of one mind in Christ Jesus.

The RCUS is small by almost every standard of measurement. We have thirty-four congregations and a total membership of slightly more than three thousand. But small does not necessarily mean weak, for our adherence to the inerrant Word of the living God and our subordinate standard, the Heidelberg Catechism, is second to none.

As for our Synod, a resolution was passed in 1991 which mandated that our InterChurch Relations Committee “continue to investigate establishing fraternal relations with the Canadian Reformed Churches.” And in 1992 the same committee was instructed “to pursue the establishment of fraternal relations with the Canadian Reformed Churches.” Therefore, in behalf of the RCUS, I extend a hand of fellowship to you and to your churches.

The fraternal relations we suggest must be consistent with the principles adopted by our Synod, such as, taking heed to one another’s doctrines, inviting delegates to one another’s assemblies, informing one another of decisions taken at such assemblies, informing one another in cases of changes in or additions to confessions, church order or liturgical forms, and informing one another of new relationships with third parties and membership in ecumenical organizations.

While we recognize that there are differences between us, it is our belief that these differences are not of such a nature as should separate brother from brother. The fact that we formed a sister church relationship with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) establishes how close we are. It is our hope and prayer that such a relationship with the Canadian Reformed Churches might be as mutually beneficial in the near future.

Looking forward to a closer working relationship, I would like to assure you of our desire to meet with you by reading Psalm 133: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing – life forevermore.

May our wonderful God and Saviour give you wisdom and guidance as you consider the affairs of His kingdom in your deliberations. And many thanks for your gracious invitation to be here as a representative of the Reformed Church in the United States.

Response of Rev. J. Visscher

The chairman Rev. J. Visscher responds by observing that the RCUS has just had its 246th Synod which indicates a long and established history of the RCUS in North America. The chairman thanks Rev. F. Walker for his frank address and considers that the content of this address bodes well for eventual future discussions, should Synod recommend to establish contact with the RCUS.