11 May GS 2001 art 49
GS 2001 Article 49 – Website
Committee 4 presented its proposal on the Website. The following was adopted:
- 1.1. Report from the Committee for Official Website.
- 1.2. Appendix to this report.
From the report of this committee, Synod takes note of the following:
- 2.1. Synod Fergus 1998 concurred with the Standing Committee of the Book of Praise to make available the Book of Praise in an electronic format and to develop and maintain a formal presence on the Internet. For that purpose Synod appointed a committee with the following mandate:
- 2.1.1. “a. to serve the churches by creating and maintaining an official web page which would contain official and semi-official materials that reflect the life of the churches, are of benefit to the membership, and of assistance to her witness in this world;
- 2.1.2. b. to report to the next General Synod regarding the activities and noticeable benefits of this web page.”
- 2.2. The committee would have been able to be more productive if there had been more members in the committee with advanced technical ability. Therefore, they ask Synod to appoint a committee consisting of two members who are ministers, one member associated with the Theological College, and four members with advanced technical abilities (two from Eastern Canada and two from Western Canada).
- 2.3. As to the future content of the website the committee has given consideration to include content such as articles from various church magazines, lectures and speeches, press releases of the broader assemblies, past Acts of Synod, sermons, and links to official websites of Canadian Reformed organizations.
- 2.4. The committee had difficulty obtaining the complete and correct text of the Book of Praise in electronic format, and therefore they were hindered in completing this part of their mandate.
- 2.5. The current arrangement with the Internet Service Provider does not adequately meet the needs of the website. The committee suggests, “The best solution at this time appears to be that the committee purchase suitable hardware that will meet our needs.” Purchasing this hardware will increase the costs associated with the website.
- 2.6. The committee recommends that General Synod give the committee the following mandate:
- “1. To maintain the existing website, including:
- a. its associated technical functions,
- b. its existing content, revising this content whenever necessary.
- 2. To complete the online publication of the entire Book of Praise, using the text most recently adopted and revised by General Synod.
- 3. To incorporate any new official and semi-official material that would reflect the life of the churches, be of benefit to the membership, and of assistance to the witness of the churches in this world. Consideration should especially be given to the inclusion of sermons, speeches and articles, as well as the Acts/Press Releases of ecclesiastical assemblies.
- 4. To report to the next General Synod regarding the activities and noticeable benefits of this website.”
- 3.1. Since Synod Fergus 1998 did not mandate this committee to send its report to the churches, this report should be included as an appendix to the Acts. In the future this committee should send its report to the churches just as other committees are required to do.
- 3.2. The committee was able to set up and maintain an official website for the Canadian Reformed Churches; however, it was not able to complete its mandate due to the following reasons:
- a) insufficient members with advanced technical ability as well as inadequate hardware to meet the needs;
- b) difficulty in obtaining the complete and correct text of the Book of Praise in electronic format.
- 3.3. The mandate given by Synod Fergus 1998 (e.g. “official and semiofficial materials”) is rather broad and undefined. The type of content on the official website should remain at the discretion of the churches.
- 3.4. Synod emphasizes that the website must first reflect the official doctrinal and liturgical documents of our churches as found in the Book of Praise. The committee should give priority to making the complete and correct text of the Book of Praise available online.
- 3.5. The committee should provide an account of the finances involved with its activities.
- 4.1. To thank the committee for the work it has done with respect to the official website.
- 4.2. To publish the report of this committee as an appendix to the Acts.
- 4.3. To agree to expand the committee as requested.
- 4.4. To give this committee the following mandate:
- 4.4.1. To maintain the website, including its associated technical functions and its existing content, revising this content whenever necessary;
- 4.4.2. To purchase suitable hardware that will meet the needs of the website;
- 4.4.3. To complete the online publication of the entire Book of Praise, using the text most recently adopted and revised by General Synod;
- 4.4.4. To explore what type of content should be added to the website and to make a recommendation to the next Synod;
- 4.4.5. To serve Synod 2004 with a report to be sent to the churches at least six months prior to the beginning of Synod;
- 4.4.6. To include a financial statement and proposed budget in this report.