12 May GS 2001 art 54
GS 2001 Article 54 – CRCA: Pilgrim Reformed Churches in East Nusa Tengarra, Indonesia.
Committee 3 presented its proposal on the Pilgrim Reformed Churches in East Nusa Tengarra, Indonesia. The following was adopted:
- 1.1. Appendix to the Report of the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad regarding the Pilgrim Reformed Churches in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia (GGRM).
- 2.1. The CRCA informs Synod in an appendix dated March 9,2001 about a request from the GGRM to have a “contact relationship” with the CanRC.
- 2.2. The GGRM have recognized the CanRC as true churches; they are the fruit of Dutch missionary efforts; they have adopted the Reformed Confessions and Church Order; they have ecclesiastical contacts with the GKN and FRCA; some of their young men have studied or are studying at our Theological College; these churches have membership in the ICRC.
- 2.3. The CRCA points out that, although this is a recent request of the GGRM, it would only be brotherly to give direction at this time, rather than wait for the next Synod.
- 2.4. The CRCA points out that we have definite links with the GGRM through our two sister churches and through Rev. A. J. Pol who has had contact with these churches. Moreover there is the contact with the Theological College.
- 2.5. Thus the CRCA recommends that Synod mandate the CRCA to:
- 2.5.1. Gather more information about the GGRM;
- 2.5.2. Inform the GGRM of our Rules for Ecclesiastical Fellowship and ask if they can live in a relationship with those rules;
- 2.5.3. Discuss with representatives of the GGRM how they envision a relationship between two federations so far apart geographically can be meaningful;
- 2.5.4. Come with recommendations to the next Synod.
- 3.1. The CRCA is correct that although the request from the GGRM came in late, nevertheless, considering the contacts these churches have with two of our sister churches, the fact that they have adopted the Reformed Confessions and Church Order, and the other points mentioned in the Observations above, it would be good to deal with their request at this point in time rather than wait until the next Synod.
- 3.2. The CRCA’s own recommended mandate would raise the discussion with representatives of the GGRM as to how, “they envision a relationship between two federations so far apart geographically can be meaningful.” With this in mind, it would be good that even though we would make progress in our discussions with the GGRM, and perhaps even enter into ecclesiastical fellowship at a certain point, the contact with the GGRM should rest primarily in the hands of the FRCA who are geographically much closer. This would also be in line with decisions of previous Synods. For instance, at Synod Fergus, in article 72, the CRCA’s own proposed mandate reads, “Whenever the CRCA receives a new request from a church located in Africa, Asia or Europe to enter into ecclesiastical fellowship with the CanRC, it shall direct that church to take up contact with one of the sister churches in that part of the world.” In Consideration B, Synod agrees with this line of thinking. At the same time, Synod added in Consideration C, “Restructuring the work of the CRCA should not detract from our ecumenical calling. Therefore Synod upholds the consideration of Synod Lincoln 1992,Article 128 III D, namely that ‘a regional approach to 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 church’s home environment.’”
Synod decide to present the CRCA with the following mandate in connection with the GGRM:
- 4.1. To gather more information about the GGRM.
- 4.2. To consult with the GKN and the FRCA regarding the GGRM.
- 4.3. To inform the GGRM of our Rules for Ecclesiastical Fellowship and ask if they can live in a relationship with those rules.
- 4.4. To discuss with representatives of the GGRM how they envision a relationship between two federations so far apart geographically can be meaningful, also reminding them that the FRCA should have the primary contact with the GGRM.
- 4.5. To come with recommendations to the next Synod.