12 May GS 2001 art 56
GS 2001 Article 56 – CRCA: Other matters; Organizational and Related Matters
Committee 3 presented its proposal on other matters in the CRCA report. The following was adopted.
The report of the CRCA.
- 2.1. Re: Lanka Reformed Church.
- Synod Fergus mandated the CRCA to consult with the Free Reformed Churches of Australia (FRCA) to take up contact with the Lanka Reformed Church. The committee recommended that the FRCA have the contact with this church since they are geographically closer.
- 2.2. Re: Free Reformed Church in Kenya.
- Via the Theological College, a letter was forwarded from the Free Reformed Church in Kenya. This letter requested a fraternal relationship. A letter was sent to them requesting more information. So far there has been no response.
- 2.3. Re: Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- A letter from the Lubumbashi Protestant Theological College was received for information.
- 2.4. As can be seen from the CRCA report included in the appendices, the committee issued declarations of good standing for our ministers travelling abroad. The Acts of Fergus were sent to those with whom we have ecclesiastical fellowship. Invitations to attend Synod Neerlandia were sent to the same churches.
- 2.5. The financial statement and budget of the CRCA were submitted to Synod.
- 2.6. Organizational and Related Matters
- 2.6.1. The CRCA observes that the CRCA along with the CCCA were both mandated by Fergus, “to investigate diligently all the requests received for entering into ecclesiastical fellowship” and “to respond, if possible and feasible, to specific requests made to attend Assemblies, Synods, or meetings of other churches” (Article 132 III D, 1,2).The CRCA points out that since the CCCA is not a truly Standing Committee, but is in fact three ad hoc committees working on current contacts, there is no one to deal with requests for entering into ecclesiastical fellowship from churches in the Americas. The CRCA asks for refinement and clarification of the duties of the respective committees.
- 2.6.2. The CRCA points out a mix-up in previous Acts, as to its officialname. The CRCA also suggests that it may be beneficial to have a member of its committee present at Synod.
- 2.6.3. The CRCA requests to increase its members from four to six to assist in the workload. The committee also points out that three of the four members will have their terms expire this year. This is not good for continuity.
- 2.7. The CRCA recommends that Synod 2001:
- 2.7.1. Either refine the structure of the CCCA to enable them to deal with requests for ecclesiastical fellowship from churches in the Americas or to clarify that the CCCA consist of three ad hoc committees and all new requests for contact be handled by the CRCA.
- 2.7.2. Consistently refer to the CRCA as the “Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad.”
- 2.7.3. Contact the convener of the committee or ask one member to be present for part of the discussion at Synod to clear up the questions.
- 2.7.4. Increase the number of members on the committee from four to six.
- 2.7.5. Work out a staggered retirement schedule for future appointments.
- 2.7.6. Extend the term of the present convener of the committee by three years to give greater continuity.
- 3.1. The suggestion of the CRCA to let the FRCA take up contact with the Lanka Reformed Church for geographical reasons is in line with the Synod Fergus, Article 72 III B.
- 3.2. Nothing more can be done at this time with respect to the Free Reformed Church in Kenya and the Lubumbashi Protestant Theological College.
- 3.3. It is appreciated that the CRCA issued declarations of good standing to ministers travelling abroad, and that Acts and invitations were sent to churches with which we have ecclesiastical fellowship.
- 3.4. It is evident that the CRCA operated well within its budget. Moreover, the new budget is identical to the previous budget. It appears to be in good order.
- 3.5. It is noted that at Synod Fergus, the following decision was made in connection with the restructuring of the two committees, the CRCA and the CCCA: “Committee for Contact with Churches in the Americas. This Committee will take over the mandate of the CRCA in as far as it relates to the Americas by establishing and maintaining relationships of ecclesiastical fellowship with churches located in North and South America.” From this it is quite clear that it should be the CCCA that deals with requests for fellowship with churches in the Americas. It is also noted that the present Synod is also dealing with the structure and operation of the CCCA. The concerns of the CRCA should be kept in mind with the mandate for the CCCA.
- 3.6. Since the convenor of the CRCA is present at Synod, it is unnecessary to request anyone from the CRCA to be present at Synod. This consideration does not imply that at future Synods, it is a foregone conclusion that a member of the CRCA will be invited to Synod. Such a decision should be considered by every Synod, or a whole new procedure regarding the representation of committees at Synods would have to be established.
- 3.7. The request to increase the membership of the committee from four to six is reasonable, particularly since the committee speaks of its workload. Also, the matter of continuity and not having three of the four members of the committee complete their terms at the same time, is worthy of consideration when appointing members to the committee. A staggered retirement schedule for future appointments and extending the convenor’s term by three years is reasonable.
- 3.8. Keeping the name of the committee consistent is reasonable.
- 4.1. To refine the structure of the CCCA to deal with requests for ecclesiastical fellowship from churches in the Americas.
- 4.2. To consistently refer to the CRCA as the “Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad.”
- 4.3. Not to ask a committee member to be present at Synod.
- 4.4. To increase the number of members on the committee from four to six.
- 4.5. To work out a staggered retirement schedule for future appointments.
- 4.6. To extend the term of the present convener of the committee by three years to give greater continuity.
- 4.7. To thank the committee for carrying out its duties in a diligent and effective manner.
- 4.8. To mandate the CRCA to:
- 4.8.1. Investigate diligently all the requests received for entering into ecclesiastical fellowship outside the Americas;
- 4.8.2. Respond, if possible and feasible, to specific requests made to attend Assemblies, Synods, or meetings of other churches outside the Americas;
- 4.8.3. To serve Synod 2004 with a report with suitable Recommendations, to be sent to the churches six months prior to the next General Synod.
- 4.9. To adopt the following budget for the CRCA:
- ICRC fees $ 3,500
- Meeting ICRC 2001 $ 1,000
- Travel $ 2,500
- Miscellaneous $ 3,000
- Total $10,000