17 May GS 2001 art 75
GS 2001 Article 75 – Delegates to General Synod
Committee 2 presented its proposal regarding increasing the number of delegates to General Synods. The following was adopted:
Regional Synod West suggesting each Regional Synod delegate six ministers and six elders.
The overture is admissible.
- 3.1. Regional Synod agreed with two overtures it received from Classes in its region which request a change to CO Article 46.The suggested change is to delegate six ministers and six elders to General Synod from each Regional Synod, instead of the present four ministers and four elders.
- 3.2. The reasons given by the various Classes include:
- 3.2.1. Classis Alberta/Manitoba recognizes an increase in the number of churches and suggests that an increase in the number of delegates would allow for matters to be dealt with more efficiently
- 3.2.2. Classis Pacific East also recognizes an increase in the number of churches and suggests that an increase in the number of delegates would give more representation to the churches. They also believe that an increase in delegates would promote the perception that “General Synod would deal with items on its agenda with procedural fairness and due process.”
- 4.1. Classis Alberta/Manitoba simply states the opinion that an increase in delegates will allow for matters to be dealt with more efficiently. There is no evidence that the workload of General Synods has increased along with the increase in the number of churches.
- 4.2. The argument that an increase of delegates would give more representation to the churches and that this is necessary due to the increase in churches misses the important point that General Synods are not representative assemblies. Reformed Church polity works with the principle of delegation. Further, an increase of delegates cannot ensure proportionate representation from the various classes and churches since delegates are elected in a free vote.
- 4.3. The second argument of Classis Pacific East that by increasing delegation “the perception would be promoted” that “General Synod will deal with items on its agenda with procedural fairness and due process” is also lacking. The key word is “perception.” Classis Pacific East does not say there is no procedural fairness and due process but is concerned merely with “perception.” This is not a good ground to make changes in delegation.
Synod decide to deny the overture.