GS 2001 art 94

GS 2001 Article 94Committee for Promotions of Ecclesiastical Unity: Guidelines for Federative Unity

Committee 4 presented its proposal regarding the Guidelines for Federative Unity. The following was adopted:

1. Material

  • 1.1. Section E of the CPEU report.
  • 1.2. Letter from the Church at Aldergrove.

2. Admissibility

The letter from the Church at Aldergrove is declared admissible.

3. Observations

  • 3.1. As mandated by Synod Fergus 1998, the CPEU has developed a set of guidelines “to ensure that local discussions are properly dovetailed into discussions at the federative level, and that in all local discussions the obligations we owe to each other as churches of one federation are not forgotten.”
  • 3.2. These guidelines are listed in Section E of the CPEU report.
  • 3.3. The Church at Aldergrove feels that there is “a tendency to elevate the federative above the local” in these guidelines. Aldergrove also requests Synod to mandate the CPEU:
    • 1. To clearly rationalize upon the basis of Scripture, Confessions and the agreed upon Church Order its vision for the way ecclesiastical unity should proceed;
    • 2. To explain to the churches:
      • – How the current vision serves to promote a unity in the real, daily lives of the members of the church?
      • – If ecclesiastical fellowship (i.e. at the Lord’s table) and exposure to one another’s preaching cannot be had until federative unity is agreed upon, how can the churches whole-heartedly endorse the agreement made by federative committees when the local churches hardly know each other?
      • – Are the churches sufficiently protected from hierarchy just as they are clearly protected from independentism with the current vision?

4. Considerations

  • 4.1. Synod gratefully takes note of the guidelines re: federative unity, which the CPEU has developed.
  • 4.2. Although Aldergrove feels there is a tendency to elevate the federative above the local, this is clearly not the intention of the CPEU. They explicitly state that these guidelines are designed to “ensure that local discussions are properly dovetailed into discussions at the federative level.”
  • 4.3. The CPEU should keep in mind the concerns of Aldergrove in their communication to the churches.

5. Recommendations

Synod decide:

  • 5.1. To commend these guidelines re: federative unity for use within the churches.5.2. To pass on Aldergrove’s letter to the CPEU for consideration.