03 Apr GS 2004 art 100
GS 2004 Article 100 – CRCA re: Indonesian Churches, Reformed Church in New Zealand and General Mandate
Committee 3 again presented its proposal on the report of the CRCA re: Indonesian Churches, Reformed Church in New Zealand and General Mandate. After a few rounds of discussion, the following amendment was adopted:
To add to Consideration 4.5:
- The fact, however, remains that in order to foster a meaningful relationship, creating a greater awareness of our federation, every effort should be made to encourage face-to-face meetings with the church federations in question. However, this should be done within the CRCA’s existing budget.
Then the main proposal was put to a vote. The following was adopted:
- 1.1. Report of the CRCA re: other matters, namely, Indonesian Churches, Reformed Church in New Zealand and General Mandate
- 1.2. Supplementary Report CRCA
- 1.3. Letter from the church at Winnipeg (Redeemer)
- 1.4. Letter from the church at Carman (West)
- 1.5. Letter from the church at Guelph
- 1.6. Letter from the church at Grand Rapids
- 1.7. Letter from the church at Elora
- 1.8. Letter from the church at Aldergrove
The report and the letters are admissible.
- 3.1. The report of the CRCA under the heading “Other Matters,” which is included as an appendix in the Acts, serves as Observations.
- 3.2. The CRCA recommends that Synod decide:
- 3.2.1. With respect to the Gereja-Gereja Reformasi Calvinis in East Nusa Tengarra (GGRCNTT):
- 22.214.171.124. Not to enter in Ecclesiastical Fellowship at this time but to give the contact with the church at Smithville an opportunity to develop;
- 126.96.36.199. To recommend to the churches in the federation to receive visitors from the GGRC-NTT in the knowledge that these churches adhere to the Three Forms of Unity;
- 3.2.2. To approve the proposed budget of $14,500 for the period 2004-2007;
- 3.2.3. To give the CRCA the following general mandate:
- 188.8.131.52. To investigate diligently all the requests received for entering into ecclesiastical fellowship outside the Americas;
- 184.108.40.206. To respond, if possible and feasible, to specific requests made to attend Assemblies, Synods, or meetings of other churches outside the Americas;
- 220.127.116.11. To serve Synod 2007 with a report with suitable Recommendations, to be sent to the churches six months prior to the next General Synod.
- 3.2.4. To appoint one new member to serve on the CRCA for a nine year term (till 2013).
- 3.2.1. With respect to the Gereja-Gereja Reformasi Calvinis in East Nusa Tengarra (GGRCNTT):
- 3.3. In the Supplementary Report, the CRCA:
- 3.3.1. Reports that it has received a request about establishing Ecclesiastical Fellowship from the Gereja-Gereja Reformasi di Indonesia (GGRI-NTT). The GGRI-NTT is a result of the missionary activities of our Dutch sister churches. Currently the GKN and the FRCA have Ecclesiastical Fellowship with the GGRI-NTT. The CRCA also received a request from the Reformed Churches in New Zealand (RCNZ). The CRCA feels that with the information available it is premature to recommend entering into Ecclesiastical Fellowship with these churches. Synod needs to be provided with more comprehensive information. This information should also be available to the churches.
- 3.3.2. Notes that the GGRC-NTT is a younger federation which only recently adopted the Three Forms of Unity and the Reformed Church Order.
- 3.3.3. Requests to increase the budget by $6,000.00 to allow two members of the committee to visit Indonesia and New Zealand, enabling the committee to make appropriate recommendations to the next General Synod.
- 3.4. The church at Winnipeg (Redeemer) questions the validity of the distinction made by the CRCA regarding the GGRC-NTT. “The CRCA does not recommend that we enter into Ecclesiastical Fellowship with the GGRC and yet recommend that as churches we receive visitors from the GGRC.” The church at Winnipeg (Redeemer) is of the view that the observations of the CRCA should lead to the Canadian Reformed Churches extending Ecclesiastical Fellowship to the GGRC-NTT.
- 3.5. The Church at Carman (West) suggests that the information given by the CRCA in its supplementary report warrants the conclusion that there should be no impediments to the GGRI-NTT being accepted as sister churches. Carman West would like to see the contacts with the GGRI-NTT formalized.
- 3.6. The churches at Guelph, Grand Rapids, Elora and Aldergrove are opposed to the request of the CRCA for a $6,000.00 increase. The church at Guelph refers to the Acts of Synod Fergus, Art. 72, consideration B, namely, “The CRCA is correct when it suggests that it would seem more realistic and responsible for our sister churches to concentrate their efforts on establishing relations with faithful Reformed churches in their parts of the world and for the Canadian Reformed Churches to do the same in North and South America.” The church at Aldergrove “would like General Synod to consider encouraging the CRCA to find avenues to continue the dialogue with these churches other than a personal visit of two members and thus to maintain the current budget of the committee.” The church at Grand Rapids suggests asking the FRCA to introduce our churches to the churches in Indonesia and New Zealand.
- 3.7. Synod West Albany 2000 of the Free Reformed Churches in Australia decided to continue its sister relationship with the GGRI with a view to supporting them in a “well-considered and responsible way with the intention of building up the Reformed character of these churches.” Synod West Albany found that the GGRI give evidence of continuing “faithfulness to the Word of God, maintaining the Reformed Confessions and Church Order.” With regard to the GGRC Synod West Albany considered that it “needs to be stabilized before recommendations regarding sister church relationships can be considered.”
- 3.8. Synod Rockingham 2003 of the FRCA (Acts, Art. 73) decided “to continue sister relations with the GGRI in accordance with the adopted rules” and “to continue contacts with the GGRC.” Rockingham also mandated the FRCA deputies to “monitor and report developments on the unity of the GGRI with the GGRC. Where possible, to encourage these churches to fully put into practice the unity which they already recognize.” With regard to the RCNZ, Synod Rockingham 2003 decided to recognize that “the only remaining difficulty with entering into a relationship with the RCNZ is the relationship of the RCNZ with the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia” (Acts, Art. 72).
- 3.9. The GGRI-NTT is part of the GGRI.
- 4.1. Re: the GGRI. Since both the FRCA and the GKN have Ecclesiastical Fellowship with the GGRI it would be good to have a similar relation with the GGRI as well, especially in light of the fact that these churches are the result of missionary work by the GKN and also our churches. At the same time, Synod agrees with the CRCA that at this time not enough information is available to all the churches. This makes it difficult for Synod to make a decision at this time. Synod also agrees with the churches that suggest that this information can be gathered in other ways than a visit by two members of the CRCA. Especially the work of the FRCA deputies should be used by the CRCA. The churches at Smithville and Toronto, which are involved in missionary work in Indonesia, can be of great help to the CRCA as well.
- 4.2. Re: The GGRC-NTT. Synod agrees with the recommendation of the CRCA not to enter into Ecclesiastical Fellowship at this time. The CRCA is to provide more information to the churches, making use of the work of the deputies of the FRCA and the church at Smithville.
- 4.3. Synod cannot deal with the recommendation of the CRCA regarding visitors from GGRCNTT since the CRCA does not substantiate this recommendation. Synod cannot deal with the suggestion of the church at Winnipeg (Redeemer) either.
- 4.4. Re: the RCNZ. Synod notes the decision of Synod Rockingham 2003 and agrees with the CRCA that more information should be made available to the churches regarding the RCNZ. This should be done in consultation with the work of the FRCA, GKN and via the ICRC.
- 4.5. Synod agrees with the churches that oppose the increase in budget. There are other ways available to gather the necessary information. The fact, however, remains that in order to foster a meaningful relationship, creating a greater awareness of our federation, every effort should be made to encourage face-to-face meetings with the church federations in question. However, this should be done within the CRCA’s existing budget.
- 5.1. To thank the CRCA for the work done.
- 5.2. To accept the budget of $14,500.
- 5.3. To mandate the CRCA:
- 5.3.1. with respect to the GGRI, to continue the contact and diligently correspond with the GGRI, to make more information available to the churches and to report to the next Synod, in the hope that Ecclesiastical Fellowship can be established;
- 5.3.2. with respect to the GGRC-NTT, to continue the contact and investigate further the GGRC-NTT, also in light of the discussions of the FRCA with the GGRC-NTT and make the information available to the churches;
- 5.3.3. with respect to the RCNZ, not to enter into Ecclesiastical Fellowship at this time.
- 5.4. To give the CRCA the following general mandate:
- 5.4.1. To investigate diligently all the requests received for entering into ecclesiastical fellowship outside the Americas;
- 5.4.2. To respond, if possible and feasible, to specific requests made to attend Assemblies, Synods, or meetings of other churches outside the Americas;
- 5.4.3. To serve Synod 2007 with a report with suitable recommendations, to be sent to the churches six months prior to the next General Synod.
The chairman then adjourned Synod to allow the committees time to work on their proposals.