05 Apr GS 2004 art 111
GS 2004 Article 111 – Appeal of the church at Calgary against Regional Synod West 2002 re: the status of Rev. R.F. Boersema
Committee 2 presented its proposal on the appeal from the church at Calgary against Art. 12 of Regional Synod West 2002 re: the status of Rev. R.F. Boersema. After several rounds of discussion, the proposal was put to a vote. The delegates from the church at Surrey abstained (Art. 32 C.O.). The following was adopted:
Appeal from the church at Calgary against Art. 12 of Regional Synod West 2002 re: the status of Rev. R.F. Boersema
The appeal from the church at Calgary is admissible since it appeals a decision of Regional Synod West 2002.
- 3.1. The church at Calgary claims that its appeal is technical in nature, dealing with the issue of whether a minister can be a minister in good standing in the CanRC federation, if his membership is held with another federation with whom we do not have Ecclesiastical Fellowship.
- 3.2. The church at Calgary makes clear that, in this appeal, they do not have the “desire to change the status of Rev. Boersema in any way.”
- 3.3. The church at Calgary asks General Synod to judge that:
- because the Canadian Reformed Churches did not have ecclesiastical fellowship with the OPC in the year 2000;
- because Rev. Boersema became a member of the OPC in the year 2000;
- the Council of the Church at Surrey erred when it decided to maintain his status as a retired minister in good standing.
- 3.4. The church at Calgary commenced correspondence with the church at Surrey on August 7, 2000, after receiving a letter from the council of the church at Surrey (dated June 20) informing the churches that Rev. Boersema and his family had joined the OPC in Bristol, Tennessee, USA.
- 3.5. In its response to the church at Calgary, the church at Surrey indicated that Rev. Boersema had moved to the USA for personal family circumstances.
- 3.6. The church at Calgary was not convinced by the church at Surrey’s arguments that Rev. Boersema is still a minister in good standing in the Canadian Reformed Churches. They brought the matter before Classis Pacific West (October 2, 2001) and Regional Synod West 2002.
- 3.7. Regional Synod West 2002 considered that Classis Pacific West “should not have used the distinction between ‘consideration’ and ‘judgment’ to respond to the arguments by the Church at Calgary.”
- 4.1. When Regional Synod West 2002 expressed that Classis Pacific West October 2, 2001 did not provide a clear judgment to the church at Calgary, Regional Synod also refrained from judging the matter. In both cases the technical arguments brought forward by the church at Calgary were ignored.
- 4.2. The church at Calgary’s arguments are clearly technical in nature, and do not sufficiently acknowledge the lack of clarity in the relationship between the CanRC and the OPC during the time period involved.
- 4.3. The church at Calgary is technically correct that a minister cannot maintain his official status as a minister in good standing with a church in one federation, while being a member of a church with which the CanRC have no ecclesiastical fellowship.
- 4.4. While the church at Calgary is correct in its position, the church at Surrey sufficiently considered that Rev. Boersema’s special circumstances were exceptional. In addition to this, by joining the OPC in 2000, Rev. Boersema joined a church which had been recognized as a true and faithful church by Synod Coaldale 1977.
Synod decide that while the church at Calgary is technically correct in its appeal, the church at Surrey was justified in providing an exception in Rev. Boersema’s case.