05 Apr GS 2004 art 114
GS 2004 Article 114 – Appeal of br. and sr. Vantil against Regional Synod West 2003 re: Art. 31 C.O.
Committee 3 presented its proposal on the appeal of br. and sr. Vantil against Regional Synod West 2003 re: Art. 31 C.O. After several rounds of discussion, the following was adopted:
Appeal by br. and sr. M. Vantil against Art. 5 of the Acts of Regional West 2003
This appeal is admissible since br. and sr. Vantil are appealing a decision of Regional Synod West 2003.
The appellants request that General Synod make the following determinations:
- 3.1. Aldergrove consistory should have either implemented the September 27, 2002 classis decision or proved that this classis decision is in conflict with the Word of God or the Church Order.
- 3.2. Both Classis Pacific East and Regional Synod West were wrong to conclude that Aldergrove consistory retains the right to maintain the current practice until its appeal to regional synod has been dealt with.
- 3.3. Both Classis Pacific East and Regional Synod West should have recognized that Aldergrove consistory had to either implement the September 27, 2002 classis decision or prove that this classis decision is in conflict with the Word of God or the Church Order.
- 4.1. The appellants do not deny that the consistory has the right to appeal according to Art. 31 C.O. They also do not deny that, pending the outcome of an appeal, a decision does not have to be executed. Their concern is that the consistory of the church at Aldergrove does not give to the congregation and thus to the appellants, the proof concerning why it appeals the decision of Classis. This was their appeal to Regional Synod West 2003. “While various members of the consistory have orally explained their personal reasons for appealing, the points remains: Aldergrove consistory has not proven how the September 27, 2002 classis decision is contrary to the Word of God or the Church Order” (cf. the appeal of the appellants to Regional Synod). The appellants are correct that Regional Synod did not deal with this point.
- 4.2. Article 31 C.O. states “whatever may be agreed upon by majority vote shall be considered settled and binding, unless it is proved to be in conflict with the Word of God or with the Church Order.” The question is: does the consistory need to give justification for not implementing the decision of classis? The appeal to Article 31 C.O. by the appellants does not provide sufficient grounds to demand proof. At the same time, the consistory would have helped the appellants in providing them with the proof. While this is not explicitly required in Art. 31 C.O., it is a matter of pastoral wisdom and care.
Synod decide to deny the appeal of br. and sr. Vantil.