GS 2004 art 25

Article 25 – CCCA re: L’Église Réformée du Québec (ERQ)

Committee 1 presented its proposal on the CCCA report re: L’Église Réformée du Québec (ERQ). After a round of discussion, the following was adopted:

1.    Material

  • 1.1.   Report of the CCCA re: L’Église Réformée du Québec (ERQ)
  • 1.2.   Letter from the church at Surrey

2.    Admissibility

The letter from the church at Surrey is declared admissible since it interacts with the report submitted.

3.    Observations

  • 3.1.   From the report it is clear that the CCCA was not able to fulfill its mandate completely, as given by Synod Neerlandia 2001 re: the fencing of the Lord’s Supper, confessional accountability and pulpit supervision. The reason for this is that the Interchurch Relations Committee (IRC) of the ERQ initially did not have a mandate to discuss these issues. Presently the ERQ is still studying these matters and our committee has offered its involvement in this study. The committee could not report yet on the outcome of this process.
  • 3.2.   The church at Surrey recommends that Ecclesiastical Fellowship should be established at this time on the basis of the fact that one of the purposes of Ecclesiastical Fellowship is that we help one another in our spiritual growth and establishment as fully Reformed churches.
  • 3.3.   The church at Surrey also notes that Synod Neerlandia 2001 stated that the “ERQ is faithful to the Word of God and brings the Reformed confessions and church order to expression in its own context” (Art. 22, Recommendation 5.2).  Therefore, the church at Surrey concludes that “we already recognized them as being faithful churches of Jesus Christ.”

4.    Considerations

  • 4.1.   The committee is correct in its approach to the discussions with the ERQ, waiting for the discussion of the matters under study to be concluded.  Hopefully, the respective committees can come to an agreement which will provide the framework for further discussions and growth within the relationship of Ecclesiastical Fellowship.
  • 4.2.   Although Synod Neerlandia 2001 acknowledged that the ERQ is faithful to the Word of God and the Reformed Confessions within its own context, we have not yet officially recognized them as faithful churches. Therefore, the church at Surrey is premature in its recommendation.

5.    Recommendations

Synod decide:

  • 5.1.   To thank the committee for its work in the contact with the ERQ, with the prayer that the Lord may bless the continued study and discussions.
  • 5.2.   To continue the mandate for the CCCA as it was given in the Acts of Synod Neerlandia 2001. This mandate is:
    • 5.2.1.     To discuss the differences between the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards as found in the “Evaluation of Divergences” received by Synod 1986. Considering the limited resources of the ERQ priority should be placed on discussion and clarification of pulpit supervision, fencing of the Lord’s table, and confessional accountability;
    • 5.2.2.     To work towards formalizing a relationship of Ecclesiastical Fellowship under the adopted rules;
    • 5.2.3.     To encourage the churches to continue supporting the ERQ financially, when needed;
    • 5.2.4.     To respond if specific requests for assistance and advice are made on matters of confession, church polity, liturgy, and mission.