GS 2007 art 105

Article 105

GS 2007 Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA)

The advisory committee presented its proposal:

1.      Material

  • 1.1     CPEU Report – see the appendices
  • 1.2-7 Letters from the following six churches:
  • Carman West, Edmonton Immanuel, Elora, Grand Valley, Guelph, London

2.      Observations

  • 2.1     Synod Chatham mandated the CPEU:
    • 2.1.1    To continue meeting with the FRCNA with a view to promoting federative unity, discussing whatever obstacles there may be on this path.
    • 2.1.2    To specifically address with the FRCNA whether it shares the mutual goal of federative unity with the CanRC.
    • 2.1.3    To encourage that the FRCNA be invited to meetings of Canadian Reformed classes and regional synods and to send copies of the Acts of Synod to each other with the purpose of pursuing meaningful interactions and discussions with the churches at the local level.
  • 2.2     The CPEU recommends that synod renew the mandate they received from Synod Chatham 2004.
  • 2.3     Delegates of the CPEU visited FRCNA Synods of June 2004 and June 2005. Reports of these visits are attached as appendices to the report of the CPEU.
  • 2.4     The respective committees met in Langley on January 10, 2005; minutes of the meeting are included in the report as appendix 5.
  • 2.5     At the meeting of January 10, 2005, it was decided to meet again on January 16, 2006, however, a letter was received from the External Relations Committee of the FRCNA, dated November 10, 2005, explaining that “at this point there is not much motivation for the scheduled meeting.” The reasons given are 1) “the ongoing discussions and movement of the Canadian Reformed Churches towards union with the United Reformed Churches in North America” and 2) “our meetings are too much from the top down.”
  • 2.6     Guelph recommends that synod mandate the CPEU to express (a) thankfulness to the FRCNA for their strong commitment to the Reformed faith, and (b) that the CanRC desire to work towards federative unity, but this does not appear to be reciprocated by the FRCNA. As such, the CanRC should not actively pursue contact with the FRCNA unless it expresses this to be their desire.
  • 2.7     London shares the committee’s confusion as to what the FRCNA mean with comments such as “not union of federations primarily but union of hearts in and under the gospel,” and “not a desire for federative unity but for spiritual unity.”
  • 2.8     Edmonton Immanuel requests synod to instruct the CPEU to (a) discontinue meeting with the FRCNA, (b) inform the FRCNA of that decision.
  • 2.9     Carman West expresses the wish that future meetings will be longer than one day.
  • 2.10   Grand Valley states that the committee’s mandate regarding the FRCNA should be discontinued.
  • 2.11   Elora would like to see contact with the FRCNA continued, especially because they have contact with the local FRCNA.

3.      Considerations

  • 3.1     In view of the lack of contact and discussions, and the disappointing letter of November 10, 2005, it seems doubtful that there would be benefit in providing the CPEU with a renewed mandate regarding contact with the FRCNA. Synod is not convinced by the recommendation of the CPEU for a renewed mandate in the line of Synod Chatham 2004.
  • 3.2     As the church at Elora has ongoing contact with the local FRCNA, they should be encouraged to continue discussions in the hope that one day discussions can resume at the federative level.

4.      Recommendation

Synod decide:

  • 4.1     To cease from pursuing discussions with the FRCNA.
  • 4.2     To ask the CPEU to send a letter to the FRCNA informing it of this decision and expressing the desire to resume contact when there is interest from their side.