GS 2007 art 151

GS 2007 Article 151 – Gereja-Gereja Reformasi Di Indonesia Propinsi Nusa Tenggara Timur (GGRI-NTT)

The advisory committee presented its second proposal:

1.      Material

  • 1.1     CRCA Report 7A
  • 1.2-5 Letters from the following four churches: Spring Creek, Surrey, Lynden, Edmonton Immanuel

2.      Admissibility

The report and letters from the churches are admissible.

3.      Observations

  • 3.1     The report of the CRCA, which is included as an appendix to the Acts, serves as observations.
  • 3.2     The CRCA recommends that:
    • 3.2.1    [7.5.1] Synod accepts the invitation from the GGRI to enter into ecclesiastical fellowship.
    • 3.2.2    [7.5.2] Synod mandate the CRCA to inform the GGRI and the FRCA of this decision and make formal arrangements for this relationship.
  • 3.3     Spring Creek, considering the geographical distance, cultural differences and language barriers, states: “We do not think that ecclesiastical fellowship with… the GGRI would be a meaningful relationship for the Can. Ref. Churches.” Lynden feels the same as does the church at Surrey which asks: “Can we realistically maintain meaningful relations with these churches, given the limited resources we have and given the number of other churches with whom we already have ecclesiastical fellowship?”
  • 3.4     Edmonton Immanuel submits that synod should consider how its actions towards the one federation in Indonesia will affect the other. They state that entering into relations with the one and not the other (at the same time) may well have negative ramifications on relations between the Indonesian federations. They plead for a tandem approach where the Canadian Reformed Churches would enter into ecclesiastical fellowship with both federations and in that context encourage them to cooperate in joint theological training and work towards federative unity.
  • 3.5     Smithville informs synod that they have “a mission field in Timor and [have] regular contact with the GGRC through [their] missionary, Rev. Edwer Dethan and through visits of several members of the Mission Board of Smithville to Timor.” Smithville also “urges Synod to… urge the GGRI to do what they can to come to federative unity with the GGRC and to cooperate with the GGRC for the theological training.”

4.      Considerations

  • 4.1     From the report it is clear that the CRCA has fulfilled the mandate given to it by Synod Chatham with respect to the GGRI.
  • 4.2     The committee provides the proof (Report, 7.3) that the GGRI are a federation of faithful churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. The committee gives evidence that it followed Rule #3 for Ecclesiastical Fellowship when it consulted with the GKN and the FRCA (Report, 7.4).
  • 4.3     At present two churches (Smithville & Edmonton Immanuel) have contact with the GGRC but no churches have contact with the GGRI. The benefits of ecclesiastical fellowship with the GGRI are directly tied to our relationship with the GGRC. The common point of contact between the two federations is joint cooperation in theological training.
  • 4.4     The concern of Edmonton Immanuel that we deal with both Indonesian church federations in tandem is pertinent and important. Since more information needs to be collected and evaluated before ecclesiastical fellowship can be established with the GGRC, and since there is no pressing reason to establish ecclesiastical fellowship with the GGRI at the moment, it is wiser to wait until all the relevant information pertaining to the GGRC is available.

5       Recommendation

Synod decide:

  • 5.1     To thank the committee for the work done re the GGRI.
  • 5.2     To delay accepting the invitation from the GGRI to enter into ecclesiastical fellowship until all the necessary information is available to make a decision concerning ecclesiastical fellowship with the GGRC.
  • 5.3     To mandate the CRCA to encourage the GGRI to:
    • 5.3.1    Promote efforts toward federative unity with the GGRC.
    • 5.3.2    Cooperate with the GGRC in joint theological training.