GS 2007 art 67

GS 2007 Article 67 – Submission from Fergus North re Art. 115 of Synod Chatham

The advisory committee presented its second proposal:

1.      Material

  • 1.1     Submission from Fergus North re Subscription Form

2.      Admissibility

  • 2.1     This submission is admissible as it interacts with a decision of a previous synod.

3.      Observations

  • 3.1     Fergus North expresses concern about consideration of Article 115 of Synod Chatham. This consideration states: “When Synod adopts a Form of Subscription it is to be considered binding upon the churches.”
  • 3.2     Fergus North states that “it is one thing to recommend a Form of Subscription for use in the churches but it is something a great deal more to bind the churches to such a form.” This church sees the subscription to the confessions as “in the first place a local matter,” and thus “such a binding is unnecessary.”
  • 3.3     Fergus North further states that “all the churches in Canada have used subscription forms for more than 50 years without being bound to one.”

4.      Considerations

  • 4.1     Fergus North does not appeal a decision of synod, but expresses concern about a consideration.
  • 4.2     Synod Neerlandia 2001 dealt extensively with the issue of the use of a standardized Form of Subscription by the churches and agreed with the considerations of Regional Synod East and Regional Synod West for drafting and using standardized forms (Art. 72). Since the churches via regional synods had expressed a desire for such standardization, all the churches should use the standardized form. The word “binding” used by Synod Chatham indeed indicates that a standardized form shall be used by all the churches. The use of a standardized form will serve to guard confessional integrity, both locally and federatively.
  • 4.3     Simply because the churches have done without a standardized form in the past does not mean the churches may not, with good reason, introduce it at this time.

5.      Recommendation

Synod decide:

  • 5.1     To give these considerations as response to the concerns of Fergus North.