07 Sep GS 2007 art 99
GS 2007 Article 99 – The United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA)
The advisory committee presented Part 2 its proposal:
— CHURCH ORDER COMMITTEE —
- 1.1 See Art. 98
- 2.1 Synod Chatham gave the following mandate to the Church Order Committee:
- 2.1.1 To continue to work closely with the committee re church order appointed by the URCNA synod.
- 2.1.2 To continue in the evaluation of the differences between the current church orders of the federations, in the light of the scriptural and confessional principles and patterns of church government of the Church Order of Dort.
- 2.1.3 To propose a common church order in the line of the Church Order of Dort.
- 2.1.4 To formulate a draft proposal of regulations for General Synod.
- 2.1.5 To keep the CPEU updated on the progress.
- 2.1.6 To provide the CPEU with a report in sufficient time for them to produce the comprehensive report for Synod in a timely fashion.
- 2.2 The Church Order Committee reports the following concerning its mandate:
- 2.2.1 The committee met seven times. each time these meetings lasted three days. A single set of minutes was kept, and common press releases were published.
- 2.2.2 The committee continued to evaluate the differences between the current church orders in light of the scriptural and confessional principles and patterns of church government of the Church Order of Dort. The committee received input from four churches and two individuals.
- 2.2.3 The committee has provided a Proposed Church Order (PCO), and attached it to their report, as well as a four-column document for comparing the PCO to the Church Order of Dort (1914/1920), the Church Order of the CanRC (1986), and the Church Order of the URCNA (2004).
- 2.2.4 The committee could not fulfill its mandate to include Regulations for General Synod along with the Proposed Church Order, since the URC committee did not have this as part of their mandate. The upcoming URCNA synod will receive a proposal to allow its committee to proceed with our committee to produce such regulations.
- 2.2.5 The CPEU and the churches were kept informed and updated on the progress of the committee via the press releases that were published in Clarion, Reformed Polemics and Christian Renewal.
- Further, the committee reports:
- 2.2.6 The committee includes a URCNA Protocol Procedure Proposal, to be submitted to the 2007 URCNA Synod, which details the proposed schedule of events regarding the Proposed Church Order in the United Reformed Churches.
- 2.2.7 The report of the committee includes a minority report regarding Proposed Church Order Article 35. This report recommends to synod that congregations sing psalms and hymns in the worship services that are approved by the consistory in accord with the synodically adopted standard, while the Proposed Church Order requires the psalms and hymns to be approved by synod.
- 2.3 The committee recommends that synod:
- 2.3.1 Receives the PCO and the 4 column comparison document.
- 2.3.2 Gives the PCO and the 4 column comparison document to the churches for discussion and evaluation, with a view to final adoption by Synod 2010.
- 2.3.3 Re-appoints, for the sake of continuity, the current committee members.
- 2.3.4 Mandates the committee to work closely with the committee re church order appointed by the URCNA synod.
- 2.3.5 Mandates the committee to receive, collate, and evaluate all official communications regarding the PCO, and on that basis to recommend a revised PCO to Synod 2010.
- 2.3.6 Requests that all official communications regarding the PCO proceed only from consistories to the committee.
- 2.3.7 Requests that all communications from individual church members regarding the PCO be processed through their consistories.
- 2.3.8 Requests that all communications regarding the PCO be received by the committee by no later than March 1, 2009.
- 2.3.9 Mandates the committee to compile a list of all communications received together with a summary of the content of each communication and a statement of committee action relating to the communication.
- 2.3.10 Authorizes the committee, in conjunction with the URCNA synod appointed Church Order Committee, to hold no more than eight (8) regional information and review conferences throughout the federations.
- 2.3.11 Mandates the committee to formulate a draft proposal of Regulations for General Synod.
- 2.3.12 Mandates the committee to keep the CPEU updated on the progress.
- 2.3.13 Mandates the committee to provide the CPEU with a report in sufficient time for them to produce the comprehensive report for Synod 2010 in a timely fashion.
- 2.4 London supports the committee’s recommendation regarding the time frame for the churches to evaluate the Proposed Church Order.
- 2.5 Coaldale, Fergus North, Grand Valley, Spring Creek all provide synod with some detailed comments regarding the content of the Proposed Church Order.
- 2.6 Carman West agrees with the thirteen recommendations listed by the committee.
- 2.7 Carman East agrees with the recommendation of the committee to allow time for this important document to be evaluated and agreed to by both federations.
- 2.8 Winnipeg Redeemer recommends that synod not decide at this time on the Proposed Church Order as presented by the Church Order sub-committee.
- 3.1 Having received the Proposed Church Order and the four-column document of comparison, as well as the minority report, synod agrees that these documents should now be sent to the churches for discussion and evaluation with a view to the eventual adoption of a Church Order by Synod 2010. The churches should be requested to send responses directly to the committee by March 1, 2009, for the committee to receive, collate, and evaluate, in order to recommend a revised Proposed Church Order to Synod 2010. The submissions from Coaldale, Fergus North, Grand Valley, Spring Creek, should be forwarded to the committee. Regarding the minority report on Article 35 of the Proposed Church Order, synod expresses its strong preference for Article 35 as it is proposed in the Proposed Church Order.
- 3.2 Synod appreciates the need to wait for Regulations for General Synod while the URCNA committee is still seeking such a mandate from the next URCNA synod.
- 3.3 Synod takes grateful note of the URCNA Protocol Procedure Proposal and is hopeful that the time frames expressed therein—including the recommendation of the proposal that the URCNA adopt the Proposed Church Order by 2010—can be met.
- 3.4 For the sake of continuity synod should reappoint the present committee members to work closely with the URCNA committee.
- 3.5 Synod appreciates and supports the committee’s recommendation for regional information and review conferences throughout the federations.
- 4.1 To express gratitude to the committee for completing its mandate.
- 4.2 To receive the Proposed Church Order and the four-column document, as well as the minority report, and to recommend them for discussion and evaluation by the churches. The churches are requested to send responses directly to the committee before March 1, 2009. Individual church members are requested to send their submissions through their consistories.
- 4.3 To forward the submissions from Coaldale, Fergus North, Grand Valley, and Spring Creek to the committee.
- 4.4 To reappoint the present committee members and mandate the committee:
- 4.4.1 To work closely with the committee re church order appointed by the URCNA synod.
- 4.4.2 To receive, collate, and evaluate all official communications regarding the Proposed Church Order.
- 4.4.3 To propose Regulations for General Synod should the URCNA committee receive such a mandate from the next URCNA synod.
- 4.4.4 To prepare a revised Proposed Church Order for Synod 2010, including proposed Regulations for General Synod, sending it to the churches six months prior to synod.
- 4.4.5 To arrange for regional information and review conferences throughout the federations as time and opportunity permits.