31 Jul GS 2010 art 29
GS 2010 Article 29 – Église Réformée du Quebec (ERQ)
- 1.1 Report of the CCCNA re: the ERQ (8.2.f).
- 1.2 Letter from the church at Ancaster (8.3.F.23).
- 2.1 Synod Smithers 2007 decided to enter into a relationship of ecclesiastical fellowship (EF) with the ERQ under the adopted rules and to mandate the CCCNA as follows (Acts 2007, Article 74, Recommendations 4.3.1 – 4.4):
- [4.3.1] T o convey this decision to the next ERQ Synod via the Interchurch Committee (CICR).
- [4.3.2] To actively engage in the relationship of EF under the adopted rules.
- [4.3.3] To express to the Interchurch Committee a willingness to provide encouragement and assistance in the adoption of the liturgical forms and in other such matters.
- [4.3.4] To respond if specific requests for assistance and advice are made on further matters of confession, church polity, liturgy and mission, as per the Rules of EF.
- [4.3.5] To continue the discussion when appropriate on existing differences in confession and practice with a particular focus on admission to Lord’s Supper and the supervision of the pulpit.
- [4.3.6] To meet and have contact with the ERQ Interchurch Committee and synods if and when invited.
- [4.3.7] To encourage the churches to continue supporting the ERQ prayerfully and financially when needed.
- [4.4] To encourage the churches to seek out ways and means to develop contacts with individual ERQ churches as is done between Owen Sound and St. Georges.
- 2.2 The CCCNA communicated the decisions of Synod 2007 by letter to the Synod of the ERQ held June 1-2, 2007. In this letter, the Rules for EF were reviewed and the ERQ was requested to consider areas in which the CanRC might assist them financially.
- 2.3 The material provided by the CCCNA indicates that there has been active engagement by the CCCNA with the ERQ in the form of letters, meetings between the CCCNA and the CICR and attendance of ERQ Synods.
- 2.4 The CCCNA discussed with the ERQ the nature and status of liturgical forms among their churches.
- 2.5 The CCCNA learned that the ERQ has adopted a Form for the Public Profession of Faith that is “thoroughly Reformed in character.”
- 2.6 The CCCNA has discussed with the ERQ the growing number of ecumenical contacts of our respective federations and discussed the state of relations with third parties.
- 2.7 The CICR of the ERQ requested and received input from the CCCNA in regard to the proposed adoption of a Form for the Baptism of Infants.
- 2.8 The material provided by the CCCNA indicates that there has been considerable discussion at different meetings with the ERQ on the Reformed understanding of supervision of the Lord’s Supper and of the pulpit.
- 2.9 The CCCNA states that the ERQ has not yet reached a consensus regarding “a common principle and practice of admission to the Lord’s Supper.” Instead, a diversity of opinions exists among the minister and elders.
- 2.10 The CCCNA considers that “it would not be wise to continue a mandate that focuses explicitly on these two matters, which should not be belabored unnecessarily.”
- 2.11 In light of discussions with the ERQ, the CCCNA considers closer ecclesiastical ties between individual congregations of the ERQ and the CanRC on the model of Owen Sound and St. Georges to be impractical and undesirable at this time.
- 2.12 The CCCNA recommends that Synod decide:
- [6.1] The CCCNA has fulfilled its mandate regarding the ERQ.
- The CCCNA also recommends that Synod mandate the committee to:
- [6.2] Continue actively engaging in the relationship of EF with the
- ERQ under the adopted rules;
- [6.3] Continue discussion when appropriate on existing differences in confession and practice, keeping in mind Consideration 5.4. (summarized in Observation 10 above).
- 2.13 The church at Ancaster writes that it finds the report of the CCCNA regarding discussion about the supervision of the Lord’s Supper with the ERQ to be vague. While observing that there is “diversity” in the ERQ on this matter, the report does not give any specifics. Because there is little in the way of specific information, Ancaster requests General Synod 2010 to renew the mandate of Synod 2007, namely, “to continue discussion when appropriate on existing differences in confession and practice with a particular focus on admission to the Lord’s Supper.”
- 3.1 In accordance with the directives of Synod 2007, the CCCNA has been diligent in implementing and maintaining a relationship of EF with the ERQ. The CCCNA has dialogued extensively with the ERQ in regard to one of the matters highlighted by Synod 2007, namely admission to the Lord’s Supper. However, it does not indicate that the same dialogue has occurred in regard to the supervision of the pulpit.
- 3.2 While the CCCNA is correct that the CanRC should not unnecessarily belabor the issues of admission to the Lord’s Supper and supervision of the pulpit, these matters are sufficiently important that they should be discussed purposefully and vigorously in the context of Rule 1 of EF. As Synod Smithers stated in regard to the RCUS: “It is not necessary to state that discussion on particular topics is completed. In the dynamic of church life, opportunities to speak about differences between our federations will remain beneficial” (Article 107, Consideration 3.2). Working toward a more unified position on these significant matters ought to be one of the goals of being churches in EF.
That Synod decide:
- 4.1 To thank the CCCNA for its work in our relationship with the ERQ. 4.2 To mandate the CCCNA as follows:
- 4.2.1 To continue the relationship of EF with the ERQ under the adopted rules.
- 4.2.2 To share information about the nature and development of its dialogue with the ERQ.