03 Aug GS 2010 art 34
GS 2010 Article 34 – Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC)
- 1.1 The CCCNA report re: OPC (8.2.f.i).
- 1.2 Overture from the church at London dated March 16, 2010 (8.3.F.18).
- 2.1 The CCCNA report re: OPC serves as observations.
- 2.2 Synod Smithers gave the CCCNA the following mandate regarding the OPC (Acts, Article 131):
- [4.3] To continue the relationship of ecclesiastical fellowship (EF) with the OPC under the adopted rules. As the CCCNA fulfils its mandate according to these rules, the outstanding matters of confessional membership and supervision of the Lord’s Table are to be raised when appropriate;
- [4.4] To endeavour to meet with the CEIR at least once a year.
- 2.3 Among other items in its report the CCCNA indicates that the IPB (Brazil) was invited into a corresponding relationship with the OPC.
- 2.4 The CCCNA recommends that Synod decide:
- [6.1] To thank the Lord for the way in which the OPC actively seeks to provide a faithful Reformed witness in this world, by spreading the gospel in faithfulness to the Reformed Confession.
- [6.2] To mandate the CCCNA to continue the relationship of EF with the OPC under the adopted rules, dealing with outstanding matters as appropriate, and continuing to meet with the CEIR annually.
- 2.5 London suggests that the CCCNA’s mandate with regard to the discussions on confessional membership and supervision of the Lord’s Table be more strongly worded than suggested by the committee. London states the following, “In making this request, our concern is that these ‘outstanding divergencies’ have been matters of concern for many, many years now, and that the continued lack of clarity and resolution about these topics has resulted in a degree of unrest within the CanRC federation. Thus, we would urge Synod 2010 to restate this call to continued discussion of the divergencies in a more concrete and forceful way, and in so doing urge CCCNA to bring these matters to the forefront of their interaction with the CEIR in order that these matters might be laid to rest once and for all.”
- 3.1 The report of the CCCNA indicates that the relationship of EF is functioning well.
- 3.2 Regarding the matter of the OPC inviting the IPB (Brazil) into a corresponding relationship, the report does not indicate if this was mutually discussed with our committee (as per the Rules of EF). Mutual discussion on this matter could prove beneficial particularly considering how the Reformed Churches of Brazil (RCB) have for the time being suspended contact with the IPB (CRCA committee report to General Synod 2010, p. 17).
- 3.3 Synod Smithers specifically included in the mandate to the committee a directive regarding the matters of confessional membership and supervision to the Lord’s Table. In its recommended mandate the committee does not specifically include this.
- 3.4 Since Synod Neerlandia 2001 established EF with the OPC, it is not proper to speak of the topics of confessional membership and supervision of the Lord’s Table as “outstanding divergencies.” Neither would it be proper to belabour these issues in discussions with the OPC. At the same time it is important that matters of concern highlighted by previous synods not be put aside simply because they have been discussed on several occasions. Instead, in the context of Rule 1 of EF, they should be discussed purposefully and vigorously. Working toward a more unified position on these significant matters ought to be one of the goals of being churches in 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).
That Synod decide:
- 4.1 To thank the CCCNA for its work in our relationship with the OPC.
- 4.2 To thank the Lord for the way in which the OPC actively seeks to provide a faithful Reformed witness in this world, by spreading the gospel in faithfulness to the Reformed Confession.
- 4.3 To mandate the CCCNA as follows:
- 4.3.1 To continue the relationship of EF with the OPC under the adopted rules.
- 4.3.2 To discuss with the OPC its decision to establish corresponding relations with the IPB.
- 4.3.3 To share information about the nature and development of its dialogue with the OPC.