GS 2010 art 52

GS 2010 Article 52 – North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC)

1.         Material

  • 1.1       Report of the CCCNA re: NAPARC – Report 7 (8.2.1).
  • 1.2       Letters from Fergus-Maranatha (8.3.F.21), Ancaster (8.3.F.22), as well as appeals from Attercliffe (8.5.m), and Coaldale (8.5.t).

2.         Observations

  • 2.1       General Synod 2007 decided to instruct the CCCA (now the CCCNA) to “apply for membership in NAPARC” (Acts 2007, page 155).
  • 2.2       M embers of the CCCNA attended the annual meetings of NAPARC in 2007 and 2008.
  • 2.3       The application of the CanRC for membership was submitted to the 2007 meeting of NAPARC. The CanRC delegates were seated as observers.
  • 2.4       At the 2008 meeting of NAPARC, it was made known that the application of the CanRC for membership had been ratified by the member churches. The CanRC were officially welcomed as full members and were seated as such.
  • 2.5       The CCCNA states that attending NAPARC meetings has been beneficial in gaining insight into churches with whom we have EF or contact.
  • 2.6       The CCCNA has taken advantage of the NAPARC meetings to organize their own meetings with the Inter-Church Relation Committees of the ERQ, RCUS, OPC and the RPCNA.
  • 2.7       Dr. A.J. Pol of the CCCNA has been appointed to be involved in the work of the interim committee of NAPARC which prepares the agenda for the plenary sessions of this Council and comes with recommendations for the decision-making process.
  • 2.8       The CCCNA recommends that Synod mandate the CCCNA to continue representing the CanRC at NAPARC.
  • 2.9       The Report of the CCCNA to Synod includes two appendices with detailed information about the 2007 and 2008 meetings of NAPARC. 2.10          Fergus-Maranatha expresses concern about the “Golden Rule of Comity Agreement” (GRCA) and the “NAPARC Agreement on Transfer of Members.” This church considers that these documents are at odds with the assurance provided by the CCCNA to Synod 2007 in regard to NAPARC that “all actions and decisions taken are advisory in character and in no way curtail or restrict the autonomy of the member bodies” (Acts 2007, Article 140, Consideration 3.2). In addition, Fergus-Maranatha considers that the aforesaid documents of NAPARC restrict the autonomy of local consistories of the CanRC in doing church gathering work and in admitting members from churches with which there is no official relationship in that they compel CanRC consistories to acknowledge the members and the work of churches with whom there is no synodically established EF. Fergus-Maranatha recommends that:
    • [1.]       Synod Burlington 2010 . . . recognize that the concept of pluriformity has been put into practice by applying for membership in NAPARC and that the dangers of pluriformity are clearly evident in the rules associated with membership.
    • [2.]       Synod Burlington 2010 reaffirm the decisions of past synods, that NAPARC has no ecclesiastical status.
    • [3.]        Synod Burlington 2010 revoke the membership in NAPARC unless the “NAPARC Agreement on Transfer of Members” and the “GRCA” are removed.
  • 2.11     The church at Ancaster expresses concern that the GRCA essentially compels the CanRC to acknowledge, e.g., the Presbyterian Church in America as a true church while no Synod of the CanRC has ever made such a judgment. Ancaster requests Synod 2010 to review the GRCA in light of the above mentioned concern and, if necessary, to instruct the CCCNA to deal with this matter at the next meeting of NAPARC.

3.         Considerations

  • 3.1        The CCCNA has fulfilled the mandate given to it by Synod 2007 and has been diligent in representing the CanRC at NAPARC.
  • 3.2       The CCCNA has served the churches well by providing lengthy reports of the NAPARC meetings.
  • 3.3       The GRCA and the “NAPARC Agreement on Transfer of Members” were not available to Synod Smithers 2007 and were not evaluated by the CCCNA. These documents do appear to have some binding applications to member churches of NAPARC which would seem to contradict the information supplied by the CCCNA to Synod Chatham 2004 as follows: “The committee reports on the history, membership, basis, purpose and function of NAPARC. It also addresses the authority of this Council, stating that it is understood that all actions and decisions taken are advisory in character and in no way curtail or restrict the autonomy of the member bodies” (Acts of Synod Chatham 2004, Article 30, Observation 3.2). Therefore, the concerns expressed by Fergus-Maranatha and by Ancaster merit further investigation.

4.         Recommendation

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1       T o thank the CCCNA for the work it has done in relation to NAPARC.
  • 4.2       To mandate the CCCNA:
    • 4.2.1    To continue to represent the CanRC at NAPARC.
    • 4.2.2    To investigate the status and the implications of the “Golden Rule Comity Agreement” and the “NAPARC Agreement on Transfer of Members and Congregations” in order to determine whether or not these agreements interfere with the independence of the CanRC in regard to establishing relationships of EF with other federations.
    • 4.2.3    To serve the next synod with a report to be sent to the churches at least six months prior to the beginning of synod.