GS 2010 art 60

GS 2010 Article 60 – Report from CRCA re: Consolidation and Reorganization

1.         Material

  • 1.1       Report of CRCA (8.2.m).
  • 1.2       Letters from Churches at Toronto (8.3.M.1), Guelph (8.3.M.2), Hamilton-Providence (8.3.M.3), Grand Valley (8.3.M.6), Coaldale (8.3.M.8), Grassie (8.3.M.10), Fergus-Maranatha (8.3.M.13), Flamborough (8.3.M.22), Willoughby Heights (8.3.M.25), Attercliffe (8.3.M.26), Tintern (8.3.M.28), and Burlington-Ebenezer (8.3.M.29).

2.         Observations

  • 2.1       The CRCA observes that for many years all of the relations with other churches whom we recognized as sister churches were channelled through the CRCA. Synod Fergus 1998 decided that a re-structuring was necessary and appointed a Committee for Contact with Churches in the Americas (CCCA), now known as the Committee for Contact with Churches in North America (CCCNA). The result is that there are two committees maintaining contacts with other churches; the distinction is only geographical. The CRCA is of the opinion that some sort of re-structuring is necessary. Sometimes the work of these two committees overlaps and causes confusion. For instance, members of the CRCA meet delegates from the OPC and RCUS at the ICRC, but do not meet with them officially, since that is the task of the CCCNA.
  • 2.2       The CRCA recommends disbanding these two committees and appointing one new committee called the Committee on Inter-church Relations (CIR). This committee is to be composed of three sections: a British Columbia section, a Manitoba section and an Ontario section. The CIR is to consist of twelve members and thereby bring about a reduction from the current sixteen members (eight on the CRCA and eight on the CCCNA). Each of the three sections is to consist of four members, two of which shall be ministers, for a total committee strength of twelve members. Each section is required to share its minutes with the members of the other two sections. The Conveners of the three sections are to meet together annually and the entire Committee once every three years. The CRCA also recommends specific appointments to the CIR and adds that General Synod refrain from setting retirement dates for the members of the CIR seeing that continuity is crucial. The CRCA recommends that Synod instruct the Committee to come up with a retirement schedule as needed and that best suits the work of the Committee.
  • 2.3       Of the twelve churches that address the CRCA’s proposal re: “Consolidation and Reorganization,” one supports reorganizing in order to streamline the work, but it wants the proposal to go further so that the CanRC restrict themselves more to church relations in the Americas. Another church states that restructuring may be necessary, but feels the mandate of the new committee is too broad for a reduced number of committee members. One church opines it is inadvisable for Synod to deal with the CRCA’s proposal because the promised Supplemental Report dealing with this matter was not sent to the churches. One church points out that if that there are no new categories of contact, then there is no need to appoint a new committee. Several churches are not in favour of reorganizing the current committees, suggesting that it is impractical and confusing. One of these churches feels it might be better for some of the local churches to deal directly with relations of EF. For instance, Hamilton and Surrey could maintain contact with churches in Brazil.
  •  2.4      Regarding the appointments to the CIR, one church advocates including the Albertan churches within the CIR, possibly combining Manitoba and Alberta. One church urges that there be no lifetime appointments, but a six year rotation within the committee. Another church recommends appointing alternates in case committee members move away. One church observes that it is not helpful for the committee to set its own retirement dates, since members can become entrenched in their own positions. Continuity is important, but there needs to be a regular turnover and therefore staggered terms of service. Another church is not happy with the name CIR because it does not reflect the international flavour of this committee. This church also recommends that Synod should set the retirement dates of appointees.

3.         Considerations

  • 3.1       It is true that at times the work of the CRCA and the CCCNA overlaps.
  • 3.2       Should a new committee known as the CIR be formed, delegation to this committee should include Alberta. Alberta can easily be combined with Manitoba or British Columbia so that the delegation to this committee can be drawn from any one of our churches.
  • 3.3       Unfortunately no response from the CCCNA has been forwarded to the churches. Since the proposal of the CRCA involves the CCCNA, as one church pointed out, it is inadvisable for Synod to make a decision on this matter.
  • 3.4       There is not broad support from the churches for the proposal of the CRCA. The present two committees have a good handle on their mandates and the churches with which they are dealing. It would not be good for the continuity of this work to completely restructure these two committees.
  • 3.5       As several churches have indicated, allowing the committee to set its own retirement dates is not wise. Continuity is important but Synod can consider that as it makes appointments with staggered retirement dates.

4.         Recommendation

That Synod decide not to accept the proposal of the CRCA.