GS 2010 art 76

GS 2010 Article 76 – Appeal from Fergus North re: Committee on Women’s Voting

1.         Material

  • 1.1       Appeal from Fergus North re: Article 136 of Synod Smithers 2007 to appoint a committee on women’s voting (8.5.v).
  • 1.2       The decision of Synod 2010 (Acts, Article 62) on the Appeal from Kerwood re: Article 136 of Synod Smithers 2007.

2.         Observations

  • 2.1       On the basis of Article 30 CO, Fergus North appeals the decision of Synod Smithers 2007, Article 136, to appoint a committee to study the matter of “Women’s Voting.”
  • 2.2       Fergus North observes a number of things:
    • 2.2.1    The history of how a committee to study this matter was first appointed by Synod 1977.
    • 2.2.2    How Synod 1980 reappointed this committee to “re-examine the matter” “in light of the criticism voiced in letters to Synod and in the report of the advisory committee.”
    • 2.2.3    How Synod 1983 decided “not to accede to its [the appointed committee’s] recommendation (to implement Women’s Voting for Office Bearers),” and “not to appoint a new committee on this matter.”
    • 2.2.4    This decision of Synod 1983 was never successfully appealed.
    • 2.2.5    The history of how this matter was handled at subsequent synods. Fergus North notes in particular how Synods 1995 and 1998 both declared letters inadmissible on grounds which included Article 30 CO.
  • 2.3       The decision of Synod 2010 regarding the appeal of the church at Kerwood (Article 62) supplies much detailed background on how various general synods have dealt with the matter of admissibility as per Article 30 CO.

3.         Considerations

  • 3.1       Past Synods have been inconsistent on admitting materials as per Article 30 CO. Some Synods have accepted submissions directly from churches on matters of the churches in common (e.g., Synods 1974, Article 84; 1977, Article 27; 1992, Article 36; and 2007, Article 136) using Article 30, and other Synods have rejected similar submissions pointing to the very same Article 30 (e.g., Synods 1995, Article 51; 1998, Article 110; 2001, Article 101). No Synod has proven that the other (opposite) interpretation of Article 30 is faulty; each Synod has gone by its own opinion. This inconsistency should be addressed. However, it is not in itself a valid ground to appeal under Article 31 CO.
  • 3.2       The response of Synod 2010 to the appeal of Kerwood (see Acts, Article 62) provides more detail about this inconsistency and recommends a way forward for the churches.

4.         Recommendation

That Synod decide to deny the appeal of Fergus North.