07 Aug GS 2010 art 93
GS 2010 Article 93 – Appeal from Owen Sound re: A Decision of Regional Synod East 2007
Appeal from Owen Sound against the decision of Regional Synod East Nov. 14, 2007 (8.5.e).
- 2.1 The church at Owen Sound appeals a decision of Regional Synod November 14, 2007, by stating that the Regional Synod East has “overstepped the boundaries of its jurisdiction by judging the actions of the consistory of the church at Owen Sound.”
- 2.2 The documentation supplied indicates that a number of appeals were addressed to Classis Northern Ontario of Dec 17, 2004, and Jan 21, 2005. Classis denied these appeals. The appellants then addressed themselves to Regional Synod East, Nov 9, 2005, and it sided with the appellants against the Classis Northern Ontario (and thereby the church at Owen Sound). When this matter was appealed by the church at Owen Sound to General Synod 2007, it sustained the appeal and based its decision on the fact that Regional Synod East had not proven that the decision of the church at Owen Sound (as sustained by Classis Northern Ontario) was in conflict with the Word of God or with the Church Order.
- 2.3 One of the appellants thereafter resubmitted an appeal to Regional Synod East, Nov. 14, 2007. This Regional Synod declared the appeal admissible and judged again that Classis Northern Ontario of Dec 17, 2004, and Jan 21, 2005, erred in upholding the decision of the church at Owen Sound.
- 3.1 From the sequence of events noted in the observations it appears that the appellants decided to resubmit their appeal to Regional Synod East and that Regional Synod East 2007 upheld their appeal, added considerations that had been lacking in the decision of Regional Synod East 2005 and then restated the decision of Regional Synod East 2005 to the effect that Classis Northern Ontario erred. This is a most questionable procedure.
- 3.2 Here we have a case of an appellant addressing a minor assembly in view of the fact that a major assembly has decided against him. Seeing that the major assembly decided in favour of the church of Owen Sound and thus against the appellant, the appellant should have addressed his appeal to the next major assembly, in this case General Synod 2010.
- 3.3 Furthermore Regional Synod East 2007 considers that withdrawal can happen by word, or by letter, or by the actions of the appellant. Then Regional Synod cites a number of Scripture passages, Lord’s Days, and articles from the Church Order, but fails to prove that the decision of the church at Owen Sound namely “that by their actions they have withdrawn” was in conflict with Scriptures, Confessions, and Church Order.
- 3.4 Regional Synod East 2007 accepts the word of the appellants that they do not want to withdraw but fails to weigh their actions (e.g. staying away from many worship services, refraining from fellowship with other members of the congregation at the Lord’s Supper, refusing to indicate a desire to work towards reconciliation in a church orderly fashion.) This refusal comes out in their unwillingness to discuss with the consistory anything else than the issues brought forward by the appellant.
That Synod decide:
- 4.1 T hat Regional Synod 2007, by declaring this matter admissible, acted contrary to Article 31 of the CO.
- 4.2 That Regional Synod fails to prove that the actions of the church of Owen Sound were in conflict with Scriptures, Confessions, and Church Order.
- 4.3 That the appeal of the church of Owen Sound is sustained.
Four brothers abstained according to Article 32 CO.