24 Jul GS 2013 art 130
GS 2013 Article 130 – CCU – Liturgical Forms and Confessions Subcommittee
- 1.1. Report from the Liturgical Forms and Confessions Subcommittee of the Committee for Church Unity (126.96.36.199)
- 1.2. Letters from the churches at Attercliffe (188.8.131.52), Lincoln (184.108.40.206), Abbotsford (220.127.116.11) and Hamilton-Providence (18.104.22.168)
- 2.1. Synod Burlington 2010 gave the Liturgical Forms and Confessions subcommittee of the CCU the following mandate (Acts, Article 88, Recommendation 4.3):
- [4.3.1.] To review and compare the Creeds, Confessions, Forms and Prayers of the CanRC and URCNA with a view to merger and to make itself available to the URCNA as needed;
- [4.3.2.] To report to the churches six months before the next general synod.
- 2.2. The committee also took note of the words of the letter from Synod Burlington 2010 to the URC Synod London 2010 (Acts of Synod London 2010, Article 169): “With respect to the work of the Songbook and the Forms and Prayers committees, we have decided to re-appoint them in the hope that they will assist our churches as we prepare for unity.”
- 2.3. The committee observed that Synod London 2010 gave the URC counterparts to the liturgical forms and confessions committee no mandate to cooperate with our committee. Subsequent to Synod Nyack 2012, the committee reports that there has also been no contact. However, Synod Nyack 2012 did decide to “adopt for provisional use the forms and prayers presented by the committee” (Article 44.2) and while its mandate was continued, Synod gave it no instruction to cooperate with our committee.
- 2.4. The committee reports that the Church Order subcommittee of the CCU requested permission to take on the task of drafting Forms for Discipline for a united federation. As this was not the Liturgical Forms and Confessions subcommittee mandate, they agreed.
- 2.5. The committee questions its value as an ongoing entity, as the Liturgical Forms Committee of the URCNA has no mandate to partner with their CanRC counterparts. The committee does not see what would be its function, should it be reappointed. Finally, it notes the cooperation of the URCNA’s songbook committee with the OPC, as confirmed by Synod Nyack 2012. The committee surmises that “if the common songbook with us has been shelved, then common liturgical forms with us are also unlikely.”
- 2.6. The Liturgical Forms and Confessions Committee recommends that they not be reappointed at this time and that Synod expresses its sincere willingness to reappoint a Liturgical Forms and Confessions Committee as soon as the United Reformed Churches give their committee a mandate to work with the Canadian Reformed committee in pursuit of eventual merger.
- 2.7. Attercliffe agrees with the committee’s suggestion that it not be reappointed, but that it should be “as soon as the URC give their committee a mandate to work with the CanRC in pursuit of eventual merger.”
- 2.8. Hamilton-Providence and Lincoln express disappointment that our committee was unable to function, but urges that the committee be reappointed so that it can correspond without delay with their URCNA counterparts, should they receive a mandate from the next URCNA synod to do so. Abbotsford suggests that the SCBP be the “address” for the URCNA to contact, should the merger come more into view again.
- 3.1. It is regrettable that the committee has nothing substantial to report because their counterparts from the URCNA lacked the mandate to interact with the committee.
- 3.2. It is advisable to have a committee available to meet with their URCNA counterparts, should the URCNA committee be mandated by their next synod to work together with the CanRC committee.
That Synod decide to reappoint the Liturgical Forms and Confessions subcommittee of the CCU and to give it the mandate to be available to review and compare the Creeds, Confessions, Forms and Prayers of the CanRC and URCNA with a view to merger.