GS 2013 art 179

GS 2013 Article 179 – Overture of Winnipeg-Redeemer re: General Synod Guidelines

Committee 5 presented its second draft with this result:

1.         Material:

Letter from the church at Winnipeg-Redeemer (8.1.3)

2.         Observations:

  • 2.1.      Winnipeg-Redeemer expresses concern with Article 22 of Synod Burlington 2010. Winnipeg-Redeemer notes that the SCBP requested and received the privilege of the floor at Synod to participate in the discussion on their proposal and to demonstrate two new melodies. It notes that it is not contrary to the guidelines for Synod because the guidelines do not address this matter. They note that the guidelines only mention standing Synodical Committees in III.B.I. “All committees appointed by Synod shall see to it that they send as many copies of their report to the local churches as each has office-bearers.” They note that “although not stated it is understood that the requirement of guideline I.E. also applies to Standing Committees.” “For all matters of the churches in common, individual churches may address proposals or other significant submissions directly to General Synod with the requirement that all such submissions are sent also to each church in the federation no later than six months prior to Synod.”
  • 2.2.      Winnipeg-Redeemer expresses the concern that although Guideline I.I. allows for synod to seek advice, this should come from synod once they have established that advice is needed and advice should always come from a third party and not from a committee explaining and promoting its own report.
  • 2.3.      Winnipeg-Redeemer expresses the concern that synod should only deal with material in accordance with Guideline I.E. with the following exception: if for reasons beyond its control a committee has material after the deadline and a synod accepts such material, then the material should also go to the churches and synod should accept submissions interacting with the late material also.
  • 2.4.      Winnipeg Redeemer expresses the concern that Standing Committees already have a significant impact on the churches because of their task. This needs to be kept in balance by synods considering and judging their reports together with input received from the churches but independent from further influence by a committee. It also expressed concern that as a federation grows centralization of certain activities and the influence of committees can lead to a hierarchy. Lastly it is concerned that having committee members appear before synod would lead to an unnecessary expense or it would favour one committee over another because of the different locations of our synods.
  • 2.5.      In light of the above mentioned concerns, Winnipeg-Redeemer requests Synod Carman 2013 to judge that Synod Burlington 2010 erred in giving the SCBP the privilege of the floor at synod.
  • 2.6.      Winnipeg-Redeemer also requests three additions to the Guidelines for Synod under III. B. Synodical Committees (Standing):
    • [a.]       For all matters pertaining to their mandate the committee shall send its report to Synod to all the churches 6 months prior to general synod
    • [b.]       If synod accepts late submissions from a committee it shall also accept input from the churches on these late submissions
    • [c.]       That the Standing Committees shall not receive the privilege of the floor at synod

3.         Considerations:

  • 3.1.      Winnipeg-Redeemer acknowledges that Article 22 of Synod Burlington 2010 is not contrary to the guidelines because the guidelines do not address this matter.
  • 3.2.      Winnipeg-Redeemer expresses concern because Synod Burlington 2010 used information to make decisions when the churches did not have prior access to that information. Winnipeg-Redeemer wants to use the Guidelines for Synod to prevent this from happening again. Yet Winnipeg-Redeemer does not fully consider the last article of the Guidelines for Synod which states that these guidelines may be suspended, amended, revised or abrogated by a majority vote of synod. It is impossible for one synod to use the guidelines to restrict the possible choices that a future synod might make.
  • 3.3.      Guideline I.I allows for synod to seek advice. As this article of the guideline indicates, normally the request for advice comes from synod once they have established that advice is needed. However, due to the nature of the material (the melodies of the hymns), the SCBP made the request to participate in the discussion of their proposals and to demonstrate the proposed new melodies. Synod heard merit in this request and agreed to it.

4.         Recommendation:

That Synod decide not to adopt the proposed additions to the guidelines of general synod.


Synod was adjourned for committee work.