GS 2013 art 196

GS 2013 Article 196 – Book of Praise – Consultation with Australia Regarding

Note: What follows is a replacement for the decision once found in Article 114. See further Articles 144 and 187 in these Acts for an explanation.

Committee 2 presented a second draft. This was this result:

1.         Material:

  • 1.1.      Report from the SCBP, Section 1.3.1, 4.0 (8.2.4)
  • 1.2.      Letters from the churches at Fergus-Maranatha ( and Calgary (

2.         Observations:

  • 2.1.      The SCBP informs Synod that it reviewed input on the Book of Praise provided via a report prepared by the Australian Deputies (for the Book of Praise) of Synod Armadale 2012 of the FRCA. The committee worked particularly with specific comments on Psalms 1-78.
  • 2.2.      In the matter of seeking input for the Book of Praise from the FRCA, the SCBP states, “In hindsight it is regrettable that General Synod 2010 was not more consistent in formulating the articles 115 and 121.”
  • 2.3.      The church at Fergus-Maranatha asks Synod Carman 2013 to decide whether the concerns raised by FRCA delegate br. Wayne Pleiter at Synod Burlington 2010 have been addressed – namely that changes in regard to the Book of Praise be made in light of the Rule 6 for EF which states, “that as much consultation as possible can take place before a final decision is reached.”
  • 2.4.      The church at Calgary is disappointed with the interaction between the SCBP and our sister churches in Australia and writes, “While it is true that the Book of Praise is a publication of our churches and not a joint effort, it would be better if the update to the Book of Praise was accomplished with the cooperation of the brothers in Australia.” Calgary asks Synod Carman 2013 to “direct the committee to specifically dedicate the time and effort to reconciliation in this matter.”
  • 2.5.      The fraternal delegates from Australia addressed Synod Carman 2013, pointing out that they have been tasked to “monitor developments with the Canadian Book of Praise.” They further stated that, “what we would appreciate and encourage is a closer working together between our federations in relation to the Book of Praise – we are the only other federation of churches that exclusively uses the Book of Praise – so perhaps a cooperative committee could be struck between our churches….”

3.         Considerations:

  • 3.1.      The SCBP did receive and review one significant document from the FRCA in connection with the revision of the Book of Praise. Thus, it appears that consultation with the FRCA on this matter has been limited. Both Fergus-Maranatha and Calgary are correct in noting that the degree of involvement has been inadequate.
  • 3.2       It is regrettable that there is apparent inconsistency between Articles 115 and 121 of Synod Burlington 2010. This resulted in some frustration on the part of the FRCA and disappointment on the part of the SCBP that the consultation was not as full as it could have been. Since Article 115 of Synod Burlington 2010 pertained specifically to cooperation with the FRCA, it might have been better for the SCBP to have applied Article 115 to the FRCA, rather than Article 121.
  • 3.3.      Australian fraternal delegates to Synod Carman 2013 noted, “Our deputies have been requested to do more work to determine the desirability of our churches for having an Australian version of the Book of Praise – essentially it means adapting your Book of Praise to make it our Book of Praise.”
  • 3.4.      Whereas it is true that the contact with the Australian Deputies was minimal, the reality is that this project is near completion and ready for publication. Further, the process of receiving input from Canadian churches is complete and it would not be prudent to delay the publication.

4.         Recommendations:

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1.      To express its regret to the FRCA that due to the circumstances listed above, the degree of cooperation and consultation re: the work on the Book of Praise was limited.
  • 4.2.      To instruct the SCBP to continue contact with the Australian Deputies for the Book of
  • Praise to assist in the FRCA’s pursuit of a possible Australian version of the Book of Praise.
  • 4.3.      To inform the FRCA that Synod Carman 2013 has instructed the SCBP to publish the final edition of the Book of Praise as the authorized version for use in the churches.
  • 4.4.      To instruct the SCBP to report on its contacts with the FRCA to General Synod 2016.