GS 2013 art 26

GS 2013 Article 26 – Overture of Br. E. VanWoudenberg

1.         Material:

  • 1.1.      Overture from br. VanWoudenberg forwarded by the consistory of the church at Chilliwack (8.4.2)
  • 1.2.      Letters from the churches at Orangeville (8.1.4), Dunnville (8.1.6), Smithers (8.1.8), Burlington-Ebenezer (8.1.9), Carman-West (8.1.12), Fergus-North (8.1.13), Grassie (8.1.14), Lincoln (8.1.19), London (8.1.21), Spring Creek (8.1.26), Winnipeg-Redeemer (8.1.28) and Owen Sound (8.1.29)

2.         Observations:

  • 2.1.      Br. VanWoudenberg sent an overture to General Synod requesting that Article 3 (CO) be amended so that churches may draw lots for the selection of office-bearers. He requested the consistory of Chilliwack to have his overture placed on the agenda of General Synod 2013.
  • 2.2.      Though the consistory did not support him, it forwarded his overture to General Synod, as well as to all the churches in the federation since, in its opinion, this is a matter that belongs to the churches in common and also is a new matter.
  • 2.3.      The consistory understands Synod Guideline 1.E to be pertinent to the submission of this brother’s overture: 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 the general synod. 
  • 2.4.      Some churches interacted with the content of the brother’s overture; some churches focused on its admissibility.

3.         Considerations:

  • 3.1.      The Guidelines for General Synod specify that “individual churches may address proposals… directly to general synod” (emphasis added). Since the church at Chilliwack explicitly states that it does not support this overture, this is not an overture from an individual church but from an individual member.
  • 3.2.      Because the consistory of Chilliwack cited Synod Guideline 1.E (a matter for the churches in common), some churches interacted with the content of the overture as though it were legitimately placed on the agenda of General Synod.

4.         Recommendation:

That Synod decide that br. E. VanWoudenberg’s overture is inadmissible.