23 Jul GS 2013 art 43
GS 2013 Article 43 – Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Committee 4 presented their second draft regarding the OPC. Some minor changes were made with the following result:
- 1.1. Report from the CCCNA re: the OPC (8.2.3)
- 1.2. Letters from the churches at London (188.8.131.52), Calgary (184.108.40.206) and Edmonton-Immanuel (220.127.116.11)
- 2.1. Synod Burlington 2010 gave the CCCNA the following mandate in regard to the OPC (Acts, Article 34, Recommendation 4.3):
- [4.3.1.] To continue the relationship of EF with the OPC under the adopted rules;
- [4.3.2.] To discuss with the OPC its decision to establish corresponding relations with the IPB;
- [4.3.3.] To share information about the nature and development of its dialogue with the OPC.
- 2.2. Delegates of the CCCNA met with Committee on Ecumenicity and Interchurch Relations (CEIR) at meetings of NAPARC in 2010 and 2011 and also attended the General Assembly of the OPC in 2011.
- 2.3. At the request of the CEIR, the CCCNA provided input on the invitation from the ERQ to the OPC to enter into EF.
- 2.4. The CCCNA was informed that the OPC is pursuing Corresponding Relations with the Free Reformed Churches of North America, the Heritage Reformed congregations and the Free Church of Scotland (continuing) and that there is a growing relationship with the Independent Reformed Church in Korea.
- 2.5. The CCCNA communicated with the CEIR on the OPC’s decision to establish corresponding relations with the IPB. When addressing this matter, the CCCNA learned that the OPC did not enter into EF with the IPB, but a “corresponding relationship,” which is a preliminary category. Further, it was learned that the relationship was initiated by the IPB to seek their help after breaking off contact with the Presbyterian Church of the United States (PCUSA), in an effort to restore the reformed character of the IPB. The CCCNA encouraged the OPC to consider taking up more contact with our sister churches in Brazil, the RCB, to gain any relevant information about the IPB.
- 2.6. The CCCNA updated the CEIR about our developments toward unity with the URCNA.
- 2.7. The CCCNA reports that the CEIR expressed concern about the involvement of women in the BBK (of the RCN) and in the work of the Dutch synod.
- 2.8. The church at London observes that from the CCCNA report, it seems that the matters of confessional membership and supervision of the Lord’s Supper have not been discussed with the OPC “in a purposeful and vigorous way,” as Synod Burlington 2010 encouraged. London recommends that these two matters continue to be discussed.
- 2.9. The church of Edmonton-Immanuel notes that over the many years, the OPC has not changed its approach and practice to confessional membership and the supervision of the Lord’s table. It observes that Synod Burlington 2010 made no mention of these outstanding matters in its mandate to the CCCNA and that this may have led to a neglect of them in the CCCNA’s discussions with the CEIR. It is through further dialogue about these outstanding differences that our church federations may move toward closer unity.
- 2.10. The CCCNA recommends that Synod decide:
- 2.10.1. To thank the Lord for the way in which the OPC actively promotes a faithful Reformed witness to the gospel;
- 2.10.2 To mandate the CCCNA to continue the relationship of EF with the OPC under the adopted rules.
- 3.1. It is evident that the CCCNA has been active in maintaining the relationship with the OPC. The committee has had dialogue with the CEIR on a number of issues relating to church life and ecclesiastical relationships, in particular the relationship with the IPB.
- 3.2. A statement of agreement between the CanRC and the OPC that addresses the fencing of the Lord’s table and confessional membership was proposed in 1998 (Acts of Synod 1998, Article 129) and was accepted in 2001 (Acts of Synod 2001, Article 45).
- 3.3. The matters of concern raised by past Synods and highlighted by the churches remain valid and need to continue to be addressed in the context of the rules of EF (see Acts of Synod 2007, Article 131, Recommendation 4.3; Acts of Synod 2010, Article 34, Consideration 3.4).
That Synod decide:
- 4.1. To thank the CCCNA for its efforts in maintaining our relationship with the OPC;
- 4.2. To thank the Lord for the way in which the OPC actively promotes a faithful Reformed witness to the gospel;
- 4.3. To mandate the CCCNA to continue the relationship of EF with the OPC under the adopted rules giving particular attention, together with the CEIR, to the functioning of the 2001 agreement.