13 Jul GS 2016 art 59
GS 2016 Article 59 – ERQ (Reformed Church of Quebec)
- 1.1 Report of the Committee for Contact with Churches in North America (CCCNA) –section on the Reformed Church of Quebec (ERQ) (8.2.4)
- 1.2 Letters from the following CanRC: Fergus-North (220.127.116.11), Fergus-Maranatha (18.104.22.168), Hamilton-Blessings (22.214.171.124), Grassie-Covenant (126.96.36.199), and Lincoln-Vineyard (188.8.131.52)
- 2.1 GS 2013 (Art. 21) gave the CCCNA the following mandate with respect to the ERQ:
- [4.3] To mandate the CCCNA to continue the relationship of EF with the ERQ under the adopted rules, giving particular attention to the matters of supervision of the pulpit, admissions to the Lord’s table and women deacons (in particular, the ordination of) and to provide an account of its dialogue with the ERQ.
- 2.2 The CCCNA fulfilled its mandate by meeting with delegates of the Inter-Church Relations Committee (IRC) of the ERQ and by attending synods of the ERQ.
- 2.3 The CCCNA had fruitful discussions with the ERQ delegates about matters of doctrine and practice, including women deacons, supervision of the pulpit, modus operandi of the synod of the CanRC, and interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 in the CanRC. The CCCNA asks not to be mandated regarding specific matters of difference with the ERQ.
- 2.4 The CCCNA reports that the ERQ requested clarification of their privileges in the relationship of EF. The delegates confirmed that the ERQ has the full privileges of a ‘sister’ church.
- 2.5 The matter of women deacons remains a matter of ongoing discussion with the ERQ.
- 2.6 The CCCNA affirmed to the ERQ that the CanRC has not adopted any statements regarding the doctrine of creation.
- 2.7 Fergus-North asks that the committee be mandated to continue the discussion with the ERQ on the place and function of women deacons in the ERQ and to continue the discussion regarding the doctrine of creation.
- 2.8 Fergus-Maranatha asks that the committee be mandated to continue the discussion with the ERQ on unresolved matters, including the ordination of women deacons, supervision of the pulpit and admission to the Lord’s table.
- 2.9 Grassie-Covenant asks that the committee be mandated to continue the discussion with the ERQ on the matter of women deacons.
- 2.10 Lincoln-Vineyard supports that special care be taken to treat the ERQ as a sister church, not a daughter church.
- 2.11 Hamilton-Blessings supports that the CCCNA not be specifically mandated to address the ERQ regarding identified matters of difference in doctrine and practice.
- 3.1 The CCCNA fulfilled its mandate regarding the ERQ.
- 3.2 God has blessed the ERQ as a small and fragile group of churches in a spiritually hostile environment.
- 3.3 Rule 1 of EF states that “the churches shall assist each other in the maintenance, defence and promotion of the Reformed faith in doctrine, church polity, discipline and liturgy, and be watchful for deviations.” Within this context there is always room for discussion about differences in matters of doctrine and practice.
- 3.4 When we enter EF we accept each other as faithful churches without qualifications. Differences that were noted and discussed prior to EF, but which did not hinder entering EF, do not require resolution. It is incorrect to speak of “outstanding differences.” The word “outstanding” implies a need for resolution. Bringing up these issues repeatedly, without proper proof of necessity, is potentially damaging to sister-church relationships. Discussion of these issues may take place naturally in the course of EF, but a specific mandate, identifying particular issues, need not be given.
That Synod decide:
- 4.1 To thank the Lord for the faithful Reformed witness provided in and by the Reformed Church of Quebec (ERQ);
- 4.2 To mandate the Committee for Contact with Churches in North America (CCCNA) to continue the relationship of Ecclesiastical Fellowship (EF) with the ERQ under the adopted rules;
- 4.3 To involve the fraternal delegates in discussions at synods in such a way as to honour the sister-to-sister-church relationship;
- 4.4 To encourage the churches to support the ERQ prayerfully and financially in their missionary endeavours and special projects.