GS 2016 art 80

GS 2016 Article 80 – URCNA (United Reformed Churches in North America) – Committee for Church Unity – Subcommittee for the Church Order (CCU-SCO)

1. Material

  • 1.1    Report from the Subcommittee for the Church Order of the Committee for Church Unity (CCU-SCO) (also known as Proposed Joint Church Order (PJCO) Committee) (8.2.6)
  • 1.2    Letter from the following CanRC: Fergus-Maranatha (8.3.3.2)

2. Observations

  • 2.1    GS 2013 (Art. 149) gave the Subcommittee for the Church Order (SCO) of the Committee for Church Unity (CCU) the following mandate:
  • [4.6.1]   To make further changes to the Church Order and the Forms for Discipline in light of the letters received from the churches;
  • [4.6.2]   To finalize the synodical regulations.
  • 2.2    Synod-URCNA Visalia 2014 instructed its CCU-SCO to await further work on the PJCO until after the anticipated decision to enter Phase 3A. The grounds for this were that the work of the PJCO properly belongs to Phase 3A and we are not yet in Phase 3A with the CanRC. [Acts of Synod Visalia Article 69].
  • 2.3    Synod Visalia also urged the URNCA churches seriously to consider changes to the PJCO and bring the concerns by way of overtures to their classes.
  • 2.4    While gratefully acknowledging that Synod Visalia did not disband its PJCO Subcommittee, the CCU-SCO expresses disappointment and confusion with the decisions of Synod Visalia to “table indefinitely” the proposal to enter Phase 3A with the CanRC.
  • 2.5    The CCU-SCO responded to the directives from GS 2013 as well as interacted with the letters from the churches passed on to the committee by GS 2013 as shown in their report Attachments 1&2.
  • 2.6    The committee recommends that:
  • 2.6.1     Synod thank the committee for the work it has completed;
  • 2.6.2     Synod accept the report and recommendations as a response to the mandate given by GS 2013 and therefore also refrains from entertaining further changes to the PJCO at this time;
  • 2.6.3     Synod mandate the CCU coordinators to seek clarification from the Committee for Ecclesiastical Relations and Church Unity (CERCU) regarding the “tabled indefinitely” situation;
  • 2.6.4     Synod reappoint the committee (perhaps with an additional member for continuity down the road) and mandate it to resume its work as mandated by GS 2013 only if Synod-URCNA Wyoming 2016 pursues Phase 3A or mandates their joint CO committee to take up contact with us.

3. Considerations

  • 3.1    The CCU-SCO has fulfilled its mandate as best it could.
  • 3.2    The recommendations of the CCU-SCO to refrain from entertaining further changes to the PJCO at this time (2.6.2) make sense.
  • 3.3    The CCU Subcommittees are needed in the event that the URCNA decide to continue work towards Phase 3A.

4. Recommendations

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1    To accept the report and recommendations as a response to the mandate given by GS 2013 and therefore to refrain from entertaining further changes to the Proposed Joint Church Order (PJCO) at this time;
  • 4.2    To reappoint the Subcommittee for the Church Order of the Committee for Church Unity (CCU-SCO), with an additional member, to be available to work with a corresponding committee of the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA) should an upcoming URCNA Synod reappoint the corresponding committee;
  • 4.3    To mandate this committee to work with the corresponding committee to finalize the PJCO, the Forms of Discipline, and the Synodical Regulations.

ADOPTED