GS 2019 art 101

GS 2019 Article 101 – RCK (Reformed Churches in Korea)

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Report of the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA) regarding the Reformed Churches in Korea (RCK) (
  • 1.2    Letters from the following: the Smithville CanRC (, the RCK (, the CRCA (

2.   Observations

  • 2.1    GS 2016 (Art. 106) decided:
    • [4.1] To encourage the CRCA to continue contact with the RCK where possible.
  • 2.2    The Rev. S.C. VanDam and br. Jerome Lee (elder in the Surrey-Maranatha CanRC), for whom Korean is his native language, met with representatives of the RCK at the Korean Theological Seminary in Cheonan in September 2017. Rev. VanDam gave a lecture on the early chapters of Jeremiah, after which an edifying interchange occurred.
  • 2.3    A CRTS graduate (Sungwoon Yoon) accepted a call to a RCK congregation (Gwangju Reformed Church).
  • 2.4    There has been no reconciliation between the RCK and KPCK.
  • 2.5    In 2015, one congregation led by Rev. Dong Sup Song was suspended from the federation; it is unclear exactly what the difficulty was.
  • 2.6    Since 2008, the number of congregations in the RCK has decreased from eight to two; the reasons for this are unclear.
  • 2.7    Smithville notes that while the RCK does not have the resources to continue official contact with the CanRC, the CanRC has been blessed with resources to maintain contact with these churches, even though they may be unable to reciprocate. Smithville encourages Synod “to renew the mandate to the CRCA to continue contact with the RCK where possible”.
  • 2.8    Rev. Sungwon Yoon, member of the RCK’s Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad, wrote a letter correcting some errors in the CRCA report:
    • 2.8.1    Concerning church government, “From the beginning, we followed the revised Dort Church Order and never have followed Episcopalianism in our federation. Due to our small number, we don’t have a General Synod, but we have regular Classis to deal with church matters.”
    • 2.8.2    Concerning the lack of reconciliation between the RCK and KPCK, “They [the CRCA] wrote that our federation originated mainly from difficulties with the KPCK, and presumed that we are separated from that church. But that’s not true. When we established our federation, there were five churches and of those five only one minister and few members had a KPCK background. Most of the ministers and members have different backgrounds, not KPCK. So, we are not mainly from the KPCK.”
    • 2.8.3    Concerning the number of churches, “They reported our churches decreased from 8 to 2 churches. It’s true that now we have only two churches, but as I mentioned when we established our federation, there were five churches. And we have never been above that number. Also it’s true that one church left our federation. But in other cases, other ministers asked their consistories for release from office and the consistories accepted their requests. After that, members of those churches joined existing RCK churches near them. Also there was one minister who retired because of age, and after that its members also joined the nearest RCK church. So their report can cause confusion about our situations.”
  • 2.9    The CRCA replied to the RCK’s committee, apologizing for the errors and indicating that the CanRC have taken note of the corrections.

3.   Considerations

  • 3.1    The committee has completed its mandate with respect to the RCK.
  • 3.2    It is of concern that reconciliation with the KPCK has not been reached.
  • 3.3    Although there are only two congregations left in the RCK, we may still be a source of encouragement to them, perhaps when delegates travel to Korea.

4.   Recommendations

That Synod decide to mandate the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA):

  • 4.1    To continue contact with the Reformed Churches in Korea (RCK) where possible;
  • 4.2    To submit its report to the churches 6 months prior to the convening of the next general synod.


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