GS 2019 art 102

GS 2019 Article 102 – IRCK (Independent Reformed Church in Korea)

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Report of the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA) regarding the Independent Reformed Church in Korea (IRCK) (
  • 1.2    Letters from the following churches: Smithville (, Hamilton-Cornerstone (

2.   Observations

  • 2.1    GS 2016 (Art. 107) decided:
    • [4.1]    To encourage the CRCA to continue contact with the IRCK where possible.
  • 2.2    The Rev. S.C. Van Dam and br. Jerome Lee (elder in the Surrey-Maranatha CanRC), for whom Korean is his native language, visited the IRCK Theological Academy in Anyang (greater Seoul area). At the invitation of the Rev. Heon Soo Kim, he gave a lecture on the theme of father in the early chapters of Jeremiah. This was well received and led to upbuilding conversation and fellowship.
  • 2.3    The Rev. Kim indicated that the IRCK is not seeking EF with the CanRC due to a shortage of manpower on their side.
  • 2.4    The IRCK is actively involved in publishing reformed materials, including translations of CanRC authors (e.g.: Dr. Van Dam’s book The Elder).
  • 2.5    A student of the CRTS (Daniel Shin) is giving guest lectures at the IRCK Theological Academy.
  • 2.6    Smithville notes that while the IRCK 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 IRCK where possible”.
  • 2.7    Hamilton-Cornerstone suggests that the CRCA’s recommendation “to end official contact” is based on incomplete information:
    • 2.7.1    In recent years several professors of CRTS Hamilton have given guest lectures at the Theological Academy (TA) of the IRCK in Seoul (Drs. Van Dam, De Visser, Van Vliet).
    • 2.7.2    There is a Memorandum of Understanding between CRTS Hamilton and the TA Seoul that is intended to facilitate exchange of students and lecturers. Further, two students (Sungmin Hong, Jaeyong Jung) of the TA Seoul are currently studying at CRTS Hamilton, and with their families, are members of the Hamilton-Cornerstone CanRC.
    • 2.7.3    The Rev. Heon Soo Kim (Principal of the TA Seoul) intends to send more students to CRTS Hamilton in the future.

Hamilton-Cornerstone, therefore, requests Synod to mandate the CRCA “to continue some form of contact with the IRCK.”

3.   Considerations

  • 3.1    The committee has completed its mandate with respect to the Independent Reformed Church of Korea (IRCK).
  • 3.2    It is clear that the IRCK values contact with the CanRC, evident from the invitations over the years to CanRC ministers and professors to give lectures at the IRCK Theological Academy, books by CanRC authors have been translated into Korean and published by their publishing house (Sungyak (Holy Covenant) Press), and the presence of Korean students at the CRTS.
  • 3.3    For practical reasons, the IRCK is not seeking EF with the CanRC. While it is edifying to have contact with the IRCK, it is not necessary to maintain this on an official level.

4.   Recommendations

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

  • 4.1    To continue contact with the Independent Reformed Church of Korea (IRCK) 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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