GS 2019 art 112

GS 2019 Article 112 – HRC (Heritage Reformed Congregations)

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Report of the Committee for Contact with Churches in North America (CCCNA) regarding the Heritage Reformed Congregations (HRC) (
  • 1.2    Letters from the following churches: Lincoln-Vineyard (, Toronto-Bethel (, Attercliffe (

2.   Observations

  • 2.1    GS 2016 (Art. 49) decided concerning the CCCNA:
    • [4.1.2] To investigate diligently all the requests received for entering into EF in North America;
    • [4.1.3] To respond, if possible and feasible, to specific requests to attend assemblies, synods, or meetings of other churches in North America;
    • [4.1.4] To report on its findings with suitable recommendations to the next general synod and to present to the churches a report of its work six months prior to the convening of next general synod.
  • 2.2.   The CanRC do not have EF with the HRC, but both are members of NAPARC.
  • 2.3    In 2016, two committee members attended the General Synod of the HRC and brought greetings on behalf of the churches. The committee met with the HRC Church Correspondence Committee in November 2016.
  • 2.4    In 2017, the committee received a notice from the HRC Church Correspondence Committee that their General Synod had instructed them to “contact the Canadian Reformed Churches to discuss the possibility of entering into official ecclesiastical fellowship” with the CanRC at their Level One Correspondence (Informal Contact):
    • 1.    This informal level allows relationships to develop with like-minded churches or denominations without requiring a formal tie. This level includes only informal communication with various churches and denominations around us, both in our local community as well as beyond.
    • 2.    There is no obligation or commitment except for us to witness the Reformed Biblical truth to them.
    • 3.    Meetings with their representatives are to be held by the Church Correspondence Committee in order to determine if there is sufficient ground to bring a request before Synod that this denomination/congregation ought to be considered eligible to move to the second level of correspondence. Synod must approve of this request before any other level of correspondence can be carried out. These meetings would seek to determine the doctrinal position of the denomination or congregation and whether or not they uphold the Three Forms of Unity and/or the Westminster Standards.
  • 2.5    A meeting was held in November, 2017, in which their Synod’s instruction was discussed, and how we can at this stage cooperate in promoting the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. Further discussion was planned at the NAPARC meeting in November, 2018.
  • 2.6    In 2018, a committee member attended the General Synod of the HRC and brought greetings on behalf of the CanRC.
  • 2.7    The committee recommends that the CanRC accept the HRC’s invitation to enter Level One relationship with them.
  • 2.8    Lincoln-Vineyard is “fully supportive” of entering into a Level One relationship with the HRC.
  • 2.9    The Councils of Toronto-Bethel and the Aurora Heritage Reformed Churches had a “positive and fruitful” meeting in January 2019 to become more familiar with each other, and agreed to a follow-up meeting.
  • 2.10  Attercliffe agrees with the committee’s recommendation to enter a Level One relationship with the HRC.

3.   Considerations

  • 3.1    The committee has been diligent in completing its mandate.
  • 3.2    Engaging in contact and dialogue with the Heritage Reformed Church (HRC) is equivalent to HRC’s Level One correspondence.
  • 3.3    On the basis of the CCCNA report and the input from the churches it would seem right to accept the offer of a Level One relationship of the HRC.

4.   Recommendations

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1    To accept the invitation of the Heritage Reformed Congregations (HRC) to enter into their Level One correspondence;
  • 4.2   To mandate the Committee for Contact with Churches in North America (CCCNA):
    • 4.2.1    To explore further what we have in common with the HRC and to assess if and when a decision can be made regarding Ecclesiastical Fellowship (EF) with this church;
    • 4.2.2    To keep the churches with which EF has already been established informed of our relationship with the HRC and consult with them concerning the HRC;
    • 4.2.3    To submit its report to the churches 5 months prior to the convening of next general synod.