GS 2019 art 128

GS 2019 Article 128 – CRCA (Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad) – general

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Report of the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA) (
  • 1.2    Letters from the following churches: Burlington-Rehoboth (, Attercliffe (

2.   Observations

  • 2.1    The Committee on relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA) completed its mandate with the involvement of seven individuals and one mission board: Rev. J. de Gelder (New Zealand), Rev. Dr. A. deVisser (South Africa), br. J. Lee (Korea), br. J. Vanderstoep (Scotland), br. H. Ludwig (Brazil), Rev. A.J. Pol (Indonesia), and Rev. H. Versteeg (Indonesia), Smithville CanRC Timor Mission Board.
  • 2.2    Br. J. VanLaar has served the CRCA for nine years.
  • 2.3    Correspondence was received by churches that were not included in the CRCA’s mandate: Independent Evangelical-Reformed Church (Germany), Reformed Presbyterian Church of Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary & area).
  • 2.4    GS 2013 (Art. 81, Cons. 3) suggests that proposals for relationships with the CanRC must come via our minor assemblies (referring to GS 1998, Art. 98, Cons. III.A). The CRCA observes that our way of receiving and processing requests for relationships is rather puzzling to churches abroad.
  • 2.5    With The Netherlands returning to the responsibility of the CRCA, the workload of the CRCA will increase.
  • 2.6    The CRCA requests access to submissions from CanRC in response to CRCA reports to synods because they find it helpful to know the thinking of the churches.
  • 2.7    Burlington-Rehoboth does not agree to send submissions from CanRCs in response to reports to synods. It contends if these letters are passed on to the committee, they could begin to live a life of there own and the CRCA will start its work on ideas from the churches with which Synod did not agree. Burlington-Rehoboth also contends that letters from the churches addressing matters pertaining to the CRCA are addressed to Synod, not the committee.

3.   Considerations

  • 3.1    The CRCA has diligently carried out its mandate.
  • 3.2    The logical point of contact with the CanRC for a church abroad is often the CRCA, not a local CanRC.
  • 3.3    If a foreign church contacts the CanRC through the CRCA, it is proper for the CRCA to respond.
  • 3.4    It is improper for the CRCA to proceed towards intensifying this contact towards Ecclesiastical Fellowship without having an explicit mandate from the churches via synod to do so.
  • 3.5    In view of the increased workload it is advisable to increase the CRCA from 6 to 7 members, as the 4-member CRCA-SRN has been dissolved.
  • 3.6    It can be beneficial to the CRCA to have access after Synod to the responses from the churches to their report addressed to Synod in order to better understand particular points made.

4.   Recommendations

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1    To thank the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA) and those who assisted the committee in its work.
  • 4.2    To thank br. J. VanLaar for his work and release him from the committee.;
  • 4.3    To expand the CRCA to seven members.
  • 4.4    To give the CRCA approval to request relevant documentation per Consideration 3.6 from the church responsible for the archives of general synods.
  • 4.5    To mandate the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA):
    • 4.5.1    To continue its contact with the churches abroad that synod has approved;
    • 4.5.2    To report on any contact received from a church that seeks contact with the CanRC;
    • 4.5.3    To appoint one of its members to validate and submit to the treasurer of the General Fund all expenses being submitted for committee work;
    • 4.5.4    To submit its report to the churches 6 months prior to the convening of the next general synod.