GS 2019 art 147

GS 2019 Article 147 – GGRI-T (Reformed Churches in Indonesia – Timor)

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Report of the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA) regarding the Reformed Churches in Indonesia-Timor (GGRI-T) (
  • 1.2    Letter from the following church: Smithville (

2.   Observations

  • 2.1    The Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA) included in its report to GS 2019 that in a letter dd April 9, 2018, Smithville CanRC requested the CRCA to investigate the fledgling federation of churches newly formed on the island of Timor in Indonesia “with a view to establishing a sister church relation with them.”  This new federation of nine churches is the fruit the Lord has granted on the labors of Smithville’s missionary, the Rev. E. Dethan. This new federation has called itself “Gereja-Gereja Reformasi di Indonesia – Timor” (GGRI-T) because it intends to apply to the next Synod of the national GGRI to become part of that federation of churches.
  • 2.2    Previous CanRC synods have indicated that requests for new relationships should come to the attention of the General Synod after having followed the ecclesiastical route (see GS 2007 Art. 160 Cons. 3.3; GS 2013 Art. 81 Cons. 3.1 & Rec. 4; GS 2013 Art. 175 Cons. 3.2).
  • 2.3    In her letter to GS 2019, Smithville “formally requests GS 2019 to investigate the GGRI-T with a view to establishing ecclesiastical fellowship with them.”  As grounds for the request Smithville reiterates what the CRCA has written to Synod: the GGRI-T “are in a sense daughters of the CanRC and receive direct assistance from some CanRC through mission work. It is appropriate for the CanRC to establish closer ties with the GGRI-Timor.”
  • 2.4    The CanRC have had a relation of Ecclesiastical Fellowship with the national GGRI since 2010.

3.   Considerations

  • 3.1    The request to “investigate” the GGRI-T with a view to establishing a sister church relation with them did not come to the attention of this GS via the ecclesiastical route.
  • 3.2    As the GGRI-T is the fruit of mission work by Canadian Reformed Churches, we may be confident that our sister churches, the GGRI, will accept them (be it perhaps via a process) in an application to join their federation.
  • 3.3    As the churches known today as the GGRI-T were forming and finding their way into a federation, they have been looking to the Smithville CanRC for a measure of guidance. Now that they are newly federated, they continue to look for encouragement and support from Smithville and those with whom Smithville belongs. The CRCA has experience and resources from which the GGRI-T could benefit.

4.   Recommendations

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1    To instruct the Committee on Relations with Churches Abroad (CRCA):
    • 4.1.1    To provide assistance to the GGRI-T in its effort to join the GGRI;
    • 4.1.2    In conjunction with Smithville to offer any other assistance within the normal ambit of CRCA work that the GGRI-T would need.
  • 4.2    To send this decision to the Smithville CanRC as Synod’s answer to their request.


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