08 Jul GS 2019 art 148
GS 2019 Article 148 – FRCNA (Free Reformed Churches in North America)
- 1.1 Report of the Committee for Contact with Churches in North America (CCCNA) regarding the Free Reformed Churches in North America (FRCNA) (188.8.131.52).
- 1.2 Letters from the following churches: Lincoln -Vineyard (184.108.40.206), Attercliffe (220.127.116.11)
- 2.1 GS 2016 (Art. 49) gave a general mandate to the committee of 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 the next general.
- 2.2 The CanRC does not have EF with the FRCNA but is a member of NAPARC together with these churches.
- 2.3 The CanRC and FRCNA had official interaction at the federative level from 1998-2008. In response to certain concerns of the FRCNA, in 2007 the CanRC chose to cease pursuing discussions with the FRCNA until such a time as they requested resumption of contact. In 2008 there was a brief resumption but since that time there has been no contact until 2017.
- 2.3.1 GS 1998 (Art. 98) decided to take up contact with the FRCNA and initiate fraternal dialogue with the FRCNA with a view towards establishing federative unity.
- 2.3.2 GS 2001 (Art. 92) decided to acknowledge that the FRCNA has received the CanRC into a stage of “limited contact” according to the FRNCA unity guidelines at their recent Synod, and to continue dialogue with a view to promoting federative unity, discussing whatever obstacles there may be on this path.
- 2.3.3 GS 2004 (Art. 85) decided to continue meeting with a view to EF, while at the same time promoting and maintaining the desire for federative unity, and to discuss whatever obstacles there may be on this path.
- 2.3.4 GS 2007 (Art. 105) decided to cease from pursuing discussions with the FRCNA. A letter from the FRCNA dated November 10, 2005, listed the following reasons for a reluctance to meet: 1) “the ongoing discussions and movement of the CanRC towards union with the URCNA” 2) “our meetings are too much top down.”
- 2.3.5 GS 2010 (Art. 30) decided to utilize NAPARC to meet the FRCNA and to conclude regretfully at this time to have no formal ecclesiastical relations with the FRNCA.
- 2.4 There was an informal meeting at the ICRC 2017 between FRCNA delegates and CanRC delegates of the CRCA and CCCNA. The committee also held a meeting with the FRCNA at NARPAC 2017.
- 2.5 With our joint membership in both the ICRC and NAPARC, there was an opportunity to renew acquaintances with the FRCNA’s external relations committee.
- 2.6 During the meeting on November 15, 2017, the following was discussed:
- a) The reasons for the pause in our relationships over the past decade.
- b) The perception of one another when it comes to the topics of experiential preaching, the regeneration of infants, and what it means that children are sanctified in Christ.
- c) The mutual desire on the part of the respective committee members to resume contact and under the Lord’s blessing to have a relationship between our two federations grow without the pressure of speaking about federative unity.
- 2.7 General Synod 2018 of the FRCNA decided to resume relationship with the CanRC at the FRCNA Level One correspondence. According to their rules, “Level 1 – Limited Contact” involves the following:
- 1. sending a delegate(s) to attend each other’s Synods (or equivalent). Visiting delegates attending our Synod may be asked for advice;
- 2. exchanging copies of the Acts of Synod (or equivalent)
- 3. offering spiritual support. This may include:
- a. calling attention to each other’s spiritual and ecclesiastical problems with mutual efforts toward Scriptural solutions;
- b. warning each other of spiritual dangers which arise and which spread and begin to dominate the church of Christ;
- c. correcting each other in love regarding any slackening in connection with the confession or practice of “the faith once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3);
- 4. co-operative activity in areas of common concern. For example: offering material support and co-operation or consultation with regard to mission work, theological education, etc.
- 3.1 The committee has been diligent in completing their mandate.
- 3.2 Engaging in contact and dialogue with the Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA) is equivalent to FRCNA’s Level One correspondence.
- 3.3 On the basis of the CCCNA report and the input from the churches, with gratitude to the Lord, it is right to accept the offer of a Level One relationship of the FRCNA.
That Synod decide:
- 4.1 To accept the invitation of the Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA) 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 keep the churches with which EF has already been established informed of our relationship with the FRCNA and consult with them concerning the FRCNA.
- 4.2.2 To submit its report to the churches 5 months prior to the convening of next general synod.