GS 2019 art 148

GS 2019 Article 148 – FRCNA (Free Reformed Churches in North America)

1.   Material

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

2.   Observations

  • 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.   Considerations

  • 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.

4.   Recommendations

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.