GS 2022 art 157

GS 2022 Article 157 – CNSF (Committee for the Needy Students’ Fund)

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Report from the Committee for the Needy Students’ Fund, the Grassie-Covenant CanRC (
  • 1.2    Letters from: Willoughby Heights (; Calgary (

2.   Admissibility

  • 2.1    The submissions were declared admissible.

3.   Decisions

Synod decided:

  • 3.1    To thank the Grassie-Covenant CanRC for its work as the Committee for the Needy Students’ Fund (CNSF);
  • 3.2    To discharge the CNSF for the duties completed during the period 1 January 2018 through 31 December 2020;
  • 3.3    To reappoint Grassie-Covenant as the CNSF to look after extending financial aid to those students of theology who are in need of it;
    • 3.3.1   If Grassie-Covenant should decide to not take on the charitable activity of the CNSF, to direct Grassie-Covenant to find an alternate church to take on these activities;
  • 3.4    To instruct the CNSF to seek advice, to determine what is required to ensure that they remain in compliance with the Income Tax Act (ITA) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) (cf. GS 2019 Art. 100 Rec. 4.3);
  • 3.5    To instruct the CNSF to determine if in “owning the activity of the CNSF” it remains in compliance with CO Art. 20 & 75 (cf. GS 2019 Art. 100 Cons. 3.6);
  • 3.6    To forward the letters from Willoughby Heights and Calgary to the CNSF for its consideration ( &;
  • 3.7    To provide GS 2025 with recommendations, supported by clear grounds, for any changes to the bylaws of the CNSF, which must be made in order to be in compliance with the ITA and the CRA, as well as with CO Art. 20 & 75;
  • 3.8    Not to adopt either of the optional recommendations made by the CNSF in its report;
  • 3.9    To mandate the CNSF:
    • 3.9.1   To assess the churches annually as per the number of communicant members in the current Yearbook based on the anticipated funding for the new year ahead;
    • 3.9.2   To report annually to each church of the federation on its activities, and to report triennially to each general synod on the same and to include appropriate recommendations in its report to General Synod.

4.   Grounds

  • 4.1    Re 3.4 & 3.5: GS 2022 does not have the legal and accounting competence to judge Grassie-Covenant’s opinion that to be in compliance with the ITA and the CRA, Grassie-Covenant must own the activity of the CNSF.
  • 4.2    Re 3.5: CO Art. 20 states that “the churches…[shall] extend financial aid to [students of theology] who are in need of it.”  As the churches have decided to do this via the route of general synod, CO Art. 75 becomes relevant.  When a general synod passes property of the churches in common into the hands of an individual church serving as a committee to general synod, it [i.e. general synod] still retains “ownership of the activity.”  Clarity is needed about whether this causes the CNSF to fall out of compliance with the ITA and the CRA.
  • 4.3    Re 3.6: The letters from Willoughby Heights and Calgary raise concerns which ought to be interacted with.  Those concerns are best expressed in their own words.
  • 4.4    Re 3.7: In order to make decisions about legal matters, a general synod requires clarity.
  • 4.5    Re 3.8: GS 2022 was unclear about what was being recommended, and what the purpose of the recommendations was.