ARTICLE 32: Credentials

Delegates to the major assemblies shall bring with them their credentials, signed by those sending them; they shall have a vote in all matters except those in which either they themselves or their churches are particularly involved.

Texts of Implementation
Texts of Application
Defining "particularly involved"

GS 2019 – Article 39 – Voting

The chairman presented the following as a ruling of the chair in relation to voting:

A delegate should abstain if:

  1. a matter particularly involves his person or his church (CO Art. 32);
  2. a matter pertains to the Board of Governors and he is a member of the Board (on account of his legal context);
  3. a matter pertains to the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise and he is a member of the Committee (on account of his legal context);

A delegate has freedom to vote or abstain but is encouraged to keep the spirit of CO Art. 32 in mind when:

  1. he was a member of a minor assembly which previously decided regarding a matter being appealed;

A delegate has freedom to vote even though:

  1. he was a member of a committee reporting to synod (e.g. CRCA, CNSF).

A simple majority constitutes more than half of the votes cast, not counting the abstentions.

GS 2016 – Article 94

5. Recommendation

That Synod decide:

5.1    To send the above considerations as an answer to the appeal of Hamilton-Providence.

ADOPTED with delegates involved in judging this matter at previous assemblies abstaining.

GS 2016 – article 42

A point of order was raised to discuss the executive’s instruction on the application of CO 32 (see GS 2016 Art. 27). The executive’s instruction was considered worded too strongly. The instruction was retracted. Members were advised to keep the spirit of CO 32 in mind in voting.

GS 2016 – article 27

As there had been some confusion on the floor of synod over the application of CO 32, the chairman indicated delegates could vote as follows.

– Appeals: if a synod member has been involved in the judging of a certain appeal at a minor assembly, he is advised not to vote when an appeal on the same matter is dealt with by synod.

– Committees: if a synod member is a member of the Board of Governors or the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise, their legal context prevents them from voting. Members of other committees (e.g. CRCA, CCCNA, CNSF) are free to vote in matters pertaining to the committee of which they are part.

Recording voting

GS 2019 – Article 20 – Motion on Voting

The following was moved by Elder A. Witten and seconded by the Rev. C.J. VanderVelde:

To add to the Guidelines for General Synod as “I.4 – voting”:

The tabulation of votes of decisions made in open plenary sessions – upon request by two delegates at general synod – may be recorded.

Following discussion the motion was


Texts of Commentary