10 Feb GS 2004 art 76
GS 2004 Article 76 – CPEU re: The Church Order
Committee 2 again presented its proposal on the report of the CPEU re: the Church Order. The following was adopted:
- 1.1. Report of the CPEU re: the church order, including its supplementary report
- 1.2. Letter from the church at Lincoln
The letter from the church at Lincoln is admissible since it interacts with the report of the CPEU.
- 3.1. The committee received the following mandate from Synod Neerlandia:
- 3.1.1. To work closely with the committee re: church order appointed by the URCNA synod;
- 3.1.2. To evaluate the differences between the current church orders of the federations in the light of the scriptural and confessional principles and patterns of church government of the Church Order of Dort;
- 3.1.3. To propose a common church order in the line of the Church Order of Dort;
- 3.1.4. To keep the CPEU updated on the progress;
- 3.1.5. To provide the CPEU with a report in sufficient time for them to produce the comprehensive report for Synod in a timely fashion. (Acts of Synod Neerlandia 2001, Article 95, p. 107).
- 3.2. Over the past three years the committee was able to meet nine times as committee and four times as combined committees. Both committees could thankfully note the brotherly harmony in which they could work and that good progress could be made thus far.
- 3.3. Dr. J. De Jong was no longer able to fulfill his function within the committee due to health concerns, and was replaced by the committee with Dr. G. Nederveen.
- 3.4. The committees agreed to use Dort as a starting point for a proposed new church order and to compare it to the proposals from both sub-committees. This is reflective of the joint mandates to have a “common church order maintaining the principles, structure and essential provisions of the Church Order of Dort.”
- 3.5. Agreement was reached to include an extensive introduction to the Church Order, which introduces: 1. Biblical and Confessional Basis, 2. Historical Background, 3. Foundational Principles, and 4. Broad Divisions. As to the sequence of the articles, it was agreed to determine the proper sequence at a later time.
- 3.6. The committee requests, for the sake of continuity, to re-appoint the committee members and to include Dr. G. Nederveen as the fourth member.
- 3.7. The committee requests Synod to receive the reports and its appendices as a progress report and to instruct the churches to send their concerns directly to the committee for its consideration.
- 3.8. The committee requests Synod to mandate the combined committees to formulate a draft proposal of synod regulations.
- 3.9. The church at Lincoln is not convinced of the committee’s argumentation to remove Article 8 of the Church Order, regarding Exceptional Gifts.
- 4.1. Synod is thankful for the quality and thoroughness of the work that the committee has been able to complete, thus far, and for the brotherly harmony that has been experienced.
- 4.2. Synod receives the report and the appendices as the progress report of the committee’s work. The committee is to be commended for keeping the churches informed through the publication of its progress reports. As the committee continues to publish its activities, churches are encouraged to forward their suggestions directly to the committee for its consideration.
- 4.3. Synod recognizes Dr. J. De Jong for his outstanding contribution to the committee and accepts his request to be relieved of his appointment.
- 4.4. Synod agrees that it would be beneficial, for the sake of continuity, if the committee members remain as it currently stands.
- 4.5. Synod applauds the extensive introduction to the Church Order as presented by the committee, as it is beneficial for its proper understanding and significance within the church federations.
- 4.6. Since the functioning process of delegation to Synod is normally identified in a set of regulations of a general synod, Synod agrees that it would be prudent of the committee also to formulate a draft proposal of such synod regulations as part of its mandate.
- 4.7. The matter of Article 8 regarding Exceptional Gifts should be revisited prior to completion of the new church order. There may come a time in the future when, as churches, we will need to make use of such a provision in the church order. To re-introduce it at that time would be far more difficult. This addresses the concerns of the church at Lincoln.
- 5.1. To thank the Church Order Committee for its work.
- 5.2. To express its appreciation for the valuable contributions of Dr. J. De Jong to the work of the committee for a common church order.
- 5.3. To give the Church Order Committee the following mandate:
- 5.3.1. To continue to work closely with the committee re: church order appointed by the URCNA synod;
- 5.3.2. To continue in the evaluation of the differences between the current church orders of the federations in the light of the scriptural and confessional principles and patterns of church government of the Church Order of Dort;
- 5.3.3. To propose a common church order in the line of the Church Order of Dort;
- 5.3.4. To formulate a draft proposal of regulations for General Synod;
- 5.3.5. To keep the CPEU updated on the progress;
- 5.3.6. To provide the CPEU with a report in sufficient time for them to produce the comprehensive report for Synod in a timely fashion.
- 5.4. To instruct the churches to forward their suggestions and concerns directly to the committee for its consideration.