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The final (published) version of the Acts of Synod 2006 is available as a single PDF file here.
The Acts available in HTML format are an "Approved Draft", and contain spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and typos.
These draft acts are being retained online for convenience and ease of access. Quotes should not be taken from these draft acts.
 
Tuesday 11th July 2006 - Morning Session


Article 7 - Re-Opening

The Chairman, Rev Veldman, invites those present Psalm 33:1, 3 and 6 and reads from Psalm 33, highlighting that "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."


Article 8 - Time Schedules

Synod adopts the following time schedule:

Monday to Fridays: 9.00am to 10.30am
Break
10.45am to 12.00pm
Lunch
1.30pm to 3.00pm
Break
3.15pm to 5.00pm
Dinner
Evening Sessions: 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Saturday Sessions: 9.00am to 12.00pm (No Lunch)


Article 9 - Adoption of Agenda
  1. Opening by the Convening Church West Kelmscott
  2. Signing of Attendance List and Examination of Credentials
  3. Election of Officers
  4. Constitution of Synod
  5. Delegates' agreement with the Three Forms of Unity
  6. Adoption of Agenda
  7. Adoption of Meeting Procedure
  8. Incoming Correspondence:
    a. Letter FRC Byford Appeal re Articles 149 and 150 (CS) Acts 2003
    b. Letter FRC West Albany Appeal re Article 78 Acts 2003
    c. Letter FRC West Kelmscott Appeal re Articles 132,153,155,156,160 Acts 2003
    d. Letter FRC West Kelmscott Appeal re Article 140 Acts 2003
    e. Letter Classis South re Indexing Synod Decisions
    f. Letter FRC West Kelmscott Appeal re Article 88 Acts 2003
    g. Letter FRC Kelmscott Appeal re Article 140 Acts 2003
    h. Letter FRC Byford Appeal re Articles 132,153,155,160 Acts 2003
    i. Letter FRC Legana Appeal re Article 67 Acts 1985
    j. Letter FRC Darling Downs Appeal re Articles 44,62,67,68,69,72 Acts 2003
    k. Letter Br G Spaanderman, Albany Appeal re Article 120 Acts 2003
    l. i. Letter FRC Byford Appeal re Article 106 Acts 1998
        ii. Report Re: Lanka Reformed Church (Byford)
        iii. Supplementary Reports FRC Byford re Lanka
    m. Letter Br P 'tHart Appeal Classis South 10/03/06
    n. Letter Br P 'tHart Appeal Article 72 Acts 2003
    o. Letter Br P 'tHart Appeal Article 132,153,155,156,160 Acts 2003
    p. Letter FRC Mt Nasura Appeal Article 132,153,155,156,160 Acts 2003
    q. Letter FRC Mt Nasura Appeal Article 14 Acts 2003
    r. Letter FRC Mt Nasura Appeal Article 138 Acts 2003
    s. Letter FRC Mt Nasura Appeal Article 140 Acts 2003
    t. Letter FRC Mt Nasura Appeal Article 128,152,166 Acts 2003
    u. Letter Brs Reitsema/VanBurgel Appeal Article 132,153,155,156,160 Acts 2003
    v. Letter FRC West Albany re: Deputies Expenditures
    w. Letter FRC Legana Appeal re: Forgiveness of sins Acts 2003
    x. Letter FRC Kelmscott re: Reports Relations with Sister Churches
    y. Letter FRC Rockingham re: Forgiveness of sins Acts Synod 2003
    z. Letter re: Appeal decisions Classis North
    aa. Letter re: Appeal Classis North Oct 2004
    bb. Letter re: Appeal FRCK and Art 146 Acts 2003
    cc. Letter FRC Byford re Deputies Report PCEA
    dd. Letter FRC Byford re Deputies Report Korea
  9. Instructions
  10. Reports Classis North:
    1. Credentials Delegates to Synod
    2. Overture, request clarification Article 30 CO
    3. Overture, from FRC Mount Nasura dated 17 June 2003
    4. Overture, re relations with Reformed Churches Netherlands
  11. Reports Classis South:
    1. Credentials Delegates to Synod
    2. Overture re change the name of the FRCA to ARC
  12. Deputies' Reports
    1. Report Deputies Nominating Authorities Marriage Act 1961
    2. Report Deputies for Contact with the PCEA
    3. Report Deputies for Church Order and Ecclesiastical Documents
    4. Report Deputies Australian Book of Praise
    5. Report Deputies for Training for the Ministry
    6. Report Deputies Relations:
      1. Indonesian/Philippines Churches(see also 12.1 )
      2. Presbyterian Churches of Eastern Australia
      3. Reformed Churches New Zealand
      4. Relations with Sister Churches:
        • Canadian Reformed Churches
        • Presbyterian Church of Korea
        • Free Reformed Churches of South Africa
        • De Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands
        • Supplementary report from Deputies Sister Churches
      5. Letter to Deputies De Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Liberated)
      6. Letter to Deputies De Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Restored)
    7. Report Deputies Relations with other Churches
    8.     i. Report Deputies Article 48 and 76 Church Order
          ii. Report Deputies Art 48 CO (Br Jacob)
    9. Report Deputies Relations with Sister Churches(Indonesia/Philippines)
    10. Report Deputies to Investigate a Second Appeal Court
    11. Report Synod Treasurer
    12. Report on Archives and Library of Synod and Audit
  13. Audits:
    1. Audit of the books of the Synod Treasurer and discharge of the Treasurer
    2. Audit of the Books of the Training for the Ministry (Hamilton)
    3. Audit of the Books for Needy Students and Library Funds
  14. Draft Budget and Calculation and sharing of Synod costs
  15. Appointment of Deputies
  16. Appointment of Convening Church, and place and time of next Synod
  17. Personal questions
  18. Adoption of Acts
  19. Approval of Press Release
  20. Censure according to Article 47 of the Church Order
  21. Closing of Synod
ADOPTED


Article 10 - Homepage on Internet

A proposal from the executive to place Acts of Synod also on the Internet is adopted, on the proviso that the matters of personal nature are excluded. Also in matters relating to other churches, discretion will be used.


Article 11 - Welcome to Overseas Visitors

The delegates from the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Restored) are accorded privileges in accordance with Rule 6.2 of the Rules for Synods as per delegates from churches with temporary ecclesiastical contact.

These two delegates, Br P Drijfhout and Br J Houweling are invited to be seated at the table.

The Chairman reads the letter sent by our Deputies (for Relations with Sister Churches) to the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Restored).


Article 12 - Credentials

The Chairman reads out the credentials from the Gereja-Gereja Reformasi Di Indonesia Propinsi Nusa Tenggara Timur (GGRI-NTT) for Rev Umbu Hapu Pariamalinya (Rev Yan), from the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (GKN) for Rev J Plug and Rev P Niemeijer, and from Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Restored) (GKNr) for Br P Drijfhout and Br J Houweling.

Credentials are also received for Professor Yoo, Hae-Moo and Rev Jun, Tae from the Kosin Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK).

All these delegates rise to express their agreement with the Three Forms of Unity.

A letter of greeting from Reformed Church of New Zealand is read out. They will not be sending a delegate.


Article 13 - Synod advisors

Rev J Poppe and Rev J VanderJagt are invited to be advisors of Synod, particularly in view of the fact that this is the first time in the history of our churches that some ministers in the bond were not delegated to Synod.


Article 14 - Advisory Committees

Two advisory committees will be formed to put forward a recommendation regarding some appeals.

Committee A:

Reverend R Eikelboom (convener)
Elder H Hamelink
Elder P Witten
Elder M Bruning

For items: 8a, 8d, 8g, 8s, 8r
Committee B:

Reverend E Rupke (convener)
Elder W Amoraal
Reverend J Smith
Elder J Numan

For items: 8t, 8z, 8aa, 8bb


Article 15 - Reports of Deputies Article 48 and 76 CO

I. Material:

Agenda Item 12h:
Report Deputies Art 48 and 76 CO for Classis South
Report Deputies Art 48 and 76 CO for Classis North


II. Reports:
  1. i. Rev deBoer and Rev Veldman, as Deputies Art 48 and 76 CO report on the concurring advice they gave regarding the colloquium held by Classis South for Rev E Rupke and the examinations of Rev I Wildeboer and Rev J Smith.

  2. Rev VanderJagt and Rev Huizinga as Deputies Art 48 and 76 CO, report on the concurring advice they gave to Classis North regarding the special examination (ad art 6.A) of br Jacob, so that he could be ordained as missionary for the work in India, in Chennai and Karennai.
NOTED AND ACCEPTED


Article 16 - Appeal from West Kelmscott re Art 88 Synod Rockingham 2003

I. Material:

Agenda Item 8f Letter FRC West Kelmscott Appeal re Art 88 Acts 2003

II. Appeal:
  1. to rescind article 88 of the Acts of Synod Rockingham 2003;
    and
  2. to instruct deputies to forward the collected money thus far to the library fund of the Hamilton Theological College.
Grounds:
  1. The Australian Churches have supported the Hamilton College for many years. That support consists of:

    1. financial support in the order of $40 per communicant member; and

    2. sending students from our churches to Hamilton to study

    Synod 2003 concedes that "It is good to continue our contributions for the Theological College in Hamilton. They indeed appreciate our support and in a way depend on it." page 56 Synod Acts 2003. Therefore commencing our own theological training in Australia or the commencement of a possible library contradicts the above statement.

  2. We would do our Canadian Churches a great disservice if we were to withdraw that support from them by starting our own college. The Australian Churches contributed around $200 000 during the period Feb. 2000 to Feb. 2003.

  3. Prior to Synod Rockingham, the deputies have spent a considerable amount of time and effort investigating the long-term possibility of setting up theological training in Australia, including the possibility of starting a theological library. They have served Synod well by submitting a very comprehensive and detailed 13 page report on this aspect of their mandate (Appendix C of the Deputies report). The deputies have come to the conclusion NOT to propose to Synod to start theological training NOR commence a library. Under Recommendations to Synod Page 5 of their report, we read:

    "Deputies recommend that Synod decides to;

    1. Recognise that establishing an own seminary is out of reach for both the present time and the foreseeable future.

    2. Recognise that establishing a library should occur simultaneously with the establishment of a seminary."

    Deputies, having researched this aspect of their mandate thoroughly, have come to the conclusion that it is simply irresponsible. Doesn't the LORD teach us in the parable about the talents that we have to exercise good stewardship, also when it involved moneys collected by the churches?

    Deputies, considering the various aspect of a possible theological library such as purchasing of books, housing of the books, accessibility of the library etc., are unanimous in their conclusion that these issues are to be addressed along with the implementation and planning of a Theological College, rather than in isolation.
III. Admissibility:

DECLARED ADMISSIBLE

Grounds

This submission is from the churches and allowed by the Church Order.

DECLARED INADMISSIBLE

Grounds:

On the basis of Article 33 of Church Order "Matters once decided upon may not be proposed again unless they are substantiated by new grounds".


Article 17 - Training for the Ministry

I. Material:

Agenda item 12e Report Deputies for Training for the Ministry

II. Decision:

Deputies recommend that Synod decide to:
  1. Reconsider the amount and manner of collections for our own theological library and training.

  2. Request the churches to contribute A$50 per communicant member per annum for the maintenance of Hamilton as from 1 January 2007.

  3. Set aside $6,000 for the costs of a visit to Australia by a guest lecturer from Hamilton or Kampen, together with his wife.

  4. Set aside $3,500 for travelling and accommodation costs of a delegate of Deputies to attend a meeting of Hamilton's Board of Governors in September 2007.

  5. Discharge Deputies and to appoint new deputies with the mandate to:

    1. collect funds for "Hamilton" and forward them to the College;

    2. continue correspondence with both "Hamilton" and "Kampen" in order to maintain contact and obtain information;

    3. collect funds for our own theological library and theological training;

    4. continue to investigate the possibility to start up our own theological library and to do so if possible;

    5. ensure that relevant information is published concerning the training for the ministry, so that the churches understand the need to support the colleges and the training of the students;

    6. continue to arrange the support of theological students whenever required in accordance with Art 18 CO, and as agreed in Art 50 of Acts of Synod 1992 as amended by Art 56 of Acts of Synod 1994;

    7. make arrangements for a guest lecturer from "Hamilton" and "Kampen" once every three years;

    8. to be as closely involved in the work of the Board of Governors of Hamilton as practically possible.

    9. consider the practical implications of including the Australian churches in the Pastoral Training Program of the Hamilton College and, if considered feasible, advise the Australian Churches accordingly.
III. Ammendment 1:

Recommend that Recommendation 1 be replaced by the following:
  1. Request the churches to contribute $20 per communicant member per annum for our own theological library and training.
Grounds:
  1. replace collections with a levy because it must be left to the local churches to determine the causes for their collections;

  2. a levy is more demanding than a collection;

  3. a levy makes it easier to work with in terms of future planning and outlook.
DEFEATED

V. Ammendment 2:

Recommend that first part of recommendations be amended to read:

Discharge Deputies and to appoint new deputies, including a Minister of the Word, with the mandate to:

Grounds:
  1. Accept the recommendation of Deputies (2.3), Page 2 of Deputies report to Synod.
ADOPTED

VII Amended decision which includes the adopted Amendment 2
  1. To continue to request three full collections from the churches for our own theological library.

  2. Request the churches to contribute A$50 per communicant member per annum for theological training. Any expenses for theological training here in Australia will be taken out of this amount. The remainder goes to Hamilton.

  3. Set aside $3,500 for travelling and accommodation costs of a delegate of Deputies for Training for the Ministry to attend a meeting of Hamilton's Board of Governors in September 2007, combining it with a visit to the next Synod of the Canadian Reformed Church (this coordination means that this time a deputy for training for the ministry goes to Canada in both capacities and next time a deputy for sister churches attends in both capacities).

  4. Discharge Deputies and to appoint new deputies, including a Minister of the Word, with the mandate to:
    1. collect funds for "Hamilton" and forward them to the College;

    2. correspond with "Hamilton"; "South Africa"; "Kampen" and "Korea" in order to maintain contact and obtain information;

    3. collect funds for our own theological library and theological training;

    4. continue with our own theological library and to start obtaining basic materials;

    5. continue to investigate the possibility to start up our own theological training for the ministry, including the possibilities of theological training by extension (IT);

    6. ensure that relevant information is published concerning the training for the ministry, so that the churches understand the need to support the colleges and the training of the students;

    7. continue to arrange the support of theological students whenever required in accordance with Art 18 CO, and as agreed in Art 50 of Acts of Synod 1992 as amended by Art 56 of Acts of Synod 1994;

    8. make arrangements for a guest lecturer from one of the theological seminaries of our sister churches once every three years;

    9. to be as closely involved in the work of the Board of Governors of Hamilton as practically possible;

    10. consider the practical implications of including the Australian churches in the Pastoral Training Program of the Hamilton College and report to the Australian Churches.
ADOPTED


Article 18 - Appeal from Mount Nasura re Article 14 Synod Rockingham 2003

I. Material:

Agenda item 8q Letter FRC Mt Nasura Appeal Article 14 Acts 2003

II. Admissibility:

DECLARED ADMISSIBLE

Grounds:

This submission is from the churches and allowed by the Church Order.

III. Appeal:

The consistory of the Church of Mount Nasura finds the decision of Synod Rockingham 2003 in Article 14 to appoint an advisory committee which has authority to hear the appellants and those appealed against contrary to Reformed Polity as found in Articles 31 and 80 CO and as practised in the Free Reformed Churches. While realizing that this decision cannot be undone, we request that:

Synod recognize an error was made so that future synods do not appoint a committee with this kind of authority.

Grounds:
  1. Any appeal made to a synod, can, only be an appeal made against a decision of classis. After classis has finished its work, it no longer exists making it impossible for an advisory committee to hear those appealed against.

  2. The synod appointed committee in fact heard the consistory against whom the appeals originated while synod has no authority to impose such a committee on the consistory without that consistory's request (Art 80).

  3. No new matters may be added to the agenda of the major assembly and therefore the practice in Reformed Churches has always been that in a judicial matter the major assemblies only determines whether an aggrieved member has been wronged by a written decision of a minor assembly. The synod only hears the written objection(s) to the ecclesiastical decision.
IV. Decision:

Not to accede to this appeal.

Grounds:
  1. The use of committees and of hearing appellants and those appealed against is a biblical custom (confer Deut 1:16-18). It is not proved to be against Scripture and the Church Order.

  2. Though it is true that a classis cannot be consulted after it finishes its agenda, yet appeals often go back to submissions and appeals to consistories.

  3. Hearing all parties in an appeal case can help the cause of justice. Also, very often the context of a decision and of an appeal is important. Hearing all parties can help to understand this context. Limiting the consideration on appeals to written materials only, means that this context is less easily understood.

  4. No committee was imposed on consistories. All parties who wanted to be heard were offered this opportunity.

  5. It is true that new matters (which are not in the appeals or decisions) cannot be considered.
ADOPTED




last updated 25 Jul 2006
 
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