Free Reformed Churches of Australia
 FRCA navigation
. home
. synod
 
 Synod 2009
. synod 2009
. deputy reports
. acts of synod
 
The final (published) version of the Acts of Synod 2009 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.
 
Synod Legana 2009
Tuesday 16th June 2009 - Evening Session


Article 23 - Reopening

The chairman invites all present to sing Ps 1:1,2.


Article 24 - Training for the Ministry

The chairman proposes that synod thank Deputies for Training for the Ministry and the General Secretary for their work and discharge them.

ADOPTED


Article 24 - Book of Praise

I. Material:

8u - FRC Southern River Overture re Deputies for Australian Book of Praise report
8w - FRC Albany Overture re Deputies for Australian Book of Praise report
8z - FRC Launceston Overture re Deputies Australian Book of Praise report
8aa - FRC Armadale Overture re Deputies Australian Book of Praise report
10d - Classis South Overture re 28 Additional Hymns and Book Of Praise
12f - Report of Deputies for an Australian Book of Praise

II. Reommendations Deputies Report

Deputies propose the following:
  1. The 2006 version of the Canadian Book of Praise is taken as the common basis to start our Australian Book of Praise with the understanding that;
  2. changes agreed upon and approved by our previous Synods (form ordination for office bearers, Australian Church Order, removal of the word Christian from the Apostles Creed (also in Lord's Days 7 and 21), replacement of the Canadian Church Order with the Australian one) are incorporated by deputies into the 2006 Canadian version
  3. Synod 2009 adopt a new title for the Australia Book of Praise as per the stipulations of the Standing Committee Book of Praise (see Acts of Synod 2003, page 166), e.g. "Worship Book of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia" ("Worship Book" for short), or mandate deputies to select a title, perhaps soliciting feedback from the churches.
  4. a suitable preface be drafted by deputies in addition to the current preface, which should be retained because of its valuable background information. The new additional preface will explain the need for an Australian edition and include a statement that the Standing Committee Book of Praise of the CanRC has permitted the FRCA to use their material, as stipulated by the Standing Committee Book of Praise (see Acts of Synod 2003, page 166), as well as acknowledging the copyright permission of W. Helder.
  5. adjustments are made to the table of contents where necessary
  6. the introduction to the church order found on page 655 of the 2006 Book of Praise serve as introduction to the Australian church order, with the revision of the words "Canadian Reformed Churches" to "Free Reformed Churches of Australia. Also the words "Canadian Reformed Churches" in the introduction to the Belgic Confession on page 441 of the 2006 Book of Praise be changed to "Free Reformed Churches of Australia.
  7. the note at the bottom of page 435 of the 2006 Book of Praise be adjusted to refer to the Australia Book of Praise.
  8. printing of our Australian Book of Praise is approved at 2009 Synod without the need to come back to the next Synod first. (In the event that Synod does not adopt this recommendation, deputies request Synod to clarify whether or not the churches are permitted to use the interim edition of the Book of Praise with NIV prose section in case we run out of the current edition.)
  9. If any of the churches wishes to propose changes to the text of subsequent print runs of the Australian Book of Praise, the normal church-orderly way has to be followed, i.e. by way of proposals of Consistories to Classis and if approved, to Synod for consideration and ratification.
  10. Synod discharges current deputies and appoints a Standing Committee for the Australian Book of Praise
  11. Standing Committee for the Australian Book of Praise is to keep informed of the developments in Canada concerning the Book of Praise
  12. Synod mandates the Standing Committee for the Australia Book of Praise to implement points 1-7+11 above.
Grounds:
  1. None of the churches has brought any complaints against the 2006 version of the Canadian Book of Praise and it can therefore be assumed to have common approval in our bond of churches.
  2. Previous changes have been accepted already and need no further discussion.
  3. The calculations provided to Synod Rockingham 2003, and included in this report, clearly show the financial benefits of printing the Australian Book of Praise
  4. The church orderly way helps greatly in refining proposals and working toward unanimity on changes. It also saves Synods much time and proposed changes have already been considered by the churches and consistories well ahead of Synods that eventually deal with possible changes.
  5. An appropriate committee structure and size will provide greater flexibility and continuity of the work at hand.
III. Armadale makes the following proposal:
  1. That Synod not adopt Recommendations 1 and 8 contained in the Report of the Deputies for an Australian Book of Praise.
That instead, Synod decide as follows:
  1. That the 2006 version of the Hymn section and the prose sections of the Canadian Book of Praise is taken as the common basis to start our Australian Book of Praise (with the understanding that recommendations 2-7 and 9-12 of the report of Deputies be implemented as proposed).
  2. That Deputies be charged:
    1. to await the decision of the Canadian Reformed Churches in regard to the revised Psalm section of the Book of Praise,
    2. to examine the text of this revision, and
    3. to make recommendations to the next Synod in regard to its possible incorporation in the Australian Book of Praise
  3. Not to proceed with the publication of an Australian Book of Praise until our Canadian sister churches have made a decision in regard to the proposed revision of the Psalm section.
IV. Launceston:

Launceston expresses a preference for reprinting the Book of Praise with the name of the Australian churches on the front instead of the name of the Canadian churches and with an adjusted Table of Contents; and with the Australian Church Order; but Launceston does not support finding our own (Australian) way forward in modifying the confessions and the liturgical forms to reflect the usage of modern Bible Translations, for the following reasons:
  1. As the church at Launceston is presently using the NIV in the worship services, we have no problem with using the updated Canadian Book of Praise which has NIV references (see Committee Report 6.2.b). We note, as the deputies and Synod 2003 did, that the NIV has been recognized for use in the churches. (See Deputies' Report, 2.3)
  2. More importantly, if we now begin to create our own (Free Reformed) version of the confessions and liturgical forms, we will also have to maintain these versions and keep them up-to-date. We believe that this is unnecessary duplication of work.
  3. With so much travel already happening between Canada and Australia, and as long as we continue to share the use of their theological college and call their ministers and candidates for the ministry, it is good to promote and express the unity that we have by using the same songs and confessions and liturgical forms.
  4. While it may be argued that point A only applies to Launceston and Legana, and not to the churches in Western Australia, consistory requests that synod also consider whether we really want to develop our own Australian version of the psalms and our own selection of hymns. In the current 'climate' in the churches, we believe that it is prudent to follow the general direction of the Canadian Churches where it concerns the usage of a Psalter in our churches
  5. Synod West Kelmscott, 2006, may have been correct when it stated that "the majority of the churches have indicated a preference to publish our own Australian Book of Praise?' Whether that means, that the churches were happy to reprint the Canadian book at a cheaper rate, with the convenience of having the Australian Church Order in the back, or whether the churches had another motive for actually developing a distinctively Australian or Free Reformed worship book, is a second question. Again, consistory is in favour of the former, but it does not support the latter.
V. Southern River proposal re Deputies for Australia Book of Praise

That Synod 2009 does not approve the printing of an Australian Book of Praise and that this matter be left for a future Synod.

VI. Albany requests Synod Legana 2009 to make the following decision:
  1. To discharge the deputies acknowledging that they have fulfilled their mandate admirably.
  2. That although there is a desire for an Australian Book of Praise, at present the Canadian Book of Praise sufficiently meets our needs.
  3. To appoint deputies with the mandate to
    1. Monitor developments with the Canadian Book of Praise.
    2. Resume investigations regarding copyright, printing costs and feasibility of producing an Australian Book of Praise only if the Canadian Book of Praise is substantially altered such that it is no longer suitable for use by the Australian churches.
Grounds:
  1. Although Synod 2006 acknowledged the church's desire for an Australian Book of Praise, it has not yet been decided to proceed with publishing an Australian Book of Praise.
  2. Report of Deputies for an Australian Book of Praise contains recommendations regarding how to proceed with a decision to publish our own Australian Book of Praise and to that extent have fulfilled their mandate as stipulated by Synod West Kelmscott 2006.
  3. Deputies mandate did not allow them to recommend or investigate the feasibility of continuing to use the Canadian Book of Praise and therefore has not featured in their report.
  4. In monitoring developments with the Canadian Book of Praise, it is noted that
    1. The common songbook with the URCNA has effectively been put on hold. Therefore it is expected that the Book of Praise will remain in the same or similar format for quite some time.
    2. Synod 2007 has adopted an updated prose section of the Book of Praise with NIV references. The NIV is an acceptable translation suitable for use in the Australian Churches.
    3. Synod 2007 decided to publish an interim Book of Praise containing NIV references. Our people will therefore be buying that Book of Praise once they become available and we need to maintain uniformity with future versions as much as possible.
  5. The Australian churches do not exist "in isolation" to other (English speaking) churches. There is an ever increasing amount of people traffic between Australia and Canada and therefore uniformity of Psalm Books is very practical and one less cost to incur when travelling or migrating.
  6. A common Book of Praise for sister churches of the same language is a positive practical aspect of the unity in Christ that these churches have and confess.
  7. The Book of Praise is published to a very high quality and especially with the use of covers lasts for a long time. Changes should therefore be kept to a minimum to avoid constantly needing to update.
  8. The report to Synod 2003 mentioned a completed unit cost for an Australian Book of Praise to be about $13.95 for a large order. An unfair comparison was made to the retail price - $26.50 at that time. It should have been compared to the landed cost of buying the Canadian version to ascertain a fair basis whether producing our own would actually be cheaper if produced to the exact same quality.
  9. A further cost is the purchasing of copyrights. This only adds to the cost of producing our own Book of Praise.
  10. There is also a question regarding future updates and changes and to what extent the Australian Book of Praise would "automatically" participate or be asked to contribute towards future development costs.
  11. Although the Canadian Book of Praise has the Canadian Church Order, there is available a small and simple insert of the Australian Church Order that is currently being used by many of our members. Of itself, the different Church Order is not a compelling reason to produce our own Psalm Book.
  12. There are other minor linguistic and other changes that have been made over the years to the wording of creeds etc. These changes have been around for a long time and have not caused any significant problems. The bookshops might be able to produce small stickers to obscure or add minor changes to some wording in the creeds or forms.
  13. Further investigation of producing an Australian Book of Praise only becomes compelling if there are significant changes to the Canadian Book of Praise that make it virtually impossible for the Australian churches to continue using it. This could happen if eg a common songbook was developed with the URCNA.
After several rounds of discussion on the deputies' recommendations and the various submissions from the churches, synod puts Albany's overture to the vote.

VII. Amendment:

To add the following:
  1. to permit the 2008 interim Book of Praise with NIV prose section for use in the churches.
ADOPTED

VIII. Amendment:

To add the following mandate:
  1. c. to keep the churches informed of, and elicit responses from the churches regarding developments with the Canadian Book of Praise.
ADOPTED

IX.   The amended proposal is put to the vote and adopted. Rev. J Smith abstained from voting

X. Amendments to grounds of adopted proposal:
  1. To delete ground 5
  2. To delete ground 7
  3. To delete ground 8
  4. To delete ground 9
  5. To delete ground 10
  6. To delete ground 12
ADOPTED

XI. Final Text of Adopted Proposal and Grounds:
  1. To discharge the deputies acknowledging that they have fulfilled their mandate admirably.
  2. That although there is a desire for an Australian Book of Praise, at present the Canadian Book of Praise sufficiently meets our needs.
  3. To appoint deputies with the mandate to
    1. Monitor developments with the Canadian Book of Praise.
    2. Resume investigations regarding copyright, printing costs and feasibility of producing an Australian Book of Praise only if the Canadian Book of Praise is substantially altered such that it is no longer suitable for use by the Australian churches.
    3. Keep the churches informed of, and elicit responses from the churches regarding developments with the Canadian Book of Praise.
  4. To permit the 2008 interim Book of Praise with NIV prose section for use in the churches.

XII. Grounds:
  1. Although Synod 2006 acknowledged the church's desire for an Australian Book of Praise, it has not yet been decided to proceed with publishing an Australian Book of Praise.
  2. Report of Deputies for an Australian Book of Praise contains recommendations regarding how to proceed with a decision to publish our own Australian Book of Praise and to that extent have fulfilled their mandate as stipulated by Synod West Kelmscott 2006.
  3. Deputies mandate did not allow them to recommend or investigate the feasibility of continuing to use the Canadian Book of Praise and therefore has not featured in their report.
  4. In monitoring developments with the Canadian Book of Praise, it is noted that
    1. The common songbook with the URCNA has effectively been put on hold. Therefore it is expected that the Book of Praise will remain in the same or similar format for quite some time.
    2. Synod 2007 has adopted an updated prose section of the Book of Praise with NIV references. The NIV is an acceptable translation suitable for use in the Australian Churches.
    3. Synod 2007 decided to publish an interim Book of Praise containing NIV references. Our people will therefore be buying that Book of Praise once they become available and we need to maintain uniformity with future versions as much as possible.
  5. A common Book of Praise for sister churches of the same language is a positive practical aspect of the unity in Christ that these churches have and confess.
  6. Although the Canadian Book of Praise has the Canadian Church Order, there is available a small and simple insert of the Australian Church Order that is currently being used by many of our members. Of itself, the different Church Order is not a compelling reason to produce our own Psalm Book.
  7. Further investigation of producing an Australian Book of Praise only becomes compelling if there are significant changes to the Canadian Book of Praise that make it virtually impossible for the Australian churches to continue using it. This could happen if e.g. a common songbook was developed with the URCNA.

Article 25 - Adjournment

W Geurts invites all present to sing Ps 119:1 and leads in prayer. The chairman adjourns Synod.




last updated 22 Jun 2009
 
copyright © 2002-2017   all rights reserved.  maintained by   web by mpot.
.