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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
Thursday 18th June 2009 - Morning & Afternoon Sessions


Article 38 - Reopening

P Posthuma invites all present to sing Ps 25:2,5, reads Jeremiah 31:1-14, and leads in prayer.


Article 39 - Adoption of Acts

Article 21-27 are amended and adopted.


Article 40 - Canadian Reformed Churches

I. Material:

8m - Canadian Reformed Churches Letter of Greeting
12b.II - Deputies' Report for Sister Church Relations - Canadian Reformed Churches
8o - FRC Darling Downs Overture re Deputies for Canadian Reformed Churches report

II. Proposed Amendment to Deputies Recommendations 3:
  1. Mandate Deputies to:
    1. Monitor developments within the CanRC for mutual benefit according to the established rules and keep the churches informed
    2. Stay informed on developments concerning the pending merger between the CanRC and the URCNA, including the proposed revisions to the Church Order
    3. Seek clarification about and discuss the changing manner in which they deal with significant differences with other church federations in their unity discussion
    4. In the unity discussion between the CanRC and the URCNA, encourage the CanRC to maintain the principle that the churches maintain a theological college on the basis that we use their college for our Australian churches
    5. Encourage the CanRC to continue supporting the FRCA as much as possible in our discussions with the RCNZ
    6. Invite the CanRC to combine a visit to Australia with their planned visit to New Zealand in October 2009
    7. Send two delegates to the next CanRC General Synod 2010 pending finances.
Additional Grounds:
  1. rules for sister relations state that "in cases of substantial changes or additions to the confessions" our preference is that "as much consultation as possible can take place before a final decision is reached."
  2. The changing manner in dealing with significant differences in inter-church relations is substantial and worthy of discussion (e.g. Confessional Membership, Fencing of the Lords Supper etc.)
  3. Our churches maintain the principle that a church federation ought to take responsibility for maintaining a theological college (Article 17 Church Order).
  4. The CanRC have had experience with a situation where a third party relationship with the Christian Reformed Church was an impediment (c.f. Acts CanRC Synod Lincoln 1992, Art. 72, Rec.C.5c, page 55, and Acts CanRC Synod Abbotsford 1995, Art. 106, Rec. D. 2., page 75.)
  5. The CanRC deputies have requested a meeting with our deputies to discuss matters of common interest including third party relationships with GGRC/GGRI:
ADOPTED

III. Amendment:

To delete recommendation 1

Ground:
  1. Recommendation 1 is inconsistent with previous formulations of grounds for maintaining sister church relations.
ADOPTED

IV. Final Text of Decision:

  1. Continue sister church relations with the CanRC according to the established rules.
  2. Mandate Deputies to:
    1. Monitor developments within the CanRC for mutual benefit according to the established rules and keep the churches informed;
    2. Stay informed on developments concerning the pending merger between the CanRC and the URCNA, including the proposed revisions to the Church Order;
    3. Seek clarification about and discuss the changing manner in which they deal with significant differences with other church federations in their unity discussions;
    4. In the unity discussion between the CanRC and the URCNA, encourage the CanRC to maintain the principle that the churches maintain a theological college on the basis that we use their college for our Australian churches
    5. Encourage the CanRC to continue supporting the FRCA as much as possible in our discussions with the RCNZ
    6. Invite the CanRC to combine a visit to Australia with their planned visit to New Zealand in September
    7. Send two delegates to the next CanRC General Synod 2010 pending finances.
Grounds:
  • The Canadian Reformed Churches give evidence of continuing faithfulness to the Word of God, maintaining the Reformed Confessions and Church Order.
  • We need to foster mutual understanding and support regarding matters that our respective federations face.
  • We value our bond with the Canadian Reformed Churches and personal contact at the synodical level reinforces our contact with them
  • Rules for sister relations state that "in cases of substantial changes or additions to the confessions, Church Order, or liturgical forms" our preference is that "as much consultation as possible can take place before a final decision is reached."
  • The changing manner in dealing with significant differences in inter-church relations is substantial and worthy of discussion (e.g. Confessional Membership, Fencing of the Lords Supper etc.)
  • Our churches maintain the principle that a church federation ought to take responsibility for maintaining a theological college (Article 17 Church Order).
  • The CanRC have had experience with a situation where a third party relationship with the Christian Reformed Church was an impediment (c.f. Acts CanRC Synod Lincoln 1992, Art. 72, Rec.C.5c, page 55, and Acts CanRC Synod Abbotsford 1995, Art. 106, Rec. D. 2., page 75).
  • The CanRC deputies have requested a meeting with our deputies to discuss matters of common interest including third party relationships with GGRC/GGRI.
  • ADOPTED

    Article 41 - Reformed Churches of the Netherlands

    I. Material:

    8e - FRC West Albany Appeal re Art 94 Acts Synod 2006 re Reformed Churches in the Netherlands
    8i - FRC Mt Nasura Overture Article 95 Synod 2006 re RCN
    8k - FRC Kelmscott Appeal Art 93 & 94 Synod 2006 re RCN

    II. Proposal:

    To deny West Albany's request for revision

    Grounds:
    1. Whilst the FRC West Albany requests Synod to rescind Article 94.1 of Synod 2006, it fails to:
      1. prove that the decisions and grounds under Article 94.1 are contrary to Scripture;
      2. provide new grounds which were not already considered by Synod 2006.
    2. In denying the request for revision, Synod notes that Article 94.1 of Synod 2006 accepts Amersfoort's decision as largely allaying our concerns, which implies that these concerns were not completely removed.
    DEFEATED

    III. Proposal:

    Synod is not in a position to judge the appeal of West Albany.

    Grounds:
    1. the decision and grounds of Synod 2006 and its supporting documentation do not provide sufficient information for Synod to a make a clear judgment on the matter.
    2. the appeal of West Albany contains issues that are still a matter of concern to the deputies and is currently on the table of Synod.
    DEFEATED

    IV. Proposal Re Article 94.I of Acts Synod West Kelmscott 2006:

    Grant the appeals of West Albany and Kelmscott only to the extent of acknowledging that Synod West Kelmscott 2006 had incorrect grounds for the decision: to accept Amersfoort's decision as largely allaying our concerns.

    Grounds:
    1. The quotation given in ground b of Synod Kelmscott 2006 was not based on the official Acts of Synod Amersfoort.
    2. The quotation given in ground c of Synod Kelmscott 2006 does not provide clear evidence to support the decision.
    ADOPTED

    V. Proposal Re West Albany's appeal Re Article 94.II of Acts Synod West Kelmscott 2006:

    Not to accept the appeal of West Albany against art 94 Acts 2006 regarding divorce and remarriage

    Grounds:
    1. West Albany presents the decision of Amersfoort 2005 as if divorce is not necessarily considered censurable. However:
      1. Instead of quoting the synod decision West Albany makes a general statement about an unwillingness of consistories to apply church discipline in cases of divorce. It bases this statement on material that has been selectively quoted and does not do justice to the complete issue;
      2. West Albany states that Dutch synods have not unequivocally answered the basic question about the command to apply church discipline to members who contravene God's Word by divorcing their spouse for reasons contrary to God's Word. Synod West Kelmscott also lamented this;
      3. When reference is made to a 'new approach' to divorce and remarriage West Albany quotes from a report which Synod Amersfoort 2005 did not adopt. Even though synod Amersfoort 2005 states that it is not always clear how and when to exercise church discipline in cases of divorce, synod does clearly state that divorce is sin and should be firmly dealt with even in situations when church discipline is not yet exercised.
    DEFEATED

    VI. Proposal:

    Not to accept the appeal of West Albany against art 94 Acts 2006 regarding divorce and remarriage

    Grounds:
    1. As per Decision 1 and Ground a of Synod West Kelmscott 2006 94.II, the Dutch sister churches did outline a strong and clear Scriptural guidance regarding divorce and remarriage in the Report Principles and Guidelines.
    2. However, the application (also from the Report), regarding approval for divorce for reasons that go beyond Scripture, were not endorsed by Synod Amersfoort, but Synod did not give explicit guidance or a view on this. This was regretted by Synod West Kelmscott 2006 (Decision 2, Ground b).
    3. West Albany raises a valid point in that the Report gives room to Consistories to not apply discipline in cases of divorce that go beyond Scripture. However, whether this belongs to the "main thrust" or to the part that was not endorsed by Synod Amersfoort, is debatable.
    VII. Amendment:

    To delete ground 3.

    DEFEATED

    The proposal is put to the vote and adopted.


    Article 42 - Book of Praise

    I. Material:

    10d - Classis South Overture re 28 Additional Hymns and Book Of Praise

    Classis South proposes:
    1. To recommend to synod to allow the new additional 28 hymns to be tested outside the church services so that a following synod can determine whether to adopt them.
    2. To extend the mandate of the Deputies for the Book of Praise to include the following:
      1. To scrutinize the revised sections of the Book of Praise, especially the completely revised Psalter, and the 28 proposed Hymns.
      2. To invite comments from the churches on these revisions.
      3. To receive and assess comments from the churches about the new 28 hymns.
      4. To pass on the findings to the Standing Committee of Book of Praise so that the Standing Committee of Book of Praise can use them.
      5. To report to our next synod so that it can decide on the above matters.
    II. Amendment:

    To delete recommendation 1 of Classis South Proposal re the additional 28 hymns

    Ground:

    All hymns should be scrutinized before being recommended to the churches for testing.

    DEFEATED

    III. Amendment:

    to change proposal 1 to read:

    to invite the churches to scrutinize and test the 28 additional hymns outside the church services so that a following synod can determine whether to adopt them.

    IV. Amendment to Amendment:

    Change "28 additional hymns" to "that portion of the 28 additional hymns to be adopted at the CanRC Synod 2010" in proposals 1 and 2.1 and 2.3.

    ADOPTED

    The amended proposal 1 is put to the vote and adopted.

    V. Amendment:

    To add the following:

    2.f. to give account to synod of the principles and guidelines used to scrutinize these hymns

    ADOPTED

    The proposal as amended is put to the vote and adopted.

    VI. Final Text of Decision :
    1. To invite the churches to scrutinize and test that portion of the 28 additional hymns to be adopted at the CanRC Synod 2010 outside the church services so that a following synod can determine whether to adopt them.
    2. To extend the mandate of the Deputies for the Book of Praise to include the following:
      1. To scrutinise the revised sections of the Book of Praise, especially the completely revised Psalter, and that portion of the 28 additional hymns to be adopted at the CanRC Synod 2010.
      2. To invite comments from the churches on these revisions.
      3. To receive and assess comments from the churches about that portion of the 28 additional hymns to be adopted at the CanRC Synod 2010.
      4. To pass on the findings to the Standing Committee of Book of Praise so that the Standing Committee of Book of Praise can use them.
      5. To report to our next synod so that it can decide on the above matters.
      6. to give account to synod of the principles and guidelines used to scrutinize these hymns
    Grounds:
    1. These new hymns, as the printed version explains, are a needed addition to supplement the sections of the Apostles' Creed which do not receive enough coverage in the present edition. (The hymns are arranged according to topics of the Apostles' Creed.) Thus they are not loosely selected hymns but they have a definite purpose.
    2. The 2007 General Synod of our Canadian sister churches has received extensive letters with comments on them from the churches and the General Synod has approved them for use within the churches. This should give us the confidence to allow the churches to use them provisionally with the aim of testing them.
    3. We share the Book of Praise with our Canadian sister churches and thus should keep up with these developments. If possible we should try to keep a common Book of Praise. The influence of our larger Canadian sister churches as a bond on us as a smaller bond is very healthy.
    4. At present there is no body responsible for checking changes and revisions to the Book of Praise.
    5. The new revisions of the Psalter need to undergo a thorough investigation, especially if we are to use them in the future.
    6. The Canadian sister churches have invited our input.
    7. As churches we ourselves need to be proactive in this area of church songs and music. God's worship has always demanded much attention. The Lord wants his worship regularly, and He wants it properly.
    8. In the past we had deputies look into this, but of late it has not received attention.
    ADOPTED



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