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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
Monday 22nd June 2009 - Morning & Afternoon Sessions


Article 60 - Reopening

Rev Vermeulen invites all present to sing Ps 86:4, reads Ephesians 1, and leads in prayer.


Article 61 - Welcome delegates from the RCN

The chairman welcomes K Wezeman and J Bronsema as delegates from the RCN, reads out a letter of credentials for them, invites them to sit as advisory members at Synod's open sessions as per Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Synod, and asks them to rise to indicate their agreement with the Three Forms of Unity. The delegates rise.


Article 62 - Adoption of the Acts

Articles 38-53 are amended and adopted by Synod.


Article 63 - Reformed Churches of New Zealand

I. Material:

8f - FRC Darling Downs request for revision of Art 102.3 of Synod 2006 re RCNZ
8j - FRC Kelmscott appeal Art 102.2a, 2c & 3 of Synod 2006 re RCNZ
8h - Overture from FRC Mt Nasura re RCNZ
8r - Letter from FRC Darling Downs re RCNZ
8y - Letter from FRC Byford re RCNZ
12d - Report of Deputies RCNZ

II. Proposal from Committee 2 Re Request of Darling Downs:

Not to rescind Art 102.3.

Grounds:
  1. Whilst the FRC Darling Downs requests that Art 102.3 be revised on the basis that it is linguistically poorly constructed, vague and ambiguous and has resulted in much confusion and uncertainty, it does not propose an alternative wording which addresses the concern. To rescind the decision in its entirety does not address the encouragement which Synod 2006 wished to give to consistories.
  2. By way of Art 102.3, Synod 2006 did no more than encourage consistories. It did not bind the conscience of consistories in any way.
ADOPTED

III. Proposal from Committee 2 Re Appeal of Kelmscott:

To deny the appeal with respect to Art 102.2a & 3.
To allow the appeal with respect to Art 102.2c.

Grounds:
  1. FRC Kelmscott argues that Art 102.2a should be revised in that Synod 2006 should have issued a directive stronger than "to encourage the RCNZ to admonish the CRCA where necessary." Whilst the FRC Kelmscott may consider that a stronger directive was warranted, it merely expresses its particular viewpoint and does not prove that the decision of Synod 2006 was incorrect.
  2. As to Art 102.2c, FRC Kelmscott is correct that the triangular relationship did not exist.
  3. As to Art 102.3, FRC Kelmscott does not provide any basis or proof for the allegation that practical support and interaction regarding matters pertaining to the mission field and to theological education are limited to sister-churches.
ADOPTED

IV. Deputies' Recommendations:
  1. To note that no further progress has been made in the understanding between the FRCA and RCNZ on the matter of the importance of the triangular relationship which prevents the FRCA from entering into a sister relationship with the RCNZ.
  2. To affirm that Synod's positive view towards the RCNZ, shown by the past acknowledgement of the RCNZ as true and faithful churches, has consequences in practical support and interaction where these are not restricted to those between sister churches only e.g. application of membership from former members of the RCNZ, matters pertaining to the mission field and theological and Christian education.
  3. To renew the mandate of deputies to strive for relations with the Reformed Churches of New Zealand by:
    1. Monitoring the relationship between the RCNZ and the CRCA, and to encourage the RCNZ to continue to admonish the CRCA where necessary.
    2. Authorising two delegates to attend the next Synod of the RCNZ, in order to convey greetings and discuss matters of mutual interest.
    3. Reassuring the RCNZ that it is our sincere desire to enter into a sister relationship with them but the matter of a triangular relationship with the CRCA remains an impediment.
    4. Inviting delegates of the RCNZ to our next Synod as observers with the privileges mentioned in rules 6 of our "Rules for Synods" (Acts 1998, Appendix 12).
    5. Providing information to the membership of our churches about the Reformed Churches of New Zealand.
V. Proposal from Committee 2:
  1. To thank the deputies for their work and discharge them.
  2. To confirm what was said by Synod 2003, namely to recognise that the RCNZ are true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. To note that no substantial progress has been made in the understanding between the FRCA and RCNZ on the matter of the importance of the impediment which prevents the FRCA from entering into a sister relationship with the RCNZ.
  4. To affirm that Synod's positive view towards the RCNZ has consequences in practical support and interaction where these are not restricted to those between sister churches only e.g. application of membership from former members of the RCNZ, matters pertaining to the mission field and theological and Christian education.
  5. To renew the mandate of deputies to strive for sister-relations with the RCNZ by:
    1. Monitoring the relationship between the RCNZ and the CRCA, and to encourage the RCNZ to continue to admonish the CRCA where necessary.
    2. To discuss with the RCNZ their decision made at Synod Hasting 2008, which says that the RCNZ "cannot accept that their sister-church relationship with the CRCA should be an impediment to the FRCA accepting their offer of sister-church relations".
    3. Authorising two delegates to attend the next Synod of the RCNZ, in order to convey greetings and discuss matters of mutual interest.
    4. Reassuring the RCNZ that it is our sincere desire to enter into a sister relationship with them but the matter of their sister relationship with the CRCA remains an impediment.
    5. Inviting delegates of the RCNZ to our next Synod as observers with the privileges mentioned in rules 6 of our "Rules for Synods" (Acts 1998, Appendix 12).
    6. Providing information about the RCNZ to the membership of our churches.
  6. To deny the overture of FRC Mt Nasura.
  7. To decline the invitation of the RCNZ that we attend as observers at the meeting of the ICRC to be held DV in September 2009 in Christchurch.
Grounds:
  1. FRC Darling Downs is correct in stating that a triangular relationship does not exist.
  2. FRC Darling Downs is correct to say that ongoing recognition of the RCNZ as being a true church should be explicit. With thankfulness, Synod can confirm this recognition on the basis of the Report of Deputies.
  3. FRC Darling Downs correctly states that the matter of the impediment requires further discussion and clarification, also with respect to the question of the uniformity/pluriformity of the church.
  4. FRC Mt Nasura seeks to bind the next Synod of the FRCA into a decision regarding our relationship with the RCNZ. A decision of a future Synod cannot, however, be made by Synod 2009. Further, our recognition of the RCNZ as true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ obligates us to continue to strive for sister-relations with patience, humility and love.
  5. Mt Nasura, at ground d of its Overture, refers to a statement of RCNZ deputies and not an official decision of Synod. The RCNZ's sister-relationship with the CRCA remains under strain (Synod Hastings 2008, Art 83). The outcome of developments in this relationship can only be evaluated by the next Synod of the FRCA.
  6. The RCNZ have formally invited our attendance at the next ICRC (Synod Hastings 2008, Art 98), and so requires a response.
VI. Amendment 1:

To replace decision 5a with:
  1. Monitoring the relationship between the RCNZ and the CRCA;
  2. Encouraging the RCNZ to continue to admonish the CRCA and be consequential in this relationship.
Grounds:
  1. The encouragement to the RCNZ warrants a separate mandate.
  2. The admonishment of the CRCA and placing the relationship under strain has consequences.
ADOPTED

VII. Amendment 2:

To remove decision 4.

Ground:

The task of synod is to make decisions for the churches but synod has no business offering advice or encouragement to churches on how they ought to do mission work or respond to applications for membership.

ADOPTED

VIII. Amendment 3:

To change ground 2 to read:

FRC Darling Downs is correct to say that if there is to be any ongoing recognition of the RCNZ as being as being a true church, it should be stated explicitly. With thankfulness, Synod can confirm this recognition on the basis of the Report of Deputies.

ADOPTED

IX. Amendment 4:

To insert the following additional ground between grounds 5 and 6 above:

The statement of the RCNZ as true and faithful churches can be maintained as the RCNZ continue to place strain on their sister-church relationship with the CRCA by addressing areas of concern and unfaithfulness within the CRCA.

DEFEATED

X. Amendment 5:

To insert as decision 4

To affirm that Synod's positive view towards the RCNZ has consequences in practical support and interaction. e.g. working together on the PNG mission field and supporting the theological training at the Bible College in PNG.

ADOPTED

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

XI. Final Text of Adopted Decision:
  1. To thank the deputies for their work and discharge them.
  2. To confirm what was said by Synod 2003, namely to recognise that the RCNZ are true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. To note that no substantial progress has been made in the understanding between the FRCA and RCNZ on the matter of the importance of the impediment which prevents the FRCA from entering into a sister relationship with the RCNZ.
  4. To affirm that Synod's positive view towards the RCNZ has consequences in practical support and interaction. e.g. working together on the PNG mission field and supporting the theological training at the Bible College in PNG.
  5. To renew the mandate of deputies to strive for sister-relations with the RCNZ by:
    1. Monitoring the relationship between the RCNZ and the CRCA;
    2. Encouraging the RCNZ to continue to admonish the CRCA and be consequential in this relationship.
    3. To discuss with the RCNZ their decision made at Synod Hasting 2008, which says that the RCNZ "cannot accept that their sister-church relationship with the CRCA should be an impediment to the FRCA accepting their offer of sister-church relations".
    4. Authorising two delegates to attend the next Synod of the RCNZ, in order to convey greetings and discuss matters of mutual interest.
    5. Reassuring the RCNZ that it is our sincere desire to enter into a sister relationship with them but the matter of their sister relationship with the CRCA remains an impediment.
    6. Inviting delegates of the RCNZ to our next Synod as observers with the privileges mentioned in rules 6 of our "Rules for Synods" (Acts 1998, Appendix 12).
    7. Providing information about the RCNZ to the membership of our churches.
  6. To deny the overture of FRC Mt Nasura.
  7. To decline the invitation of the RCNZ that we attend as observers at the meeting of the ICRC to be held DV in September 2009 in Christchurch.
Grounds:
  1. FRC Darling Downs is correct in stating that a triangular relationship does not exist.
  2. FRC Darling Downs is correct to say that if there is to be any ongoing recognition of the RCNZ as being as being a true church, it should be stated explicitly. With thankfulness, Synod can confirm this recognition on the basis of the Report of Deputies.
  3. FRC Darling Downs correctly states that the matter of the impediment requires further discussion and clarification, also with respect to the question of the uniformity/pluriformity of the church.
  4. FRC Mt Nasura seeks to bind the next Synod of the FRCA into a decision regarding our relationship with the RCNZ. A decision of a future Synod cannot, however, be made by Synod 2009. Further, our recognition of the RCNZ as true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ obligates us to continue to strive for sister-relations with patience, humility and love.
  5. Mt Nasura, at ground d of its Overture, refers to a statement of RCNZ deputies and not an official decision of Synod. The RCNZ's sister-relationship with the CRCA remains under strain (Synod Hastings 2008, Art 83). The outcome of developments in this relationship can only be evaluated by the next Synod of the FRCA.
  6. The RCNZ have formally invited our attendance at the next ICRC (Synod Hastings 2008, Art 98), and so requires a response.
ADOPTED




last updated 26 Jun 2009
 
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