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FRCA Synod decisions indexed according to the Church Order


Draft report to Synod 2015

Synod 2015
Free Reformed Churches of Australia

Synod Armadale 2012, in its Article 95, mandated Deputies for Indexing Synod Decisions to:
  1. continue the work of the late Rev G Van Rongen in collating the decisions of Synod as they relate to articles of the Church Order;
  2. publish these decisions on the official web page of the FRCA;
  3. notify the churches of any changes when these decisions are updated;
  4. make all the published acts of the general synods since the start of the FRCA available in electronic form.
Deputies have carried out this mandate by:
  1. adding to the Index of Synod Decisions those decisions of Synod Armadale 2012 that relate to articles of the Church Order;
  2. publishing the updated Index on the official web page of the FRCA;
  3. notifying the churches when this was completed;
  4. scanning the published Acts of the general synods into the computer with a view to making them available in electronic form on the FRCA website.
The scanning into electronic form of all the published acts was a labour-intensive task and is not quite complete. The Acts of synods from 1954 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2012 are now in electronic form. We hope to have the remaining Acts completed by the time Synod 2015 is convened at which time they will all be made available on the FRCA website.

As pointed out to Synod 2012, for the sake of conciseness we included in the index only the synods’ decisions and not the grounds on which the decisions were based. Only in a few instances, where the recorded decisions were unintelligible without the grounds, did we make an exception to this rule. The full texts of the decisions, including the grounds, are of course available in the official Acts, which are also available on-line at the FRSA web site.

Furthermore, your deputies also fulfilled their mandate “to upload the Synod rules and make them available in electronic format on the website” in accordance with Acts 2012, Article 121 (see also Article 90).

We would like to acknowledge the assistance of Br Martin Pot in facilitating the uploading of the material onto the website, and also in writing a programme that provides the search function.

Jelte Numan (convenor)
Robert Eikelboom

December 16, 2014



Draft report to Synod 2012

Synod 2012
Free Reformed Churches of Australia

C/- consistory of the Free Reformed Church of Armadale
PO Box 213
Armadale WA 6992

Dear brothers,
Synod Legana 2009, in its Article 78, mandated Deputies for Indexing Synod Decisions to:
  1. continue the work of the late Rev. G. VanRongen in collating the decisions of Synod as they relate to articles of the Church Order;
  2. publish these decisions on the official web page of the FRCA;
  3. notify the churches of any changes when these decisions are updated.
As the index of synod decisions grows longer and longer, deputies struggle to balance the principles of conciseness and completeness. For this reason we included in the index only the synod’s decisions and not the grounds on which the decisions were based. Only in a few instances, where the recorded decisions were unintelligible without the grounds, did we make an exception to this rule. It should be noted that the full text of the decisions, including the grounds, is available in the official Acts, which are also available on-line.
Although the deputies left it until February 2012 to fulfill their mandate, there were never any indications that the churches were waiting for the Index of Synod Decisions to be updated … which makes us question the value of this work. Moreover, in view of the fact that digital versions of Acts of Synods from 2003 onwards are now available on the web, and sophisticated search functions enable rapid searches, the need to provide a separate index appears to have become superfluous. For these reasons the deputies recommend that Synod Armadale 2012 seriously consider terminating this project. However, if synod judges that the project should continue, we are willing to continue doing it.

With Christian greetings,

Jelte Numan (convenor)
Richard Eikelboom

February 16, 2012



Draft report to Synod 2009

Deputies for Church Order

Synod 2006, in its Article 25, mandated deputies:

To continue the work of Rev G VanRongen in collating the decisions of Synod as they relate to articles of the Church Order:
  1. To publish updated versions in the best format (eg, binder style and on the official web page of the FRCA) to allow more additions from future Synods.
  2. To have the Synodical Treasurer pay the initial cost of publication.
  3. To authorise the selling of these books, at a normal cost, to the churches and to its members.
Deputies concluded that in this technological age the best format for publishing the updated versions was to place them in pdf format on the official web pages of the FRCA. This has now been done, allowing the Church Order articles and relevant standing decisions by synods to be readily accessible for anyone with a computer. Moreover, it allows subsequent versions to be easily updated.

Deputies decided against publishing hard copies. Common sense dictated, and a survey of a number of potential users found, that church members likely to make use of the document would not buy a copy because:
  1. the information in now easily and quickly available on the website;
  2. website access is free;
  3. a hard copy would become outdated after each new synod.
However, should there be Church members wanting a hard copy of the current document, they can either:
  1. download and print it themselves if they have a computer and printer and place it in a binder;
  2. ask someone with this technology to do so;
  3. ask their consistory to make it available to them.
Deputies appreciate the help given by Rev R Eikelboom in identifying relevant decisions made by Synod 2006 and relating them to the CO articles.

J Numan (convener)
W vanderVen



last updated 14 Jul 2016
 
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