It’s been a rather rainy afternoon here on the campus of Nyack College, but most delegates have been out of the rain while sequestered in advisory committee meetings. When Synod reconvened in plenary session at 3:30, a few committees had already submitted some reports. Some had even finished their work (at least for now).
These initial reports are often recommitted to committees for further work and that’s what happened with two reports after it was pointed out (by Synod’s unofficial procedural guru, Rev. Bradd Nymeyer) that a discrepancy existed between the proposed US Treasuer’s job description and federational procedures. Synod did, however, approve motions to empower the U.S. Board of Directors with the ability to appoint an interim U.S. Treasurer or board members, should the need arise.
Synod also dealt with three overtures. The advisory committee recommended that Synod accede to Overture #2’s request for Classis Southern Canada to be divided into two classes: Classis Southwestern Ontario and Classis Ontario-East. That recommendation carried unanimously. These are the congregations in the newly-formed classes:
Classis Southwestern Ontario
1. Aylmer, Bethel United Reformed Church
2. Brantford, Living Water Reformed Church
3. Hamilton, Rehoboth United Reformed Church
4. Listowel, Immanuel United Reformed Church
5. London, Cornerstone United Reformed Church
6. Sheffield, Zion United Reformed Church
7. Strathroy, Providence United Reformed Church
8. Woodstock, Bethel United Reformed Church
9. Wyoming, Covenant Christian Church
10. Scarborough, New Horizon United Reformed Church
11. Toronto, Hope Centre
Classis Ontario – East
1. Bowmanville, Salem United Reformed Church
2. Brampton, Hope Reformed Church
3. Brockville, Bethel United Reformed Church
4. Charlottetown, United Reformed Church of PEI
5. Dunnville, Grace Reformed Church
6. Jordan, Immanuel Orthodox Reformed Church
7. Nobleton, Immanuel Reformed Church
8. Oro-Medonte, Grace United Reformed Church of Simcoe County
9. St. Catharines, Trinity Orthodox Reformed Church
10. Toronto, Covenant Reformed Church
11. Vineland, Adoration United Reformed Church
12. Wellandport, United Reformed Church
The advisory committee recommended that Synod not accede to the Overture #10’s request for posting reading sermons on the URCNA website. Grounds for this recommendation included the availability of written sermons from other sites and a suggestion that the minutes include a listing of ministers willing to post written sermons online or share them via email or regular mail. That recommendation also carried, although not quite unanimously.
Overture #7 sought the addition of a Bible component to the Colloquium Doctum exam. The advisory committee recommended that Synod not accede to the overture, listing several grounds that included the fact that a knowledge of Scripture is already required and that a Colloquium Doctum is generally given to an experienced minister with a history of good preaching. Theprimary concern seemed to be that adoption of the overture might result in classes requiring on-the-spot translation by sight of random texts. Although drafters of the overture maintained that was not the intention, delegates evidently agreed with the advisory committee’s concern that the overture’s language could lead to such practices. The recommendation not to accede carried with a large majority.
Following this initial working session, advisory committees went back into session. Stay posted for more updates here and subscribe to Christian Renewal to get the scoop on this and other news of interest!