Two major reports coming to Synod 2008 are being published too late for many churches to respond and possibly send overtures about them.
The two reports are the revision of the Contemporary Testimony and the revision of the Form of Subscription, both of which have confessional importance to the Christian Reformed Church (see at http://www.crcna.org/pages/synodical.cfm.)
In both cases drafts of the revisions were circulated to the churches last year, and churches had an opportunity to respond to the drafts. But the final versions from both committees came out only when the printed Agenda for Synod 2008 was distributed in late March.
That timing leaves scant opportunity for a church to put together an overture and present it to its own classis (regional group of churches). And in many cases a classis will not have a meeting planned between the end of March and when synod convenes in June.
Under normal synod rules, reports from study committees must be in the hands of the churches by Nov. 1 of the previous year.
But these two committees aren’t official synodical study committees. Rather, they’re taskforces formed by the denomination’s Board of Trustees at the request of synod. According to Rev. Jerry Dykstra, executive director of the CRC, that means there’s some ambiguity in terms of the rules that apply.
“We are aware of the challenges this presents to the churches,” he said. “We’re looking for a way to address that administratively.”