Synod 2006 approved a revised edition of the Ecumenical Charter that guides the CRC’s relationship with other denominations.
The CRC will operate with two classifications of ecumenical relationships: churches in ecclesiastical fellowship and churches in dialogue. The former is a closer and more intentional relationship with churches in the Reformed family. It includes pulpit and table fellowship. The purpose of being in dialogue with another denomination is to establish contact, correspondence, and conversation.
The Interchurch Relations Committee proposed the revision. The CRC is “less insistent than we once were that our partners understand Christian, or even Reformed, truth in the same way as the CRC,” the committee said. At heart, it is enough to believe that a particular denomination is part of the universal church of Christ in order for the CRC to consider it an ecumenical partner.
The new charter says that the CRC may enter into relationships that are church to church (bilateral) or with an ecumenical organization (multilateral). It is up to synods to decide with which denominations the CRC will be in ecclesiastical fellowship.