No Additional Rules for Separations of Pastors and Churches

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Synod 2011 decided not to add any more regulations to the existing process governing how churches and pastors separate from each other.

Classis Grand Rapids North (regional group of churches) asked synod to place a 16-to-18-month timetable on such separation procedures.

Classis Alberta North had sought to make mandatory the restorative healing efforts pastors, churches, and classes are to undertake during a separation. “It appears that after the terms of the separation (such as severance, provision for counseling, and other support) are agreed upon, the urge to seek healing of relational wounds often dissipates,” the request read.

Speaking to the latter proposal, Rev. Aaron Vriesman, Classis Zeeland, said, “I really like this overture. I’m involved with an Article 17 process right now, and I think that our church order could really use something like this.”

But synod decided that existing regulations sufficiently cover both issues.

“We have a lot in place already to help us,” said elder Andy de Ruyter, Classis B.C. North-West. “It’s just a matter of identifying the problem early enough and using what we have in place.”

For more coverage while synod is in session, including webcasts, photos, a discussion forum, reports, and more, see the Synod 2011 website.

About the Author

Dan Postma is an occasional reporter for The Banner.

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Having gone through an Article 17 before, I concur with Rev. Vriesman (and Alberta North's overture). It's mostly "out of sight, out of mind." "The healing of relational wounds" gets left until heaven. I hope that this gets brought up again.

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