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No New Process to Change Confessions, Church Order

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Synod 2011 decided to maintain the current process required to make substantial changes to the Reformed Confessions and Church Order of the Christian Reformed Church.

Classis Grand Rapids North (a regional group of churches) had requested that synod change the process so it’s similar to that used by the Reformed Church in America and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Those churches require two-thirds of the classes (regions) to approve major changes to the confessions, Church Order, and liturgical forms, among other documents.

Some delegates supported the proposal. “We need to realize that there’s a disconnect between what happens here and people in the pew thousands of miles away from here,” said elder Chad Werkhoven, Classis Columbia.

Supporters said the proposed process would encourage healthy, denomination-wide discussion on the Belhar Confession before Synod 2012.

But more delegates favored the current system.

Rev. Kathy Smith, Calvin Theological Seminary faculty adviser to synod, praised the effectiveness of the current process. “We come together to discuss and deliberate all together, not in our separate classes, but together, so we can hear the wisdom from one another.”

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