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The Christian Reformed Church will hold an Ecumenical Faith Declaration Consultation in early 2014 to discuss the category into which the CRC has placed the Belhar Confession.

Along with the Reformed Church in America and the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), the CRC is inviting representatives from a multitude of Reformed denominations to the consultation.

About 50 people are expected to attend the event at Calvin College, said Rev. Peter Borgdorff, deputy executive director of the CRC.

The goal will be to help churches determine what an ecumenical faith declaration is and how they are to interpret and use it as a statement of belief and worship.

Synod 2012 had been asked to make the Belhar a fourth confession of the Christian Reformed Church, putting it on a par with the other three historic confessional statements of belief.

Instead synod created the new category “ecumenical faith declaration” and placed the Belhar into it.

After Synod 2012 created the ecumenical faith declaration category, people in the CRC began to ask what exactly that entails. With questions remaining, the issue went before Synod 2013.

Synod 2013 decided not to take on the task of outlining specific criteria for the category. It voted instead to hold more discussion about the criteria within the denomination and with partner churches around the globe.

The World Communion of Reformed Churches will meet, also at the Prince Center, following the ecumenical gathering. The WCRC will discuss how it has been doing since it was formed in 2010 and look at what “communion” means in light of  its development.

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