Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) CII.

II. The Assemblies of the Church

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) CII.A.

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 26

I. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
26

The assemblies of the church are the council, the classis, and the synod.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 27-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
27-a

Each assembly exercises, in keeping with its own character and domain, the ecclesiastical authority entrusted to the church by Christ; the authority of councils being original, that of major assemblies being delegated.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 27-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
27-b

The classis has the same authority over the council as the synod has over the classis.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 28-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
28-a

These assemblies shall transact ecclesiastical matters only, and shall deal with them in an ecclesiastical manner.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 28-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
28-b

A major assembly shall deal only with those matters which concern its churches in common or which could not be finished in the minor assemblies.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 28-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
28-c

Matters referred by minor assemblies to major assemblies shall be presented in harmony with the rules for classical and synodical procedure.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 29

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
29

Decisions of ecclesiastical assemblies shall be reached only upon due consideration. The decisions of the assemblies shall be considered settled and binding, unless it is proved that they conflict with the Word of God or the Church Order.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 30-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
30-a

Assemblies and church members may appeal to the assembly next in order if they believe that injustice has been done or that a decision conflicts with the Word of God or the Church Order. Appellants shall observe all ecclesiastical regulations regarding the manner and time of appeal.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 30-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Supplement, Article
30-a

PROCEDURAL RULES APPLICABLE TO APPEALS UNDER ARTICLE 30-A OF THE CHURCH ORDER WHEN THE JUDICIAL CODE IS NOT INVOKED

A. Appeal by a Member (Appellant) from a Decision or Action of a Council (Respondent)

1. Time Limit. An appeal must be made within six (6) months of the decision or action appealed from. If, however, the action or decision appealed from creates a continuous or repeating practice, the appeal is timely if filed within six (6) months after the practice is exercised. A classis may accept a late appeal if classis is satisfied that the appellant has reasonable cause for being late.
2. Oral Presentation. When classis considers the appeal, both appellant and respondent shall be allowed reasonable time to make an oral presentation with respect to the appeal.
3. Action by Classis. The classis shall consider and decide every appeal properly submitted to it. Classis shall decide on the appeal within one (1) year from the date the appeal is received by the stated clerk of classis. If classis has not decided an appeal within the one (1)-year period allowed, either the appellant or the respondent has the right to appeal the matter to synod without waiting for decision of classis.
4. Appeal to Synod. Both the appellant and the respondent have the right to appeal the decision of classis to synod.

B. Appeals to Synod by Members or Assemblies (Appellant) from Decision of Classis (Respondent)

1. Time Limit. An appeal must be  led within ninety (90) days after the decision or action appealed.
2. Normally for an appeal to be considered by a synod in any year the appeal must be in the hands of the executive director by March 15 of that year. If an appeal is  led after March 15, it shall not be heard by the synod of the same year; however, the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church, upon the recommendation of the executive director, may decide to submit the appeal to the synod of the same year.
3. Normally appeals will not be printed in the agenda for synod. However, if the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church, upon recommendation of the executive director, decides that an appeal raises an issue the resolution of which by synod will likely have significant application outside of and beyond the classis from which the appeal came, the appeal and any response to it or, at the discretion of the executive director, an abbreviated version of the appeal and response will be printed in the agenda. If an appeal is filed before March 15 but the deadline for response falls after March 15, the executive director, after conferring with the respondent, may decide to print the appeal and distribute any responses to delegates at the beginning of synod or to hold the appeal over to the next synod.
4. The appellant and the respondent shall have the right to appear before the advisory committee of synod to explain their positions. Requests to be heard shall be directed to the executive director, who shall transmit them to the chairperson of the advisory committee.
5. The appellant and the respondent shall have the right to be present during the presentation of the case at synod, and, upon recommendation of the advisory committee and with the approval of synod, they shall have the privilege of explaining and defending their positions on the  oor of synod.
6. The advisory committee shall present a clear and adequate statement of the content of each appeal and response to the entire synod.
7. Copies of the appeals and responses not appearing in the agenda and, if possible, the principal related documents shall be sent to the members of the appointed advisory committee as soon as possible.

General Rules

1. Filing an appeal. An appeal must be in writing and filed with the stated clerk or executive director of the assembly appealed to. A copy shall be promptly given to the clerk of the assembly whose action is being appealed and to any other party to the appeal.
2. Form of Appeal. No specific form is prescribed. However, an appeal should contain at least the following elements:
a. The name of the appellant.
b. The name of the body against which the appeal is being made.
c. The decision which is being appealed.
d. The reasons why the appealed decision is believed to be wrong.
e. Background information which will enable the assembly to make a proper decision.
f. A statement defining clearly what action the appellant desires the assembly to take.
3. Respondent’s Submission. The respondent shall be entitled to submit a response to the appeal. Such submission shall be made to the clerk of the assembly appealed to within sixty (60) days from the date the respondent has received a copy of the appeal. A copy of such submission shall be promptly given to the appellant.
4. In any appearance before an assembly or a committee of an assembly, the appellant and the respondent shall have the right to be represented or counseled by a member of the church.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 30-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
30-b

Synod may establish rights for other appeals and adopt rules for processing them.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 30-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Supplement, Article
30-b

This supplement deals with two separate matters: synodical review of application for candidacy by persons not recommended by the Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) Board of Trustees and/or the Candidacy Committee and appeals from decisions, acts, or course of conduct of agencies, boards, or committees of the Christian Reformed Church. The separate sets of procedural rules applicable to these two matters are set forth below.

Part A. Synodical review of application for candidacy by persons not recommended by the CTS Board of Trustees and/or the Candidacy Committee.
In the event that an applicant should feel aggrieved by or dissatisfied with a decision of the CTS Board of Trustees and/or Candidacy Committee regarding the processing of the applicant’s application for candidacy status, the following procedure will give the applicant recourse to synod. This procedure is not an appropriate avenue by which to ask synod for amendment of the Church Order or change in relevant synodical decisions. Rather, it provides the right for an applicant to have the application for candidacy considered by synod in the light of the then-existing requirements for candidacy, whether those requirements are set out in the Church Order or in other decisions of synod. This procedure is a special kind of appeal: the Judicial Code shall not be invoked, and the rules relating to other appeals shall not apply.

1. If the CTS Board of Trustees and/or Candidacy Committee or its designee declines to process an application for candidacy at any stage or if candidacy is not going to be recommended, the Candidacy Committee shall promptly inform the applicant in writing of such act or decision and the reasons therefore.
2. Notwithstanding such notice, the applicant has the option to have the application processed, including submission to synod. To exercise this option, the applicant must give written notice of such exercise to the Candidacy Committee and the executive director of the Christian Reformed Church within fourteen (14) days after the receipt of the notice from the Candidacy Committee.
3. If the applicant gives the notice described in the foregoing paragraph, the application shall be processed, and the Candidacy Committee shall submit such application to synod with such recommendations and supporting reasons as the Candidacy Committee shall consider appropriate.
4. At least ten (10) days before synod is scheduled to convene, the applicant shall submit to the executive director, with a copy to the Candidacy Committee, a written statement of facts, argument, and documents in support of the application.
5. Synod shall review the application and documents in support thereof, the decision of the board or the Candidacy Committee, and the reasons for such decision. The applicant and the Candidacy Committee shall have the right to make a presentation to the assigned advisory committee, and, if that committee recommends and synod so decides, the applicant and the Candidacy Committee shall be allowed time to address synod on the matter.
6. Both the applicant andthe Candidacy Committee have the right to be represented or counseled by a member of the church at any stage of the review process.

Part B. Appeals from decisions, acts, or course of conduct of agencies, boards, or committees of the Christian Reformed Church.
The right to appeal from decisions, acts, or course of conduct of agencies, boards, or committees of the Christian Reformed Church is established. The Judicial Code may be invoked in connection with such appeal, and if it is, the appeal process will be governed by the Judicial Code. If the Judicial Code is not invoked, the provisions and procedures set forth in the following paragraphs shall apply:
1. Board, agency, or committee shall mean and include any agent or employee of such board, agency, or committee while such agent or employee is acting within the scope and authority of his or her employment with such agency, board, or committee.
2. Appeals under this part of Supplement 30-b may be  led only by the following:
a. A member of the Christian Reformed Church.
b. An assembly (council or classis).
c. An employee of an agency, board, or committee whose decision, act, or course of conduct is to be challenged by the appeal.
3. The individual or assembly filing the appeal shall be called the appellant. The agency, board, or committee whose action is appealed shall be called the respondent.
4. No appeal under this part of Supplement 30-b may be filed until the appellant shall first have exhausted all reasonable and direct efforts according to procedures prescribed by such agency, board, or committee to resolve the appellant’s complaint or grievance.
5. The only grounds for an appeal under this part are that the decision, act, or course of conduct of a respondent is contrary to the Church Order, the mandate of the respondent, or a previous decision of the assembly to which the respondent is responsible.
6. In an appeal under this part, an appellant who is other than an assembly or an employee must allege — and the onus remains on him or her to show — that the decision, act, or course of conduct appealed from substantially affects him or her directly, either materially or personally, as an individual apart from other members of the church.
7. In an appeal under this part by an employee, the appellant must allege — and the onus remains on her or him to show — that the decision, act, or course of conduct appealed from substantially affects her or him directly, either materially or personally, in her or his capacity as an employee.
8. An appeal from a decision, act, or course of conduct of an agency, board, or committee shall be  led with the assembly to which the agency, board, or committee is responsible.
9. For an appeal to be timely, it must be  led within ninety (90) days after completion of efforts to resolve the matter under provisions in paragraph “4” above.
Because the completion of internal efforts to resolve the matter may not always indicate a precise date for the commencement of the ninety (90)-day appeal period, the following standards apply for computing the beginning of the appeal period:
a. If the agency, board, or committee gives the appellant a written communication stating that the internal procedures for resolving the grievance or complaint have now been completed, the ninety (90)-day period begins with the date the appellant receives such letter.
b. In the absence of a written communication described in paragraph “a” above, the appellant may give written notice to the agency, board, or committee involved that he or she believes that the internal procedures for resolving the grievance or complaint have been exhausted, and, if there is no written response to such notice within thirty (30) days from the date of the receipt of such notice, the ninety (90)- day appeal period begins with the expiration of a thirty (30)-day period beginning with the receipt of such notice. For the purpose of this paragraph, the notice shall be deemed to have been received on the date it was personally delivered to the office of the agency, board, or committee or five days after the mailing by regular mail.
c. If the notice referred to in paragraph “b” above is given and the agency, board, or committee responds to the appellant within thirty (30) days that there is a further internal procedure, the appellant must pursue the additional procedure specified, and rules “a” and “b” will again apply to determine the commencement of the appeal period when the further step has been completed.
10. If the appeal is to a classis, when classis considers the appeal, both appellant and respondent shall be allowed reasonable time to make an oral presentation with respect to the appeal. The classis shall consider and decide every appeal submitted to it. Classis shall decide on the appeal within one (1) year from the date the appeal is received by the stated clerk of classis. If classis has not decided an appeal within such one (1)-year period, either appellant or respondent has the right to appeal to synod without waiting for the decision of classis.
Both the appellant and the respondent have the right to appeal the decision of classis to synod.
11. If the appeal is initially to synod, the rules and procedures in Church Order Supplements 30-a, sections B and C apply.
12. Both the appellant and the respondent have the right to be represented or counseled by a member of the church at any stage of the appeal process.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 30-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
30-c

If invoked, the Judicial Code shall apply to the processing of written charges, unless the assembly to which the charges are submitted has dealt with and ruled definitively on substantially similar appeals in a manner pursuant to the provisions of Article 30-a.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 30-a through -c

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 30-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Supplement, Article
30-c

JUDICIAL CODE OF RIGHTS AND PROCEDURES

Preamble to the Judicial Code

Synod 1977 adopted the first edition of the Judicial Code of Rights and Procedures. It did so to “encourage greater uniformity of procedure throughout our denomination when charges must be adjudicated.” The belief is that this Code “will help to insure just treatment of those who are involved in the judgment and decisions of the church” and that providing “impartial judgments among God’s people” is required by Scripture (Deut. 1: 16-17; Deut. 16: 18-20; Lev. 19: 15; 1 Tim. 5: 19-21). “Procedural guidelines” are needed to deal with substantive issues in an appropriate and “ecclesiastical manner” (Church Order, Article 28), and, according to synod, the Judicial Code provides this “procedural pattern within which the law of love may be fulfilled” (James 2: 1, 8-9).
However, the Judicial Code should not be considered as providing a means of broad applicability for resolving disputes. Rather, the Judicial Code is intended to be a dispute-resolution mechanism of last resort because judicial hearings and subsequent decisions of assemblies will likely never fully satisfy the parties involved. Thus, complete reconciliation may not be achieved. Rather, the focus of Judicial Code hearings and of the resultant decisions made by the assemblies is not primarily on reconciliation but on some kind of final resolution. While the Judicial Code does provide rights for all parties and a fair process toward resolution, it does not purport to restore the mutual trust that may have been lost as any given dispute may have raged and festered.
Before invoking the rights afforded under the Judicial Code, brothers and sisters in Christ should make every effort to resolve issues between them amicably, according to the teachings of Scripture. If they require external assistance to reach agreement, they should, where appropriate, seek trained facilitators or mediators to help them reach agreement. A process of mediation led by neutral parties may facilitate a more satisfactory resolution.
One of the ways in which issues can be resolved more amicably is to use restorative justice practices. Synod 2005 encouraged “the active participation of churches and church members in restorative justice efforts in order to restore and reconcile victims and offenders where possible, and to effect, as far as possible, the establishment of justice for all members of our societies.” It also urged “congregations, schools, denominational offices, other Christian institutions, and homes to employ restorative justice practices” (Acts of Synod 2005, pp. 761-62). These practices bring with them greater potential for true reconciliation.
On the other hand, mediation or restorative justice practices are not necessarily appropriate for charges involving physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Such charges should be dealt with in the first instance by way of the Advisory Panel Process approved by synod and associated with the denomination’s Safe Church Ministry (see Acts of Synod 2010, p. 866; Agenda for Synod 2010, pp. 497-502).
Thus, even if written charges have been  led and a formal hearing has been requested, the assembly must still make a determination as to whether or not sufficient means for resolution, formal or informal, have or have not been exhausted. If such means have not been exhausted, the assembly should seriously consider postponing the judicial hearing while further efforts are undertaken. Only after the assembly determines that sufficient means have been exhausted or that such means do not resolve the matter, should the assembly proceed to conduct a judicial hearing as set forth below.

Section 1: Scope of the Judicial Code

a. Disputes arising from allegations of offenses against the Word of God, doctrinal standards, or Church Order are subject to resolution under the Judicial Code. In particular, the Judicial Code governs the procedure for filing written charges and conducting judicial hearings before a council, classis, or synod, and appeals from judicial hearing.
b. Matters of admonition and discipline do not prompt a judicial hearing unless there are written charges that either party or the assembly determines require a judicial hearing. The Judicial Code recognizes the fundamental and primary role of pastoral means in all matters of admonition and discipline; it assumes that these matters are best handled by counseling and entreaty; and if sanctions are required, it leaves the determination of them to the church under the Church Order.
c. The Judicial Code deals with the following matters:
i) Disputes involving members and/or assemblies of the church and, in some limited instances, nonmembers (see Section 3-a).
ii) Disputes involving agencies, boards, or committees on one side and members or assemblies of the church on the other side, excluding challenges to termination of employment (see Sections 3-a, 5-d, 5-e).
d. With respect to such matters, the provisions of the Judicial Code apply only
i) when written charges are filed; written charges may be filed by an employee, an assembly, or an individual who is directly affected either materially or personally; and
ii) when either party to the dispute requests a judicial hearing or when the assembly  rst hearing the charges determines to constitute a formal hearing.

Section 2: Judicial Rights

a. Both the complainant and the respondent shall have the right to be represented or counseled by a member of the CRC in any judicial hearing. The requirement of church membership may be waived at the discretion of the assembly that is hearing the case.
b. Except when the assembly withdraws to decide the issues raised in the judicial hearing, the complainant and the respondent shall have the right to be present at the judicial hearing and at the judicial hearing considering an appeal from a judicial hearing.
c. Both the complainant and the respondent shall have the right to have witnesses examined in their presence.
d. Both the complainant and the respondent may appeal by right the decision of the assembly to the assembly next in order.
e. The provisions of the Judicial Code shall apply to all appeals from decisions resulting from the judicial hearing on a complaint.
f. No member or group of the CRC, nor any person connected with the matter, shall circulate, or cause to be circulated, any written or printed arguments or briefs upon any complaints before the final disposition of same, including appeals, if any.
g. Assuring due process shall be the guiding principle in the interpretation and application of the Judicial Code.
h. All judicial hearings shall be conducted in a considerate and Christian manner.

Section 3: Procedures for Filing Written Charges

a. Written charges may be filed by
i) a member of the CRC against another member or against an assembly;
ii) an assembly against another assembly or against a member;
iii) a person who is not a member of the CRC against a member or assembly of the CRC, provided such person has been directly affected as an individual by the charged offense;
iv) a member of the CRC against an agency, board, or committee;
v) an assembly against an agency, board, or committee;
vi) an employee of an agency, board, or committee against an agency, board, or committee, excluding challenges to termination of employment.
b. Prerequisites:
i) If the allegation is abuse on the part of a church leader as de ned by the CRC’s Safe Church Ministry’s Advisory Panel Process, the complainant shall first have exhausted that process in accordance with the procedures and standards of confidentiality outlined therein and in lieu of the procedures under Sections 2-5 of this Code, to the point of obtaining a decision by the council of the church leader. Both parties have the right of appeal to classis as provided in Sections 6-7.
ii) No written charges against an agency, board, or committee may be filed until the complainant shall first have exhausted all reasonable and direct efforts according to procedures prescribed by such agency, board, or committee to resolve the appellant’s complaint or grievance internally.
c. Time limits:
i) There is no time limit for filing a written charge of sexual abuse. Allegations of sexual abuse against a church leader shall first be made in accord with the Advisory Panel Process associated with the CRC’s Safe Church Ministry.
ii) An allegation of non-sexual abuse of a minor may be filed at any time before the complainant reaches age twenty-five (25). However, allegations of non-sexual abuse of a minor shall first be made in accord with the Advisory Panel Process associated with the CRC’s Safe Church Ministry.
iii) All other written charges must be filed within three (3) years of the date on which the offense is alleged to have occurred.
d. A person or an assembly filing a written charge shall be called the complainant, and the person or assembly against whom the written charge is  led shall be called the respondent.
e. A written charge must be filed with an assembly, must set forth the alleged offense, must specify the facts relied upon to support the written charge, including, as far as possible, the time and place of the offense, and must state whether a judicial hearing is requested.
f. A written charge shall not allege more than one offense. Several written charges against the same respondent may be presented and decided jointly, but a decision on each written charge must be made separately.
g. The complainant shall mail or otherwise deliver a copy of the written charge to the respondent at the same time as it is filed with the assembly.
h. Within sixty (60) days after the written charge is filed, the respondent shall file an answer with the assembly and shall mail or otherwise deliver a copy to the complainant. If the complainant did not request a judicial hearing, the respondent shall indicate in the answer whether a judicial hearing is requested.
i. Jurisdiction of assemblies
i) A written charge against a member of the CRC shall be filed by the complainant with the council of the local church of which the respondent is a member.
ii) A written charge against an assembly shall be filed by the complainant with the assembly next in order (the order being council, classis, and synod).
iii) A written charge against an agency, board, or committee, including its agent or employees, shall be filed by the complainant with the assembly to which the agency, board, or committee is responsible.
iv) If a council or an agency, board, or committee of classis is the respondent, the judicial hearing shall be before the classis and in accordance with the hearing procedures set forth in Sections 2-5.
v) If a classis or an agency, board, or committee of synod is the respondent, the judicial hearing shall be before the Judicial Code Committee in accordance with the procedures set forth in Sections 2-5.

Section 4: Pre-hearing Procedures

a. Except for good cause, the judicial hearing shall commence within six (6) months of the filing of written charges.
b. After consulting with the complainant and the respondent, the assembly shall set the time and place for the judicial hearing on the written charge. At least forty-five (45) days before the judicial hearing, the date must be fixed and the parties notified.
c. No later than thirty (30) days before the judicial hearing, the parties shall cause to be delivered to the other party and the assembly a list of witnesses to be called to testify and a copy of the exhibits to be offered at the judicial hearing. At the judicial hearing, each party shall be limited to the witnesses and the exhibits disclosed, unless the party can establish that the witness or exhibit was not discovered until after the deadline.
d. The assembly may, in its discretion, require further advance disclosures by the parties concerning the witnesses, documents, evidence, and arguments that they intend to present at the hearing.
e. When a written charge is  led with a council or classis, that council or classis shall serve as the judicial body, which shall include all members of the assembly except those who have a con ict of interest. Any members having a conflict of interest shall recuse themselves.
f. Either the complainant or the respondent may challenge the impartiality of a member on grounds of self-interest or that member’s relationship with or responsibility to a participant in the judicial hearing. If the assembly decides by majority vote that the challenge has merit, the member shall be recused from the judicial hearing.
g. Before the hearing, the assembly shall determine whether the written charges are substantial enough to warrant a hearing. This may be done by the assembly on the basis of the written charge, the answer, the proposed exhibits, and, if the assembly so desires, an informal conference with the parties and their representatives. The assembly may delegate the review of information and the informal conference to a committee, but after receiving a report from the committee, the assembly must make the determination. This determination shall be conducted in a con dential manner to protect the reputations of the people involved and to protect the impartiality of the judicial assembly if the charge moves forward. A decision by a council or a classis that a charge is not substantial may be appealed.
h. If requested by either the complainant or the respondent, or in the discretion of the assembly, the assembly may direct that the proceeding shall not be published by any participant. All participants shall be noti ed on the record of the no-publication directive.

Section 5: Judicial Hearing Procedures

a. A judicial hearing, if ordered, shall proceed as follows:
i) Each party may make an opening statement summarizing what that party expects to prove.
ii) The complainant shall proceed first with proofs, including witnesses and exhibits, and may be permitted by the assembly in its discretion to present rebuttal proofs.
iii) The respondent shall then proceed with proofs, including witnesses and exhibits.
iv) The receipt of evidence shall not be controlled by formal rules of evidence. The administration of oaths shall not be required.
v) At the request of either party, the presiding of cer may exclude any evidence if the presiding of cer determines that admitting such evidence would be irrelevant, untrustworthy, or fundamentally unfair.
vi) Both parties are permitted to question witnesses that testify at a judicial hearing unless the parties agree in writing at least fifteen (15) days before the hearing to admit a written statement of a witness.
vii) After all evidence has been presented to the assembly, the complainant and the respondent shall summarize their cases either orally or in writing. The complainant may be afforded the opportunity for rebuttal.
viii) If either party objects to irregularity in the proceedings, the objection must be entered into the record. The presiding officer may sustain or disallow the objection. If the chair’s ruling is challenged, the assembly must vote on the question of sustaining the chair.
b. The testimony shall be recorded verbatim.
c. The complainant has the burden to prove the written charge. Written charges must be proven with a high degree of probability.
d. If a complainant other than an employee or an assembly has filed written charges against an agency, board, or committee, he or she must allege — and the burden remains on him or her to show in any hearing — that the decision, act, or course of conduct being challenged substantially affects him or her directly, either materially or personally, and as an individual apart from other members of the church.
e. If a complainant is an employee who has filed written charges against an agency, board, or committee, he or she must allege — and the burden remains on him or her to show in any hearing — that the decision, act, or course of conduct being challenged substantially affects him or her directly, either materially or personally, in his or her capacity as an employee.
f. If a respondent fails to appear and the assembly determines that the respondent has been notified of the time and place of the judicial hearing and has had sufficient time to appear, the assembly may proceed in the respondent’s absence.
g. During the hearing, the presiding officer shall not comment on the merits of the case. This restriction does not apply when the assembly enters its final deliberations.
h. The final decision on any case shall be by majority vote of the assembly of the members hearing the case. Any member that has not attended all the sessions or heard the case in its entirety may not vote unless that member reads or listens to the record before a vote is taken.
i. The record of all proceedings including the testimony, the exhibits, papers, evidence, and findings in the case shall be certified by the presiding officer and shall be the basis of any appeal. The parties may have reasonable access to the record.

Section 6: Appeals

a. Appeals shall be filed with the assembly next in order.
b. The grounds for an appeal include irregularities in the proceedings of the lower assembly; decisions on the admission or exclusion of evidence; bias or prejudice in the case; manifest injustice in the judgment; or incorrect interpretation or application of the Word of God, doctrinal standards, or Church Order; and shall be based on the record of the judicial hearing.
c. No decision resulting from a judicial hearing shall be amended or overturned except on a showing that the procedures were manifestly unfair; that the evidence obviously did not support the decision; or that an incorrect interpretation or application of the Word of God, doctrinal standards, or Church Order was made.
d. The reviewing assembly shall not reassess the credibility of the witnesses that testified at the hearing.
e. Appeals to synod from decisions of assemblies of the CRC acting in their judicial capacity and appeals from a board, agency, or committee of synod when the Judicial Code has been invoked shall be referred to the Judicial Code Committee.
f. Persons that have voted on a matter in an assembly shall recuse themselves from participating in the appeal.
g. A losing party that failed to appear at the judicial hearing either personally or by a representative shall not be permitted to file a claim of appeal.

Section 7: Appeal Procedures before a Classis following a Judicial Hearing before a Council

a. Within ninety (90) days of the certification of the record, the losing party from a decision of a council following a judicial hearing, including a decision in a Safe Church proceeding, may file a written claim of appeal that states the grounds for the appeal with the stated clerk of classis. A copy of the claim of appeal shall also be delivered to the opposing party, the opposing party’s representative, if any, and the clerk of the council that decided the case. Upon receipt of the claim of appeal, the clerk of council shall forthwith transfer the certified record to classis. If the appeal is from a Safe Church proceeding, the record referenced in step 12 of the Advisory Panel Process shall be the record on appeal.
b. The appeal hearing in classis shall be limited to the grounds set forth in the claim of appeal.
c. With the claim of appeal, the losing party may file a written submission in support of the claim of appeal. Portions of certified record and any other authority that supports the grounds of appeal must be clearly cited. A copy of the submission shall also be delivered to the opposing party. Except if permission is granted by classis, the written submission shall not exceed thirty (30) pages double spaced.
d. Within sixty (60) days, the opposing party may file a written response to the claim of appeal with the stated clerk of classis and also a written submission that cites from the record and any authority that supports the response. Copies of the response and submission shall also be delivered to the losing party. Except if permission is granted by classis, the written submission shall not exceed thirty (30) pages double spaced.
e. In the event of the appellant’s death, the assembly may proceed with and decide the appeal if it is deemed significant for the denomination, or if the appellant’s representative provides proof of reasonable necessity for deciding the appeal.
f. Classis shall schedule an appellate hearing no sooner than ninety (90) days and no later than one hundred and eighty (180) days after the date the appeal was filed and send notice of the time and date of the hearing to the parties.
g. At the appellate hearing, each party shall have the opportunity to address classis to explain their position and to answer questions of classis. The losing party shall proceed first and may reserve time to respond after the prevailing party addresses classis. Unless permission is granted, the oral presentation for each party shall be limited to thirty (30) minutes.
h. After the parties’ presentations are concluded, classis shall go into strict executive session and shall immediately consider and decide the issues of the case. The final decision on any appeal shall be by majority vote of the classis as constituted.
i. Classis may affirm or reverse in whole or in part the decision of the council, or it may return the case to the council with instructions for a new partial or complete rehearing. A decision of classis that amends or overturns the decision of the council shall be written, shall state the grounds for amending or overturning, and shall be delivered to the parties. Written decisions should be sent to the parties no later than forty-five (45) days after the appellate hearing.
j. Within ninety (90) days of the issuance of the written decision, claims of appeal from a decision of classis may be filed with synod according to procedures for filing claims of appeal with classis.

Section 8: The Judicial Code Committee of Synod

a. Original hearings and appellate hearings before synod shall be referred to a Judicial Code Committee appointed by synod. This committee meets between synods as frequently as its business requires and presents its recommendations to synod in writing. Although there are some separate regulations regarding this committee in the Rules for Synodical Procedure, the committee largely functions as a normal advisory committee of synod.
b. The Judicial Code Committee shall be composed of twelve (12) members and shall reflect the diversity of the denomination. Each year four (4) persons shall be elected for terms of three (3) years. At least one (1) of these four (4) persons shall be a minister of the Word or a commissioned pastor; at least one (1) shall be a person trained in the law; at least one (1) shall not be a minister of the Word or a commissioned pastor nor one trained in the law. Synod shall elect members from nominations presented by the Board of Trustees of the CRC. The Judicial Code Committee may recommend nominees to the Board of Trustees of the CRC. The terms of members shall commence July 1 following their election by synod. In the event of a vacancy on the committee because of resignation or death, the Board of Trustees of the CRC shall appoint a person to fill the balance of that term. Members may be reelected but shall not serve more than six consecutive years. A former member who has been off the committee for two or more years shall be eligible for election to the committee as a new member. The Judicial Code Committee shall select a chairperson and reporter from among its membership. In addition, the executive director serves as a procedural adviser to the Judicial Code Committee chairperson. Any member of the Judicial Code Committee advising a given synod may be, but need not be, a delegate to that synod.

Section 9: Hearing and Appeal Procedures before the Synod Acting in Its Judicial Capacity

a. Written charges filed with synod shall be referred to the Judicial Code Committee by the executive director of the CRC to conduct an original hearing according to the procedures of the Judicial Code.
b. Claims of appeal from decisions of classis following a judicial hearing shall also be referred to the Judicial Code Committee by the executive director of the CRC to conduct an appeal hearing according to the procedures of the Judicial Code.
c. Written charges brought against an agency, board, or committee of synod and any other matters requiring formal adjudication that synod undertakes shall also be referred by the executive director of the CRC to the Judicial Code Committee for conducting a judicial hearing according to the procedures of the Judicial Code.
d. Claims of appeal filed with synod following an appeal hearing before classis shall also be referred to the Judicial Code Committee by the executive director of the CRC. The Judicial Code Committee shall review the claim of appeal and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees whether the application has suf cient merit to warrant further review. No further appeal proceedings shall be conducted unless the Board of Trustees approves. If approved, the Judicial Code Committee shall conduct an appeal hearing according to the procedures of the Judicial Code.
e. The Judicial Code Committee shall present its findings of fact and recommendations, along with grounds for its recommendations to synod in writing, and they shall be openly discussed in a plenary session of synod. These written findings of fact and recommendations shall omit any disclosure of names in cases where such disclosure is judged to be potentially damaging to their reputation.
f. Either party to the dispute may request the opportunity to address synod. Such request shall be made through the Judicial Code Committee, which shall make recommendation concerning the request to synod.
g. The Judicial Code Committee may provide the of cers of synod appropriate written advice on Judicial Code matters.
h. Synod may dispose of a judicial matter in one of the following ways:
i) by deciding the matter;
ii) by deferring it to one of its committees for settlement or reconciliation;
iii) by remanding it with advice to the appropriate classis or council; or
iv) by conducting its own original judicial or appeal hearing.
i. If synod conducts its own judicial or appeal hearing, it shall follow Judicial Code procedures set forth herein.

(Acts of Synod 1977, pp. 48-54)
(Amended Acts of Synod 1993, p. 499)
(Amended Acts of Synod 1996, pp. 484-88)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2003, pp. 688-91)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2013, p. 549)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2014, p. 569)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2015, p. 627)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 31

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
31

A request for revision of a decision shall be submitted to the assembly which made the decision. Such a request shall be honored only if sufficient and new grounds for reconsideration are presented.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 31

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 31

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Supplement, Article
31

Synod advised the churches that a request for revision of a decision of a major assembly must be processed as far as possible in the minor assemblies before coming to the major assembly.

(Acts of Synod 1983, pp. 653-54)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 32-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
32-a

The sessions of all assemblies shall begin and end with prayer.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 32-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
32-b

In every assembly there shall be a president whose duty it shall be to state and explain the business to be transacted, and to see to it that the stipulations of the Church Order are followed and that everyone observes due order and decorum in speaking. There shall also be a clerk whose task it shall be to keep an accurate record of the proceedings. In major assemblies the above named offices shall cease when the assembly adjourns.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 32-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
32-c

Each assembly shall make proper provision for receiving communications, preparing agenda and acts, keeping files and archives, and conducting the financial transactions of the assembly.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 32-d

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
32-d

Each assembly shall provide for the safeguarding of its property through proper incorporation.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 32-d

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 32-d

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Supplement, Article
32-d

A. Model Articles of Incorporation for Churches in the United States

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION 

The undersigned, desiring to become incorporated, adopt the following Articles of Incorporation: 

ARTICLE I
NAME OF CORPORATION 

The name of this corporation (church) is
_______________________________ _______________________________ ______________________________________. 

ARTICLE II
LOCATION 

The location of the church shall be in the City of __________, County of __________, State of __________. The street address and mailing address of the registered office of the church shall be _________________________, __________________________ _____. The name of the resident agent at the registered office is _______________________. 

ARTICLE III
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES 

This church is a member church of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and recognizes the following as the fundamental principles of doctrine and government: (a) the Bible as the inspired and infallible Word of God and the only rule for faith and life and (b) the formulas of unity of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, namely: The Belgic Confession, The Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort, and any amendments or additions as the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (“synod”) may adopt. 

ARTICLE IV
PURPOSES 

This church is a nonprofit, ecclesiastical corporation organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) (the “Code”).
The church shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Code. This church has not been formed for pecuniary profit or gain. No part of the assets, income, or profit of the church shall inure to the benefit of its members, council members, or officers. However, the church shall be authorized to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in this Article IV.
No substantial part of the activities of this church shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. This church shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. 

ARTICLE V
CHURCH GOVERNANCE 

The ecclesiastical government of the church shall be conducted in accordance with the Church Order of the Christian Reformed Church in North America as Synod shall adopt or revise (the “Church Order”).
The council of this church, as defined under the Church Order, shall constitute the Board of Trustees and shall have all powers over the temporalities of this church as the Church Order and relevant state law may prescribe.
Any persons elected to the office of elder or deacon according to the Church Order and the pastor(s), if there be one or more, must be members of the church. The corporate functions related to an office shall cease on the vacating of the office, but a vacancy in the office of the pastor(s) shall in no way affect the church or the Board of Trustees. 

ARTICLE VI
PROPERTY 

A. Manner in Which Held
Except as expressly provided under this Article VI, all real and personal property shall be held exclusively in furtherance of the purposes of this church as a member church of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and in furtherance of the principles of doctrine and ecclesiastical government outlined under Articles III and V of these Articles of Incorporation and interpreted by the Classis of which the church is a member (the “Classis”), subject to review on appeal by synod, consistent with the Church Order. 

B. In the Event of Dissolution
In the event of the disbanding of this church and the dissolution of this corporation, the church’s remaining assets, if any, after the payment of its debts and expenses, shall be conveyed as the Board of Trustees may propose and as the affirmative vote of a majority of the members shall determine, subject to each of the following:
1. The Classis must approve the disbanding of this church and the dissolution of this corporation;
2. The Board of Trustees shall receive the advice of the Classis in formulating its proposal for property distribution;
3. The vote of the members shall be in accordance with the provisions of paragraph B of Article VII of these Articles of Incorporation; and
4. All remaining assets must be distributed only to one or more organizations which qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code. 

C. In the Event of Consensual Division
In the event that a majority of the members of this church consensually agree to divide this church, with the consent of the Classis, into two (2) or more member churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, all real and personal property of this corporation shall be distributed as a majority vote of the members determines in accordance with the provisions of paragraph B of Article VII of these Articles of Incorporation. 

D. In the Event of Irreconcilable Division
In the event that the Classis (or synod on appeal) determines that an irreconcilable division (schism) has occurred within this church, the confessing members of this church who, according to the exclusive determination of the classis (or synod on appeal), remain true to the purposes of this church as a member church of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the principles of doctrine and ecclesiastical government outlined under Articles III and V of these Articles of Incorporation shall be the lawful congregation of this church and shall have the exclusive right to hold and enjoy the real and personal property of this church. Nothing in this Article VI shall prevent the classis (or synod on appeal) from determining, in keeping with the scriptural injunction of 1 Corinthians 6, that more than one group of confessing members of this church are each a lawful congregation and dividing the real and personal property between the groups of members as classis (or synod on appeal) may determine. Classis (or Synod on appeal) also shall have the exclusive discretion to determine the circumstances which may warrant the division of the real and personal property between a group or groups of former members who choose not to remain in ecclesiastical fellowship with the Christian Reformed Church in North America. 

ARTICLE VII
MEMBERSHIP VOTING REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN ACTIONS 

A. Except as provided under paragraphs B through D of this Article VII of these Articles of Incorporation, the Board of Trustees shall have the authority to bargain, sell, convey, mortgage, lease, or release any real estate belonging to the church; to erect and repair church buildings, parsonages, schoolhouses and other buildings for the direct and legitimate use of the church; and to fix the salary of anyone in its employment.
B. No purchase, sale or conveyance, mortgage, lease, or fixing of salaries shall occur under paragraph A of this Article VII of these Articles of Incorporation unless the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the church shall be first obtained at a meeting of the members present and entitled to vote. This meeting shall be specially called for that purpose by notice given for two successive Sundays at the usual place of meeting.
C. In the event of schism, the provisions of Article VI, D shall control the disposition of any real or personal property, and this Article VII shall not be effective.
D. No sale, mortgage, or conveyance shall be made of any gift, grant, donation, conveyance, or bequest, which would be inconsistent with the express terms or plain intent of the grant, donation, gift, conveyance, or bequest. 

ARTICLE VIII
AMENDMENTS

The Board of Trustees may at any time, by the affirmative vote of two thirds of the Trustees, adopt amendments to these Articles of Incorporation. Notwithstanding the preceding provision, the Board of Trustees shall not adopt any amendments to these Articles of Incorporation which are inconsistent with the provisions of Articles III through VIII unless approved by the Classis (or Synod on appeal).
Before any such amendment shall become effective, the Trustees shall obtain an affirmative vote of at least two thirds of the members of the church who are present and entitled to vote at a meeting specially called for that purpose, of which notice has first been given as provided for under paragraph B of Article VII of these Articles of Incorporation.

ARTICLE IX
LIMITED LIABILITY 

The liability of a volunteer Trustee of the church shall be limited, eliminated, or assumed to the extent as is authorized under the relevant laws of the state in which this church is formed, except to the extent such limitation, elimination, or assumption of liability is inconsistent with the status of the church as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code or results in the imposition of tax under Section 4958 of the Code. No amendment or repeal of this Article shall apply to or have any effect on the liability or alleged liability of any member of the Board of Trustees or officer of this church for or with respect to any acts or omissions of such trustee occurring prior to the effective date of any such amendment or repeal. 

ARTICLE X
TERM 

The term of this corporation is perpetual.
In witness of which, we are signing for the purpose of giving legal effect to these Articles of Incorporation: 

________________________________________________
[Signature requirements will vary from state to state] 

(Acts of Synod 2009, p. 596)

Note 1: The above Articles of Incorporation can be obtained from the CRC website — www.crcna.org and search “Articles of Incorporation.”
Note 2: A form of the above Articles of Incorporation modified for Michigan corporations is available from the office of the executive director or online at www.crcna.org.

 

B. Model Articles of Incorporation for Churches in Canada 

1. Corporate Name
* Christian Reformed Church
________________________________________________________

2. The province or territory in Canada where the registered office is situated

________________________________________________________

3. Minimum and maximum number of directors (for a fixed number, indicate the same number in both boxes)
minimum ________ maximum _________ 

4. Statement of the purpose of the corporation
The purpose of the corporation is to advance and teach the religious tenets, doctrines, observances, and culture associated with the Christian faith within the denomination of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

5. Restrictions on the activities the corporation may carry on, if any
a) The corporation shall carry on operations without pecuniary gain to its members, and any pro ts or other accretions to the corporation will be used in promoting its objects.
b) The corporation shall be subject to the Charities Accounting Act.

6. The classes, or regional or other groups, of members that the corporation is authorized to establish
The corporation is authorized to establish one class of members. Each member shall be entitled to receive notice of, attend, and vote at all meetings of the members of the corporation.

7. Statement regarding the distribution of property remaining on liquidation
Any property remaining upon liquidation, dissolution, or winding up, after payments of its liabilities, shall be distributed in the following manner:
to the classis of the Christian Reformed Church in North America to which the corporation belonged, provided that it is a qualified donee within the meaning of s.248(1) of the Income Tax Act; or failing that,
to another Christian Reformed Church located in the geographical vicinity of the corporation, provided that it is a qualified donee within the meaning of s.248(1) of the Income Tax Act; or failing that,
to the Christian Reformed Church in North America Canada Corporation, provided that it is a qualified donee within the meaning of s.248(1) of the Income Tax Act in Canada; or failing that,
to one or more qualified donees within the meaning of s.248(1) of the Income Tax Act in Canada that have similar or cognate purposes to the one herein.

8. Additional provisions, if any
a. The directors shall serve as such without remuneration, and no director shall directly or indirectly receive any pro t from their positions as such, provided that directors may be paid reasonable expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties.
b. The borrowing power of the corporation pursuant to any by-law passed and confirmed in accordance with the Canada Not for Profit Corporations Act shall be limited to borrowing money for current operating expenses, provided that the borrowing power of the corporation shall not be so limited if it borrows on the security of real or personal property.
c. If it is made to appear to the satisfaction of the minister, upon report of the Public Guardian and Trustee, that the corporation has failed to comply with any of the provisions of the Charities Accounting Act, the minister may authorize an inquiry for the purpose of determining whether or not there is sufficient cause for the Lieutenant Governor to make an order under the Canada Not for Profit Corporations Act to cancel the letters patent of the corporation and declare them to be dissolved.
d. To invest the funds of the corporation pursuant to the Trustee Act.
e. For the above objects, and as incidental and ancillary thereto, to exercise any of the powers as prescribed by the Canada Not for Profit Corporations Act, or by any other statutes or laws from time to time applicable, except where such power is limited by those letters patent or the statute or common law relating to charities.
f. The directors may appoint one or more directors, who shall hold office for a term expiring not later than the close of the next annual general meeting of members, but the total number of directors so appointed may not exceed one-third of the number of directors elected at the previous annual general meeting of members.

9. Declaration

I hereby certify that I am an incorporator of the Corporation

Print Names
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________

Signatures
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________

Note: Churches should seek legal advice prior to adopting these Articles of Incorporation, especially as it relates to the incorporating legislation. These documents are prepared for information purposes only and use the Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA) as the template so that they are available to all Canadian Christian Reformed Churches. They should be modified where necessary to conform to the laws of the province of the CR church using them as these are made for an Ontario CR church. There are many factors that may go into deciding which incorporating jurisdiction a CR church should select, and all relevant factors should be considered. Nevertheless, Ontario CR churches may choose to avoid the CNCA as it does not contemplate the existence of ex-officio directors (as the new Ontario legislation does) that are found in the model by-laws. Also, the exemption for religious corporations from the new expanded member remedies available under the CNCA has qualifications that do not exist under the similar Ontario legislation, leading some to regard Ontario as a safer harbour for some religious corporations.

(Acts of Synod 2012, p. 730)

Note: The above Articles of Incorporation can be obtained from the CRC website — www.crcna.org and search “Articles of Incorporation.”

 

C. Operating Bylaw re Property for Churches in Canada

a. The corporation shall hold all real and personal property exclusively upon the trusts described in the Objects and in furtherance of the Fundamental Principles of the Church Doctrine and Government of the corporation as outlined in the (Letters Patent or Articles of Incorporation) of this church and as interpreted by the classis of which this church is a member (the “classis”), subject to review on appeal by the synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.
b. In the event of the disbanding of this church, with the approval of classis, and dissolution of this corporation, its remaining assets, if any, after the payment of its debts and expenses, shall be distributed to, and only to, one or more charities in Canada that are registered with Revenue, Taxation Canada for the purposes of the Income Tax Act of Canada and have objects similar to this corporation, in the manner proposed by the council, upon consultation with classis—and approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the church.
c. In the event of consensual division of this church by vote of its members and with the consent of the classis into two or more Christian Reformed churches, all real and personal property of this corporation shall be distributed between the two or more Christian Reformed churches as agreed to by the members, subject to the review of said distribution by classis (or synod on appeal).
d. In the event that the classis (or synod on appeal) determines that an irreconcilable division (schism) has occurred within this church, the confessing members of this church who, according to the exclusive determination of classis (or synod on appeal), remain true to the Objects, the principles of doctrine and ecclesiastical government, as set out in the (Letters Patent or Articles of Incorporation), shall be the lawful congregation of this church and shall constitute the sole membership of this corporation which shall have the exclusive right to hold and continue to hold and enjoy the real and personal property of this church. Nothing in this Article ____, however, shall prevent the classis (or synod on appeal) from determining, in keeping with the scriptural injunction of I Corinthians 6, that more than one group of confessing members of this church are each a lawful congregation and from dividing the real and personal property among this church and such other lawful congregation(s) having the same or similar objects and arising from this church in such proportion as classis (or synod on appeal) may determine.

(Acts of Synod 1997, p. 620)

 

D. Model General Operating Bylaw Number 1 for Churches in Canada

A model bylaw for churches in Canada has been prepared and approved by synod. A copy may be obtained from the office of the executive director or from the CRC website — www.crcna.org and search “Bylaw Canada.”

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 33-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
33-a

The assemblies may delegate to committees the execution of their decisions or the preparation of reports for future consideration. They shall give every committee a well-defined mandate, and shall require of them regular and complete reports of their work.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 33-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
33-b

Each classis shall appoint a classical interim committee, and synod shall appoint the Board of Trustees, to act for them in matters which cannot await action by the assemblies themselves. Such committees shall be given well-defined mandates and shall submit all their actions to the next meeting of the assembly for approval.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 34

II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Article
34

The major assemblies are composed of officebearers who are delegated by their constituent minor assemblies. The minor assemblies shall provide their delegates with proper credentials which authorize them to deliberate and vote on matters brought before the major assemblies. A delegate shall not vote on any matter in which the delegate or the church of which the delegate is a member is particularly involved.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) CII.B.

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 35-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
35-a

In every church there shall be a council composed of the minister(s), the elders, and the deacons. Those tasks which belong to the common administration of the church, such as promoting its mission, calling a pastor, approving nominations for church office, mutual censure, meeting with church visitors, and other matters of common concern, are the responsibility of the council.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 35-a

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 35-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Supplement, Article
35-a

The council is responsible for preparing the annual budget of the congregation, including classical and denominational ministry shares for presentation to the congregation for its approval.

(Acts of Synod 1992, p. 711)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 35-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
35-b

In every church there shall be a consistory composed of the elders and the minister(s) of the Word. Those tasks which belong distinctively to the office of elder are the responsibility of the consistory. The consistory shall give an account of its work to the council.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 35-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
35-c

In every church there shall be a diaconate composed of the deacons of the church. Those tasks which belong distinctively to the office of deacon are the responsibility of the diaconate. The diaconate shall give an account of its work to the council.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 36-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
36-a

The council, consistory, and diaconate shall ordinarily meet at least once a month, at a time and place announced to the congregation. Each body shall select its own president and other officers.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 36-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
36-b

The council, at least four times per year, shall exercise mutual censure, in which officebearers assess and encourage each other in the performance of their official duties.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 37

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
37

The council, besides seeking the cooperation of the congregation in the election of officebearers, shall also invite its judgment about other major matters, except those which pertain to the supervision and discipline of the congregation. For this purpose the council shall call a meeting at least annually of all members entitled to vote. Such a meeting shall be conducted by the council, and only those matters which it presents shall be considered. Although full consideration shall be given to the judgment expressed by the congregation, the authority for making and carrying out final decisions remains with the council as the governing body of the church, except in those matters stipulated otherwise in the articles of incorporation or by law.

— Cf. Article 59-b and -c

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 38-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
38-a

Groups of believers among whom no council can as yet be constituted shall be under the care of a neighboring council, designated by classis.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 38-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
38-b

When a council is being constituted for the first time, the approval of classis is required.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 38-b

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 38-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Supplement, Article
38-b

a. Ordinarily the congregation shall have been in existence at least three years.
b. The congregation shall include a sufficient number of members who meet the biblical requirements for church office and are committed to use their personal and spiritual gifts in providing leadership and support to the congregation and its ministry.
c. The congregation exercises financial stewardship for the continuing development and effectiveness of its ministry and, prior to organization, provides the classis with financial information that reflects its capacity and commitment toward financial self-support, including personnel expenses and classical and denominational ministry shares.
d. The community in which the congregation is located offers the potential for continuing ministry, and the congregation gives evidence of its continuing commitment to fulfill the great commission with the resources and opportunities God gives.

(Acts of Synod 2005, pp. 762-63)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 38-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
38-c

When a non-Christian Reformed congregation wishes to affiliate with the Christian Reformed Church, including the transfer of its pastor and other ministry staff, the procedure and regulations established by synod shall be followed.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 38-c

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 38-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Supplement, Article
38-c

Synod 2006 adopted a detailed Affiliation Process and Procedure for congregations that desire to affiliate with the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The process and procedure document for such affiliation as described in the Candidacy Committee’s “Journey Toward Ordination” document is included in the “Manual for Synodical Deputies,” the Manual of Christian Reformed Church Government, and has been provided for every stated clerk of classis.

(See Agenda for Synod 2006, pp. 64-70 and Acts of Synod 2006, p. 680)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 38-d

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
38-d

When a council and congregation decide to disband or revert to unorganized status, the approval of classis is required. If any distribution of assets is required, the congregation and council shall consult with classis.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 38-d

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 38-d

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Supplement, Article
38-d

If a church has diminished to fewer than forty-five active confessing members or shows that it lacks a sufficient number of members who can provide leadership or it can no longer meet its financial obligations or there is no prospect of continued growth, then a classis should consider that these are sufficient indicators for it to begin discussing with such a congregation whether it is still appropriate for it to retain organized status.

(Acts of Synod 2005, p. 763)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 38-e

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
38-e

When two or more councils and congregations decide to merge, the approval of classis is required.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 38-f

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
38-f

When a council decides to disaffiliate from the denomination, the set process for disaffiliation adopted by synod shall be followed.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 38-f

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 38-f

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Supplement, Article
38-f

A local congregation may disaffiliate from the denomination only according to the following procedure:
a. A church council which adopts a resolution to disaffiliate from the denomination shall inform its classis of its actions, ordinarily at the next scheduled meeting of classis. The council shall provide written grounds for its intention to withdraw.
b. Classis shall appoint representatives to meet with the council to attempt to dissuade the council from such action. Representatives of classis shall have the opportunity to meet in person with the council and to present written rebuttal to the council’s grounds. Meetings between the council and classical representatives shall continue no longer than two months unless both parties agree to a continuation.
c. If the council is not dissuaded by the classical representatives and wishes to continue the disaffiliation process, the council shall issue a call for a congregational meeting. It will present together with this call its written grounds for disaffiliation and any written rebuttal presented by the classical representatives.
d. Representatives of classis shall be informed of the time and location of congregational meetings at which a congregation’s withdrawal from the denomination is being considered and shall be given opportunity to persuade the congregation to remain within the denomination.
e. At the congregational meeting a preliminary vote may be taken following the discussion. If a majority favors withdrawal, a second meeting to confirm this decision shall be scheduled no earlier than one month and no later than one year following.
f. If the second congregational vote favors disaffiliation and the council follows through on its decision to disaffiliate, classis shall provide for the pastoral care of those members who wish to remain within the denomination.
g. If the congregation wishes to disaffiliate from the denomination, classis (and synod upon appeal) shall settle any disputes between differing factions within the disaffiliating congregation. The separation will be complete when classis (or synod upon appeal) declares it acquiesces in the decision of the congregation to disaffiliate from the denomination.

(Acts of Synod 1997, pp. 613-14)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 38-g

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
38-g

Particular churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America may unite to form union congregations with one or more particular congregations of churches in ecclesiastical fellowship, with the approval of classis.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 38-g

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 38-g

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Supplement, Article
38-g

Provisions for forming union churches

1. The following plan of union shall be adopted by particular churches forming a union church:
a. The following plan of union is adopted by the ___________________ Christian Reformed Church of ____________, effective as of the date when each of the congregations has approved the plan by a two-thirds majority of those present at a regularly called congregational meeting with such notice and quorum as is required by the constitution of each church and when the classis (presbytery) of each church has approved the particular union and this plan of union.
b. The purpose of this union is to provide for the worship of almighty God, instruction in the Christian faith, and outreach and diaconal ministry by a united congregation which will share the property, real and personal, of the uniting churches and provide for the services of a minister or ministers for the united church.
c. The united church shall be known as the ____________ Church of ____________.
d. The united church shall be subject to the constitution of each church involved as set forth in subsections r, s, u, and v.
e. The council (session) shall submit its records annually, and whenever requested, to each broader assembly (judicatory).
f. The membership of the united church shall consist of those who were members of the uniting churches, plus those received by the council (session) of the united church.
g. The council (session) of the united church shall report an equal share of the total membership to each broader assembly (judicatory), and such membership shall be published in the minutes/acts/directory of the synod/general assembly with a note to the effect that the report is that of a union church and with an indication of the total actual membership. A report of additional vital congregational information shall be made by the council (session) and properly noted by each (general) assembly.
h. Initially the officers of the united church (elders and deacons) shall be those officers in active service of the uniting churches, who will undertake to perform their responsibilities under the constitution of each church, as indicated in subsections d above and r, s, u, and v below.
i. At the first annual meeting subsequent to the effective date of the union, new officers shall be elected by the united congregation to replace the officers noted in subsection h above according to the constitutional procedure in force as a consequence of subsection v below.
j. The pastoral relations of the ministers of the uniting churches shall be dissolved automatically by the action of the classis (presbytery) in approving this plan, but they may be eligible to be ministers (pastors) of the united church according to the election of the united congregation.
k. The minister/s of the united church shall be full and responsible members of each assembly (judicatory) of immediate jurisdiction and shall be subject to discipline as provided below in subsection s.
l. The united church shall cause a corporation to be formed under the appropriate laws of the state, where permissible. The corporation shall include in its articles or charter the substance of subsections b, c, and d above and the confessional standards of the uniting churches.
m. All property of the uniting churches, real and personal, shall be transferred to the corporation formed in section l above. The new corporation shall be the legal successor of the corporations, if any, of the uniting churches, and it shall be bound to administer any trust property or monies received in accordance with the provisions of the original establishment of the trust. All liabilities of the uniting churches shall be liabilities of the united church. In any state/ province where a church corporation is forbidden, the purposes of this section shall be achieved in harmony with the law of that state.
n. Trustees of the corporation (or the unincorporated body) shall be elected in harmony with civil law according to the constitutional provisions outlined in subsection d above, as interpreted by subsection v below.
o. While recognizing the basic right of any giver to designate the cause or causes to which the gift shall go, the council (session) of the united church shall annually propose to the congregation a general mission or benevolence program which shall be divided equitably among the officially approved causes of each denomination. The proportions shall be as the council (session) shall decide in response to the request of the broader assemblies (judicatories).
p. Per capita ministry shares (apportionments) shall be paid to each classis (presbytery) and to synod (general assembly) on the basis of the total communicant membership of the union church, equally divided among the denominations involved.
q. All members of the united church shall be under the discipline of the elders (session) according to rules agreed upon in harmony with the constitution of each denomination where they coincide, in harmony with the mandatory provisions of the constitution of one denomination where the others are permissive, and at the choice of the elders (session) where they may be contradictory.
r. Appeals against the actions of the council (session) shall be made to one assembly or judicatory only (presbytery or classis), at the choice of the members, and all subsequent appeals or complaints shall be in the assemblies of the members’ original choice, and decisions so finally made shall be binding on the council (session) and on the members.
s. The minister/s shall be subject to the discipline of the council/classis/presbytery provided that when an assembly begins an action, it shall invite a committee from the others to join in formulating and pressing the charges. In the event of appeal, the case shall be finally decided by the broadest assembly to which the appeal is taken in the church which commenced the action, and that decision shall be equally binding on the council/classis/presbytery.
t. The minister/s shall participate in the denominational pension plan of one of the churches. If already participating in a plan, the minister/s shall remain in that plan. If there has been no participation in any pension plan, the minister/s may choose which denominational plan to join.
u. Protests/complaints against the actions of the council (session) may be taken under the constitutional provisions of only one denomination, according to the choice of the complainant; once a complaint is registered with an assembly (judicatory), no other denomination shall accept jurisdiction in the same matter.
v. Wherever the constitutions of the denominations differ, the mandatory provisions of one shall apply in all cases when the others are permissive. Wherever there are conflicting mandatory provisions (except as provided in subsection q above), the council (session) of the united church shall petition the assemblies (judicatories) of immediate jurisdiction to overture their respective broadest assembly to resolve the conflict either by authoritative interpretations or by constitutional amendment.
w. A union church may be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of two congregational meetings held not less than one year and not more than two years apart, subject to the concurrence of the classes (presbyteries) involved. In case of dissolution of a union church, all property of the united church, real and personal, shall be divided equally between the classes (the presbytery and the classis) of jurisdiction.
2. No provision in this document shall be construed as modifying or amending the church order/constitution of this church in its application to any but union churches organized under this provision, their members, officers, or ministers.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 38-h

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Article
38-h

Particular churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America may affiliate with one or more additional denominations in ecclesiastical fellowship, with the approval of classis and with the concurring advice of the synodical deputies.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 38-h

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 38-h

II. The Assemblies of the Church

B. The Council

Supplement, Article
38-h

The following plan for affiliation shall be adopted by a particular church to affiliate with one or more denominations in ecclesiastical fellowship:
a. The following plan is adopted by the _____________ Christian Reformed Church of _____________, effective as of the date when the congregation has approved the plan by a two-thirds majority of those present at a regularly called congregational meeting with such notice and quorum as is required by its rules of procedure and when the local classis of the CRC and the local governing body of the additional denomination has approved the particular plan of affiliation.
b. The purpose of this af liation is to provide for the worship of almighty God, instruction in the Christian faith, and outreach and diaconal ministry by a congregation which is organizing as a dual or multiaffiliated church.
c. The dual or multiaffiliated church shall be known as the _____________ Church.
d. The dual or multiaffiliated church shall be subject to the Church Order/Constitution of each denomination involved as set forth in subsections m, n, p, and q below.
e. The council shall annually report its active membership count and other statistics to the respective denominations as required by each denomination.
f. In the case of an organized church, initially the officers (elders and deacons) shall be those officers in active service at the time of the change in affiliation. They will undertake to perform their responsibilities as indicated in subsections d above and m, n, p, and q below.
g. Following the change in affiliation in an organized church, or when an emerging church organizes as a dual or multiaffiliated church, officers will be elected according to the rules of procedure approved in the resulting church.
h. The minister(s) of the resulting church shall be full and responsible members of each assembly (judicatory) of immediate jurisdiction and shall be subject to discipline as provided below in subsection n.
i. The dual or multiaffiliated church shall make changes in its Articles of Incorporation to include the substance of subsections b, c, and d and the confessional standards of the affiliated churches.
j. While recognizing the basic right of any giver to designate the cause or causes to which a gift shall go, the council of the dual or multiaffiliated church shall annually propose to the congregation a general mission or benevolence program which shall be divided equitably among the officially approved causes of each denomination. The proportions shall be as the council shall decide in response to the request of the broader assemblies (judicatories).
k. Per capita ministry shares (assessments) shall be paid to each classis and synod (and equivalent governing bodies) on the basis of the total confessing membership of the church, equally divided among the denominations involved.
l. All members of the church shall be under the discipline of the elders, according to rules agreed upon in harmony with the Church Order/Constitution of each denomination where they coincide, and in harmony with the mandatory provisions of the Church Order/Constitution of one denomination where the other is permissive, and at the choice of the elders where the provisions may be contradictory.
m. Appeals against the actions of the council shall be made to one assembly or judicatory only (classis), at the choice of the members, and all subsequent appeals or complaints shall be in the assemblies of the members’ original choice, and decisions so  nally made shall be binding on the council and on the members.
n. The minister(s) shall be subject to the discipline of the council and the governing assemblies of the denomination within which that minister is ordained, provided that when an assembly begins an action, it shall invite a committee from the others to join in formulating and pressing the charges. In the event of appeal, the case shall be finally decided by the broadest assembly to which the appeal is taken in the church which commenced the action, and that decision shall be equally binding on the council and classis.
o. The minister(s) shall participate in the denominational pension plan of the denomination within which that minister is ordained and in compliance with its requirements.
p. Protests/complaints against the actions of the council may be taken under the Church Order/Constitutional provisions of only one denomination, according to the choice of the complainant; once a complaint is registered with an assembly (judicatory), no other denomination shall accept jurisdiction in the same matter.
q. The plan of affiliation that is formed may be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of the congregation at two separate congregational meetings held not less than one year and not more than two years apart, subject to the concurrence of the classes (regional assemblies) involved. In case of dissolution of the plan, all property of the church, real and personal, shall be divided according to a formula established at the time of purchase or the plan of affiliation. If a written formula does not exist, then the acquired property shall be divided equally between the classes (regional assemblies) of jurisdiction, unless a classis or presbytery chooses to waive its right to the property.
r. Wherever the Church Order/Constitution of the denominations differs, the mandatory provisions of one shall apply in all cases when the others are permissive. Wherever there are conflicting mandatory provisions (except as provided in subsection l above), the council of the dual or multiaffiliated church shall petition the assemblies (judicatories) of immediate jurisdiction to overture their respective broadest assembly to resolve the conflict either by authoritative interpretations or by Church Order/constitutional amendment.
s. No provision in this document shall be construed as modifying or amending the Church Order/Constitution of this church in its application to any but dual or multiaffiliated churches organized under this provision, their members, officers, or ministers.

(Acts of Synod 2015, pp. 648-49)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) CII.C.

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 39

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
39

A classis shall consist of a group of neighboring churches. The organizing of a new classis and the redistricting of classes require the approval of synod.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 39

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 39

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Supplement, Article
39

The classis, through its treasurer, is responsible for the receipt and disbursement of classical and denominational funds, the more prosperous churches assisting the more needy ones.

(Acts of Synod 1992, p. 711)

Any request for transfer to another classis may include grounds that go beyond the sole matter of geographic proximity; synod is at liberty to consider such grounds in its disposition of the request.

(Acts of Synod 1996, pp. 561)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 40-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
40-a

The council of each church shall delegate a minister, an elder, and a deacon to the classis. If a church is without a minister, or the minister is prevented from attending, another elder shall be delegated in place of the minister. Officebearers who are not delegated may also attend classis and may be given an advisory voice.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 40-a

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 40-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Supplement, Article
40-a

a. When great distances or other weighty reasons make it impractical for a church to send three delegates to the classis, a council may opt to send two delegates.
b. The gender of delegates to a classis shall be consistent with the decisions of that classis concerning the supplement to Article 3-a of the Church Order. Delegates who believe the seating of women delegates is in violation of the Word of God may record their protest on the appropriate credentials. Their names, along with their protests, shall be included in the of cial record of each classis meeting. If a classis so desires, it may also invite emerging churches to delegate three of cebearers to the meetings of classis.

(Acts of Synod 1997, p. 621)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2007, p. 612)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2009, p. 613)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2015, p. 657)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 40-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
40-b

The classis shall meet at least every four months, unless great distances render this impractical, at such time and place as was determined by the previous classical meeting.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 40-b

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 40-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Supplement, Article
40-b

Any classical decision requiring the concurrence of the synodical deputies be made in the presence of delegates from all the churches which are members of the classis in which the action is being taken. If a classis contracta is necessary because of justifiable circumstances, to be determined in consultation with the deputies, a contracted classis shall never be convened with fewer than half the churches represented. A quorum for a classis contracta shall be half the churches of a classis plus one.

(Acts of Synod 2000, p. 668)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 40-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
40-c

The ministers shall preside in rotation, or a president may be elected from among the delegates; however, ordinarily the same person shall not preside twice in succession.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 40-a and -c

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 40-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Supplement, Article
40-c

Modification for Churches of Classis Red Mesa

a. The council of each church shall delegate a minister, an elder, and a deacon to the classis. If a church is without a minister, or a minister, elder, or deacon delegate is prevented from attending, any combination of three officebearers may be delegated. Officebearers who are not delegated also may attend classis and may be given an advisory voice.
c. The presiding officers of classis shall be selected from officebearers within the classis. Ordinarily the same presiding officers shall not be chosen twice in succession.

(Acts of Synod 1981, p. 16)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2015, p. 657)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 41

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
41

In order to assist the churches, the classis shall allocate sufficient time at its meetings to respond to requests for advice or help from the churches and, at a minimum of one of its meetings annually, shall allocate sufficient time to discuss at least one ministry issue that the classis considers to be especially important in the life and ministry of member congregations in the denomination.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 41

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 41

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Supplement, Article
41

Synod revised the Classical Credential Form by adding the following sentence to the top half of the form:

We testify that our council faithfully adheres to the doctrinal standards of the Christian Reformed Church and diligently and effectively attends to ministry within our congregation, community, classis, denomination, and the broader kingdom of God.

kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 42-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
42-a

The classis shall be responsible for appointing persons to provide counsel and advice to churches. The classis shall appoint church visitors to visit each church in classis on a yearly basis. The classis shall appoint classical counselors to provide advice to any church in the process of calling a minister of the Word.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 42-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
42-b

The church visitors shall consist of one or more teams of officebearers chosen for their experience and counsel. Team composition shall include a minister of the Word and at least one other officebearer. Their task shall be to ascertain whether the officebearers of the church faithfully perform their duties, adhere to sound doctrine, observe the provisions of the Church Order, and promote the building up of the body of Christ and the extension of God’s kingdom. Churches are free to call on the church visitors whenever serious challenges arise that would benefit from their advice. The church visitors shall provide classis a written report of their work.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 42-b

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 42-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Supplement, Article
42-b

That synod encourage classes to emphasize the importance of church visiting, thereby acknowledging its value for maintaining spiritual health and vitality in the member congregations of the classis, and encourage the use of the Guide for Conducting Church Visiting (found on CRC web: www.crcna.org) and/or other resources available from the Office of Pastor-Church Relations as effective tools to that end.

(Acts of Synod 2009, p. 596)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 42-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
42-c

The classical counselor’s task is to ensure that a church in the process of calling a minister of the Word observes ecclesiastical regulations and sound process. The counselor shall be an officebearer, normally a minister of the Word, whose ministerial credentials or membership resides in a congregation other than the church in the process of calling a minister. The classical counselor shall provide classis with a written report during and after the calling process.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 43-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
43-a

Every classis shall maintain a student fund and a Classical Ministerial Leadership Team (CMLT) to provide support and encouragement for individuals preparing for ministry in the Christian Reformed Church.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 43-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
43-b

The classis may grant the right to exhort within its bounds to persons who are gifted, well-informed, consecrated, and able to edify the churches. When the need for their services has been established, the classis shall examine such persons and license them as exhorters for a limited period of time.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 44-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
44-a

A classis may take counsel or joint action with its neighboring classis or classes in matters of mutual concern.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 44-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

C. The Classis

Article
44-b

Classes engaging in matters of mutual concern may organize themselves into an ecclesiastical assembly that will function on the level of classis, with freedom to determine the delegation from the constituent classes and the frequency of meetings. Such an assembly’s authority, jurisdiction, and mandate shall be approved by synod. It shall have direct access to synod in all matters pertaining to its mandate.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) CII.D.

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 45

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
45

Synod is the assembly representing the churches of all the classes. Each classis shall delegate one minister, one elder, one deacon, and one other of cebearer to synod.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 45

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 45

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Supplement, Article
45

a. Denominational Funding
1. The synod shall annually review the unified denominational budget as proposed by the Board of Trustees and approve a ministry-share assignment to provide the revenue for that budget.
2. Synod shall review the annual budgets of the denominational agencies.
3. Following each annual synod, the executive director shall inform the classical treasurers as to their respective denominational ministry shares.

(Amended from Acts of Synod 1992, p. 711)

b. Regulations pertaining to the choosing of delegates to synod and synodical deputies
1. Delegates who believe the seating of (or election of) women delegates (or synodical deputies) is in violation of the Word of God may record their protest on the appropriate credentials. Their names, along with protests, shall be recorded in the minutes of synod.
2. Commissioned pastors serving as a solo pastor of an organized congregation may be sent as a ministerial delegate to synod and nominated to serve in other denominational functions where a person must normally be a minister of the Word.

(Acts of Synod 2007, pp. 612, 665)
(Amended Acts of Synod 2009, pp. 613-14)

3. Commissioned pastors serving in emerging churches and associate staff positions may be delegated as elder delegates to synod and nominated to serve in other denominational functions where a person must normally be an elder.

(Acts of Synod 2013, pp. 559-60)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 46-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
46-a

Synod shall meet annually, at a time and place determined by the previous synod. Each synod shall designate a church to convene the following synod.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 46-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
46-b

The convening church, with the approval of the Board of Trustees of the CRCNA, may call a special session of synod, but only in very extraordinary circumstances and with the observance of synodical regulations.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 46-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
46-c

The officers of synod shall be elected and shall function in accordance with the Rules for Synodical Procedure.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 47

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
47

The task of synod includes the adoption of the creeds, of the Church Order, and of the principles and elements of worship. Synod shall approve the liturgical forms, the Psalter Hymnal, and the Bible versions suitable for use in worship. No substantial alterations shall be effected by synod in these matters unless the churches have had prior opportunity to consider the advisability of the proposed changes.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 47

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 47

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Supplement, Article
47

Regulations Pertaining to Article 47 of the Church Order

a. A substantial alteration is any alteration which changes the essential meaning of the creeds or the articles of the Church Order or which changes the church’s regulation of its worship through the adopted liturgical forms, Psalter Hymnal, principles and elements of worship, or the designated Bible versions to be used in the worship services. A committee recommending any change in these matters shall specify what change is being recommended and shall state whether or not the change is a “substantial alteration.”
b. Prior opportunity is understood as sufficient time for churches and classes to be able to respond to a substantial alteration with overtures or other communications to synod before the substantial alteration is adopted. Generally, churches and classes have prior opportunity in the case of study committee reports because such reports are received by November 1 of the year before synod meets. Generally, churches and classes do not have prior opportunity in the case of standing-committee reports and overtures because the printed Agenda for Synod is received only two months before synod meets and one month after the majority of the classes have had their last meetings before synod.
c. If the churches and classes have not had prior opportunity to consider a substantial alteration, it must be submitted to a following synod, which will consider its advisability. The first decision shall be understood as a decision to propose; the action of a following synod shall be understood as a decision to adopt.
1) A proposed change may not be implemented until it is adopted by a following synod. It has no effect on any other synodical decisions until it is adopted.
2) A proposed change has the same status as the recommendation of a study committee. The synod proposing the change may designate a person(s) to represent the change at the synod to which it is submitted for adoption. The proposed change and its representatives have all the rights and privileges of the recommendations and representatives of a synodical study committee.
3) If a proposed change is rejected by a following synod, that change (or one substantially similar) is not available for adoption by a succeeding synod unless it has been  rst proposed once again by synod.
d. Changes to Church Order Supplements are not subject to the above requirements.

(Acts of Synod 1995, pp. 755-56)
(Amended Acts of Synod 1996, p. 500)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 48-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
48-a

Upon the nomination of the classes, synod shall appoint ministers, one from each classis, to serve as synodical deputies for a term designated by synod.

— Cf. Supplement, Article 48-a

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Ubp. Art. 48-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Supplement, Article
48-a

A classis may appoint a female minister to serve as a synodical deputy as long as, out of consideration for neighboring classes, a male minister is the alternate.

(Acts of Synod 2007, p. 612)

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 48-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
48-b

When the cooperation of the synodical deputies is required as stipulated in the Church Order, the presence of at least three deputies from the nearest classes shall be prescribed.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 48-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
48-c

Besides the duties elsewhere stipulated, the deputies shall, upon request, extend help to the classes in the event of difficulties in order that proper unity, order, and sound doctrine may be maintained.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 48-d

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
48-d

The synodical deputies shall submit a complete report of their actions to the next synod.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 49-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
49-a

Synod shall appoint a committee to encourage ecumenical relationships with other Christian churches, especially those that are part of the Reformed family, as articulated in the synodically approved Ecumenical Charter of the Christian Reformed Church so that the Christian Reformed Church may exercise Christian fellowship with other denominations and may promote the unity of the church of Jesus Christ.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 49-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
49-b

Synod shall designate the churches with whom the Christian Reformed Church is in ecclesiastical fellowship, the churches with whom the Christian Reformed Church is in dialogue, and the ecumenical organizations in which the Christian Reformed Church holds membership or significantly participates.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 50-a

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
50-a

Synod shall send delegates to ecumenical bodies in which the Christian Reformed Church cooperates with other Christian denominations, particularly those sharing the Reformed perspective.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 50-b

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
50-b

Synod may present to such gatherings matters on which it seeks judgment of churches throughout the world.

Kerkorde CRCNA (2010) Art. 50-c

II. The Assemblies of the Church

D. The Synod

Article
50-c

Decisions of ecumenical bodies shall be binding upon the Christian Reformed Church only when they have been ratified by its synod.