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)