I. The Offices of the Church
B. The Ministers of the Word
Declaration regarding ministers who resign from the CRC
a. Synod directed the churches and classes dealing with ministers who depart from the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) in order to seek ordination in the ministry of the Word in another church to take note of the statement made by Synod 1978 that “Synod has instructed all our churches and classes that in all cases of resignation a proper resolution of dismissal must be adopted with the concurring advice of synodical deputies” and to realize that this statement allows for a broad degree of flexibility in responding to such situations (cf. Acts of Synod 1978, p. 73).
b. Synod directed the churches and classes to take into account the manner and spirit in which a minister has acted during the time leading up to and including departure from office when determining what action to take. (Some situations may require a deposition; others may require only a simple release from office.)
c. Synod encouraged the churches and classes
1) To recognize carefully the conditions and circumstances of a particular case that may come to their attention (e.g., whether it be a formal or a de facto resignation) and, having done so,
2) To make a declaration re ecting the resigned minister’s status that is appropriate to the way and spirit in which the minister acted during the time leading up to and including the minister’s resignation from office. Such a declaration could reflect one of the following:
a) The resigned minister is honorably released.
b) The resigned minister is released.
c) The resigned minister is dismissed.
d) The resigned minister is in the status of one deposed.
Note: In distinction from a minister who retires, any resigned minister no longer retains the honor and title of minister of the Word in, nor has an official connection with, the Christian Reformed Church in North America (cf. Church Order Article 18-b).
d. Synod encouraged churches and classes to prayerfully consider the following principles in their deliberations:
1) Schismatic activities are to be considered a serious violation of the sacred trust associated with ordination and a dishonoring of God which results in pain and brokenness in the body of Christ.
2) All declarations by churches and classes should clearly evidence hope for the possibility of restoration and mutual reconciliation.
(Acts of Synod 1993, pp. 581-82)