Letter to Church - Guidelines for Discussing Response to RCA Restructuring Report - 2023
To Classes and Churches in the Regional Synod of Canada
Greetings in the name of the Lord!
General Synod has just met and the Regional Synod of Canada (RSC) is reporting, regarding the restructuring team report. A motion from the Theological Commission which supported an affirming view to be distributed to churches was defeated.
The attached Restructuring Team Interim Report is important as it gives us a preview of their final report to be presented at General Synod in 2024. There was discussion and feedback but no decisions were made at this 2023 General Synod.
Most of you, as churches, have decided to wait to decide your future relationship with the RCA until the final report is presented and decided upon in 2024.
However, as classes or churches (as a congregation or consistory) may want discuss the status of the restructuring at this time.
We are not stating that you need to or should meet, but you may want to ensure that your churches and members hear and discuss the facts as sometimes other versions or views of the facts may be heard.
If you wish to discuss this, the RSC recommends that you follow a format that focus on facts and your response to these facts. The following is a format for discussion which we offer. We also suggest that you invite our Executive Secretary to facilitate a discussion.
We ask that the discussion be recorded and a copy of the record be sent to the RSC so we have a better picture of where our churches considering their positions and future outlooks. We are your servant and as such we want to know how best we can serve you.
We offer the following format. Depending on number of people attending, can first discuss in small groups
Look at the Facts
1. What does the rough draft of the new structure proposal recommend?
Our Initial Reactions
1. While we focus on facts now, how might this affect our church, classis and Regional Synod?
2. Are these thoughts based on facts or other considerations – ie. What might be?
3. What is your greatest fear?
4. What gives you good feelings such as hope in the report?
Analysis or Outcomes of Discussion
1.Do we need to discuss the report and our response any further?
2.What are our options and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
3.Do you have any feedback and/or recommendations to the Regional Synod of Canada?
On behalf of the Board of the Regional Synod of Canada