Synod 2016 Report Paves the Way for Abuse of Power Discussions


Synod 2016 adopted revisions to Church Order Supplements to article 82-84; the report included a discussion of the power dynamic involved in church leader misconduct. This power dynamic is often misunderstood, neglected or ignored when dealing with situations of church leader misconduct. A Committee reviewed the articles and wrote a report.

One outcome is that a new Supplement was was added to Church Order Article 83 which says, One of the key dynamics in considering abuse of office is the imbalance and misuse of power. The power inherent in the role of officebearer represents a sacred trust and must not be misused. (Acts of Synod 2016, p. 865)

In addition, a recommendation was adopted, “That synod refer this report to the churches for study and for awareness of these important issues.” Since then there has been much discussion regarding abuse of power in the CRC, note especially Synod 2018 and Synod 2019. The full Synod 2016 Safe Church Report (attached) paved the way for further action, and has valuable information that churches would do well to study, especially in the background information of the report. 

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