How Does Your Council Discuss the Synodical Study Committee Reports?
December 29, 2015
Updated December 5, 2017
2 comments 269 views
About a month ago we received an email from our Stated Clerk with the 3 Synodical Study Committee reports attached to it. The email said to discuss the questions at the council or elders meetings and then email the committees if any issues or questions arise (or write an overture if we wished).
We decided to tackle one of these reports before our next meeting and each committed to reading through the report on Pastoral Guidance regarding Same-Sex Marriage.
My question is, how do you lead discussions on these reports in your meetings? Is it: agree/disagree? What do you like/what don't you like? How do we use this?
Any past experience you have will be appreciated!
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In no particular order, here are a few pointers for reading a report.
a. Have a few people read the same report.
b. Have them compare notes.
c. As they read they should ask, with dependance on the Spirit of truth:
1. What is the report trying to help us decide, or predispose us to accept? Is that good, bad, or indifferent?
2. What are the author's trying to address, change, or reveal? Is that good, bad or indifferent?
3. How do the authors view the Lord of the Church, His Word, and His world? [the hints might be subtle and this takes close and careful reading]
4. Ask how much the author's are influenced by historical Reformed confessions and global orthodox theological positions, and how much are they influenced by the spirit of the age?
5. Ask if they are proposing a trajectory that will bring the church closer to Reformed interpretations of the Bible, or are they leading the church away from it?
6. Ask if they are actually representing all points of view with intellectual integrity.
7. Ask why a minority report might have been created, and what is it saying?
8. Are there smokescreens or Trojan horses embedded in the report that might not be seen at first flush?
9. Is the report out of balance either in the material covered, the suggestions it is making, or what it is not saying?
d. Have the readers compare notes with other readers of reports. For instance it is possible to find two responses from the Young Adults Leadership Taskforce to a current Synodical report at the following link. They are not Gospel, but they might help to form an informed opinion.
Hope that helps.
How did it go?
We haven't discussed it but we did other things suggested in the email we all received from the CRCNA, regarding clarity of our position on this issue in the bylaws and articles of incorporation.
I wrote a 4 page summary of the report, left many things out, but that was more FYI vs for discussions.
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