With about 30 minutes remaining until the time fixed for recess at 9:30PM, the Synod moved to consider Committee Reports. In just 24 minutes, the Synod accomplished the following:
Approved the continuation for one year of the Strategic Planning Committee.
Approved the report as a whole of the Theological and Social Concerns Committee.
· The Committee has received an inquiry from the Executive Board of the Synod concerning the legal issues surrounding the use of church property for weddings by couples who are pursuing lifestyles out of harmony with the Scripture. The TSCC has referred the matter to legal counsel for advice.
· The Committee drafted a paper, published for information of the Synod, on the issues of where and when in Observing Holy Communion. The paper advised that there are times when communion can be administered apart from the worship of a local church, such as:
- Worship under the authority of a Session held at a campground.
- Communion provided to shut-ins, as long as it a direct extension of the worship of the church, scripture is read, a sermon given, prayers made, praise given and the words of institution and fencing be given, with at least one ruling Elder accompanying the minister.
- A Minister of the Word as an Evangelist given the power to administer Sacraments.
· The Committee did conclude that is not appropriate to serve Communion at certain summer camping events held at Bonclarken, nor in group settings outside the church, or at ARP agency sponsored events.
Next was the Report of the Worship committee. Including special thanks to individuals involved in support of the committee and with encouragement to individuals and Sessions to make nominations for men willing to serve on the Worship Committee, the report was passed.
The Ecclesiastical Commission on Judiciary Affairs had nothing to report, which means there were no judicial cases forwarded by Presbyteries to the Synod in the past year.
The Report of the Inter-Church Relations Committee, which asked members of Synod to work with World Witness in developing mentor relationship with pastors in Mexico and Pakistan, was approved.
A motion was made from the floor to ask World Witness seek to establish Inter-Church relations with at least one national church (denomination, fellowship, or even one congregation) in each country in which the ARP has active mission work. The motion was approved.
Investment Committee was scheduled next and the written report was received as information.
The report of the Committee on Lay Ministries was approved, including a number of recommendations (which are summarized below)
· That sessions and pastors promote attendance at the Laity in Action conference and the Family Bible conference.
· That sessions call on their people to pray daily for the work and ministry of the local congregation and extended church.
· That laymen familiarize themselves with the ARP denominational standards
· That committee sponsored training events be supported
· That retreat and conference ministries be given proper promotion
· Sessions encouraged to designate one Sunday in the month of October as a day to celebrate and emphasize the role of layman in the church,
A period of prayer was then held for the work of Chaplains and military families.
The report of Christian Education Ministries next came to the floor. The recommendations included a request that two additional at-large members be added to the CEM board and that the rotation be revised to 4 year terms for new members. The report was approved on a voice vote.
The Board of Trustees of William H. Dunlap Orphanage, Inc. reported next. (While the Dunlap Home orphanage located in Brighton, Tennessee has been closed since 1978, the board continues to manage the corporate assets for the purpose of carrying out the ministry of care of orphans through various means throughout the Synod as well as throughout the mission fields.
A motion was made to direct the Dunlap Board to draft a change to their charter in order to clearly define their future work as the support of adoption ministries. It would take two board meetings, which should happen in the next 4 months, and then the 2011 Synod would be asked to approve the charter change.
The Synod was recessed for the day at 9:25PM.
Editor’s Note: Part 1 was posted on June 10 but has been updated with further details – see http://bit.ly/cPVPfK