Over the last few years conversations have taken place between the Christian Reformed Church in North America’s Interchurch Relations Committee and The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee. Also, on the local level, we have many longstanding relationships between congregations of our two denominations join together in good will for worship, for fellowship, and for collaborative ministries.
We celebrate the many facets of shared ministry between our denominations over the last several years. Together we have prepared Christian education curriculum and other resources, worked and shared resources, both human and financial, on the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, facilitated food shipments and CFGB growing projects across Canada, and shared in ecumenical ministry through Kairos, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Canadian Council of Churches.
Both The Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Christian Reformed Church in North America recognize that through this formal statement they are affirming and building upon existing relations with a denomination that shares the Christian faith, a Reformed theological perspective, and a Presbyterian form of church government. Both denominations have strong commitments to mission in Canada and around the world, to evangelism and justice, to a prophetic view of the mission of the church in society; we look forward to developing together new horizons of mission which respond to Christ’s calling to the church today.
1. It is with thanksgiving to God that we acknowledge the bonds of fellowship which Christians have with each other through our Lord Jesus Christ and recognize that The Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC) and the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) share a mutual responsibility in Christ’s mission.
2. We jointly affirm our readiness to work together in mission in Canada, and elsewhere where God may lead, and to this end we formally recognize this relationship in Christ’s mission between our two Churches.
3. We recognize that each partner has understanding and insights which when shared with the other continue to lead to more a more faithful response to God’s call to mission, and to this end encourage consultations and visits between officers, staff, and other leaders of our two Churches.
4. In addition to those things that we already do together, we see the value of exchanges of visitors at our respective General Assembly and Synod, and the possibility of sharing personnel with specific expertise in order to give expression to our desire to collaborate in ministry.
5. We further encourage our respective presbyteries and classes, in addition to our local congregations to welcome exchanges of visitors and to engage in shared ministries wherever possible for the building up of Christ’s church.
6. In order to develop better understanding and prayer support between our two Churches, we agree to the regular exchange of information about the life and mission of our Churches and to share information received throughout our Churches.
7. We concur on the value of interchurch dialogue and collaboration at the local, regional, and national levels, and will encourage respectful and fruitful engagement of our Churches together at every level.
8. We do not view our relationship together as exclusive, but rather as a part of our broader ecumenical commitment.
9. We understand and agree that either partner may withdraw from this relationship at any time after honest and thorough discussion with the other partner.
10. This statement is not intended to limit the relationship between the PCC and the CRCNA, but to give a formal basis to what is seen as a growing relationship between our two Churches.