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Synod Reports Received: before quorum call

Special Committee on Strategic Planning

The SPC brought a proposal to Synod 2011, containing a new vision statement, three ministry criteria and five emphases for mak- ing evaluations and developing a strategic plan. Synod instructed boards and agencies to give the proposal careful consideration and send a detailed report to the SPC.

The SPC’s concern was how to effectively implement the denomination’s strategic plan. The following issues were addressed:

1. Culture – “…we believe a strategic process rather than a fixed plan is better suited to encourage the growth of such hopeful developments.”

2. Governance – “We believe an active, prayer- ful, Spirit-led constancy of purpose in fulfilling a God-given, mutually-accepted mission, facilitated by a process for ongoing collaboration among the presbyteries, congregations, and ministries of the Synod, is the key to achieving such a shared sense of accountability.”

3. Mission – Mission of the Church is a mission of witness and ministry. “…that all people might be reconciled to God and to one another” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

4. Vision – Committee concluded that the plan we need is not one developed by a single commit- tee for the church as a whole, but a plan which emerges from the church – as each of the church’s parts engages in mission and cooperative works with the other parts.”

The SPC asserts that the work of the General Synod, through its boards, committees and agencies cannot go forward without the active support of our congregations and presbyteries. Recommendations:

1. That the 2012 meeting of the General Synod reaffirm its commitment to implementing the Mission and Message of the Church as set forth in Chapter I.C. of the Form of Government (FOG).

2. That a new paragraph, “6. Mobilization for World Missions,” be approved and added to the list of Emphases approved by the 2011 General Synod.

3. That, in lieu of a fixed strategic plan, the General Synod approve the concept of instituting a strategic process involving the ongoing mutually-supportive collaboration among the congregations, presbyteries, and ministries/agencies of the ARP Church and the accountability of presbyteries, congregations, and ministries for implementing the Mission and Message of the Church as set forth in Chapter I.C. of the FOG.

4. That the sessions, presbyteries, and ministries/agencies of the ARP Church evaluate their missions, plans, and activities for alignment with the Mission and Message of the ARP Church (Chapter I.C., FOG) as informed by the vision, ministry criteria, and emphases included with this report.

5. That the ministries/agencies of the ARP Church actively seek out ways to help enable and empower the presbyteries and congregations of the Church to implement the Mission and Mes- sage of the Church (Chapter I.C., FOG).

6. That the sessions of the ARP Church devote prayer on an at least a monthly basis to the Mission and Message of the ARP Church and seek means of collaborating with other presbyteries, congregations, and ministries/agencies of the General Synod as well as other like-minded members of the Body of Christ in implementing the Mission and Message of the Church (Chapter I.C., FOG).

7. That future moderators of the ARP Church give serious consideration to planning their annual emphases around understanding and implementing the Mission and Message of the Church (Chapter I.C., FOG).

8. That the moderator and the Executive Board of Synod collaborate with the Special Committee on Strategic Planning in developing a means for facilitating, monitoring, and evaluating progress toward the implementation of the Mission and Message of the Church (Chapter I.C., FOG) in order to provide for continuity of focus after the SPC completes its work in 2013.

9. That the Special Committee on Strategic Planning be continued for one more year.

Recommendations 1-7 and 9 were passed. Recommendation 8: discussion followed and an amendment made and passed to report progress to Synod 2013.

Special Committee to Oversee ARP Women’s Ministries

The long-term desire of this Committee is to find a “suitable lodging place” for Women’s Ministries, allowing them to function as an effective and efficient ministry to ARP women. The matter will be considered further over the next year. Recommendations:

1. That, as a short-term solution, Women’s Ministries of the ARPC be placed under the over- sight of Central Services (not approved).

2. That, when necessary, the Executive Board of Women’s Ministries report directly to the Executive Board of Synod (approved).

3. That the Special Committee to Oversee ARP Women’s Ministries be continued and report to the 2013 General Synod with a long-term solution for how Women’s Ministries of the ARPC comes under the oversight of the General Synod (approved).

Executive Board

This Board is empowered to carry out the work of the General Synod in the interim period between meetings of Synod – providing oversight for the ARP Center facility, Central Services and the promotional work of General Synod. Recommendations:

1. That the proposed budgets for ARP Center Facility, Central Services and the Executive Board be approved (approved).

2. That the Emphasis for 2012-2013 be endorsed for emphasis in the denomination (approved).

3. The establishment of a committee, appoint- ed by the Moderator, to gather information with regard to the incorporation of its boards and agencies that would enable us to evaluate properly the legal status of our relationship, assess the potential liabilities, and bring this report to the next meeting of the Executive Board (approved).

4. ThatattheJune2012AnnualMeetingof General Synod Pacific Presbytery be dissolved. Further, that General Synod allow any of the for- mer Pacific Presbytery churches desiring membership in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to be aligned with the nearest ARP Presbytery (Motion to refer the recommendation to the Executive Board – approved.)

5. That Synod’s Rules of Order, VI(A) be amended to read: “VI. Matters to be Considered by the Court” (approved).

Erskine

Recommendations:
1. That a season of prayer and fasting for

Erskine College and Seminary be held in the churches of the presbyteries in the ARP Synod (not approved).

2. That special days be designated when the work of Erskine College and Seminary can be presented to the congregations of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and when special offerings to support the ministries of the institution can be received (approved).

3. That Synod track and report back to Erskine those churches that participated in the two opportunities mentioned in Recommendation #1 and #2. (not approved).

4. That its budget request presented through the Board of Stewardship be approved as follows:

$518,000 – operating funds (approved).

$500 – ARP Student Union (approved).

Committee on Efficiency

This committee was appointed by former Moderator Andy Putnam at the direction of Synod in June, 2011. Due to financial concerns and issues of stewardship, the committee’s duty was to analyze the structure of boards, agencies, committees and Synod officers, then make recomboards and report back to General Synod in 2013. 13. That the Job Description for the Principal Clerk be changed as noted in Appendix A of this report.

mendations at Synod 2012.

Recommendations:

1. That Duties 1 and 2 as listed in The Manual of Authorities and Duties for the Committee on Minister and His Work be transferred to the oversight of the Executive Board through the Committee on Administration.

2. That the stated meeting schedule for the Committee on Worship be changed in the Manual of Authorities and Duties from “twice annually” to “annually.”

3. That General Synod thank the Committee on Lay Ministry for their good work and that the Committee on Lay Ministry be dissolved

4. That General Synod thank the Committee on Inter-Church Relations for its efforts to reduce costs.

5. That the Committee on Multi-Cultural Ministries be dissolved as Outreach North America has a committee in place to meet this need.

6. That the membership of the Ecclesiastical Commission on Judiciary Affairs be increased by two (2) and that the Commission be composed of six (6) teaching elders and five (5) ruling elders representing at least five (5) different presbyteries.

7. That the position of Synod Coordinator be removed from the Manual of Authorities and Duties.

8. That the number of immediate past moderators serving on the Executive Board of General Synod be reduced from five (5) to three (3).

9. That the Manual of Authorities and Duties regarding the Executive Board be amended to allow for a meeting to be called by four (4) voting members, as well as the current moderator.

10. That the status of the chairman of the Board of Stewardship be changed from advisory to ex-officio member with regard to the Executive Board.

11. That the Board of The Associate Reformed Presbyterian, Inc. be dissolved and that oversight for the magazine be placed under Central Services (Executive Board) effective July 1, 2012.

12. That General Synod request that the boards of Outreach North America and World Witness discuss jointly the possibility of merging their

13. That the Job Description for the Principal Clerk be changed as noted in Appendix A of this report.

14. That the Job Description for the Treasurer of Synod’s Funds be changed as noted in Appendix A of this report.

15. That the Job Description for Synod’s Parliamentarian be changed as noted in Appendix A of this report, and that if adopted, changes go into effect at the beginning of the next term for the Parliamentarian.

16. That the position of Synod’s Historian be changed to Synod’s Archivist.

17. That the Job Description for Synod’s Historian be replaced by the Job Description for Synod’s Archivist as noted in Appendix A of this report.

18. That effective January 1, 2013, First Presbytery be divided into two (2) presbyteries using Interstate 77 as the dividing line. (See Appendix B to this report.)

19. That effective January 1, 2013, Synod create a Midwest Presbytery consisting of all the ARP churches west of the Mississippi River.

20. That effective January 1, 2013, Synod create a new presbytery of the ARP churches in Meck- lenburg County, North Carolina and York County, South Carolina.

21. That the Committee on Nominations make any necessary changes to committee, commission, and board membership as a result of Synod’s actions on Recommendations 17,18, and 19 above.

22. That the Committee on Efficiency be dissolved.

All recommendations passed, except:

• 6 was amended (item M on motions page)

• 12 failed

• 18-20 were committed to the affected presbyteries (item N on motions page)

• 21 was therefore moot

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