The report from the Task Force to Study the Offices of Elder and Deacon has been sent to CRC congregations and classes for review prior to Synod 2015.
It has also been recently posted on the Synod Resources website.
The task force was appointed by Synod 2013 to continue and expand on the work of the Diakonia Remixed: Office of Deacon Task Force appointed by Synod 2010.
Among other things, the Diakonia task force had been given the job by the Board of Trustees, on instructions from synod, “to review the articles of Church Order relating to the office of deacon at the church and major assemblies …”
The task force brought its recommendations to Synod 2013, which in turn expanded the mandate of the task force to include the work and role of elders.
A significant issue that the current task force looked at is the question of parity of office — that is, of the offices being “equal in dignity and honor but with distinctive mandates.”
The current task force report discusses this mandate at length with the goal of revitalizing these offices in the ministry of the church.
“All responses to this report must be in the form of an Overture or Communication to Synod 2015,” writes Dr. Steven Timmermans, executive director of the CRCNA, in an introduction to the report.
Such documents must be processed through a church council and then classis and received by the Synodical Services Office by the March 15 deadline in order to be included on synod’s agenda.
The Task Force to Study the Offices of Elder and Deacon makes several recommendations, based on its work, of changes to the Church Order.