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Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, Aug 7, 2008.
What is the purpose of it? Why was it formed?
What do you think it should do?
North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council [naparc.org]
From their mission statement:
"That the adopted basis of fellowship be regarded as warrant for the establishment of a formal relationship of the nature of the council, that is, a fellowship that enables the constituent churches to advise, council, and cooperate in various matters with one another and hold out before each other the desirability and need for organic union of churches that are of like faith and practice."
It is a step in the right direction to unify the reformed congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ. NAPARC wrote, and the denominations voted upon, the Comity Agreement. By this agreement the denominations pledged not to steal the other's sheep in church planting efforts, to work with other denominations in ministry and missions, and, to use John Frame's term, to reunite the church.
I know many who have a different take on the Comity Agreement. For example in the college town I went to there is one reformed church, Covenant OPC; but now the ARP is planting a church there as there is a strong desire to see another reformed church. The OPC petitioned the ARP on the basis of this agreement, but in a meeting between the church planter and OPC, along with delegates from the RPCNA and PCA, some held that this agreement gave Covenant OPC the right to be the only reformed congregation in town. So even while you have a statement like the Comity, you still have division.
NAPARC in my mind encourages unity. So it should as it is sorely needed today. A few years back I know it encouraged the RPCNA and ARP to study their history, as their is a lot in common, with hope that the study would be the genesis of talks/negotiations for closer ties (perhaps a merger!).
I am a fan of networking and cooperating with other congregations of like mind. In the Pittsburgh Presbytery of the PCA there are over a dozen congregations in the East Suburbs of Pittsburgh. These congregations met together and formed a mercy ministry network. In my mind this is what NAPARC should encourage, not just in one's denomination, instead for all the members to work with the other congregations. I do not know where this might happen between URC, OPC, PCA congregations, or ARP, PCA, RPCNA... (Any combination works).. I would love to know of such happenings.