SMJM (The Support Ministry for Judicial Matters)

 Definition

The SMJM guides the governance of the church council and presbytery meetings to be the manifestation of Christ’s governance through his Word an Spirit.

Composition

The Synod appoints a Judicial Ministry, which functions as a commission for the revision of Stipulations and Regulations.  It consists of five members: the actuarius as an ex officio member and scribe, and four other members, with secundi. The Ministry has the right to co-opt additional members, preferably with a legal qualification.

Responsibilities

  • Giving guidance and advice to smaller meetings (mindere vergaderings) regarding problematic situations which may lead to litigation in civil courts;
  • In exceptional cases legal advice may be obtained at the cost of the Cape Synod;
  • Sending the proposals for revision of the Church Order, Stipulations and Regulations, which he received in time (see Stipulation 31.2.2), to the Scribe of the Synod;
  • The ministry’s report, containing its advice on these proposals, is tabled during one of the first sessions of the Synod meeting;
  • All proposals for the revision of Stipulations and Regulations must be sent to the Scribe of the Ministry at least four months before the meeting of Synod (see Stipulation 30.3);
  • Licensing (legitimeer) all the candidates for the ministry who successfully completed a colloquium doctum and are recommended by the Assessment Committee of the Ministerial Formation Task Team (Curatorium) [final examination commission (eindeksamenkommissie)].
  • Regular training in the principles of church law for church council members and reverends;
  • Regular empowering of church council members and reverends in the practical implementation in church disciplinary and appeal matters;
  • Nurture the well being of congregations by resolving conflict in accordance with the CORE VALUES of URCSA;
  • Understanding the influence of courts judgments and the common law on the transformation of our African Reformed church polity;
  • to provide teaching material on the Provisional Order PPT Presentation.

 

Goals

  • To establish joint congregations, presbyteries and ministries between the DRC and URCSA Cape Region in accordance with the PROVISIONAL ORDER and the MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT;
  • To assist the DRC and URCSA Cape Region’s moderatures to plan and implement regular convents about church unity;
  • To assist URCSA CAPE congregations in living the Confession of Belhar to avoid conflict.

Contact

Rev. Lucas Plaatjie
27 (0) 82 748 6112
lucasp@vgksa.org.za / translate@vgksa.org.za