Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

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Religion

Plan of Federation.

The following is the Plan of Federation which the Committees of the Associate Reformed Synod of the South, the Cumberland Presbyterian General Assembly, the Synod of the (Dutch) Reformed Church in America, the Synod of the (German) Reformed Church in the United States, the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, United Presbyterian General Assembly, and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, at their meeting in Philadelphia (1894) agreed to recommend to their appointing bodies for adoption:

For the glory of God, and for the greater unity and advancement of the Church of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head, the Reformed Churches in the United States holding the Presbyterian System, adopt the following articles of Federal Union:

1. Every denomination entering into this union shall retain its distinct individuality, as well as every power, jurisdiction and right which is not by this constitution expressly delegated to the body hereby constituted.

2. The acts, proceedings and records of the duly constituted authorities of each of the denominations shall be received in all the other denominations, and in the Federal Council, as of full credit and with proper respect.

3. For the prosecution of work that can be better done in union than separately, an Ecclesiastical Assembly is hereby constituted, which shall be known by the name and style of The Federal Council of the Reformed Churches in the United States of America holding the Presbyterian System.

4. The Federal Council shall consist of four ministers and four elders from each of the constituent denominations, who shall be chosen, with alternates, under the direction of their respective supreme judicatories, in such manner as those judicatories shall respectively determine.

5. The Federal Council shall promote the cooperation of the federated denominations in their home and foreign missionary work, and shall keep watch on current religious, moral and social movements, and take such action as may concentrate the influence of all the Churches in the maintenance of the truth that our nation is a Protestant Christian nation, and of all that is therein involved.

6. The Federal Council may advise and recommend in all matters pertaining to the general welfare of the kingdom of Christ, but shall not exercise authority, except such as is conferred upon it by this instrument, or such as may be conferred upon it by the federated bodies. It shall not interfere with the creed, worship or government of the federated denominations. In the conduct of its meetings it shall respect their conscientious views. All matters of discipline shall be left to the exclusive and final judgment of the ecclesiastical authorities of the denominations in which the same may arise.

7. The Federal Council shall have the power of opening and maintaining a friendly correspondence with the highest assemblies of other religious denominations for the purpose of promoting union and concert of action in general or common interests.

8. All differences which may arise among the federated bodies, or any of them, in regard to matters within the jurisdiction of the Federal Council, shall be determiued by such executive agencies as may be created by the Federal Council, with the right of appeal to the Federal Council for final adjudication.

9. The officers of the Federal Council shall be a President, Vice-President, Clerk and Treasurer.

10. The Federal Council shall meet annually, and on its own adjournment, at such time and place as may be determined. Special meetings may be called by a unanimous vote of the officers of the Council on thirty days’ notice.

11. The expenses of the Council shall be met by a contigent fund to be provided by a pro rata apportionment on the basis of the number of communicants in each denomination; and the expenses of the delegates to the Council shall be paid from this fund.

12. Amendments to these articles may be proposed by the Federal Council or by any of the supreme judicatories of the Churches in the Federation; but the approval of all those judicatories shall be necessary for their adoption.

Text—Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, New Series, Vol. XVII, (1894), pp. 164–165.

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Chicago: "Plan of Federation.," Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History 666–667. Original Sources, accessed April 25, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCVVS1N1SGURKC6.

MLA: . "Plan of Federation." Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp. 666–667. Original Sources. 25 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCVVS1N1SGURKC6.

Harvard: , 'Plan of Federation.' in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History. cited in , Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp.666–667. Original Sources, retrieved 25 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCVVS1N1SGURKC6.