Geloofsonderskeiding in die Oostelike Sinode van die NG Kerk tydens die besluitnemingsprosesse oor die wysiging van Artikel 1 van die Kerkorde

Louwrens, Carl (2016-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During 2014, the DRC came to a point where they had to decide whether they would amend their confessional base to include the Belhar Confession as part of their official doctrine. The General Synod suggested amending Article 1 of the Church Order in order to expand the confessional base. An amendment of the Confession is possible only after it has been approved by a two-thirds majority of each synod and two-thirds of all the church councils, each supporting it with a two-thirds majority. A task team from the Eastern Synod was appointed to coordinate the decision-making process in the Synodical area. They also had to ensure that the process would be concluded within a specific time schedule. The process for the congregations was completed during September 2014. Of the congregations, 58% voted against the amendment of Article 1. In October 2014 the Eastern Synod voted in favour of the amendment of Article 1 with a majority of 73% Why the difference in outcome? This study will reflect on the understanding and practice of spiritual discernment by clergy and church councils of the Eastern Synod in the context of the decision-making process of the amendment of Article 1 of the Church Order. The understanding of discernment among ministers of the Eastern Synod was tested with a questionnaire. Focus group interviews with two church councils were conducted in order to understand something about the discernment process on the level of church councils. A document analysis was done to research the practice of discernment during the synodical meeting. A literature study on the concept of discernment and its practical application according to the listening cycle as suggested by Frederick Marais showed that discernment plays a decisive role in the outcome of decision-making processes during church meetings.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die NG Kerk het in 2014 voor ʼn belangrike keuse te staan gekom toe hy moes besluit of hy sy belydenisbasis gaan uitbrei om daarmee ruimte te skep sodat die Belydenis van Belhar opgeneem kan word as deel van sy belydenisgrondslag. Die Algemene Sinode het voorgestel dat Artikel 1 van die Kerkorde gewysig word om sodoende die belydenisbasis te verbreed. Om Artikel 1 te wysig was dit nodig dat al die Sinodes en twee derdes van al die gemeentes van die NG Kerk, die voorstel met ʼn tweederdemeerderheid ondersteun. ʼn Projekspan van die Oostelike Sinode is aangestel om die moontlike wysiging se besluitnemingsproses in die sinodale streek te koördineer en toe te sien dat dit binne ʼn bepaalde tydskedule afgehandel word. Gedurende September 2014 is die gemeenteproses afgehandel en 58% van die gemeentes stem teen die voorgestelde wysiging van Artikel 1. In Oktober 2014 stem die Oostelike Sinode met ʼn meerderheid van 73% vir die voorgestelde wysiging van Artikel 1. In die lig van die verskil in uitslag word daar in hierdie studie nagedink oor die verstaan en praktyk van geloofsonderskeiding deur predikante en kerkrade in die Oostelike Sinode met verwysing na die besluitnemingsprosesse oor die wysiging van Artikel 1 van die Kerkorde. Deur middel van ʼn vraelys is die verstaan van geloofsonderskeiding onder predikante van die Oostelike Sinode getoets. Fokusgroeponderhoude is by twee gemeentes gehou om iets te verstaan van gemeentes se begrip van geloofsonderskeiding. Aan die hand van dokument-analise is die toepassing van geloofsonderskeiding tydens die Sinode se vergadering nagevors. ʼn Literatuurstudie oor die begrip geloofsonderskeiding en die praktiese toepassing daarvan aan die hand van die luistersiklus van Frederick Marais, het getoon dat geloofsonderskeiding ʼn bepalende rol speel in die uitslag van besluitnemingsprosesse tydens kerkvergaderings.

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