II. The Assemblies of the Church
D. The Synod
Regulations Pertaining to Article 47 of the Church Order
a. A substantial alteration is any alteration which changes the essential meaning of the creeds or the articles of the Church Order or which changes the church’s regulation of its worship through the adopted liturgical forms, Psalter Hymnal, principles and elements of worship, or the designated Bible versions to be used in the worship services. A committee recommending any change in these matters shall specify what change is being recommended and shall state whether or not the change is a “substantial alteration.”
b. Prior opportunity is understood as sufficient time for churches and classes to be able to respond to a substantial alteration with overtures or other communications to synod before the substantial alteration is adopted. Generally, churches and classes have prior opportunity in the case of study committee reports because such reports are received by November 1 of the year before synod meets. Generally, churches and classes do not have prior opportunity in the case of standing-committee reports and overtures because the printed Agenda for Synod is received only two months before synod meets and one month after the majority of the classes have had their last meetings before synod.
c. If the churches and classes have not had prior opportunity to consider a substantial alteration, it must be submitted to a following synod, which will consider its advisability. The first decision shall be understood as a decision to propose; the action of a following synod shall be understood as a decision to adopt.
1) A proposed change may not be implemented until it is adopted by a following synod. It has no effect on any other synodical decisions until it is adopted.
2) A proposed change has the same status as the recommendation of a study committee. The synod proposing the change may designate a person(s) to represent the change at the synod to which it is submitted for adoption. The proposed change and its representatives have all the rights and privileges of the recommendations and representatives of a synodical study committee.
3) If a proposed change is rejected by a following synod, that change (or one substantially similar) is not available for adoption by a succeeding synod unless it has been rst proposed once again by synod.
d. Changes to Church Order Supplements are not subject to the above requirements.
(Acts of Synod 1995, pp. 755-56)
(Amended Acts of Synod 1996, p. 500)