Article 39 — Places without a consistory
Places where as yet no consistory can be instituted shall be assigned by classis to the care of a neighbouring consistory.
As far as this matter is concerned he situation here in Australia will always be different.
Our churches have done and are doing their best to prevent congregational members from being scattered across our vast country. The same applies to new arrivals from overseas’ sister-churches. Yet they have divided the country and ‘allotted’ a section of it to each of the congregations. Thereby the question as to how the consistories must handle the ecclesiastical position of the scattered has been left undecided, while only the consistories must decide whom they shall take under their supervision, and they only are able to judge whether or not one is justified in his intention to live ‘in the diaspora’ in view of the establishing of the Church of the Lord (Acts Synod Albany 1959, Article 27).
One of the first steps to be undertaken in this process is the formation of a ‘house congregation’. Its members are members in full rights of the congregation the elders of which have supervision over them and must assist them.
The classis is mentioned in this article because, when this matter is dealt with in the ‘classical’ way, difficulties regarding boundary disputes etcetera are avoided.
Now that our churches have been well established and concentrated in West Australia and also in Tasmania, ‘the work among the scattered’ is almost minimal. Only in the surroundings of the city of Hobart in Tasmania is there
a group of members who are under the supervision of the consistory of the church of Launceston.