II. The Assemblies of the Church

A. General Provisions

Supplement, Article


A. Appeal by a Member (Appellant) from a Decision or Action of a Council (Respondent)

1. Time Limit. An appeal must be made within six (6) months of the decision or action appealed from. If, however, the action or decision appealed from creates a continuous or repeating practice, the appeal is timely if filed within six (6) months after the practice is exercised. A classis may accept a late appeal if classis is satisfied that the appellant has reasonable cause for being late.
2. Oral Presentation. When classis considers the appeal, both appellant and respondent shall be allowed reasonable time to make an oral presentation with respect to the appeal.
3. Action by Classis. The classis shall consider and decide every appeal properly submitted to it. Classis shall decide on the appeal within one (1) year from the date the appeal is received by the stated clerk of classis. If classis has not decided an appeal within the one (1)-year period allowed, either the appellant or the respondent has the right to appeal the matter to synod without waiting for decision of classis.
4. Appeal to Synod. Both the appellant and the respondent have the right to appeal the decision of classis to synod.

B. Appeals to Synod by Members or Assemblies (Appellant) from Decision of Classis (Respondent)

1. Time Limit. An appeal must be  led within ninety (90) days after the decision or action appealed.
2. Normally for an appeal to be considered by a synod in any year the appeal must be in the hands of the executive director by March 15 of that year. If an appeal is  led after March 15, it shall not be heard by the synod of the same year; however, the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church, upon the recommendation of the executive director, may decide to submit the appeal to the synod of the same year.
3. Normally appeals will not be printed in the agenda for synod. However, if the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church, upon recommendation of the executive director, decides that an appeal raises an issue the resolution of which by synod will likely have significant application outside of and beyond the classis from which the appeal came, the appeal and any response to it or, at the discretion of the executive director, an abbreviated version of the appeal and response will be printed in the agenda. If an appeal is filed before March 15 but the deadline for response falls after March 15, the executive director, after conferring with the respondent, may decide to print the appeal and distribute any responses to delegates at the beginning of synod or to hold the appeal over to the next synod.
4. The appellant and the respondent shall have the right to appear before the advisory committee of synod to explain their positions. Requests to be heard shall be directed to the executive director, who shall transmit them to the chairperson of the advisory committee.
5. The appellant and the respondent shall have the right to be present during the presentation of the case at synod, and, upon recommendation of the advisory committee and with the approval of synod, they shall have the privilege of explaining and defending their positions on the  oor of synod.
6. The advisory committee shall present a clear and adequate statement of the content of each appeal and response to the entire synod.
7. Copies of the appeals and responses not appearing in the agenda and, if possible, the principal related documents shall be sent to the members of the appointed advisory committee as soon as possible.

General Rules

1. Filing an appeal. An appeal must be in writing and filed with the stated clerk or executive director of the assembly appealed to. A copy shall be promptly given to the clerk of the assembly whose action is being appealed and to any other party to the appeal.
2. Form of Appeal. No specific form is prescribed. However, an appeal should contain at least the following elements:
a. The name of the appellant.
b. The name of the body against which the appeal is being made.
c. The decision which is being appealed.
d. The reasons why the appealed decision is believed to be wrong.
e. Background information which will enable the assembly to make a proper decision.
f. A statement defining clearly what action the appellant desires the assembly to take.
3. Respondent’s Submission. The respondent shall be entitled to submit a response to the appeal. Such submission shall be made to the clerk of the assembly appealed to within sixty (60) days from the date the respondent has received a copy of the appeal. A copy of such submission shall be promptly given to the appellant.
4. In any appearance before an assembly or a committee of an assembly, the appellant and the respondent shall have the right to be represented or counseled by a member of the church.