General Synod

  1. The General Synod of this Church shall consist of every minister and of elders from particular churches, according to the ratio set forth in Chapter IX, section 2.
  2. Any fifteen or more of these commissioners, one half of whom shall be ministers, being met on the day, and at the place appointed, shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.
  3. The General Synod shall have power to organize and conduct its business in a democratic and Christian manner. It shall receive and issue all appeals and complaints that affect the doctrine or Constitution of the Church, and are regularly brought before it from presbyteries or sessions, provided, that in administrative or judicial cases the General Synod shall have power to act by commission, subject to the provisions of the Book of Discipline. The General Synod shall review the records of every presbytery; it shall give its advice and instruction, in all cases submitted to it, in conformity with the Constitution of the Church, and it shall constitute the bond of union, peace, correspondence, and mutual confidence among all our churches.
  4. To the General Synod also belongs the power of deciding in all controversies respecting doctrine and discipline; of reproving, warning or bearing testimony against error in doctrine, or immorality in practice, in any church or presbytery; of erecting new presbyteries when it may be judged necessary; of corresponding with other churches, on such terms as may be agreed upon by the synod and the corresponding body, of recommending and aiding promotion of charity, truth, and holiness, through all the churches.
  5. Although the deliverances, resolutions, overtures, and other actions of the General Synod are to be accorded the weight which is proper in view of the character of the body, yet whenever such deliverances, resolutions, overtures, and other actions are additional to the specific provisions of the Constitution, they shall not be regarded as binding unless they become amendments to the Constitution.
  6. The General Synod may, at its own discretion, set up committees to act as its agents in conducting benevolent, missionary and educational enterprises or it may commend to the churches, for their support, other such Christian enterprises.
  7. The General Synod shall meet upon its own adjournment On the day appointed for that purpose the moderator of the last synod, if present, shall open the meeting with a sermon, or in the case of his absence, some other minister shall open the meeting with a sermon and preside until a moderator be chosen. No commissioner shall have a right to deliberate or vote in the Synod until his name shall have been enrolled, and his commission examined and filed among the papers of the Synod.
  8. Each session of the Synod shall be opened and closed with prayer. And the whole business of the Synod being finished, and the vote taken for dissolving the present Synod, the moderator shall say from the chair—

    “By virtue of the authority delegated to me, by the Church, let this General Synod be dissolved, and I do hereby dissolve it, and require another General Synod chosen in the same manner, to meet at on the __________ day of __________ A.D. “

    —after which he shall pray and return thanks, and pronounce on those present the apostolic benediction.

  9. Pro re nata meetings of the General Synod may be called by the moderator of the preceding Synod, or, in the case of his death, absence, or inability to act, by the clerk, with the concurrence or at the request of at least one-third of the ministers of the Church and an equal number of ruling elders. Calling of such meeting shall be mandatory if it shall be demanded in writing be more than half the ministers of the Church and an equal number of elders. Not less than thirty days’ notice shall be given of such meeting.