1. What is the Communion of Reformed Evangelicals (CREC)?
The Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches began as a formalization of the relationship which existed between three churches, Christ Church (formerly Community Evangelical Fellowship) in Moscow, Idaho; Trinity Church (formerly Wenatchee Evangelical Fellowship) in Wenatchee, Washington; and Trinity Church (formerly Eastside Evangelical Fellowship) in Bellevue, Washington.
In 1997, the relationship between the churches expanded into the written Constitution of the CREC so that it could be more easily defined and expanded further with other like-minded churches. Since then, the CREC has grown significantly as new member churches have been received.
The CREC was established in recognition of the accountability that exists between faithful churches and provides a means of convening to discuss issues which may be broader than a single local church. It also provides a way for a single church to seek the counsel or wisdom of the broader church and facilitates fellowship amongst the Saints.
2. Aren’t there enough denominations around? Why didn’t member churches join existing denominations instead of forming a new one?
Yes, there are enough denominations around the world. Although other faithful denominations exist, none of them embodied the same primary issues and freedoms that the founding churches thought were central. And at the same time, since each independent church is just a tiny denomination, creating the CREC actually reduced the number of denominations.
3. What confession does the CREC subscribe to?
- Westminster Confession of Faith (1647)
- American Westminster Confession of Faith (1788)
- The Three Forms of Unity:
- Belgic Confession (1561)
- Heidelberg Catechism (1563)
- Canons of Dort (1619)
- The London Baptist Confession (1689)
- The Savoy Declaration (1658)
- The Reformed Evangelical Confession (see Article XII)
4. Why does the CREC allow so many different Confessions? Won’t this breed conflict?
It will certainly breed discussion, and the Bible tells us to strive for like-mindedness, which cannot be done without contact with one another. We have agreed on the basics of the gospel in such a way as to promote unity where we currently differ.
We believe our unity is to be founded in confessional truth, and therefore we want our association with other faithful churches to facilitate the opportunity for striving for greater unity.
5. Why does the CREC allow both Baptist and Paedobaptist churches to become members of the denomination? Aren’t the two schools of thought based on different scriptural paradigms?
The topic of baptism of infants has been a topic of much discussion and debate in the history of the Christian Church.
Although we embrace and support gracious faithful discussions and debate, we also recognize that this particular topic is one which we hope maintains the unity of the Spirit and pursues unity of the mind with like-minded faithful churches.
The paradigm difference is part of the larger debate. Within the CREC we share a covenantal paradigm.
6. What are memorials?
Memorials are an important component of membership in the CREC. Memorials state the position of the CREC on issues on which a confessional statement has not yet been made.
The memorials section of our constitution is a place for the CREC to declare its position on matters which are of importance to the Church but may not be appropriate in the constitutional language.
Matters discussed in memorials do not carry the same weight as other Biblically mandated or faithfully deduced doctrines. However, they are important enough for the Church to declare its position without breaking fellowship.
Because the CREC states its position on various issues in the form of memorials, churches that are seeking to enter the CREC need to make their position on each memorial known before coming in.
7. Do member churches pay any fees to support the administrative duties of the denomination?
The denomination constitutionally can have no staff, mission or standing committees at the Presbytery or General Counsel levels. Certainly, various sessions may have missionaries that they support but none will be sent or supported by the Presbytery. Therefore, there are to be no expenses (other than holding Presbytery or General Counsel meetings) which are to be borne by the member churches. The cost of meetings is the responsibility of the host church and the costs associated with maintaining the CREC web site are the responsibility of the Moderator’s church.
8. Our church is interested in becoming a member of the CREC. What is the first step we should take?
Contact a member church closest to your location or one which would be most likely to sponsor your church. You can also contact the Moderator of the Presbytery to find a list of churches that may be available.
9. Please describe the process a church must undergo to become a member (visiting, fraternal delegates, etc.).
A church must be in existence for at least two years and must be able to meet whatever financial obligations it has incurred. Additionally, it must have at least two elders or it must establish an accountability relationship with another established CREC church that is served by a plurality of elders.
A church may send a delegation to attend any regular meeting of Presbytery for the purpose of gathering information and simple observation. Such delegations are deemed Visiting Delegations and this is not a formal part of the membership process.
A church that has made known its desire for membership in the CREC will establish a relationship with any CREC member church and send a delegation to attend a Presbytery meeting. At the meeting, the member church (known as the Seating Church) will formally recognize the presence of the delegation, declare the intentions of the Candidate Church, and will seat them as a Candidate Church. This status is the first formal step in becoming a full CREC Member Church.
For the next year, until the next annual Presbytery meeting, the Seating Church and the Candidate Church will go through the process of becoming better acquainted through various fellowship and information gathering methods.
A primary purpose in this process is to prepare the seating church to be able to make recommendation to the full Presbytery to seat the Candidate Church as a full Member Church. If desired, this process can be extended for up to two years so that proper due diligence can be carried out by all parties.
10. There are no member churches near us. How do we choose a sponsoring church?
In these early formational years of the CREC when there are a limited number of member churches, sponsoring can be an arduous task given the great distances which may separate members and fraternal delegates. However, it is hard work worthy of doing and is the responsibility of member churches to provide the means of seating interested churches and taking the necessary steps to bring a candidate church to full membership.
11. I am an ordained minister in another denomination, and the church I am pastoring has decided to join the CREC. What needs to be done for the CREC to recognize my ministerial credentials?
For a man who has already been ordained and currently holds office, it is not the place of the CREC to validate or authenticate their holding office.
If however, there is a change in the office of teaching elder or pastor while a church is a member, the role of the Presbytery is to assist the Session in evaluating the manner of doctrine of a candidate for the office. The Presbyterial examination produces recommendations given to the Session to aide them in evaluating both a candidate’s life and doctrine.
With regards to an ordained minister outside the CREC who is not with a church coming into the CREC, we are in the process of considering what procedures are appropriate.
12. What is the relationship between the CREC and the Credenda/Agenda publication or the Ministerial Conference held in Moscow, Idaho?
Credenda/Agenda was a popular journal published by Christ Church of Moscow, ID, one of the founding members of the CREC. Additionally, the Ministerial Conference is sponsored by Christ Church each year in Moscow, ID. Neither the publication nor the conference are affiliated with the CREC in any way other than they are ministries of a CREC member church.