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Timor Leste – Moving Toward Partnership

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As mentioned during the blog entries journaling our trip to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste, a report was submitted to the Australian Presbyterian World Mission outlining the findings and recommendations of our three person team.
That report was considered by the executive of the APWM today. Robert Benn attended the meeting.
He was pleased to email us tonight saying that our findings and recommendations had been approved with a minor change. So what are those findings and recommendations? Read on.
Findings:
1. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste can be acknowledged as a true church in the Gospel, and embraced with the fellowship such recognition offers.
2. The EPC-TL, while not having affirmed one of the Reformed or Presbyterian standards as yet, is eagerly interested in familiarising themselves with the Westminster Standards with a view to formal adoption.
3. The leaders of the EPC-TL are committed to accountability and integrity in their relationships with other churches.
4. The Presbyterian Church of Australia is uniquely placed, geographically and theologically, to offer support to the EPC-TL as it seeks to duly constitute itself as a Presbyterian Denomination.

APWM/mission partners resolve to:
1. note the establishment in August 2008 of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste
2. encourage the ongoing attempt to build relationships between the PCA via APWM/mission partners and the EPC-TL with a view to formalising partnership in due time
3. for the time being, recognise Robert Benn, Rob Duncanson and Gary Ware as the sub-committee of APWM-mp dealing with matters relating to Timor Leste which sub-committee will report regularly to APWM-mp on progress
4. authorise the sub-committee of APWM-mp to publicise information on the history, development, struggles and challenges of the new country of East Timor and particularly that of the EPC-TL
5. authorise the TL sub-committee to communicate with the APWM committees of South Australia, Western Australia and the Darwin congregation with a view to them adopting EPC-TL as a special mission focus, which sub-committee will report on progress to APWM-mp
6. approve the soliciting of finances for the support of projects for the EPC-TL among the churches in South Australia, Western Australia and Darwin.
7. approve the provision of information relating to support of projects for the EPC-TL to Congregations, groups or individuals who make enquiry from the remaining States.
8. invite the moderator of the synod of the EPC-TL to attend the GAA of the PCA in September 2010, and note that an itinerary of ministry be organised for him in NSW, SA, WA and Darwin, expenses for the visit to be supplied from funds earmarked for EPC-TL projects/ministries.
9. from this point on, receive all monies donated and earmarked for Timor Leste, to be kept as a specified account for use in ministry to Timor Leste, recognising that the sub-committee will report to APWM-mp on the use of such monies on a regular basis.

So what does this mean? It means we can get to work!

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