Constitutional Revision on the Home Stretch

At an extraordinary assembly in Bern on 23-24 April, the 66 delegates of the Federa-tion of Swiss Protestant Churches completed the first reading of its new constitution. Here they set the course for the future by approving the following measures: the Evangelical Reformed Church of Switzerland will have a new national synod and a tripartite leadership, the Conference of Church Executive Committees will be institu-tionalized, and areas for action will be determined.
The first day of consultations in Bern City Hall, photo: Anne Durrer, FSPC

National Synod

The new constitution foresees the transformation of today’s assembly of delegates into a National Synod which underscores the ecclesial character of this body. This will allow the Church to be active at the national level and strengthen fellowship between the 26 members of today’s church federation.

Tripartite Leadership

The Evangelical Reformed Church of Switzerland is poised to have a new tripartite leadership structure: synodal (through the National Synod, the supreme governing body), collegial (through the Council), and personal (through the Council’s president).

Conference of Church Executive Committees

The new constitution institutionalizes the Conference of the Church Executive Committees (a body encompassing all presidents of the member churches) and gives it an advisory function. The Conference will maintain close relations with the Council.

Areas for Action

Cantonal churches already work together in many areas. In order to create synergies and support member churches, the Synod in the future may determine areas for action on issues that are of interest to all persons.

What’s Next

The new constitution will be discussed in a second reading at the summer delegates’ assembly, which will take place in Schaffhausen from 17-19 June. The final vote will be held at an extraordinary assembly in December. The new constitution will take effect on 1 January 2019.