August 24th, 2006

Dear br. and sr. VanTil:

We are writing this letter in response to the concerns you expressed in your letter of May 19th, 2006 in regard to the admission of guests to the Lord's Table.

As you know, the consistory does encourage the practice of using "travel attestations" for both our own members and for those who are guests among us. We believe that a "travel attestation" makes things easier for the elders of the church and promotes good order in the body of Christ.

However, the consistory has not bound itself to to [sic] an official policy that an official "travel attestation" is definitely required in order for guests to partake of the Lord's Supper in our midst.

You refer to Articles 61 and 62 of the Church Order. However, close examination shows that these articles do not address the matter of "travel attestations" but speak to the issue of regular attestations when people move from one place to another.

For these reasons, we believe that the consistory is within its rights to admit guests to the Table of the Lord not only on the basis of an official written and signed attestation but also on the basis of a telephone call, an e-amail [sic] or some other kind of verbal testimony from their home congregation.

Your letter requests us to return to the "previous policy" of admitting guests only in accordance with Articles 62 and 61 of the Church Order. As a former elder, you could know that there is no such policy; on the contrary, for many years, the consistory has, from time to time, admitted guests on the basis of some kind of verbal testimony from their home consistory.

Yours in Christ,

J. Dykstra

R. Schouten