The following reports the results of ECO's 2018 Synod Business Meeting. Presbyteries are required to ratify the following.


Title and Standing

  • ECO originally adopted the PCUSA Book of Confessions as it was in 2012. This book has been dropped and is to be replaced by ECO's Confessional Standards.
  • The ECO Confessional Standards are not part of ECO's constitution
  • ECO has previously published a document entitled "Confessional Standards" which is found with the Essential Tenets. This document is not constitutional.
  • The documents listed below will be named in ECO's Polity by name.

Contents of Confessional Standards

  1. Apostles' Creed
  2. Nicene Creed
  3. Heidelberg Catechism
  4. Westminster Confession of Faith (PCUS and UPCUSA in parallel)
  5. Westminster Shorter Catechism
  6. Westminster Larger Catechism
  7. Theological Declaration of Barmen

The above documents will appear with identical text to previous versions of the Book of Confessions, but will be stripped of all commentary, footnotes, endnotes, and Scripture references.


Future Work

The following ideas have been officially referred to the Synod Executive Council and the TTF for its consideration and authoring to bring before the Synod 2020:

  • Selecting a single modern version of each Confessional Standard, and if none exists, then the translation of the original.
  • Working with the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church in North America to use their 2011 version of the Heidelberg Catechism (Northwest/West CS–3).
  • A new confession, especially to replace important themes lost by the thinning out of our Confessional Standards from the former Book of Confessions. (East Central, N.Cal./Nevada, Great Lakes, Rivers of Life, CS–2, CS–4, CS–5)
  • A directory of worship (Great Lakes Presbytery, CS–4)
  • Authoring new introductory material and commentary for the Confessional Standards. (East Central Presbytery, N.Cal/Nevada, CS–2)
  • Creating a "for further study" list or directory of other edifying and instructive confessional material that is not authoritative. Documents rejected from the Book of Confessions may be included here. (East Central Presbytery, N.Cal/Nevada, CS–2)
  • Creating a lasting set of easily–accessible resources for studying the Confessional Standards. (Great Lakes Presbytery, CS–4)
  • Clarify the role of ECO's Mission Statement and Values (Great Lakes Presbytery, CS–4).