GAFCON Chairman’s Letter for April 2018

“My dear people of God,

Around the world we have just celebrated the mighty resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The tomb is empty and Christ is Risen! Christ’s sacrifice of himself upon the cross really has broken the power of sin and death, the tomb could not hold him and it is only a matter of time before the Risen Christ will be revealed to all at his second coming as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He will indeed make all things new.

It is in the light of these great truths that the Apostle Paul gives us words of command and of encouragement at the end of 1 Corinthians 15 …”

– Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, has released his April letter to GAFCON supporters. Read it all here.

From around the Anglican Communion – 4th March 2018

Here are some stories from around the Anglican Communion – for better, or for worse …

Anglican Diocese of Niagara elects first woman bishop – CBC. (Photo: Diocese of Niagara.)

“On Saturday, the Anglican Diocese of Niagara chose a new leader — the Reverend Canon Susan Bell, who is from Hamilton, will become the first woman to serve as a diocesan bishop since its founding in 1875.”

Minister Talks Climate Dangers With Anglican Leaders – Fiji Sun Online.

World Day of Prayer 2018 focuses on climate change – Anglican Journal (Canada).

“Our exploitative attitude toward creation has separated us from God—but we can restore our relationship with God by being better stewards of the earth, congregants at a Toronto service for World Day of Prayer 2018 heard Friday, March 2.”

Anglican Church’s Christchurch branch votes for acceptance of same-sex marriages – NZ Herald.

Statement from Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews – Scoop NZ.

“…our Diocesan Synod supports the adoption of the recommendations in the Motion 29 Working Group Final Report. These recommendations concern permission for the blessing of same sex relationships to take place in some churches in this province …”

Diocese of Pittsburgh reaches ‘comprehensive agreement’ with breakaway churches – Anglican Journal.

“The US-based Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Pittsburgh and the breakaway Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh have announced a “comprehensive agreement” over the future of nine parishes which seceded from the diocese in October 2008.”

Meghan Markle set to be baptised as an Anglican before wedding – Perth Now.

“The report said she chose to be baptised as a sign of respect for Queen Elizabeth’s role as head of the Church of England.”

(Emphasis added)

Slipping into the slumber of the Spirit

“Do you want to square an ethical circle? Then insist that holy matrimony can only be between people of the opposite sex, and, at the same time, approve monogamous, life-long sexual relationships between people of the same sex.

Very strange? Well, the argument in favour goes like this: …”

– GAFCON General Secretary Dr Peter Jensen asks when will the churches of the west wake from their slumber?

(Photo: The Pastor’s Heart.)

Abp of Canterbury: Anglican Communion is in ‘a better place’ than five years ago

“In a wide-ranging interview with the Church Times to mark five years in office, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said that the Anglican Communion is in ‘a better place’ than it was five years ago. …

The interview was conducted by the Church Times’ editor, Paul Handley, in Lambeth Palace, the official residence and offices of the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

– Read the summary from The Anglican Communion News Service, or the full Church Times article. Not all would necessarily share his optimism.

(Photo: Lambeth Palace.)

Archbishop of Canterbury asked — Is it OK to attend GAFCON 2018?

Is it OK to attend GAFCON 2018? And will those who want to attend from the Church of England be encouraged to do so?

That was the gist of the question asked by Susie Leafe, former Director of Reform, at the Church of England’s General Synod yesterday.

Here is the question, and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s answer:

Mrs Susie Leafe (Truro) to ask the Chair of the House of Bishops: Q10

In the light of the view taken by the World Mission and Anglican Communion Panel that international relationships “contribute to the development of discipleship and mission in the Church of England” what plans have been made to support and encourage those bishops, clergy and laity who plan to attend Gafcon, probably the largest international Anglican gathering taking place this year?

The Archbishop of Canterbury to reply as Chair of the House of Bishops:

A We strongly agree with the view of the Panel that international relationships contribute to the development of discipleship and mission. I am personally pleased that every diocese has some link to Anglican Provinces across the world, and we are keen to continue developing these relationships. The recent Primates Meeting underlined the importance of such relationships. I have had conversations with, and listened to, the views of those planning to attend the Gafcon conference, and am keen to increase attendance at any event that encourages the flourishing of the whole Anglican Communion.

Source: Church of England General Synod website  – Page 7 of the PDF document.

GAFCON Chairman’s February 2018 letter

“We cannot truly promote the gospel if we are not also careful to preserve it from distortion or dilution and I therefore commend the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) for their recent document Gospel, Church & Marriage: Preserving Apostolic Faith and Life. At a time when the Church of England’s senior leadership seems unable to resist the pressure to compromise with a highly secular culture, it is a sign of hope that evangelical leaders are able to come together in this way. …

However, the question I humbly wish to ask my brothers and sisters in England is this: will you take courage and act on these words? As members of the Mother Church of our beloved Communion you have a great responsibility…”

– GAFCON Chairman, Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh, has released his February 2018 Letter. Read it all here.

Anglican Church in Southeast Asia now in ‘impaired communion’ with Scottish Episcopal Church

Here is a statement, released today, from the Synod of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia – from the 2nd Meeting of its 6th Session in Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia, from 29th to 31st January, 2018.

___

31st January 2018

Noting the decision of the Scottish Episcopal Church on 8 June 2017 to change its doctrine of marriage and to recognise same-sex marriages and further to amend its Canons to allow for the rite of blessing of same-sex marriages, which is a contravention of Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998; and

Recalling that as a consequence of the then Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) proceeding with the consecration of Gene Robinson as a Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003, in contravention of Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998, the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia declared in 2003 that it was in a state of impaired communion with ECUSA (now known as The Episcopal Church)

Now it is hereby resolved,

That the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia declares itself to be in a state of impaired communion with the Scottish Episcopal Church with immediate effect.

_____

The Most Reverend Datuk Ng Moon Hing
Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia
Bishop of West Malaysia

The Right Reverend Datuk Melter Jiki Tais
Bishop of Sabah

The Right Reverend Rennis Ponniah
Bishop of Singapore

The Right Reverend Danald Jute
Bishop of Kuching.

– from Global South Anglican. (Image courtesy Scottish Episcopal Church.)

Vale Bishop Chuck Murphy

“Charles H. Murphy III, retired bishop and founder of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA), died Jan. 9 … He was 70.

Through his organization, created in response to liberal drift in the mainline Episcopal Church, Murphy gained acclaim from conservative Christians for taking a public stand against liberal theology that rejected the authority of Scripture, the divinity of Christ, and other orthodox doctrines. AMiA provided a new institutional home to marginalized conservative Christians, churches, dioceses, and bishops in the US and Canada. …

By September 1997, Murphy and other conservative Episcopal clergy believed that their denomination had thoroughly embraced false doctrine and was resistant to reform. These clergy drafted and signed the First Promise statement. It declared the church had “departed from ‘the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this church has received them,’ and we declare their authority to be fundamentally impaired, and that they are not upholding the truth of the gospel.”

– Full story at Christianity Today. (link via SydneyAnglicans.net.)

Related:

Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America:

“The reformation of Anglicanism in North America owes a great deal to his courageous and visionary leadership, and I am thankful for the ways in which God used him to spread the message of Jesus Christ.”

Here’s how the Editorial of ACL News, March 2000 reported the developments at that time. It gives a sense of the turmoil being created by the actions of the Episcopal Church, and varying thoughts on how best to respond –

On Saturday 29th January, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and the Most Rev. Moses Tay, Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia, together with other bishops, consecrated two American Episcopal clergymen, John Rodgers and Chuck Murphy, as bishops.  Read more

GAFCON YouTube channel

From the GAFCON Communications Team:

“We are delighted to announce the launch of a Gafcon YouTube channel to keep people like you more informed and better equipped to stand up for uncompromised biblical truth.

There are 17 videos posted currently and we will be adding more regularly. Please take a moment to have a look.

You’ll find yourself both more aware of what’s happening – and encouraged by the words of people like you who are coming together to stand for the Bible and preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ.”

When must we break unity?

“At the recent Synod of the Sydney Diocese two important motions were passed concerning the wider Anglican communion.

The first affirmed our Archbishop for attending the consecration of Bishop Andy Lines as a Missionary Bishop for the UK.

The second expressed our sadness that the Scottish Episcopal Church had broken communion with us, and other faithful Anglicans, by their decisions concerning so-called ‘same-sex marriage’.

In those debates, the importance of unity in the church was raised as an argument against these actions. Such arguments need to be heard and considered. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Canon Phil Colgan asks if ‘unity’ is needed at all costs.

Canadian Primate announces intention to resign

“This year on December 3rd, I will God willing reach the age of 65.

I think that is probably no secret in our Church! And in the natural order of discourse around such milestones, questions arise with respect to one’s intentions about retirement. I believe it is incumbent upon me to help move us all beyond whispered speculations to clarity about my intentions. …”

– Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, announces his intention to retire “at the conclusion of General Synod 2019”.

(Via David Jenkins at Anglican Samizdat.)

GAFCON Chairman’s New Year Letter 2018

“Ten years ago, at our first gathering in Jerusalem, we dedicated ourselves to the service of this gospel. We described ourselves as ‘confessing Anglicans’ in contrast to those who were embracing a false gospel, yet had not been called to account by the traditional leadership of the Communion.

Time has shown how necessary that commitment has been. Some Anglican Churches have now adopted teaching and practice which puts them beyond the boundaries of what can be recognised as apostolic Christianity, but apparently they remain officially within the boundaries of the Anglican Communion.…”

– In his Pastoral Letter for the new year, GAFCON Chairman, Archbishop Nicholoas Okoh looks forward to the third Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem.

Next Page →