GAFCON Chairman’s March 2017 letter

“As I remarked in my last letter, because of our shared history events in the Church of England have a special significance for the whole Anglican Communion. So this month I must comment on the vote by General Synod on 15th February not to ‘take note’ of the House of Bishops report on marriage and sexuality.

A refusal to ‘take note’ is very unusual. Such a motion is usually just a formality preceding further debate. In this case, people on both sides of the argument about sexuality perceived that the report tried to face two ways. …”

– GAFCON Chairman, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, shares his March pastoral letter.

GAFGON Chairman’s February 2017 letter

“It seems … that the Church of England bishops have recommended the right thing for the wrong reason. They have retained the Church’s traditional teaching, but because they think that holding opposite views together will eventually produce a consensus, not because it represents an apostolic boundary.”

– from Archbishop Okoh’s February 2017 letter to GAFCON supporters.

GAFCON Statement on TEC voting in Lusaka

Here is a statement from GAFCON General Secretary, Dr. Peter Jensen:

The agreement from the January Primates meeting in 2016 was broken when The Episcopal Church (TEC) took part in decision making on issues pertaining to polity and doctrine in Lusaka. Equally damaging, was an attempt by the Anglican Communion Office to deny the fact by claiming that, technically, the process included no formal votes. This is sophistry.

The Primates agreement in January was never limited to the narrow issue of the method of voting. It said that ‘[The Episcopal Church] will not to take part in decision making on issues pertaining to polity or doctrine.’ [Primates 2016 Communique]

Whether a meeting uses a consensus model, or a voice vote, or paper ballots, or electronic ballots is of no relevance. The Episcopal Church was not to take part in decision making on issues pertaining to polity or doctrine. They did.

As the GAFCON Primates Council has said: ‘The future of the Anglican Communion does not lie with manipulations, compromises, legal loopholes, or the presentation of half-truths; the future of our Communion lies in humble obedience to the truth of the Word of God written.’ [Gafcon Primates Communique, April 2016]

Archbishop Peter Jensen
General Secretary.”

From GAFCON.

Brazilian Anglicans ask for prayer support

Members of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil have written to the ACL and other Anglican groups asking for prayer.

“We are a group of clergy of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, we are being persecuted for defending a biblical position of marriage and asking that the Anglican episcopal church of Brazil maintain its unity with the Anglican communion, which in turn, in voice through the chamber of the bishops want to approve this position by imposition.”

They include these links –

1. Creation of the alliance movement. (Select the English Version tab.)

2. Response of the Bishops – Original PortugueseEnglish translation

3. Letter from Bishop Sebastião (Emeritus Bishop in the Diocese of Recife) to the Bishops – Original PortugueseEnglish translation

4. Letter of Covenant to Bishops.

Related:

Earlier posts on happening in the Diocese of Recife.

Report from Virtueonline.

Qur’an in the Eucharist?

koran-recitation-glasgow-cathedralI have just returned from Paris where I was invited to be part of a conversation with three imams sponsored by Lebanese TV.

I thought they were kind, impressive and delightful people. It was a privilege to meet them and talk to them. We had many things in common, but most of all a deep attraction to God who made us, whose intentions towards us, we know, are love and mercy.

The strength of the encounter was the friendship and mutual admiration it produced. The weakness was that we did not speak at all about ‘the problem’. …

What is the significance, then, of a Muslim standing at the lectern in a Christian cathedral and publicly proclaiming words from the Koran which announce that the Gospel writers were engaged in a blasphemous deceit?”

– The Rev. Gavin Ashenden writes at ArchbishopCranmer.com to reflect on a recitation from the Qur’an at service of The Lord’s Supper for Epiphany in the Cathedral of the Scottish Episcopal Church in Glasgow.

See also:

In response to the Qur’an recitation in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow – Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.

This Qur’an recitation was not the first at Glasgow Cathedral. Carol Service, December 2014.

The Grace of God – or the World of the West? – Dr Mike Ovey

mike-ovey-nairobi-gafcon-ii

At the CMS NSW Summer School today, Rector of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, William Taylor, paid tribute to Dr. Mike Ovey as “one of the great generals of the Christian faith”.

Take the time to thoughtfully watch this challenging and Christ-honouring address, given by Dr. Ovey, at GAFCON II in Nairobi in October 2013, to see why. Watch it here, courtesy of Anglican TV.

“My first really significant encounter with worldwide Anglicanism came at theological college.

It was 1990 and an east African priest was on secondment with us. He preached in the college chapel. He posed a question. Which gospel, he asked, which gospel do you westerners want us to believe? The one you came with or the one you preach now? Which gospel? I was horrified, not because what he said was not true. I was horrified because it was true.

My east African brother’s question has nagged away at me ever since. But how has it come about that we have a different gospel now from the one we first preached. What is this difference between what we westerners say now and what we said then? …”

Full text PDF from GAFCON.

GAFCON Chairman’s New Year Message for 2017

abp-nicholas-okoh-nigeria“As you will have seen from our end of year review, GAFCON is increasingly active. We are extending our reach, growing in influence, standing with the marginalised, strengthening our organisation and equipping key leaders, but all these things are the outworking of faithful prayer in the power of the Spirit. We are a spiritual movement in a spiritual battle and at the heart of the struggle is the challenge to the Word of God.

This is nothing new. Right at the beginning of bible history, the serpent says ‘Did God really say?’ (Genesis 3:1) and this is the question the traditional leadership of the Communion seems unwilling or unable to resolve. For instance…”

– Read Archbishop Okoh’s New Year message for 2017.

Is GAFCON the problem?

Abp Peter Jensen“An interview with the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, was recently published as an article in the Church of Ireland Gazette. The newspaper’s website carried the audio of the interview in full here.

For a self-confessed Ambassador and reconciler, Archbishop Josiah Fearon uses some undiplomatic language. The frank expression of his views on the Anglican Communion and the sexuality debate, and his sweeping dismissal of GAFCON and African church leaders have caused considerable dismay. However they reveal the thinking of the Anglican Communion Office and presumably those who endorse its leadership…”

– Archbishop Dr Peter Jensen, GAFCON General Secretary, responds to strong criticism of GAFCON, and what that criticism appears to say about the senior leadership of the Anglican Communion. Well worth taking the time to read. (link fixed)

Christian in a Muslim Culture: The Intriguing Insights of an Egyptian Bishop

Archbishop Mouneer AnisBishop Mouneer Anis, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, and Presiding Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East, delivered the ninth annual ‘Moule Memorial Lecture’ on 8 June 2016 in Cambridge. …

The topic of Mouneer’s lecture was “My Experience of Christian and Muslim Relations in Egypt”. As the title suggests, the bishop drew on personal experiences to speak about living as a Christian minority in a Muslim culture.”

– At The Australian Church Record, Steve Tong shares some insights from the lecture.

GAFCON Chairman’s Letter for Advent 2016

abp-nicholas-okoh-gafcon-photoI thank God that Archbishop Greg Venables will be re-joining the GAFCON Primates Council now that he has been elected to serve again as the Primate of the Anglican Province of South America in succession to our greatly esteemed colleague Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala. His ministry demonstrates that courage which is so central to the GAFCON story. In his previous term as Primate, despite much opposition, Archbishop Venables bravely supported orthodox Anglicans in North America and stood with the Diocese of Recife in Brazil after it had to withdraw from the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil.

We are now seeing similar courage in England as GAFCON UK, led by Canon Andy Lines, endures hostility simply for speaking the truth about the increasing breakdown of church discipline in the Church of England.  There are now clergy and bishops who openly take pride in their rejection of biblical preaching and have even launched a website to encourage the violation of the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I.10 on human sexuality.

But more disturbing is the response of the Church of England at its highest level. …”

– Read Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s full pastoral letter here.

The heart of GAFCON

Peter JensenAt the heart of GAFCON is communion.

When I became Archbishop of Sydney in 2001, I had a lot to learn. Even though I had been ordained for over thirty years by then, had lived in England for three years and had been the Principal of a theological College with students from many places in the world, there was so much that I did not know.

Two of the many things I had to discover through experience may sound strange and you may wonder where I had been all my life. But I suspect that many of us are in the same position…”

– GAFCON General Secretary, Dr. Peter Jensen, on The heart of GAFCON.

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