“Nearly 500 Anglicans from around New Zealand, including the Vicars of many larger churches, have met together this week at two conferences in Auckland and Christchurch to launch the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans NZ (FCANZ). FCANZ is a local expression of the Gafcon movement, and a message of support was read out at the conferences from Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala, Chair of the Gafcon Primates.
Video greetings were also received from Most Rev Foley Beach (Primate of ACNA) and the Rt Rev Richard Condie (Bishop of Tasmania and Chair of FCA Australia).
Rev Canon Vaughan Roberts (St Ebbe’s, Oxford) gave 4 talks on True Gospel, True Sex, True Love and True Unity, and was joined by Rev Canon David Short (Vancouver), Dr Peter Adam (Melbourne), Rev. Dr. Sarah Harris (Auckland) and others.
The formation of FCANZ has been in response to the passing of Motion 30 in 2014 and the subsequent release of the ‘A Way Forward’ Report, due to be presented to the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia next month. The report proposes the blessing of same-sex civil marriages thereby rendering them as “rightly-ordered” relationships opening up the possibility for those in them to be accepted as candidates for ordination.
Rev Jay Behan, Chair of FCANZ, said ‘This week has been a hugely significant moment for orthodox Anglicans in New Zealand. FCANZ is committed to promoting faithfulness and providing fellowship, and orthodox Anglicans now know that through the FCANZ there is a place for all orthodox Anglicans in New Zealand, whether they are inside or outside the current Anglican structures.
We continue to pray that General Synod will pull back from making a decision which will tear the fabric of the communion, undermining the allegiance to General Synod for many Anglicans in New Zealand.’
“An April 18 Anglican Consultative Council marathon resolution-passing session saw ACC members take stands on climate change, gender justice, safe church environments, youth involvement in the communion, solidarity with persecuted people, and interfaith and ecumenical relations, among other issues.
And the council declined to endorse or take any action similar to the primates’ call in January for three years of so-called “consequences” for the Episcopal Church…”
– A sadly unsurprising decision by the Anglican Consultative Council – via The Episcopal News Service. (Related: Genesis 3:4.)
The January gathering of Primates in Canterbury saw many people around the world praying for the GAFCON Primates and the wider Anglican Communion. Thank you if you were one of those people. As the GAFCON Primates Council meets this week in Nairobi, they would value your prayers again. Below are some points to guide your prayers as well as your praise to our God who is rich in mercy and grace.
- for the Primates’ willingness to serve the Anglican Communion through the GAFCON Primates Council despite the heavy burdens they carry in their own Provinces.
- for the courageous and faithful leadership of Archbishop Wabukala as he stands down as chairman at this meeting.
- for safety in travelling and at the venue, for visa arrangements to go smoothly and for everyone to arrive as scheduled.
- that the Primates will be united and strong in their love for God’s Word and their resolve to see the Church of God healed and renewed.
- for wisdom in the decisions that need to be made about GAFCON 2018 and the development of the GAFCON movement.
- for the Advisers, Consultants and Secretariat staff who will be supporting the Primates.
- for this meeting to be an encouragement to the Anglican Church of Kenya.
Certainly the leaders of GAFCON are clear on this point. They are not proposing to replace the Communion. They are dealing with schism, not provoking it.
Their insight has always been clear: since the institutional structures have failed to hold the fellowship together around the truth, the answer must be a spiritual one.
A prophetic voice is needed…”
– In the last of his six-part series Back to Basics, GAFCON General Secretary, Dr. Peter Jensen, invites like-minded Christian believers to stand with those who stand for the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
According to an article published on Anglican Ink, a fraudulent letter was posted on the Anglican Church of Kenya’s website, with Archbishop Wabukala’s digital signature, purporting to reverse his public decision not to send a delegation from the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) to the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council which begins today.
Here are the facts that we know…”
– The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey summarises the latest intrigue.
The Standing Committee received a report from the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Primates’ gathering in January 2016 and noted the stated commitment of the Primates to ‘walk together’ despite differences of view. The Standing Committee welcomed the formation of a Task Group as recommended by the Primates to maintain conversation among them with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, and healing the legacy of hurt. The Standing Committee considered the Communiqué from the Primates and affirmed the relational links between the Instruments of Communion in which each Instrument, including the Anglican Consultative Council, forms its own views and has its own responsibilities…”
– from The Episcopal News Service.
Related: Media briefing gives outline for ACC-16. (Anglican Communion News Service.) Should we hope for at least a mention of evangelism or the Great Commission?
Whilst he had every good faith to attend, the clear disregard for the Primates’ decision reached in January 2016 Primates Gathering, that TEC not is not to be represented in the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, prevents him from doing so in good conscience.” (From GAFCON.)
Here’s the text of his letter. Paragraph breaks added for ease of reading.
My dear brother archbishops,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am writing to let you know that I have decided not to attend the ACC-16 in Lusaka. My decision has come after a long period of prayer and conversations.
As many of you know, it is not easy for me to withdraw from meetings, but this time I felt that if I were to attend, I would be betraying my conscience, my people, and the Primates who worked hard last January to reach a temporary solution in order to keep walking together until such time as we can reach a permanent solution.
I thought that the decision of the Primates’ Meeting in January would be followed through and TEC would not be represented in the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion but sadly this is not the case.
I don’t mind the participation of TEC in the General Meeting of the ACC, but the decision of the Primates was very clear that they should not be nominated or elected in internal standing committees. Although I was disturbed by the statements made by the chairman of the ACC while he was in the USA, I had still intended to attend the meeting. However, as it became clear that the decision of the Primates’ Meeting about the participation of TEC in the Standing Committee would be disregarded, it was then that I decided not to attend.
I see that there is a lot of confusion about the role of the Primates’ Meeting and the ACC. Neither have jurisdiction within provinces, but both have roles in regulating the relationship between provinces. The Primates’ Meeting has “enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters” (Lambeth 1988) and to make “intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity” (Lambeth 1998).
Some think that because the ACC is the most representative of the instruments (including bishops, clergy, and laity), it is more authoritative. This is not true. It’s very name, “consultative”, reminds us that it is not an “Anglican Synod” but merely an advisory group. The Instruments of Unity, in order to have good relationships, need to support each others’ decisions in those areas of responsibility given to them by Lambeth Councils.
I will be praying for the members of the ACC-16 so that they may affirm and respect the decisions of the Primates’ Meeting. If this happens, it will bring hope back and we will be able to think of the future together.
+ Mouneer Egypt
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Archbishop of Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
“The announcement yesterday by Archbishop Mouneer Anis (Jerusalem and the Middle East) that he will not be attending the upcoming Anglican Consultative Council meeting (ACC-16) has sent shock waves through the leadership of the Anglican Communion…
The Episcopal Church’s intention to continue to participate in the Joint Standing Committee of the ACC (also known as the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion), was just too much. It was a clear and direct rejection of the discipline prescribed by the Primates. It is an act of rebellion aided and abetted by Chairman Tengatenga’s denunciation of the Primates authority.”
– The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey asks is there now any reason at all for any of the GAFCON and Global South Primates to attend ACC-16.
He also looks at the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council, and argues why Biblically faithful Primates need to act.
The issues before us have doctrinal and political aspects. But, finally, they are spiritual and that is why repentance matters.
The original tragic division in the Anglican Communion was the responsibility of certain North American Anglicans. They have been invited back into communion with those who severed relationships.
But this is not simply a matter of apology without change.
The need is repentance, with the hope of reconciliation and restoration…”
– GAFCON General Secretary, Dr Peter Jensen, writes the fourth of six reflections in the light of January’s Primates Meeting.
The primates of Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda have indicated that their representatives cannot attend because the spirit of the Primates Meeting in Canterbury, which introduced consequences for TEC and its participation in Communion decision-making on doctrine and polity, appears to be being overridden or ignored. …
Kenya and Nigeria were very gracious in trusting the conversations at Canterbury and the decisions made there. They now suspect that they were misled.
Lusaka is not the place to sort out church polity, unity, doctrine or matters of sexuality. Those are the callings of the primates meeting and the Lambeth conference of Bishops.”
– Chris Sugden writes for The Church of England Newspaper. Via Anglican Mainstream.
“As I observed last week, the Primates must be wondering why they even came together in January at Archbishop Welby’s request if he is now unable to defend them.
And as Archbishop Mouneer notes, that is the source of our impaired Communion. It is a great pity that the source of impaired communion lies in great part in the lack of leadership by Canterbury himself.”
– The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey looks at the failure of Canterbury to respond publicly to the Anglican Consultative Council’s public repudiation of Primatial authority.