GAFCON Chairman’s Pastoral Letter, August 2016

abp-nicholas-okoh-nigeriaMy dear people of God,

I have just returned from a very encouraging visit to the United States where I met with my brother Archbishop Foley Beach and I rejoice to see how the Anglican Church in North America is growing strong and standing firm.

As the steep decline of The Episcopal Church (TEC) of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada continues, despite the hope of its leaders that reshaping it in the image of secular culture would attract, we give thanks for the Anglican Church of North America and remember the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ ‘I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew16:18).

GAFCON recognises that the Church is not ours. It belongs to Jesus and it is Jesus who builds the Church through his word. …”

– Read all of Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s pastoral letter for August 2016 at the GAFCON website.

Abp of Canterbury and the Pope to celebrate 50th anniversary of Anglican Centre in Rome

Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby June 2014Coming up in October –

“The Archbishop of Canterbury will join Pope Francis for a joint service of Evening Prayer in the church of San Gregorio al Celio. Both men will preach and a Joint Declaration will be read out.

The service will combine elements of Anglican Evensong and Catholic Vespers, and will see the Sistine Chapel Choir joined by the choir of Canterbury Cathedral as they join together in common worship.

The central piece of the service will be the blessing and sending-out of pairs of IARCCUM bishops. The International Anglican and Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission is made-up of pairs of bishops from around the world, who work together in their own countries, to follow Pope Francis’ call that we should walk together as if we were one.

– from The Anglican Centre in Rome.

Related:

Why the Reformation is Definitely Not Over

and

Is the Pope a Catholic? Understanding the Catholic Church.

After “Shared Conversations” what Gospel will the Church of England share?

Canon Phil AsheyIn Nairobi, Kenya I still remember a Sunday lunch Archbishop Eliud Wabukala hosted for Archbishop Justin Welby and other Archbishops, bishops and honored guests gathered the day before GAFCON 2013 began.

During that lunch, Archbishop Peter Jensen gave the opening remarks. He reminded all those present—and as he looked directly at Archbishop Justin Welby—that he and other GAFCON Primates had been asked not once, not twice, but three times to go back to their Bibles and reread what it had to say about issues of sexuality. Archbishop Peter Jensen said that he and the GAFCON Primates had done so, and had concluded that God’s word on homosexuality and same-sex marriage was clear, authoritative and unchanged. On the eve of GAFCON 2013, he cited this conviction as among the principal reasons he and others in GAFCON were standing for Biblical clarity and authority.

Immediately following, Archbishop Welby was invited to give remarks. He came forward and thanked Archbishop Jensen for his stirring speech. He then gave brief remarks that concluded with, “please don’t forget lost people.” And then he sat down.

The Archbishop of Canterbury failed to engage Archbishop Jensen’s remarks about Biblical clarity and authority. In that context, his plea not to forget lost people reveals the false dichotomy that seems to be at the heart of Canterbury’s thinking and the ‘Shared conversations.’ It is just this: that if we hold fast to the clarity and authority of the Bible, we will never reach lost people…”

– American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey writes about a revealing incident in Nairobi, and the apparent thinking behind the Church of England’s Shared Conversations. Emphasis added.

(Photo: Canon Ashey reporting from Nairobi in 2013.)

Can we learn from history? — Bishop Colenso and the Lambeth Conference

Bishop John ColensoOnce upon the time there was a bishop—an Anglican bishop—who decided that you couldn’t trust the Bible. He claimed that the Bible was not clear about human sexuality and he rejected the Christian doctrine of marriage between one man and one woman. He wrote that the Bible was not historically trustworthy, and that we ought to prefer our own powers of reason and conscience to know God…”

– Top article from Phil Ashey at the American Anglican Council.

Related: Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV interviews Canon Phil Ashey.
Great background to the new role of the American Anglican Council in helping the development of churches in the ACNA and further afield.

GAFCON Statement on Proposed Primates’ Meeting 2017

gafcon-logo-00Just released:

“In the last week, there has been news of a potential Primates’ Meeting scheduled to begin October 2, 2017. Consequently, we have received a number of inquiries, both from the media and our membership, asking the question of whether or not the Gafcon Primates will attend.

For all who had hoped that attendance at the January 2016 Primates’ Gathering might restore godly order to the Communion, the results were clearly discouraging. Gafcon is fully committed to guarding the unchanging truth of the Gospel, and restoring the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion. In due course, the Gafcon Primates will take counsel and together make a decision about the wisdom of attending future meetings.

The next meeting of the Gafcon Primates’ Council is in April of 2017. We give thanks for the courage that is being shown by our members across the globe, as they share God’s Word both ‘in season and out of season’. Please continue to pray for the continued growth of this reformation movement.”

Canterbury is only as helpful as he is faithful

Canon Phil AsheySo the Archbishop of Canterbury has called for yet another meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion for October, 2017. As if this meeting could cure the wound that has been made even more incurable by his own personal failure to uphold the recommendations of the meeting he called in January of this year—failures that I documented several weeks ago in “At this point, why should we care about the Anglican Communion?”.

When I last wrote about this, I emphasised the Archbishop’s failure to defend the special role of Bishops to guard the doctrine, discipline and order of the Church…”

– The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey points out that the way forward is not through Canterbury.

A Roman Catholic canon for Belfast Cathedral

edward-odonnellSt Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, has appointed the Very Rev Edward O’Donnell, Parish Priest of St Brigid’s, Belfast, as an Ecumenical Canon.

This is the first time in the history of St Anne’s that a Roman Catholic Priest will serve on the Cathedral Chapter…”

St. Anne’s Cathedral, BelfastChurch of Ireland.

Pastoral Letter from GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Okoh, July 2016

abp-nicholas-okoh-nigeriaArchbishop Nicholas Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council has released his July Pastoral Letter.

Read it here at the GAFCON website.

Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit welcomed by GAFCON Primates

Archbishop Jackson Ole SapitFollowing his enthronement as the sixth Archbishop of Kenya on Sunday 3rd July in All Saints’ Cathedral, Nairobi, the Most Rev Jackson Ole Sapit met with the GAFCON Primates who had travelled from as far away as South America to be present for this day of prayer, preaching and colourful celebration…”

– from GAFCON.

President Kenyatta congratulates new Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop

Archbishop-Elect Jackson Ole SapitPresident Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated the newly enthroned Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop, the Most Reverend Dr Jackson Nasoore Ole Sapit.

Speaking at the enthronement service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, President Kenyatta wished Archbishop Sapit success in his duties as Head of the Anglican Church in Kenya and assured him of his support…”

– from Capital News. (Earlier photo from the Anglican Church of Kenya.)

A leading Anglican theologian exposes the ‘Third Way’ myth

Charles RavenMyths are not necessarily old. A new myth is being invented by Anglican church leaders who claim to be orthodox and even evangelical.

They tell us that differences between Christians about the acceptability of same-sex relationships are secondary issues and the Church should therefore follow a ‘Third Way’…”

– Canon Charles Raven (pictured), Membership Development Secretary for GAFCON, highlights this commentary by Dr Martin Davie.

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