Preparing for Primates’ Meeting 2017

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, speaks about his hopes for the Primates’ meeting next month, where there will be a focus on the issues facing the world, including human sexuality (didn’t the last Primates’ meeting speak clearly about that?), the environment and climate change, evangelism, refugees, conflict and persecution.

See also:

“I attended the Canterbury Primates Meeting held in January 2016 because I believed it might be possible to make a new start and change the pattern of repeated failure to preserve the integrity of Anglican faith and order. I was disappointed. The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka the following April neutered the Primates’ action to distance The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) from Communion decision making.

TEC has not repented, and continues to take aggressive legal action against orthodox dioceses. For example…”

Is GAFCON divisive?

“The suggestion that Gafcon is a divisive movement, and in particular aimed at breaking up the Anglican Communion, is one I hear from time to time.

It’s heartbreaking to hear it because it is untrue and it is an indication of the power of gossip.

I never tire of telling the story of the meeting of Primates at the end of the Jerusalem Conference 2008. …”

– GAFCON General Secretary Dr peter Jensen answers the question.

Faith in a time of crisis

“This is a book written by people of gospel conviction who are calling all those with gospel conviction to stand for that gospel. And it is not just for Anglicans.”

– ACL Council member Nigel Fortescue reviews “Faith in a time of crisis” by Vaughan Roberts and Peter Jensen – on the GAFCON website. (Originally published in Southern Cross, August 2017.)

See also this earlier review by fellow ACL Council member Dan McKinlay, published in June.

The book is available from Matthias Media (AUS), The Good Book Company (UK) and Amazon (for fun, click on ‘Peter Jensen’ in the Author line at Amazon, to see other books written, or nor written, by Peter Jensen.).

Some Reflections on the Global South Primates Meeting

“Many of you will have read the statement of the Global South Primates Steering Committee from their meeting in Cairo this past weekend. In the swirl of the weekly news cycle, it’s easy to look at this statement as just another murmur from the background of Anglican geopolitics.  I’d like to offer a few thoughts about why their statement should be considered newsworthy.

First, let’s remember that the Global South Primates include the Archbishops or principal Bishop-leaders of the largest Anglican Churches in the world – Nigeria (in terms of real average Sunday attendance in church), Kenya, and Uganda for starters.  They include those leaders of the Gafcon movement – which plants the future of a renewed Anglicanism around a common confession of faith, the Jerusalem Declaration.

But the Global South movement existed before Gafcon, and includes those provinces in that part of the world that have not yet joined Gafcon, like Southeast Asia, but have for many years stood firmly on the authority and clarity of the Bible as the ultimate authority within the councils of the Church. That’s a big deal. …”

– Canon Phil Ashey, President of the American Anglican Council, puts last week’s Global South communique in perspective.

Global South Primates’ Communique, Cairo, September 9 2017

“We, the Primates of the Global South, met in Cairo from 8-9 September 2017 to work together in service of the Church, to follow up the recommendation of the 2016 Global South Conference and to discuss arising issues. …

We express our sadness for the decision taken by the Scottish Episcopal Church to change its doctrine of marriage and are thankful for the faithful remnant of the Scottish Anglican Network that continues to contend for God’s Word. We are also saddened by the decisions of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada to allow same-sex marriage. If this decision is ratified it will further tear the fabric of the Communion.  …

We are saddened that the 16th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka, Zambia, did not unequivocally accept the decisions of the last Primates Meeting. While we expressed a desire to walk together as a Communion, this was contingent upon our decisions regarding The Episcopal Church being respected and upheld. Unfortunately, this agreement was not enforced and The Episcopal Church has been allowed to take part in decision making regarding ‘matters pertaining to polity and doctrine.’ They have also represented us in ecumenical meetings.  This has led to a further breakdown of trust and confidence.

In light of this reality, we discussed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to the upcoming Primates’ Meeting. …”

– Read the full Communique at Global South Anglican.

‘Secretary General of the Anglican Communion rebukes Nigerian primate for boycotting meeting’

“Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has told Premier it is “sad” that the leader of Anglicans in Nigeria has decided to not attend a meeting called by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby.

The meeting scheduled for next month in Canterbury is for the Primates from the 39 provinces.

But Most Rev Nicholas Okoh Primate of All Nigeria has refused to attend because of what he deems as a lack of progress on the issue of sexuality.

The last meeting of its kind was in January 2016 where there was much disagreement about the Church’s view on sexuality.

Archbishop Josiah disagrees with the primate’s stance.

He told Premier: “At their meeting in January 2016 the Primates agreed to walk together.

“The primate of Nigeria was present at that meeting. In effect, he is now reneging on this decision which is very sad. …”

– Report from Premier UK. Photo: Abps Justin Welby and Josiah Idowu-Fearon.

However, Archbishop Okoh’s reasons are much more serious: (emphasis added)

“The only difference between the present and 2008, when Gafcon was formed, is that we have a different Archbishop of Canterbury. Everything else is the same or worse.”

“I attended the Canterbury Primates Meeting held in January 2016 because I believed it might be possible to make a new start and change the pattern of repeated failure to preserve the integrity of Anglican faith and order. I was disappointed.

The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka the following April neutered the Primates’ action to distance The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) from Communion decision making. TEC has not repented, and continues to take aggressive legal action against orthodox dioceses. For example, the congregations of the Diocese of San Joaquin are currently having to turn over their places of worship to TEC, which has no realistic plan for filling them with worshippers.  At the same time, the Diocese of South Carolina is now facing the potential loss of many of its historic buildings.

My disappointment was shared by the other Global South Primates who gathered in Cairo last October and we concluded in our communiqué that the ‘Instruments of Communion’ (which include the Primates Meeting of course) are “unable to sustain the common life and unity of the Anglican Churches worldwide” and do actually help to undermine global mission.

The only difference between the present and 2008, when Gafcon was formed, is that we have a different Archbishop of Canterbury. Everything else is the same or worse. There is endless debate, the will of the orthodox Primates is frustrated and misrepresented, false teaching is not being corrected, and nothing is being done to halt orthodox Anglicans in North America (and maybe soon elsewhere) being stripped of the churches that have helped form their spiritual lives.

In these circumstances, I have concluded that attendance at Canterbury would be to give credibility to a pattern of behaviour which is allowing great damage to be done to global Anglican witness and unity. Our energies in the Church of Nigeria will be devoted to what is full of hope and promise for the future, not to the repetition of failure. …”

– Read all of his Pastoral Letter for September 2017.

Territorial Anglicanism?

“The ordination of Bishop Andy Lines as missionary Bishop to Europe by 50 Bishops including 11 Primates has upset some Anglicans.

They protest that this action opposes the 4th Century Canons of Nicaea, though it is not clear how those Canons apply to this situation, nor what authority they have today.

The claim is made that Anglicanism is opposed to having more than one Bishop in one territory. This claim is less plausible when seen in the light of the reality of Anglican practice …”

– Church Society has republished this opinion piece by Dr. Peter Adam. It first appeared in The Melbourne Anglican.

Related: Loose Canons? Andy Lines and the Canons of Nicaea – Dr Mark Smith.

GAFCON Chairman’s September 2017 letter

“Gafcon is about hope and the future. It is about godly unity and faithful witness for generations to come, and I want to state these positive things very clearly as I share my reasons for not attending the Primates Meeting in Canterbury next month.

I attended the Canterbury Primates Meeting held in January 2016 because I believed it might be possible to make a new start and change the pattern of repeated failure to preserve the integrity of Anglican faith and order. I was disappointed. The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka the following April neutered the Primates’ action to distance The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) from Communion decision making.

TEC has not repented, and continues to take aggressive legal action against orthodox dioceses. For example…”

– Read the latest pastoral letter from The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council.

New Primate of the Indian Ocean

“Bishop James Wong of the Seychelles has been elected as the new Archbishop and Primate of the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean. He succeeds Archbishop Ian Ernest who served for 11 years. …

Before his episcopal election, he was … Chairman of Scripture Union Mauritius.”

– Report from The Anglican Communion News Service.

GAFCON in the Midst of Missional crisis

“We’ve looked at how GAFCON came to be and why it matters. Here we’ll unpack the challenges GAFCON and orthodox Anglicans face as we seek to be a missional movement to win people for Christ.

In what kind of landscape does the GAFCON movement now find itself? In what kind of environment do Orthodox Anglicans find themselves living day to day and doing ministry? To steal a phrase from the General Secretary of GAFCON, we find ourselves in the midst of a missional crisis. That is, in 2017 we are faced with a decision: how will we relate to the culture of our times and do mission within this culture?…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Caitlin Hurley concludes her brief series on GAFCON.

Hard truth about soft power

“How has the Anglican Communion managed to more or less stay together and even at times give the appearance of growth despite nearly twenty years of doctrinal and ethical chaos?

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s presence in Khartoum, Sudan, for the inauguration of the 39th Province of the Anglican Communion on July 30th illustrates the point. …”

– Charles Raven, Membership Development Secretary of GAFCON, takes a look at some of the ways power is used within the Anglican Communion.

What’s the go with GAFCON?

“In November last year, the date and location of the next GAFCON conference were announced – 17-22 June 2018, in Jerusalem. It is expected that over 2000 will attend.

But how did GAFCON start? What is it and what does it do? And why is it such a big deal? …”

– At The Australian Church Record, ACL Council member Caitlin Hurley begins a short series on GAFCON. Worth passing on to church members.

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