GAFCON Chairman’s Advent Letter 2018

“Archbishop Peter Jensen will be standing down at the end of this month as our General Secretary. He is one of our founding fathers and truly a man of courage who has not flinched from the heavy burden of this global ministry. The affection and esteem in which he is held were obvious to all at the close of our Jerusalem conference and his passion for the gospel of God will continue to be a great inspiration. …”

– There is much to be thankful for – and much to pray about – in the Advent Letter from GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh. Take the time to read and pray through it.

Walking on Broken Glass

“This month, Chile became the newest province in the Anglican Communion, with national and international guests gathering in the capital, Santiago, for the celebrations presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Among the attendees was the General Secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who presented a gift which he claimed symbolized the Anglican Communion. The gift was a glass cruet for communion wine, and it was etched with the Compass Rose, a design set in the nave of Canterbury Cathedral at the time of the 1988 Lambeth Conference.

Dr Idowu Fearon explained:

“It is our practice to remind all newly enthroned Primates that this communion of churches is very precious, and as Primates they are responsible for keeping this precious family together. They have no right to break it, and that is why we give them something that is breakable. So that they make sure they don’t drop it.”

To those unfamiliar with the history of the Anglican Communion it must have been just a nice illustration, but to those who are familiar with that history it was quite a statement remarkable for the depth of self-deception it revealed. …”

Read the complete article by Charles Raven, at the GAFCON website.

Thanks, but no thanks: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal

“A proposal by the Archbishop of Sydney for an overlapping Anglican diocese or province to cater for Anglicans in New Zealand opposed to the blessing of same-sex marriage has been rejected by the leaders of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP).

In May, the ANZP General Synod passed a ‘compromise’ resolution on the blessing of same-sex civil marriages in a move that was designed to allow both theological conservatives and those campaigning for change to stay in the same church. But a number of Anglicans have responded to the vote by saying that they were seeking to leave the Church as a result of the decision. …”

– Report from The Anglican Communion News Service.

In their reply to Archbishop Glenn Davies (PDF file – via Anglican Taonga), Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson, speak of the cultural and colonial background of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia:

“One of the key messages we hoped you would take to your home from our meeting at Hemi Tapu is the unique consequences of our history as Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are a Church made up of colonised and coloniser.

We have a difficult history. It is a shared history. We know the language, the face and the consequences of colonisation. For Ma?ori, disenfranchisement, alienation from whenua [Land], racism and poverty are consequences of this shared history. …

To be Anglican in this land requires that we, led by our Lord Jesus Christ, face into this shared history so that we can help shape a common future for all people based on peace and justice and righteousness. …

If those disaffiliating want to be committed to that fundamental consequence of being Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand, then they must stay in these constitutional and Treaty-based relationships.

We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history. ”

GAFCON Fuel for Prayer — 8th November 2018 update

Here are the latest praise and prayer points from GAFCON.

Gafcon Networks Move Forward

“One of the most significant steps forward taken at our great assembly in Jerusalem last June was to launch nine global networks to equip faithful Anglicans around the world to ‘proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations’.

Since then, there has been a bubbling up of activity as people act on the vision we committed ourselves to at GAFCON 2018. …”

– Charles Raven, GAFCON’s Membership Development Secretary, has an encouraging update.

Evangelical Bishops open letter to Church of England: ‘Do not abandon biblical truth on sexuality’

“Eleven bishops of the Church of England have positioned themselves against opening a debate about the Anglican teaching about identity, sexuality and marriage. …

After tense debates that questioned the traditional biblical perspectives in places like Scotland and the United States, these key evangelical leaders have called to continue to proclaim the Christian “ethic”.

The open letter (download here – the original article had an incorrect link) has been signed by the Bishops of Carlisle, Durham, Ludlow, Birkenhead, Willesden, Peterborough, Plymouth, Blackburn, Maidstone and Lancaster, and by the former Bishop of Shrewsbury.”

– Read the full story from Evangelical Focus.

The authority & responsibilities of a senior leader — with Peter Jensen


In this week’s The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele spoke with former Archbishop of Sydney Dr. Peter Jensen.

“In this revealing and frank discussion with Dominic Steele he discusses the particular responsibilities of senior leaders and the pressures that senior leaders are under.

Also … Dr Jensen outlines the ripples in world Anglicanism from the important GAFCON 2018 event and its Letter to the Churches and ponders what happens next.”

GAFCON Chairman’s Letter — October 2018

“My dear people of God,

Last week, the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) issued a communiqué in which it affirmed the unanimous decision of the House of Bishops not to attend Lambeth 2020 unless the Archbishop of Canterbury reverses his policy of inviting those who have rejected biblical teaching and not inviting those who remain faithful but have been forced to leave their traditional spiritual homes. …”

– The Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh, has released his pastoral letter for October 2018. As well as addressing the bigger issues of the Anglican Communion, he also writes of the double tragedy in the church of South Sudan.

In Favour of Clarity

“The recent announcement by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) that the Bishops of the Province had voted unanimously not to attend the Lambeth Conference unless the conditions set forth in the Gafcon Letter of June 2018 are met, comes as no surprise.

Nonetheless it is an historic moment. …”

– Dr. Peter Jensen discusses the reasons for the brokenness of the Anglican Communion’s structures. Nevertheless, the Lord is doing wonderful things.

Related: Letter to the Churches – GAFCON 2018 Final Statement.

Bishop Andy Lines responds to rejection of Welsh Bishops’ proposals

“Gafcon UK welcomes the recent statement by the Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales, which gives a pastorally sensitive and doctrinally clear summary of the biblically orthodox position on the issue of same sex relationships.

EFCW is absolutely correct to warn of the serious implications of the Welsh Bishops’ plan to push ahead with sanctioning services of blessing for same sex relationships. Such a move rejects the unambiguous teaching of the bible on God’s guidelines for human flourishing, and will indeed “lead to impaired communion with our Anglican brothers and sisters in the majority world”.

It is a serious matter when faithful Anglicans conclude that their own Bishops are departing from their commitment to promote and defend the apostolic deposit of doctrine and ethics. We will stand with EFCW and those Anglicans in Wales who take a similar view, praying for them as they consider the next step, and we urge all orthodox Anglicans around the world to do the same.

Bishop Andy Lines, Gafcon Missionary Bishop to Europe; Chairman, Gafcon UK.”

– from the GAFCON UK website, which also has the statement from the Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales.

The Empire Strikes Back

“Readers of Jane Eyre will recall that the heroine was courted by two very different types of man.

On the one side was the dark and dubious Mr Rochester, a man with a mysterious past and an uncertain future. On the other was the pious and pure St John Rivers, whose path to the overseas mission field was clearly predestined.

As we know, Jane chose Mr Rochester, perhaps because she thought she could play a part in his redemption, but she remained in touch with St John and never lost her admiration for him, even if she could not see herself measuring up to his high standards. Nearly two centuries later, we can look back on that and ponder how the story unfolded after the novel ended. …“

– Church Society has posted this excerpt from Gerald Bray’s editorial in the current issue of Churchman. (Of course, they would be pleased if you subscribed!)

Scottish Anglican Network plans evangelism conference

“Two key figures in the orthodox Anglican movement will take part in a conference on evangelism to be held in Edinburgh on Saturday 20 October 2018. …

The October conference will discuss what the Church is for, why the world needs to hear the Gospel, and how the Church can be better equipped to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus. …

Among those participating will be Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, and Bishop Andy Lines… …”

– Remember to pray for gospel-minded men and women in Scotland.

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