GAFCON Bishops Conference postponed – and other news

GAFCON General Secretary Archbishop Ben Kwashi writes:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:32-33

Sober greetings in Lent!

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate, we are seeing international travel being drastically reduced and severe restrictions being placed on people gathering, especially in large numbers.

In the light of these developments, the Gafcon Primates Council has reviewed plans for our Bishops Conference in Kigali 2020 and with much regret have decided to postpone the conference until such time as it becomes possible to reconvene.

We also have in mind the need to act responsibly and not risk adding to infections in our host nation, Rwanda, nor risk delegates to the conference becoming infected and spreading the disease in their home countries.

We realise this news will be deeply disappointing, but as a globally connected movement, our life together will continue as we encourage and pray for one another through the daily prayer diary and our many other online resources.

Around the world churches are mobilizing and adapting to continue being the church as we make our way trusting God through this crisis. We have provided two pages on the Gafcon webpage that we hope will help provide ideas, tips and encouragement in ways ministry is going forward from different regions of the world. One page will focus on technology tips and ideas as many churches are moving to mediums such as livestreaming. The other page focuses on sharing ideas and ministry that churches are acting on as they continue to faithfully proclaim Christ in word and deed.

In addition, Archbishop Foley and I have issued a call to prayer and fasting for this Sunday, 22 March, interceding against the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, swarming locusts in East Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and famine and hunger in regions of Africa. Please join us.

So let us be confident that God’s purposes will not be thwarted and let us dedicate ourselves afresh to the great task of proclaiming Christ faithfully which lies at the heart of the Gafcon vision. More than ever, our world in its fear and vulnerability needs to know the comfort of God’s mercy and the promise of eternal life to all who repent and believe. Out of all this, God has not lost his plan nor abandoned his work. God continues to work his purposes out, until the Word of the Lord covers the earth as the waters covers the sea!

We will proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations!!!

The Lord be with you.
Archbishop Ben Kwashi

Call to Prayer and Fasting: Sunday 22nd March

GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Foley Beach and General Secretary Archbishop Ben Kwashi issue a call to prayer and fasting for this Sunday, 22 March, interceding against the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, swarming locusts in East Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and famine and hunger in regions of Africa. Read more

Urgent Prayer needed for Kenya’s Targeted Christians

“Today we start looking at some specific situations of brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted and threatened with even more persecution. We start with Kenya because of very disturbing news that has come out of northeastern Kenya. I would ask you to pray as you read, and throughout the weekend. Please share this news about what Christians in northern and eastern Kenya are facing with the rest of your church family, and hold this persecuted part of our global church family up for prayer in your Sunday services. …”

An urgent prayer request from GAFCON.

GAFCON Chairman’s Pastoral Letter for February 2020

Archbishop Foley Beach has published his February 2020 Pastoral Letter:

“Christian discipleship and leadership calls us to make disciples of all nations and it requires us to protect the flock from false teachers. Encountering false teachers is nothing new in the history of the Church. The New Testament is filled with exhortations regarding false teachers. …”

He also recommends the new GAFCON resource, “Anglican Reality Check”.

Walking with the Suffering Church during Lent — GAFCON

GAFCON is producing daily devotionals to which you can subscribe.

During Lent 2020, there is a special focus on walking with the Suffering Church.

Daniel Willis to be GAFCON Operations Manager

GAFCON General Secretary, Archbishop Ben Kwashi, has announced that Canon Daniel Willis will take on the position of Operations Manager for GAFCON from March 1st.

He succeeds Mr James Stileman, who has stepped down for health reasons.

Many will be aware of Daniel’s key role in organising Jerusalem 2018, as well as his many years of ministry in Sydney, including at Frenchs Forest, the Cathedral, and with the Bible Society, as well as on the ACL’s Council.

(Photo of Karen and Daniel Willis, courtesy of GAFCON.)

Anglican Reality Check

GAFCON has launched a new website – Anglican Reality Check – subtitled, “What’s happened since Lambeth 1998?”.

In the midst of PR releases coming from Lambeth Palace, this website is a great help in remembering how far the Anglican Communion has slid since 1998. It would be good to work through the timeline to be clear on why GAFCON is needed.

GAFCON’s Acting Operations Manager, Canon Charles Raven, discusses the new website, and other matters, with Bishop Julian Dobbs at the Living Through The Word podcast.

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Related:

And here is a summary we posted in May 2018:

Every so often, media reports warn that the current situation (whatever it is at the time) might provoke a split among Anglicans. The truth is that this is nothing new – but each ‘crisis’ is no less serious or tragic.

From our archives, here are five articles which are well worth reading. Among other things they provide context for the formation of GAFCON:

– all from our Resources section.

From Dr. Mark Thompson’s paper, The Anglican Debacle: Roots and Patterns:

“The first thing to note about the crisis the Anglican Communion is facing today is that it has been coming for a very long time. …

That background might lead you to ask, ‘So what’s changed now?’ If the denomination has long been compromised in these ways, and evangelicals have always struggled within it, why are we arguing that we have now reached a moment of crisis where decisive action needs to be taken? What is different about what’s happening at the moment? …”

Authentic Anglicanism and False Fears

“[In] the topsy-turvy world of Canterbury institutionalism … networks committed to aims such as church planting, global mission, prayer, sustainable development and theological training are … feared as divisive and dangerous…”

– GAFCON’s Membership Development Secretary, Canon Charles Raven, wrote this article for Evangelicals Now.

Archbishop Foley Beach’s January GAFCON Chairman’s letter

“For many of us, Christmas is a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Word becoming flesh, and enjoying time with family and friends. However, for some of our brothers and sisters in Christ, Christmas has become a time of increased threat. …”

– In his January latter as GAFCON Primates Council Chairman, Archbishop Foley Beach highlights the need to pray for the persecuted church.

2019: A Ground-Breaking Year for GAFCON

“A lot has happened during 2019, and we give praise and thanks to God for His faithfulness to this growing movement of Global Anglicans. Watch our round up of 2019 here and we hope that you will stand with us as we move forward into the new year …”

Encouragement from Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, Archbishop Ben Kwashi.

Advent Letter from Archbishop Ben Kwashi

“Peace be with you!

Our Advent card celebrates the wonderful truth that our Lord Jesus who first appeared in the humility of the incarnation will most certainly return in glory, ‘For all the promises of God find their Yes in him’ (2 Cor 1:20).

The gospel brings a hope that nothing and nobody else can give and living myself in a situation where Christians risk their lives for faithfulness to Christ, I know the power of this hope to sustain and strengthen. …”

– Gafcon General Secretary, Archbishop Ben A Kwashi, shares his Advent 2019 message.

Advent 2019 Message from Archbishop Foley Beach

“In his Advent letter to the family of global Anglicans, Archbishop Foley Beach reflects on his time in Pakistan, the launch of Gafcon’s weekday devotion ‘Lift Up Your Hearts’, and despite hostility, he encourages us to press forward in Jesus, the Coming King.“

Gafcon Ireland pushes back against claims it is un-Anglican

Here is a letter printed in the Irish Times in response to the open letter from liberal Irish clergy urging the Irish bishops to reject the election of David McClay as Bishop of Down and Dromore due to his support of GAFCON.

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Sir, – It saddens me that once again The Irish Times has allowed its pages to be used to spread vicious and untrue rumours about Gafcon (Analysis, November 18th, Rite and Reason, November 19th). Far from being schismatic, Gafcon has allowed the vast majority of the Anglican Communion to remain united despite attempts from some to tear the very fabric of our common life.

The pleas of brothers and sisters across the globe have been ignored and the plain teaching of Scripture has been abandoned. Instead there has been a persistent and prolonged attempt to drive the Church of Ireland away from its true Anglican heritage shared by millions across the world. It was my privilege to be at Gafcon in Jerusalem last year, the biggest international gathering of Anglicans in over 50 years. Men and women from more than 50 countries gathered in that great city to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations.

Every Church of Ireland minister is committed to this. At their ordination, they promise to expound the Scriptures and teach the doctrine of the Church of Ireland to all irrespective of gender, race or sexuality.

Anyone reading the Jerusalem Declaration, which sets out the beliefs of the Gafcon movement, will notice that it merely upholds the classical authorities of Anglicanism, the Bible as the word of God written, the Creeds and Councils of the early church, the Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. This is something that every bishop in the Church of Ireland is called to do and what the average church-goer in Ireland expects from their bishop. These are the things that unite us. – Yours, etc,

Rev Timothy Anderson, Chair, Gafcon Ireland

– from GAFCON.

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