GAFCON Sunday 2019 — 30th June

Archbishop Ben Kwashi writes –

Gafcon Sunday is coming up on 30 June, so please join this joyous time of celebrating and renewing our mutual purpose of faithfully proclaiming the full truth of God’s Word to every nation.

A year has passed since the 2018 Gafcon Conference in Jerusalem and the launch of the nine networks. The enthusiasm of that time, as you will see when you watch this documentary, is undiminished today, as we stand together – a true worldwide movement of Anglicans standing on God’s Word.

While you prepare for Gafcon Sunday, please pray about what you can give to keep the Gospel ministry of Gafcon going strong, as together we take an uncompromising stand for the authority of Scripture. Our voices will be heard only if we speak out! Your help will make a vital and real difference.

I hope this gives you a better understanding why we must continue working together. And I am praying I can rely on your support at this important time.

God bless.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi
General Secretary – Gafcon.

GAFCON Chairman, Archbishop Foley Beach, (who has just been elected to his Second Term as Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America) speaks about GAFCON Sunday.

See also this newly-released video overview of GAFCON 2018 in Jerusalem:

St Silas Church, Glasgow to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church

“St Silas Church in the West End of Glasgow has voted to discontinue its status as a licensed private chapel within the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC).  After a process of consultation and prayer, a members vote was held and an emphatic majority of 86% voted to leave. …

‘Recent decisions of the Scottish Episcopal Church have made clear to us that the denomination does not regard the Bible as the authoritative word of God. With deep sadness, we have therefore decided that for reasons of integrity we can no longer continue as part of the Scottish Episcopal Church. We want to leave with goodwill towards those with whom we are parting company, and sincerely pray for God’s blessing for the SEC in the future, and its renewal around God’s word.’…”

– From GAFCON. Doubtless, the members of St. Silas would value your continued prayers.

Related posts.

(Image: St. Silas Church Glasgow.)

Gafcon’s Australian Chair explains why we need Gafcon in the Australian Church today

Bishop Richard Condie, Chair of Gafcon Australia, writes:

“The recent Gafcon Australia tour with Archbishops Foley Beach and Ben Kwashi, was the perfect opportunity to introduce people to the Gafcon movement, and what it is trying to achieve. As Chairman of Gafcon Australia, I was able to give this short introduction to the origins of the movement in Melbourne and Hobart.

After hearing the Archbishops speak so many people said words to me like: ‘I had no idea this was going on in our church’. Here is a great opportunity for us to spread the word. I hope you find it helpful.”

Watch the 13-minute video at the GAFCON Australia website.

“I will not be at the Lambeth Conference” — Archbishop of Kenya

“The Archbishop of Kenya, Jackson Ole Sapit has announced that he will not be attending the Lambeth 2020 Conference …

Archbishop Jackson is the fourth Primate to publicly declare that he will not be attending.

In June 2018, even before it was announced that the three bishops in same sex unions were invited, Uganda announced that they would not be attending Lambeth 2020. In September the Nigerian House of Bishops followed suit, and in December Archbishop Laurent Mbanda (Gafcon’s Vice Chair) announced that the Rwandan bishops would stay at home as well. …”

– Read more at the GAFCON website.

Archbishop Foley Beach’s first Pastoral Letter as GAFCON Primates Council Chairman

“It is estimated that there are 2.1 billion people on the earth who have no contact with any Christian witness, and therefore, above all else, I want to see Gafcon uniting and equipping Anglicans around the world to be a missionary movement.

As the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration affirms, the reason we first gathered in Jerusalem in 2008 was ‘to free our Communion for a clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ’ and this remains our great purpose. …”

– Read all of Archbishop Beach’s pastoral letter here.

Jay Behan to be first bishop of the new diocese of Confessing Anglicans in NZ

A significant development in New Zealand.

From the Synod of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand:

“Today representatives from twelve churches throughout New Zealand gathered and formed the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand.

By the grace of God we are a new Anglican Diocese in these Islands, standing firmly in Anglican faith and practice, and structurally distinct from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

This new Diocese is united in the crucified, risen, ascended and glorified Christ, committed to the authority of the Bible, and dedicated to our common mission of proclaiming to all the good news of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We praise God for his guidance and grace, and the sense of unity and common purpose we shared as we met.

We also prayerfully elected as our first Bishop the Rev. Jay Behan, Vicar of St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Christchurch.

Jay is a man of humility and grace, committed to the authority of the Bible and the Lordship of Jesus. He is an excellent preacher and caring pastor, and will serve and lead the Diocese as together we seek to reach these Islands with the transforming power of the gospel. …”

– Read the full statement via the GAFCON website. (Emphasis added.)

Gracefully leaving an apostate denomination

From Dominic Steele at The Pastor’s Heart:

“Minister of St Stephen’s Christchurch Jay Behan tells the heartbreaking story of leading his church away from the traditional Anglican Church in New Zealand and working to form a new Diocese for faithful Anglicans.

Jay Behan tells of his tearful resignation from the New Zealand Anglican Church’s General Synod, just hours after the Synod voted to abandon the teaching of Jesus on sexuality. …”

Watch here.

From Susie Leafe, Director of Operations, Gafcon UK:

Today and tomorrow (Friday & Saturday) the inaugural synod of a new Anglican extra-provincial diocese will be meeting in New Zealand. Last month, the Gafcon Primates affirmed the decision to form this new diocese and it would be great to pray for them as they face this ‘day of small things.’

And from the Gafcon Secretariat (via e-mail), some history:

In 2016, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) accepted a report which stated that the Church wanted to find a way to remain united despite having two integrities on matters of sexuality. After much debate, the Church changed their canons last year to allow the formal blessing of same-sex relationships.

For some, the decision in 2016 caused them to leave the ACANZP, others followed when the canons were changed.  Relationships between these folk and between them and the ACANZP have, for the most part been gracious and cordial.

The churches forming the extra-provincial diocese include those who left in 2016 and those who left later. As they made their decisions about the future, their desire to serve each other and those who will come after them, was evident.

The heart of GAFCON and the future of the Anglican Church

In a special edition of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele spoke with GAFCON’s new leaders Archbishops Foley Beach and Benjamin Kwashi.

Among other things, they speak of a new orthodox diocese in New Zealand.

Watch or listen here, and catch the vision of GAFCON.

A Communiqué from the Gafcon Primates Council meeting in Sydney– 6th May 2019

The GAFCON Primates, meeting in Sydney last week, have released a Communiqué at the end of their gathering. Global evangelism is a key theme:

“Our primary focus this week has been upon the great tasks of mission and evangelism. As a global fellowship we are uniquely positioned to support one another in ministry to a world where mass immigration and globalisation are reshaping our countries.

There are billions who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, and the field is ripe for the harvest. In this new world every believer has a role in preaching Christ faithfully to the nations. There are even more who have heard, but not understood.  In many situations the main challenge is not ignorance, but unbelief.

We ask you to join us in prayer for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s power to break into the hearts and minds of those who have not yet believed.”

Also, the Primates speak of Lambeth 2020 and plan for a Gafcon Bishops Conference in 2020:

“On the one hand, we have no interest in attempting to rival Lambeth 2020.  On the other hand, we do not want our bishops to be deprived of faithful fellowship while we wait for order in the Communion to be restored. Therefore, we have decided to call together a meeting of bishops of the Anglican Communion in June of 2020.”

Read the whole Communiqué here.

What’s Next? Confidently Preaching Christ.

Archbishops Ben Kwashi (GAFCON General Secretary) and Foley Beach (GAFCON Chairman) are in Australia for the GAFCON Primates meeting which has just concluded.

After speaking in Sydney on Saturday 4th May, they will travel to Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth – details at GAFCON Australia.

Their topic is: What’s Next? Confidently Preaching Christ.

GAFCON Affirms it will not attend or observe Lambeth

“At an event hosted by GAFCON Australia today here in Sydney, Archbishop Foley Beach (Primate of the ACNA and now chair of the GAFCON Primates Council) reaffirmed that they will be turning down Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to attend the 2020 Lambeth Conference. …”

– David Ould reports.

EFAC Press Release – 02 May 2019

THE EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP IN THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
PRESS RELEASE BY THE TRUSTEES

The Trustees of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) have read reports of the address by Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, to the Anglican Consultative Council currently meeting in Hong Kong in which he attributed the crisis in the Anglican Communion to “largely autocratic Primates and bishops in the Global South who do not behave as Anglicans” and asked the questions, “’How should we respond to GAFCON?” – the Global Anglican Fellowship of conservative Provinces that has been acting increasingly independently in recent years, after a split over sexuality. ‘How do we handle this to prevent schism in our Communion?’”

The Trustees have written to Archbishop Josiah stating that we will want to unpack with him in due course his criticism of GAFCON in circumstances where it is not disputed that the crisis within the Anglican Communion was started by the Episcopal Church acting independently over the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson and has been driven ever since by the independent actions of the Episcopal Church and other liberal provinces, acting against the advice of the Instruments of Communion.

In his address, Archbishop Josiah also suggested that, for a solution to the present crisis, one should look to the example of EFAC “which, in the 1960s, had deliberated breaking away to form an independent Evangelical Church, but had been dissuaded by the late Revd Dr John Stott”. In our communication with Archbishop Josiah, the Trustees of EFAC have stated that this is an inapt and unhelpful analogy, even if it were correct in fact (which it is not). The current crisis in the Anglican Communion is caused by a different issue, same-sex marriage and partnerships, an issue on which the views of the Revd Dr John Stott were clear:

“If you want me to stick my neck out, I think I would say that if the Church were officially to approve homosexual partnerships as a legitimate alternative to heterosexual marriage, this so far diverges from biblical sexual ethics that I would find it exceedingly difficult to stay. I might want to stay on and fight a few more years, but if they persisted, I would have to leave.” (John Stott, Balanced Christianity, p. 63)

This is also an issue on which EFAC is clear. EFAC’s constitution provides expressly, inter alia, as follows:

“We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.”

There is no division between EFAC and GAFCON on issues of human sexuality and any attempt to create division will be resisted prayerfully and strenuously.

We have asked Archbishop Josiah publicly to correct the false analogy (in the same way as he has corrected his perceived critique of the Roman Catholic Church).

Bishop Keith Sinclair (Chairman)
Stephen Hofmeyr QC
Revd Canon Dr Chris Sugden
Carl Hughes.

Received by e-mail. Text extracted from this PDF file.

File image: Anglican Communion crest.

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