GAFCON Chairman’s Pastoral Letter for Epiphany 2019

From Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s Letter for Epiphany 2019:

“The choice before us as a global communion is between this revealed wisdom of God and the wisdom claimed by secular ideologies.

For a while the reality of this fork in the road can be obscured by an insistence on dialogue in its various guises such as ‘indaba’, ‘good disagreement’ and ‘walking together’, but in the absence of godly discipline, false teaching will continue to spread.

In the Church of England, just before Christmas, this process reached the point where its bishops took the unprecedented step of giving official guidance for what they described as ‘services to help transgender people mark their transition’ and it will be incorporated into ‘Common Worship’ (a range of services authorised by General Synod). …

So, much as we thank God for the rich history represented by the See of Canterbury, we cannot avoid the sad truth that insistence on full communion with Canterbury as an essential mark of belonging to the Anglican Communion now risks jeopardising the apostolic faith itself.”

Read it all at the GAFCON website.

Eleven years ago – plans for GAFCON crystallise

On 1st January 2019, after ten years at the helm, Dr Peter Jensen will step down as General Secretary of GAFCON and hand over his responsibilities to Archbishop Ben Kwashi, the new General Secretary.

We give thanks for Peter’s global leadership these last ten years.

Eleven years ago, Peter – then Archbishop of Sydney – wrote to explain why GAFCON was needed, and he foreshadowed the first Conference, to be held in Jerusalem:

“A Global Anglican Future Conference is planned for June 2008. The aim of the Conference is to discuss the future of mission and relationships within the churches of Anglican Communion.

Those who wish to retain biblical standards especially in the area of sexual ethics have spent much time and effort in negotiations on these issues in the last five years. They want to move on together with the gospel of Christ’s Lordship, a gospel which challenges us and changes lives. Israel is planned as a venue because it symbolises the biblical roots of our faith as Anglicans. I want those in the fellowship of our Diocese to know what this is about and why I am involved…”

Read Peter’s full message, published in December 2007.

Continuing erosion of biblical authority in many parts of the Anglican Communion highlights GAFCON’s vital role.

Photo of Archbishops Ben Kwashi and Peter Jensen courtesy GAFCON.

Christmas message from GAFCON General Secretary Peter Jensen

Dr Peter Jensen, soon to retire as GAFCON General Secretary, has recorded this Christmas message.

The latest Fuel for Prayer from GAFCON

Here’s the latest Fuel for Prayer from GAFCON.

Partnering and Planting – A very Anglican activity of Gafcon Ireland!

“What a wonderful visit and encouragement to receive from incoming Secretary General of the global Gafcon movement! Gafcon Ireland was privileged to receive him at the annual two-day residential attended by over 50 church leaders in his first visit to a Gafcon branch since his election. …” – Here’s a report via the GAFCON website.

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.”

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