Thursday, 3 October 2013

GAFCON 2013 goes ahead in Nairobi

Despite the recent violence in Nairobi, the second GAFCON conference is going ahead there, see GAFCON II is a go.

Anglican Mainstream has published the following: Why GAFCON 2013 and What is FCA? Full text copied below the fold.

Some other articles related to this:

Vinay Samuel An Overview of the Anglican Communion Today – From communion to coalition.

Bob Bettson ANALYSIS: Anglican Communion faces troubled waters

Sue Careless Reviving Communion

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala Chairman’s September Pastoral Letter

And for a different perspective, see Bosco Peters GAFCON.

Our previous reports on GAFCON related items were:

from Anglican Mainstream:

For information for those who have been asking what the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is, and why the Gafcon 2013 conference is taking place this month in Nairobi

Statement from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (UK & Ireland, including the Diocese of Europe)

WHY GAFCON 2013? A conference in Nairobi, 21-26 October 2013, of FCA leaders, lay and ordained from across the world, representing the majority of Anglicans in the Communion. We will

  • Address current challenges to the faith (persecution and poverty, militant Islamism, aggressive secularism);
  • Listen to each other and support the most vulnerable among us (physically that’s the Africans, spiritually that’s us);
  • Make plans and decisions together, praise and mourn together, pray and resolve together;
  • Return to our churches stimulated, encouraged and resourced for mission.

WHAT IS FCA? A global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans who believe the Anglican Communion is worth preserving. The challenges to today’s church are huge, the stakes are high, but our resolve is determined – and the Communion’s best days could still be in the future. FCA will be at the heart of them. We are committed to

  • Serve the Anglican Communion with its wonderful history and its self-governing provinces, held together by a common Christian faith and deep bonds of spiritual fellowship, shared mission and exchange of ministry across the world;
  • Offer the strongest, some would say the only, effective remaining glue that holds this precious unity intact, now that the structural four instruments no longer do the job;
  • Promote a dynamic mission, and counter inauthentic expressions that depart from a biblically ordered faith.
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

According to Archbishop Eliud Wabukala's Pastoral Letter, GAFCON 2013 will be attended by 'delegates' (the word he uses).

According to FCA, they "represent the majority of Anglicans in the Communion."

I think I know the answer to this, but can anyone say for definite how the delegates are appointed, and who exactly they represent?

Posted by: Chris Routledge on Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 1:55pm BST

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala conjurs up the same old ideal of being more Anglican, more Christian suitable, more brave, more spiritdriven than others at the Anglican Communion.

I truly believe that when our GAFCON/FCA brothers and sisters get off their self-praising/gratifying-better-than-holier-than-thou talking down to others campaign we will ALL be wiser/emotionally and spiritually healthier. The the example of humility and outreach/unity they show will be a strong/worthy power of attraction.

A greater love for one another will be nurtured throughout the Anglican Communion with UNITY and without righteous ¨better than¨ arrogance.

Afterall, it's way past time to realize/demonstrate the value in ALL of Gods children at the Body of Christ instead of destructive, and ongoing, fear/jear-mongering from some who have a personal history of gross mismagement, of resources human and otherwise, at some provinces.

Wasteful/pridefilled interference when attempting to share the gifts of God, for ALL the people of God, ought be thought a grave act against stewardship and fellowship at The Anglican Communion.

As Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, preached at the Cathedral of Santiago, Guatemala City recently: ¨The Church must address 'the injustice' within".

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 2:44pm BST

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:35
New International Version (NIV)

Posted by: Bro David on Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 3:37pm BST

I find the GAFCON phenomenon depressing and a little sad. I almost feel sorry for them.

I suppose that they do represent a certain stage in Anglicanism, much closer to the time of the Reformation than we are now. Calvinistic, purist, with a tendency to split into competing factions.

I suppose also that the likes of 'Anglican Mainstream' are the nearest that the Church of England has to the Anglican Church of North America.

Lastly, I can't help feeling that there is an awful lot of hubris in all these pronouncements.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 4:15pm BST

CMS would seem to have a lot for which to answer.

And the Sermon on the Mount / Plain is not top of their reading / praxis list, is it ?

This kind of obscurantist religion, stuck in the 1950s or before, will get us and them, no-where.

Or at least no-where I would wish to be.

Posted by: Rev'd Laurence Roberts on Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 4:19pm BST

Concerned Anglican you say that 'Anglican Mainstream' is the nearest thing to ACNA the C of E. I think that 'Reform' is a much better candidate for that sobriquet.

Posted by: Observer on Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 6:02pm BST

How does the Anglo-Catholic vs evangelical/reformed split manifest in GAFCON? Are they more Sydney than Rome?

Posted by: etseq on Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 7:23pm BST

I attended GAFCON in Jerusalem in 2008 as reporter for the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. At the time people wondered if there would be a formal split in the Anglican Communion. It did not happen.

They have shown themselves to be capable of producing a lot of hot air and little else. I think, and hope and pray, that other people around the world are waking up to this.

The Church on the ground - Africa and Asia included - is changing. People are becoming more accepting of lesbian and gay people as their societies change, even in Africa!

Praise God! This GAFCON movement will not last.

Rev. Iain Baxter,
All Saints, Chiang Mai, Thailand
(Not part of the Diocese of Singapore!)

Posted by: Iain Baxter on Friday, 4 October 2013 at 2:57am BST

Note how in Gafconese defending marriage is opposing homosexual unions, and they pass over divorce. These "bibliocentric" people would not be able to arrive at a consensus what the NT teaches as regards divorce.

Gafcon includes those who believe the Eucharist is a propitiatory sacrifice and others who would abominate that idea ( Sydney). Some pray for the dead and to the saints and others regard that as pagan. Both claim the bible as their authority!

However a strong evangelical like the forthcoming Irish woman Bishop (who disagrees with homosexual practice) designate would not be invited.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Friday, 4 October 2013 at 7:58am BST

I am not too happy that one of our bishops in ACANZP is leading a (small) pilgrimage of New Zealand Anglicans to Nairobi. One wonders whether, if GAFCON chooses to 'walk away' from the Anglican Communion centred on Canterbury, this bishop will resign his See in our Church. We do not need another ACNA in New Zealand.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 4 October 2013 at 10:21am BST

Come on, Ron
I think that is a bit uncharitable.
So Bishop Elena, from a diocese known for its strong evangelical theology for over a century, is inviting a number of people from several ANZP dioceses, to come with him to an international conference for (mainly) evangelical Anglicans. I can't see why that should make you "not too happy". I say let them go to the conference, and I pray they have a happy time; we may even be enriched by their experiences.
If in fact GAFCON does decide to "walk away" (though as Iain Baxter points out, that is actually not that likely), then indeed +Richard may find himself in a pretty uncomfortable position in relation to the rest of our Church. I think it behoves "liberals" like you and me, to make it very difficult for him to contemplate such a move, through our love and sensitivity.

Posted by: Edward Prebble on Friday, 4 October 2013 at 10:53pm BST

" I think it behoves "liberals" like you and me, to make it very difficult for him to contemplate such a move, through our love and sensitivity."
- Edward Prebble -

Come, come, Edward. There are no fairies at the bottom of my garden. You and I both know that such loving and sympathetic treatment would never be reciprocated. My thought is that the umbilical connection between Sydney and Nelson is so great that it would take nothing less than the last trump to allow them to be reconciled to us.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 5 October 2013 at 3:10am BST

Ron - so, in your copy of the gospels, Jesus tells us only to offer loving and charitable treatment if it is going to be reciprocated?

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Saturday, 5 October 2013 at 10:20am BST

My only answer to you, Tim, is that 'loving the unlovable' is a two-way transaction. I am prepared to love them, but are they prepared to love me.
After all, Love cries out for reciprocation. I think even God has commanded us to love God!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 5 October 2013 at 11:14am BST

'Cast not thy pearls before swine.... lest they turn and rend you.' Jesus as quoted in the gospel.

Maybe too illiberal - for those who would bash liberals - who know all about being turned upon and 'rended'.

Posted by: Rev'd Laurence Roberts on Saturday, 5 October 2013 at 3:14pm BST

"so, in your copy of the gospels, Jesus tells us only to offer loving and charitable treatment if it is going to be reciprocated?"

A great question to ask, Tim . . . IF you're talking to your mirror. ;-/ [i.e., logs & splinters]

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 6 October 2013 at 1:11am BST

"'Cast not thy pearls before swine.... lest they turn and rend you.' Jesus as quoted in the gospel.

Maybe too illiberal - for those who would bash liberals - who know all about being turned upon and 'rended'."

Interesting quote, Laurence. Dallas Willard, in his book 'The Divine Conspiracy', explicitly ties those words to the previous verses, about judging and taking the speck out of your own eye first. He points out that the reason pigs would turn and attack you is that you are digestible and pearls are not! The 'pearls', he says, may represent our 'pearls of wisdom' that we cast before people we want to judge. Any parent who has just given a teenage child the benefit of their wisdom and been surprised by the vehemence of the response knows exactly what Willard is talking about.

If he is right, then the pearls refer to words of judgement, not acts of love. And speaking of which, I have to say that the love offered to me by gay and lesbian Christians has had more to do with a gentling of my own attitude on this subject than any number of vehement words of condemnation of 'con/evos', which are so frequent on this site.

And Laurence, if I have 'bashed' you or any other self-described 'liberal' on this site, then I apologise without reservation. It was wrong of me to do so.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Sunday, 6 October 2013 at 2:51am BST

Tim, you and I are possibly a unique example of cooperation and acceptance of one another - even though you may be a self-described AnaBaptist - Anglican and I a Liberal Anglo-Catholic (who still enjoys the Prayer Book Mass as well as Modern Liturgy). Perhaps the secret of our eirenic relationship is the fact that we both objectively understand, and are unhappy with, the situation of the traditional treatment of women and homosexuals in the Church, and are determined to do something about it.

My beef is with people who contract out of our Anglican Communion Churches because of their emphatic rejection of the need to accept people to be who they biologically have been created by God to be - whether same-sex persons in search of an honest monogamous relationship with the person they love; or a woman, who feels called by God into the ministry of the Church.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 6 October 2013 at 10:19am BST

Hi JCF - if you (in the spirit of the words of Jesus in today's gospel about rebuke) have a specific instance or instances in mind where I have only offered love to people when I know that it will be reciprocated, then I will be happy to hear the details so that I can mend my ways.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Sunday, 6 October 2013 at 7:52pm BST
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