Thinking Anglicans

GAFCON update

This GAFCON press release 1,000 Christian leaders, 280 bishops to GAFCON in Jerusalem has been issued.

Over 1000 senior leaders from seventeen provinces in the Anglican Communion, representing 35 million church-going Anglicans, have registered for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem at the close of the online registration process. They include 280 bishops, almost all accompanied by their wives. Final attendance figures will depend on smooth processing of requested visas, and other factors.

GAFCON leaders have met in the period leading up to Pentecost with the leaders of Anglican, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic churches and Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews in Jerusalem to brief them on the nature and purpose of GAFCON. GAFCON is concerned to affirm the continuing presence of the Church in the Holy Land.

Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney, the chair of the Programme Committee reports that the programme is almost complete. “Our programme will focus on the transforming love of Christ. We will be drawing from the scriptures of the Old and New Testament in our pilgrimage, and their relevance to the challenges facing the church globally today. These include secularism, other religions, poverty and HIV/Aids as well as moral and theological issues.”

Pilgrims will visit traditional sites in Jerusalem during the pilgrimage June 22 – 29, 2008 including Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Ophel Gardens and Temple steps where at the first Pentecost Peter preached and people of all nations responded. The 1000 pilgrims will travel to Bethlehem to the Church of the Nativity and Shepherds’ Field, and then to Galilee.

The goals of the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem are to:

1. Provide an opportunity for fellowship as well as to continue to experience and proclaim the transforming love of Christ.

2. Develop a renewed understanding of our identity as Anglican Christians.

3. Prepare for an Anglican future in which the Gospel is uncompromised and Christ-centered mission a top priority. Pentecost 2008

This release does not mention Jordan, but the conference brochure (PDF) does refer to “An initial consultation in Jordan…”

Meanwhile, criticism of GAFCON from open evangelicals continues, see Graham Kings’ recent address here or another version here, which was in the Church of England Newspaper.

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Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

‘Preparing for a future’ certainly seems to suggest they expect a future in a very different sort of ‘Anglican’ communion to the one which now exists….

Pluralist
13 years ago

Notice that it refers again to a conference in Jerusalem. The Trotskyist analogy still holds: under pressure they did some fancy footwork, but now sidelined they have gone back to using the language they want.

robroy
robroy
13 years ago

The Communion clearly is no longer a communion. We have members that are in communion with some, not with others and impaired communion with yet others. Thus, it is a federation.

One of the commentators stated that he expects a formation of a communion within the federation coming out of GAFCon. Should be interesting. Might even have a a covenant that is more than “Do what your heart tells you to.” The communion will have the majority of members and the growing parts. The extra-communion federation members will shrink away to insignificance.

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

The realigned future vision of the current conservative GAFCON Anglican campaign is surely a golden-hued (glowing if not burning) look at the idealized apostolic past through which the GAFCON leaders/organizers lay claim to being more like Paul or Peter or John, and much less like anybody else, including their former Anglican selves who were related as members of that other Anglican body of Christ to the rest of the non-conservative Anglican believers in worldwide communion. So far as I can tell, they are determined on one of two things. They will simply conform all others to their understandings. Barring that… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

If you liberals were really “wise as serpents” you could scupper GAFCON, by insisting they come clean on the following question. Do you as self designated “orthodox” Christians support direct mission to Jews and Muslims? If they are asserting the original Gospel ( which I do not believe they are and I actually believe they need the authentic Gospel as much as persons of other faiths), surely that it is ” to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles.” After all there have been several articles published on the web on Nigerian conversion of Muslims. Indeed Sydney Diocese even… Read more »

Malcolm+
13 years ago

During the 1980s, a group of moderates split with the UK Labour Party and formed the Social Democratic Party. The SDP formed an electoral alliance with the Liberal Party, which eventually morphed into one, united Liberal-Democratic Party. During the heady days of the Liberal-SDP Alliance, they were leading in national polls. Alliance candidates at one event were told (by Liberal leader David Steel, IIRC, now Lord Steel of Aikwood) to “go home and prepare for government.” The Lib-Dems have yet to form a UK government in any configuration. But the two Davids had spent too much time reading their own… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Robroy:

Yes, but which will have the people who are right with God?

Bruce Garner
Bruce Garner
13 years ago

I have a difficult time believing that Christianity is the ultra exclusive club that the gafconians seem to think that it is. I’ve always looked at “the church” as being the entity that “gathered” folks into its fold. The church’s job is not to “sort” folks, just to gather them. God does the sorting…and in God’s time not ours.

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Thanks Bruce G beautifully put. Bravo.

Commentator
Commentator
13 years ago

I think the description of the numbers as ‘church going Anglicans’ makes it quite clear that this group identifies first and second class Anglicans. It may simply be a variation on ‘Bible believing Christians’, which really translates as REAL Christians and identifies the rest as non-Christian. But as other contributors have said it appears that even those who choose to describe themselves as ‘Bible Believingl also choose which parts of the Bible carry enough weight for them to deem essential. We are all prone to pick and choose. Some may do it on the basis of textual criticism, some may… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

Graham Kings’ Church of England Newsletter article perfectly illustrates the ecclesial incoherence into which the so-called Open Evangelicals have now fallen. Evidently Graham Kings would prefer that the Episcopal Church in the USA set a novel precedent in the Anglican Communion, by permitting CANA, Southern Cone, and the what-not to form multiple, overlapping jurisdictions, under the authority of extra-territorial primates, within its own bishoprics, but without the permission of the bishop. He would also like to see these novel organizations laying successful claim to the church buildings and property. Graham Kings must therefore admit that he would like to see… Read more »

Malcolm+
13 years ago

Robroy: “One of the commentators stated that he expects a formation of a communion within the federation coming out of GAFCon. Should be interesting. Might even have a a covenant that is more than “Do what your heart tells you to.” The communion will have the majority of members and the growing parts. The extra-communion federation members will shrink away to insignificance.

Bold prediction. Not unlike, “The Iraqi people will greet us with open arms.”

Does Dr. Akinola have his flight suit and “Mission Accomplished” banner ready?

robroy
robroy
13 years ago

Malcom+, I am unclear about what part of my statement that you are having difficulty with. That the communion has degenerated to a federation? Many provinces have declared themselves to either out of communion or in a state impaired communion with the TEC. Thus, by definition, the Anglican Communion isn’t. That a core communion can be formed? Actually these provinces are already in communion, so all it will take is formalizing the present reality. That a true covenant (rather than covenant-lite) can come out of GAFCon? Actually the formalizing of the core communion can be done in the form of… Read more »

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“The extra-communion federation members will shrink away to insignificance.” Posted by robroy

I’m sure you pray to your god robroy this will be so.

However, those of us non-GAFCONians, who are sticking w/ the Nazarean Carpenter, recall how His staying-dead-death was prematurely predicted as well! 😉

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

“Charlotte, who was forewarned and now is responsible for the tearing of the fabric of the communion?”

Listen to the claims of the bully!

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

“who was forewarned and now is responsible for the tearing of the fabric of the communion”

As in: If you this, I’ll have a tantrum and throw all my toys out of the playpen, and it will be your fault?

Frozenchristian
Frozenchristian
13 years ago

Charlotte, you seem confused about Open Evangelicals. Kings and Wright have been arguing at length for the communion to stay together, even though they don’t agree with or approve of some things TEC has done.

There is no way that Tom Wright is going to look to Nigeria or wherever – he constantly and publicly supports Rowan.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Might even have a a covenant that is more than “Do what your heart tells you to.” “ Not sure why anyone would need a covenant to say this. After all, despite the spin of the Right, the only people who think like this are conservatives, and they only think it of those they consider to be unrighteous and not true Christians. I know, the Poor Persecuted Orthodox need to believe this, and they’ve been whipped into a frenzy at the false claim that this is what “liberal northerners” want, but it ain’t true. Just like a lot of other… Read more »

bls
bls
13 years ago

Hate to mention it, robroy, but as you well know – I’ve seen you around on the various blogs – TEC has good and rational arguments for its positions. It’s your side that doesn’t; you only have a “Tradition” that’s become “traditionalism” – and that is now too afraid to even listen to what we have to say. That’s because our arguments are better. If this weren’t true, why else would Peter Akinola be trying to put his gay (and gay-friendly) foes in jail, instead of using persuasion? Why the violence, if it’s so crystal-clear what the Gospel requires? Why… Read more »

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

“Do what your heart tells you to.” “

What could be ‘more’ than this ? This is the holy grail.

This what Albert Schweitzer said in his ‘Message to the Youth of the World’.

Anything less, is well less, and always comes across as less.

Do what your heart tells you…

Please

Malcolm+
13 years ago

What is amusing, robroy, is your fatuous prediction that all the nasty liberals will simply whither away and die. The restored Roman heirarchy in England confidently predicted that if Leo XIII simply declared Anglican orders invalid there would be a flood of conversions. The Church of England continued just fine, and the Anglican Communion grew. Wee Dodie Robertson (later Lord Robertson of Port Ellen) confidently declared that devolution would kill the Scottish National Party “stone dead.” Alex Salmond is not First Minister of Scotland and the SNP forms the government in Holyrood. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld proclaimed that American troops… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

Unlike those who variously call a plague on each other’s houses, I rather hope GAFCON goes from strength to strength, even if the only issue that presently unites them is a certainty that my family is based on a soul destroying love. Any movement that can unite Forward in Faith types with the Jensenites of Sydney deserves to be watched with awe and prayed over sincerely, and the organisers are quite right to point to the diversity of those attending, for GAFCON establishes an orthodoxy that sees all the present divisions within Anglicanism (including women bishops and lay celebration) as… Read more »

robroy
robroy
13 years ago

“TEC has good and rational arguments for its positions.” Actually, as with women’s ordination, rational theological discussion has been assiduously avoided. Kendall Harmon was almost crucified for even trying to bring up theology at GC03. It was all feel good, sloganeering (“Ask me about Gene” buttons) and politicking. Objections by Prof Robert Gagnon are ignored. Who was surprised when Gene Robinson backed out of the APA forum? If I hear the silly shellfish argument again, I will throw up. Malcolm+, there are also many historical examples where the demise of a certain organization or structure was predicted…and it came about.… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

Frozenchristian, here’s what Graham Kings says in his Church of England Newsletter article about the Episcopal Church. You can see from it whether I’m confused about Open Evangelicals or not: “The splits in The Episcopal Church of the USA are in danger of becoming a cycle of vengeance and spiraling outwards. Currently, The Episcopal Church and the churches of the ‘Common Cause Partnership’, who are splitting away from it, have got themselves into a crazy situation of suing and counter-suing. This litigation is appalling. “The communiqué from the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam (February 2007) spoke, in particular, against… Read more »

Pluralist
13 years ago

“If the tracts I have seen in draft form” Martin Reynolds.

Spill the beans! Or do you want them to use them (by keeping behind wraps) so they don’t get past the opening prayer?

Come on, tell us the angle at which they are fishing!

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
13 years ago

“That the rump remnant of liberal northerners will quickly vanish? “

You wish.

Some of us have forgotten more tradition than you’ll ever know. Some of us were raised in an environment of learning about God and discerning what is meant by what we are told, read and experienced. And as much as I hate change, this is something anybody who is on a Christian journey should well deal with.

Tradition? Please don’t confuse the real traditionalists from the “wannabee Johnny-come-latelys”.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Robroy:

Here we go with numbers again. If being big meant being right, we’d all still be Roman Catholics, right?

Malcolm+
13 years ago

Well if you want to play the numbers game, robroy, let us consider the assorted “conservative” departures in North America over the last 100+ years. The only one of these “continuing Anglican” entities that has been any more than a minuscule remnant has been the Reformed Episcopal Church – and they are hardly thriving. I’ll take my chances. And btw, if one added all the populations of all the assorted remnants to the Anglican or Episcopal numbers, it makes hardly a dent in the decline. Fact is that all religious affiliation in North America is declining – and that the… Read more »

counterlight
counterlight
13 years ago

If it was all about numbers, then PT Barnum and Goebels would be the greatest evangelists in history.

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Objections by Prof Robert Gagnon are ignored.”

As they darned well ought to be! I was appalled to find that his writings were comnsidered in the formation of Issues in Human Sexuality. It is not apropriate for bishops of the Christian Church to give credence to the use of Scripture to back up propaganda and bigotry. Next thing you’ll be quoting Paul Cameron or Nicolosi!

Malcolm+
13 years ago

No indication who these 280 alleged bishops are.

I wonder how many of them are “Common Cause Partners” who have never been part of the Anglican Communion.

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

To me Gagnon is an example of the absolute fall in standards with regard to exegetics and the church generally during the 20th century. The increasing social isolation of the churches, becoming a refuge from Modernity for various extremist. Reading his magnum opus “The Bible and Homosexual Practice” one is constantly amazed how he butchers his quotes. Saying that other authors support his claims who don’t, and saying that others are his adversaries, who are not. It’s actually difficult to see (or believe) that he has read and understood Bailey, Boswell and others. The conclusions he draws seem entirely beside… Read more »

robroy
robroy
13 years ago

Malcolm+, you were the one who used the term “fatuous prediction.” So, I bring out what should be very disturbing statistics and you dismiss them. Again, you show a penchant for bringing up the irrelevant. How some offshoot of PECUSA did or didn’t do doesn’t mitigate the disaster of the present state of the denomination. “the Anglican remnant numbers aren’t particularly different from anyone else’s.” Except for the fact that it was the worst and it will be much worse still. Yet another sign: in the fourth month in a row, a fourth seminary is reporting that it is doing… Read more »

Malcolm+
13 years ago

The statistics about the Anglican churches in North America are a matter of great concern. IT is your attempt to misuse them that is fatuous. There is no evidence to suggest that the numbers are caused by the decamping of “conservative” schismatics. Indeed, the departures of the last few years are a drop in the bucket. The present schismatical departures in the US are not “the worst ever.” Responding to your statistical points would be simpler if you didn’t simply make things up. As a proportion, the RE departure in the late 1800s was far more significant. There is an… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Try to spin the numbers however you like, but you should be concerned, very concerned.” Why? One of two things will happen: either TEC will rebound, or in some way become a stronger, more effective witness to the Gospel, which doesn’t at all equate with numbers, or it will cease to be. Now, you seem to think the latter is something to fear. If what TEC is doing is from God, then it will not die. Do you seriously think God will just let His Church die? If it is not from God, what does it matter if it withers… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Malcom + is spot on. In America the advocates of the Anglican Use confidently predicted 250,000 Anglo-catholics coming over to Rome. In fact considerably less than a thousand did and now most attenders at the handful of Use churches are cradle Catholics, who like the ” English connection.” The Reformed Episcopal Church has less than 10,000 adherents, and is undergoing an internal schism..with evanhgelical members disturbed by High Church refugees from TEC. What amused me was that at the launch of Canada (Southern Cone) there were more bishops present than parishes! Note how GAFCON are not qualifying the number of… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

GAFCON..”where the gospel is not compromised.” Sydney believes in the real absence wants lay presidency, Fort Worth has High Mass and worships the eucharistic elements. Sydney believes being born again has NOTHING to do with water baptism…. but thats what the Anglo-catholics believe. Some Gafconians believe re-marriage after divorce is a sin…some are living in that sin. Some believe in women priests , some in deacons and some are impossibilists.Onlly the latter are true to Lambeth 1948. All the bishops spouses are on the pill ( you bet) which flies in the face of Lambeth resolutions made in 1908 and… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Sydney believes in the real absence wants lay presidency” Far more disturbing to me than what a bishop does in the bedroom. “Sydney believes being born again has NOTHING to do with water baptism” So what’s the point of it? Also, what’s the point of claiming to follow the words of Scripture when Jesus clearly refers to being born again “of water and the Holy Spirit”? How is it one is born again, in their eyes? I guess that’s why they can have the odd position, as I have seen among Evanglicals, of praying for the “baptism of the Spirit”.… Read more »

Alcibiades Caliban
13 years ago

“Any movement that can unite Forward in Faith types with the Jensenites of Sydney deserves to be watched with awe and prayed over sincerely” Watch with awe and prayer by all means – but don’t think for a moment that they won’t be tearing at each other’s throats once nobody’s watching and this first flush of excitement has worn off. Each party has for too long idententified themselves in purely negative terms “We are not like the (insert pariah of choice), nor do we believe what the (ditto) claim. We alone are the standard bearers of Biblical/Historical/Orthodox Anglicanism” to ever… Read more »

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