Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hope for a Divided Anglican Communion

Over 1000 senior leaders from seventeen provinces in the Anglican Communion, representing 35 million Anglicans, are to attend the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem in June. This includes 280 bishops, their wives, clergy, ministry heads and lay leaders. Attendance is by invitation only. The conference organizers mean to get down to business.

Five Primates of the Anglican Communion have stated: “The initiative and need for GAFCON critically serves to remind us that the ‘torn fabric at the deepest level’ of the Anglican Communion is still a living reality. We encourage the GAFCON participants to bear in mind the under-girding and wider framework of the united vocation and mission of the Global South for the life and witness of the wider Anglican Communion. We are encouraged that the primatial leadership of the GAFCON recognizes and supports the significance of the Windsor-Covenant process.”

The Anglican Church worldwide has experienced a crisis as 2 different religions have emerged. GAFCON represents a gathering of conservatives who hold to the traditional views of the Church on Christ, the Bible’s authority, and human sexuality. There is disagreement on the ordination of women as priests, although some, possibly many, who are attending the Conference consider this not to touch on the fundamentals of the Faith.

The stated purposes of the Conference are to renew Anglicanism through reaffirmation of the historic Christian Faith, through fellowship of like-minded leaders, and by reconnecting with the roots of the Faith in Jerusalem. The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem had reservations about the venue, but in private meetings with Archbishop Akinola and his immediate staff, recommended how certain of his parishes might be involved.

In addition to meetings with the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Conference leaders have met with the leaders of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic churches, Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews to brief them on the GAFCON. Another purpose of the Conference is to affirm the continuing presence of the Church in the Holy Land.

GAFCON has been called a “pilgrimage” and indeed the itinerary will include the most holy places, including the Mount of Olives where Jesus and his disciples prayed on the eve of his crucifixion, the Temple steps where Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, and visits to Bethlehem, Nazareth and Capernaum.

(For information on an important Post-GAFCON meeting in London, go here.)


Bishop Ijaz Inayat said...

GAFCON is answer to the prayers of believers who have learnt that AC along with its present ABC are working without JESUS and the BIBLE. They call it a Church only to hold the positions with attached glory and packages.
I expect GAFCON to forsake all practices against the Word of God and work to make JESUS known to the world for the sake of sake of saving lives.

Alice C. Linsley said...

May it be so, dear Bishop!

I wish you could be present, but I know that your prayers will be wind under the wings of the Conference.

Father Ron said...

rondianaHow can GAFCON signal 'Hope for a Divided Anglican Communion' when it is an off-shoot of Anglican Primates who refused to share the Holy Communion with the other Primates at Dar es Salaam in 2007?

Is this really a 'Sign of Hope' for the Anglican Communion? If so, then one would not wish to contemplate what might be seen as a 'Sign of Despair'

I note also that your correspondent
Bp. Ijaz Inayat (who will not be at GAFCON but supports it's theme) is also at odds with the AC and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Is this a further sign of 'Hope for a Divided Anglican Communion'?

If this is 'Ethics', then you do need to sort out some premises that are at least logical.
Father Ron Smith, New Zealand.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Logic and ethics both require that people be allowed to follow their God-given conscience.