GAFCON/FCA Conference – Ultimatum?

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Leaders Conference Statement The GAFCON conference at Battersea has concluded by issuing this press release: The movement begins its mission and this Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Leaders Conference Statement and Commitment (PDF).

From the press release: …In a plenary address, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali concluded that the Anglican “Instruments of Unity” have failed dramatically and that the FCA is called to model an alternative way for the churches of the Anglican Communion to gather and relate to one another in such a way as to carry out the Great Commission in the coming decades.

In their final conference ‘Commitment’, the leaders resolved to work together in an ever-strengthening partnership, to stand by each other and to engage in a battle of ideas on behalf of the Biblical Gospel. The next Global Anglican Future Conference was also announced. The event, with invitees including clergy and lay people, as well as bishops, is scheduled for May 2013.

From the Statement: …We received from Anglican leaders accounts of terrorism leading to death and destruction in Nigeria, and of persecution and ostracism of believers in Islamic and Hindu societies; we heard from a Christian prolife and pro-marriage advocate who has been maligned by the secular media in England, with precious little support from the Church establishment.

We heard numerous accounts from Anglican leaders around the world who have been harassed by their own bishops and fellow clergy for their Gospel witness, yet have been grateful for the stance of the FCA. We note that The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada are proceeding post-haste to approve same-sex blessing rites with total disregard for the conscience of their own members, for the moratoria mandated by the official Instruments of the Anglican Communion, and for the broken state of communion where more than half the world’s Anglicans are represented by the FCA…

And this: …In a plenary address on “Jesus, the Lord of the Church and his Mission,” Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali noted that St Paul presents the church as an exalted communion known to God, the Jerusalem above (Gal 4:26), and also as an earthly community of believers gathered together for the preaching of God’s Word, the sacraments duly administered, and effective church discipline (Article XIX; Second Book of Homilies).

Applying this pattern to the current Anglican situation, Bishop Nazir-Ali concluded that the Anglican “Instruments of Unity” have failed dramatically and that the FCA is called to model a biblical way for the churches of the Anglican Communion to gather and relate to one another so as to carry out the Great Commission in the coming decades.

This way needs to address different forms of missional leadership, gathering the church with traditional episcopal leaders as well as leaders exercising oversight in parochial and non-parochial ministries. The Primates’ Council will have responsibility for planning, directing and driving this agenda…

And this: …Archbishop Jensen, the FCA General Secretary, challenged participants to agree on a “statement in the form of a commitment.” In affirming this statement, we commit ourselves to the following: to reaffirm the Jerusalem Declaration and Statement to commend the Jerusalem Declaration to others as the basis for resolving the spiritual crisis currently besetting the Anglican Communion to invite Anglicans around the world to join FCA in order to serve Christ and his mission to promote and fund the networks in their various aims to strengthen the Church to create a network for ministry among young people to pray for the work and ministry of FCA and for each other.

At the conclusion of the Leaders Conference, it was announced that a second Anglican Future Conference will be held in May 2013. This Conference will further the work of the FCA to renew and reform the Anglican Communion. This leads to a further specific commitment from leaders and their churches: to gather for GAFCON 2 in May 2013 to obtain funding and resourcing for GAFCON 2.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 27 April 2012

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Messrs. Michael Nazir-Ali & Peter Jensen appear to have been quite busy in their leadership of the alternative ‘lambeth -light’ conference of gafcon and fca officials in London – just completed.

Their manifesto – of sodality together in an attempt to overturn the official Anglican Communion ‘Instruments of Unity’ – purports to herald a new era in world-wide replacement of the ‘Unity in Diversity’ ethic of relationship with other Provinces of the Communion, in favour of a ‘sola scriptura’ assertion of the right to discern what the future holds for what they are disposed to call ‘Orthodox Anglicanism.

We will probably have to wait for the next (May 2013) GAFCON  meeting before any further re-structuring of this re-actionary organisation can be determined. In the meantime, we wait, with bated breath, for the re-reaction of the Anglican Communion Office.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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