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Vol I No. 1
Anglican Communion

Jerusalem and GAFCON III

by sinetortus

St George’s Cathedral Jerusalem: A view looking towards the Nave from the Quire
A Special Evensong
was held today in the Cathedral for those coming to Jerusalem to attend GAFCON
with Archbishop Suheil Dawani the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem
and Bishop Michael Lewis of Cyprus and the Gulf as well as the GAFCON Bishops

 

This coming week sees the convening of the Third Global Anglican Futures Conference which for the second time is being held in Jerusalem ten years after the first such assembly.  It will be the largest to date with about 2000 participants. The first GAFCON took place in the context of a partial boycott of the Lambeth Conference held the same Summer and accordingly highlighted episcopal participation.  It also generated texts called the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which last has a special normative status as subscription to it is now required

(The full text can be read at

https://www.gafcon.org/resources/the-complete-jerusalem-statement

Of particular note for the PBS is Article 6 which states that “we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer” while it also includes verbatim the Church of England’s Canon A5 “Of the doctrine of the Church of England” which states that:

The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal.

For a movement and organization that has occasioned so much comment and excitement, some might register a degree of surprise at the seeming modesty of the goals for those attending which have been set out in terms of their being encouraged, inspired and excited to take forward and broaden the work of the Gospel.

And this will take concrete expression in the launch or re-launch of nine Global Networks

Church Planting

Theological Education

Bishops Training Institute

Womens Ministry

Youth and Children’s Ministry

Global Mission Partners

Intercessors Fellowship

Lawyers Task Force

Sustainable Development

There will doubtless be a new Statement issued this week.

Precedent suggests that the regular participants or Delegates will not directly write it,  though input from them is likely to be invited for consideration by the private committee which will then submit its text to the Synodical Council which includes those Primates attending,  whereafter the whole Assembly will be invited hear the Statement for comment and then to applaud the final text  at the end of the event.

Aside from extensive prayer, praise music and Bible Study and the morning Eucharists,  there will be Plenary presentations and a wide range of seminars and panels on subjects ranging from an overview of African Traditional Religion, the Prosperity Gospel, Secularism, The Uniqueness of Christ, the Perspicuity of Scripture, Engaging Islam and Buddhism; Marriage, love and Intimacy; the Culture of Death, and Discipleship; through to Apologetics; Justification and Assurance, the Nature of Hell; engaging Traditional Religion; Children and Youth; Women in Ministry;  Same Sex Attraction; the Work of the Spirit; Church Discipline, Gender and Identity; the Post-Catholic Context; the Post-Protestant Context; Empowering the laity, and the Sacraments in Christian Life.

There will also be regional dinners and events and an afternoon for tours.

For “GAFCON explained in 5 minutes” there is a video by The Most Revd. Peter Jensen the retired Archbishop of Sydney and GAFCON General Secretary at

https://www.gafcon.org/about

The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke at events in Nairobi Cathedral just before the 2nd GAFCON Assembly but upon being questioned about  the Jerusalem meeting by  Susie Leafe, former Director of Reform, at the Church of England’s most recent General Synod gave the following affirmation :

We strongly agree with the view of the Panel that international relationships contribute to the development of discipleship and mission.

I am personally pleased that every diocese has some link to Anglican Provinces across the world, and we are keen to continue developing these relationships. The recent Primates Meeting underlined the importance of such relationships. I have had conversations with, and listened to, the views of those planning to attend the Gafcon conference, and am keen to increase attendance at any event that encourages the flourishing of the whole Anglican Communion.