With GAFCON only a few days away here’s the Chairman’s latest letter.
To the Faithful of the Gafcon movement and friends from Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council.
‘Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.’
My dear people of God,
The ‘Songs of Ascents’ (Psalms 120-134) express a deep sense of longing, hope and confidence in the living God. For ancient pilgrims it was wonderful to be standing together within the gates of Jerusalem and for us today it is no less wonderful because in Jesus the hope which Jerusalem and its temple represented has been fulfilled.
Some 2,000 delegates will be welcomed to Jerusalem this month and many more will be able to share in GAFCON 2018 as it unfolds with reports through each day and live streaming accessed through the Gafcon website. We thank the Almighty God for the privilege of being able to gather in this city where the great events of our salvation were enacted, but it is not now necessary to go on pilgrimage to encounter the living God. Through God’s Word and by the power of God’s Spirit, every local church becomes the household of God and an anticipation of the heavenly Jerusalem.
This is why our conference matters so much for the many of you who are not able to attend in person, yet have a vital role to play. Our purpose is to see faithful Anglicans everywhere equipped and empowered so that the churches of our global Anglican Communion, from parishes to provinces, will be united in one gospel and with one voice will serve the purpose of our conference theme ‘Proclaiming Christ faithfully to the Nations’.
A major way in which this great task will be carried forward beyond the conference is through the launch of nine key networks: Theological Education, Church Planting, Global Mission Partnerships, Bishops Training, Youth and Children’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Sustainable Development together with an Intercessors Fellowship and a Lawyers Task Force.
As the scope of our work expands, it is good to be reminded by the Songs of Ascents that ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain’ (Psalm 127:1). We are utterly dependent upon God’s grace for anything that will have value for eternity. However skilled we may be and however hard we work, we must be faithful in prayer if our Jerusalem conference and all that will follow it is to be truly fruitful. Many of you will have received our ‘Fuel for Prayer’ booklet. If you do not yet have it, please use the link here. There is much to praise God for as we approach out tenth anniversary and much to pray for as we look to the future.
So may the Lord strengthen us as his pilgrim people and bring us at last with great joy to the heavenly Jerusalem which has no need of sun or moon ‘for the glory of God gives it light and its lamp is the Lamb’ (Revelation 21:23).
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council
davidould.net will be reporting from GAFCON and helping out with the livestream which will be available from the gafcon.org website, facebook page and other sources.