The GAFCON leaders’ meeting in London has closed with a media release entitled “The movement begins its mission“. It is, essentially, the first stakes in the ground marking out GAFCON’s vision of the future.
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.
“One delegate came up to me and said ‘Now I know that I am not alone’. Though they are the majority, the orthodox often feel isolated.” said FCA general secretary Archbishop Peter Jensen. “There are people everywhere who believe the same gospel, preach the same thing and stand for the same truths. That is the dynamic of this conference. People who felt powerless have now been given confidence.”
The conference also affirmed a set of goals and signed up to a “commitment” [pdf here]
The first goal is missional. It is the proclamation and defence of the gospel throughout the world, especially in and through Anglican churches.
The second goal is a consequence of the first. It is to provide aid to those faithful Anglicans who have been forced to disaffiliate from their original spiritual homes by false teaching and practice.
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
- 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.
I’m sure no-one thought that GAFCON was going away, but this is an indication that it is seeking to get far more involved in the fight that we find ourselves in. The FCA will continue to establish itself globally and have no qualms about getting stuck in in response to the liberals in the Communion. The 2 goals are a charter for ongoing activism and the promise to “provide aid” to those who are disenfranchised by heterodox leaders. I don’t think anyone can expect anything other than increased intervention. The liberals will hate it which is a sure sign it’s working.
And, of course, the chief battleground is going to be the Church of England itself. It’s not a coincidence that liberals are pushing the same-sex issue as hard as they can – could it be they recognise that if they don’t make the attempt now, they could be on the back foot in a few years time?
Also worth listening to is the press conference audio:
Some interesting stuff there:
- an assertion that the Primates’ Meeting ought to be properly conciliar
- a repeated affirmation that the Jerusalem Declaration (JD) provides a theological centre for the Communion
- a recognition that some will exclude themselves by not being prepared to profess historical Anglican beliefs
- with the failure of the Covenant, the JD is now “the only game in town”.
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