The GAFCON Primates have met this week in Nairobi and have issued their closing communiqué which focuses on a number of programs to grow the movement; the announcement of plans for GAFCON 2018, training for bishops, an increase in permanent staff, a new chair and vice-chair and a response to the events of the Lusaka meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.
The appendix is worth paying attention to.
The recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka, Zambia has again highlighted the inability of the current instruments to uphold godly order within the Communion. Delegates from the Episcopal Church, by their own admission, voted on matters that pertained to polity and doctrine, in defiance of the Primates.
GAFCON’s claim is clear. TEC made a deliberate choice to go against the will of the Primates and they freely admit to it. Here Rebecca Wilson (the communications officer that TEC brought with them to the ACC) confirms that TEC understood themselves to being voting on Doctrine and Polity contrary to the express wish of the Primates.
So get your head around that. TEC is deliberately choosing to advertise the fact that it rejected the Primates’ request. They also voted on amendments to the ACC’s constitution which are clearly matters of polity. Hence the Primates’ claim that
This action has damaged the standing of the Anglican Consultative Council as an instrument of unity, increased levels of distrust, and further torn the fabric of the Communion.
What others have failed to do, GAFCON is doing: enabling global fellowship and godly order, united by biblical faithfulness. This unity has provided us with great energy to continue to work for the renewal of the Anglican Communion.
Big days ahead. In particular look for news later this year of the location of GAFCON 2018. I hear some hope that Archbishop Mouneer Anis of the Middle East will sign up and open up the possibility of Alexandria as a meeting location. Others have suggested there is symbolic value in going to the USA to further signal the redundancy of TEC or, perhaps, to Australia or New Zealand to make a show of support in two provinces where the same issues that led to the break-up of TEC and the formation of ACNA are now pressing upon those two national churches. Stay tuned.
photo: Andrew Gross, ACNA