Daily Archives: October 23, 2013

(NY Times Cairo Journal) Egyptians Abandoning Hope and Now, Reluctantly, Homeland

In his years as a dissident, the book publisher had taken on Egypt’s autocratic government and its censors, aided revolutionaries during the uprising and protested in the streets to protect freedoms he thought he had helped the country win.

But like many other Egyptians these days, the publisher, Mohamed Hashem, says he feels defeated by the latest tragic turn, toward growing violence, repression and civil strife after the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July. Tired of waiting for better days, the publisher announced last week that he would emigrate, stunning his friends and a legion of young fans.

“I won’t postpone happiness until I die,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Egypt, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Violence

Latest Update – Archbishop Duncan still in hospital and has had a second surgery

From the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh (via George Conger at Anglican Ink)

Dear Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh,

Please continue to pray for our Archbishop Robert Duncan. We received word from Nara this morning that he is to have a surgical procedure performed today at 6:00 p.m. Nairobi time ”“ which is 11:00 a.m. here in Pittsburgh (EST). It is hoped that this will enable him to be well enough to return home on Saturday. His Grace will remain recuperating in the hospital until then.

Read it all

[Note: Abp. Duncan is suffering from an abscessed tooth and infection. He entered the hospital in Nairobi on Tuesday morning to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.]

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

Short Video on the Mini-Conferences taking place at GAFCON Today – Friday

There’s a short (2 minute) video now up at the GAFCON website that interviews participants taking part in various of the mini-conference sessions at GAFCON 2013 today – Friday.
The mini-conference topics and leaders are:

The Challenge of Islam ”“ led by Bishop Michael Nazir Ali
The Work of the Holy Spirit ”“ led by Dr. Stephen Noll
Marriage and Family – led by Dr. John & Ruth Senyonyi
Children and Youths – Rev Zac Vernon
Gospel and Culture – Dr. Alfred Olwa
Being Women of God – Christine Perkin
Aid and Development – Rev Dennis Tongoi
Theological Education – Dr Andrew Shead
Episcopal Ministry – Bishop Wallace Benn

Watch it here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

Lent & Beyond's series on "Why GAFCON 2013 Matters"

In addition to posting specific prayer topics for GAFCON 2013, our friends at the prayer blog Lent & Beyond have posted two entries this week in a series “Why GAFCON 2013 Matters.” It’s an attempt to look at GAFCON and pray for this event from a “big picture” perspective.

Here are the links:
Why should we care about, and pray for, GAFCON? ”“ Part 1: By the Numbers
Why GAFCON 2013 matters ”“ part 2: Praying for the “mini conference” sessions

Some excerpts from the first entry:

In terms of size and the make up of the participants alone, it’s clear that GAFCON 2013 matters! I believe it is the largest truly GLOBAL and REPRESENTATIVE Anglican gathering in modern history. GAFCON 2013 gives us a glimpse of what the Anglican Communion REALLY looks like. […] GAFCON is a step towards helping towards creating new wineskins for the shape of today’s Anglican Communion. […] May this week in Nairobi be a time of building friendships, love and trust, strengthening the bonds of unity in Christ. May each individual present, and the delegates corporately, re-center themselves on the foundation of Scriptural truth, and with that foundation strong and solid, may the Holy Spirit do a wonderful work of knitting together and rebuilding a temple for the praise of His glory. We who only know the current brokenness and destruction of the Anglican Communion can hardly imagine what new wineskins might look like”¦, what wholeness and health is. May GAFCON 2013 be an occasion for God to impart His vision for the future. May God help us glimpse the promise of new wine and new fruitfulness that’s ahead if we allow Him to reshape us.
The full entry is here.

The second entry, posted this morning, focuses on the various “mini-conferences” that will be taking place today – Friday as part of the GAFCON program, and draws on the author’s own experience of the working groups that were formed following the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in 1974. As the author writes: Not all conferences are just TALK. Some, through the creation of effective working groups, lead to actions that change the world!

GAFCON II is not all about rousing Plenary Sessions and worship, and fellowship, but it truly is a WORKING CONFERENCE. Of note is that throughout the week (today ”“ Friday) there are a number of “mini-conferences” taking place.

The Challenge of Islam ”“ led by Bishop Michael Nazir Ali
The Work of the Holy Spirit ”“ led by Dr. Stephen Noll
Marriage and Family – led by Dr. John & Ruth Senyonyi
Children and Youths – Rev Zac Vernon
Gospel and Culture – Dr. Alfred Olwa
Being Women of God – Christine Perkin
Aid and Development – Rev Dennis Tongoi
Theological Education – Dr Andrew Shead
Episcopal Ministry – Bishop Wallace Benn

These mini-conferences are a big part of why I believe GAFCON 2013 is important and an event we should uphold in much prayer.

Let me share a somewhat personal example of what can come out of a conference and conference working groups. Although I am too young to have atttended the first Congress on World Evangelization in Lausaane Switzerland in 1974, I have heard a lot about it from a number who were there. John Stott is quoted as describing Lausanne’s Impact as follows:

”˜Many a conference has resembled a fireworks display. It has made a loud noise and illuminated the night sky for a few brief brilliant seconds. What is exciting about Lausanne is that its fire continues to spark off other fires. ’ [from here]

THAT IS MY PRAYER FOR GAFCON 2013 ”“ that it will spark many such fires in terms of effective partnerships and ministries that will lead to the growth of the worldwide Church ”“ both in maturity, and in numbers!
Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

GAFCON II: Experiences of The Lonely Church throughout the Anglican Communion

In order, the speakers are Richard Ellena, Bishop of Nelson in New Zealand (about which you may read a little over here), Miguel Uchoa, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Recife, (about which you may read a little over there), and the third is Charlie Masters, Bishop Coadjutor of the Anglican Church in North America’s diocese in Canada (about which you may read a little over there)–KSH.

Watch it all (a little over 13 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

GAFCON II: Archbishop Peter Jensen (and Gafcon General Secretary) addresses the Gafcon Primates

This post is sticky – look below GAFCON Links entry for new posts
The video of Abp. Peter Jensen’s address to the Primates luncheon and the Abp. of Canterbury in Nairobi on Sunday Oct. 20.

Watch it all.

Update: There is also a Transcript of this talk available on the GAFCON site [pdf] and on the AAC site here and on Anglican Ink copied below

TRANSCRIPT: DR PETER JENSEN, General Secretary of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

Your graces, my lords, ladies and gentlemen, actually brothers and sisters, it is a very wonderful thing to stand here and look around and see so many whose faces I know so well who I count as comrades, brothers and sisters in the long, arduous business of being Christian. As well as that, I see quite a number whose acquaintance I have just made.

My first duty today is to say particularly to the local committee who have arranged for GAFCON to take place here, how very, very grateful we are to you for the extraordinary amount of work you have done, for the skill with which you have done it, and for the endless hours of time you have put into this. I might say with the High Commissioner how much this has enhanced if I can say so and will enhance the reputation of Kenya and Nairobi.

You have been through two horrendous incidents with the fire at the airport and of course this last tragedy. You have continued on, faithfully and steadfastly. You have looked again at the security for example, I know that, but you have been so faithful in doing all this. We will not be adequately able to thank you but please accept these words as our deepest thanks to you for making this great convention possible.

Can I also say that I didn’t think it would be possible until I walked into the Trinity Centre and then I knew, since we could never build that centre in Sydney, I knew I was in the presence of people who can run a convention and do it well. So I want to lead the rest of us in applause to the local committee. (Applause).

Your Grace the Primate of Kenya we want to thank you. It is not an easy thing to extend an invitation to hundreds and hundreds of people to come. My whole aim in Sydney I have to say was to avoid the General Synod occurring ever in Sydney, always have it somewhere else. I know what it’s like, and that was nothing compared to having GAFCON here. So again and very publicly I want to say how very grateful we are to you. And today of course I want to thank you, on behalf of all your guests, for this magnificent meal that you and Mama Rhoda have been hosting for us and I want to say how grateful we are; but also I want to assure you publicly that you are loved, you are deeply loved, both here in Kenya but also around the world, and we love and honour you for all you have done for us ”“ thank you. (Applause)

I have also been asked to say just a few words about GAFCON. One of the reasons why it is so appropriate to be here for GAFCON this week is that it was born in Nairobi, Room 1216 of the Hilton Hotel to be exact, well I have to check my records, but I think it was 1216. A number of people sitting here today were present at that meeting. And it was intentionally held here in Kenya. The leader of the meeting of course was Archbishop Akinola, and I can remember Archbishop Okoh at his right. And Archbishop Okoh’s great contribution to the meeting, amongst others, was to tell us that the word GAFCON was the word we should have. So I think it was you sir, I can’t see you, but it was you sir who gave us the word GAFCON and for that we are very grateful because it is the Global Anglican Future Conference which we decided on.

Now a number of the folk here today were present at that. How little we could have guessed that we would be here five years later and asking ourselves what has been accomplished. I heard earlier today – Archbishop Wabukala said – that in a sense the crisis has passed, and that’s true because you can’t live in a state of crisis. The crisis having been passed, the results have become permanent, or at least permanent for the time being if I can put it like that. Something has happened with grave consequences which now go on. And what indeed has happened and why?

Well, the genesis of GAFCON as you know was the authority of Scripture: Is the word of God the word of God?

Long ago, even before GAFCON, Bishop Nazir-Ali said to me that the debate we were having was about the clarity of Scripture. I’ll never forget him saying that. And I thought yes, he’s right of course: Is the Bible the Bible for everybody, that all can read, in a way in which it interprets itself? Is it the Bible for the lay people as much as it is the Bible for the clergy and anyone else? And this was Bishop Nazir-Ali’s point: that we can read the Bible too; and we can understand what it is saying to us. And the clarity of the Scriptures – particularly in the area of human sexuality – which is so important for our identity, means that we believe that we know ”“ always ready to look again – but when we look again, the same message appears:: that human sexual expression needs to occur within the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman, and anything else is unholy matrimony, if you like.

Now it’s those great issues, aren’t they: the Bible and our obedience to the Bible, which gave us the explosion if you like which occurred at GAFCON. Since then, I see GAFCON ”“ it’s interesting, you occasionally hear what people say about GAFCON and the FCA, not always very nice ”“ it is often far from accurate.

I often hear it said that it is a ”˜schismatic movement’, which is very funny considering how many Anglicans are involved in it – ”˜it’s a schismatic movement’. And I’ve heard a view that ”˜it is homophobic’ of course, and all the other terms of abuse that’s it’s so popular to throw.

I want to say to you that the GAFCON movement is a movement for Unity. I remember the Saturday night after GAFCON I, we had gathered in the room, the Primates gathered there, I gathered as the boy in the room, and the discussion was held. And I think it was I, but someone asked the question: ”˜Are we leaving the Anglican Communion?’ And immediately all said: ”˜No we are not leaving the Anglican Communion; that is not the intention, we would never do that.’ But our intention is to gather up the fragments of the Anglican Communion. And what GAFCON has done, particularly in North America, has been to gather up the fragments and to unite and to make sure that our beloved friends like Archbishop Bob Duncan here today, our beloved friends are kept and recognised as the authentic true Anglicans that they are, and that they don’t have to pretend to be something else. (Acclaim and applause)

And of course it is not only the North Americans but others as well, and this is going to happen in other places around the Communion, indeed it has begun to happen in other places around the Communion, where to stand for Biblical truth is going to cost you very, very dearly indeed, as it has cost our brothers here. And then you will have to ask yourself: who are our friends? Who will stand with us? And GAFCON is a way of delivering friendship, it is a way of delivering unity, it is a way of making sure that to quote the immortal words of a Nigerian bishop at our last meeting in London: ”˜Now we know we are not alone’ [Approval]. I’ve never forgotten him saying that.

That’s GAFCON: Now we know that we are not alone.

Now, as we heard this morning, the Anglican Communion 21st Century is going to look very, very different from the Anglican Communion that began the 21st Century ”“ that’s obvious. Indeed it is not only going to look different, it is different, it already is different. The events of 2008, little did we know it, was the birth of something new in the Anglican Communion. And in a sense GAFCON is called I believe to model what a Communion could be, a different Communion. I like to put it this way: that the British Empire is dead but the British Commonwealth of nations has followed.

There’s a different partnership, a different equality between the partners now, a bringing together of bishops, laity and clergy, altogether in a great conference where all may play their part, and a way of modelling and being the Anglican Communion for the sake of the whole Gospel, of Christ and the Gospel, in a way which will bring our gifts to bear for the sake of one another. That’s a great picture, and I believe in microcosm this is what the FCA movement is already and has begun to be.

Here is, when thirteen hundred and – now last night it was thirteen hundred and fifty-two, this morning it is thirteen hundred and forty-eight and one baby from Nigeria I believe ”“ are gathering in Nairobi.

1,352 Anglican Christians are gathering here in Nairobi for a week in which we are going to seek, according to Archbishop Wabukala, we are going to seek the Glory of God.

Our prayer is that we may see the Glory of God in this week together and go home changed. We are going to hear about the East African Revival. We are going to be challenged by it. We from the West are going to be deeply challenged about the East African Revival. We are going to hear about the Persecuted Church. We are going to hear from each other. We are going to minister to each other. We are going to hear the Word of God together and sit underneath the teaching of the Word of God. It is I believe that we are going to sing the praises of God and worship together.

It is I believe going to be an extraordinary week, not just a sort of missions conference, something I know +Bob Duncan was worried about, but it is an ecclesial conference – it is more than that. [Oh you mean I’ve learned something from you?] Archbishop Duncan is always hoping I am going to learn something from him, and I have. (laughter). It is more than just a conference, it is more than that.

Now we are deeply in prayer, Archbishop Wabukala told us to be in prayer we will see the Glory of God. For my part I have asked that we will see that the Lord will maintain the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace, because Unity is what we are about.

Now that’s the genesis of FCA, GAFCON, and I have talked about it’s meaning.

And just to conclude by saying it has two great Purposes:

– First of all to recognise and authenticate Anglicans, who for no fault of their own, in a stand for Biblical truth have become disaffiliated from their own denomination or original church ”“ to gather up the fragments of Christ’s church, and to maintain them in unity.

– And then Secondly, to bring together Anglicans from all around the world – [we’re not the only Anglicans, of course, that would be nonsense] ”“ but to bring together Anglicans from all around the world, to release the energy of the Anglican Communion for the sake of: the Mission of the Gospel; the Sovereignty of God’s Word; the Glory of God’s Name; and the Good of God’s People.

Dear brothers and sisters as we are here today enjoying this wonderful occasion together, let’s remember what’s drawn us together, the Glory of God, and let us join in prayer that we will indeed see the Glory of God this week in Nairobi. (Applause)

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Featured (Sticky), GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

Joyce Mwangi at Gafcon–You are Not Alone

Sobering accounts of rape, murder, torture and other forms of persecution challenged GAFCON 2013 delegates in Tuesday afternoon’s plenary session. Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of the Barnabas Fund, spoke of Christian persecution around the globe. From the terrorizing of small towns outside of Damascus to the systematic destruction of Christian communities in Iraq, Sookhdeo drew a picture of faithful Christians under attack in multiple areas of the globe. Expressions of Christian persecution are not limited however to violent ones said Sookhdeo. The NATO analyst said that secular humanism is deadly force to the marginal Christianity that exists in the West. Archbishop Ben Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria, has seen concerted attacks on his people and other Christians in central Nigeria….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

(ChristianToday) Chris Sugden–GAFCON: Former spiritual powerhouses now 'hostile' to Christian faith

The day began with a Eucharist in Nairobi Cathedral where there was standing room only. Afterwards the 331 bishops, over a third of those in the Anglican Communion, gathered for a group photograph in which they gave the “One-way” sign.

In his chairman’s address Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya said the challenge facing the church “is that the nations which were once the spiritual powerhouses of world wide mission have now become deeply secularised and even hostile to the Christian faith”.

“What really rots the fabric of the Communion is the process by which weak churches are gradually taken captive by the surrounding culture,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Evangelism and Church Growth, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Parish Ministry, Theology

The full Text of Archbishop Justin Welby's message to GAFCON 2013

To carry out the task of telling people about Jesus Christ, we need to be a Church that is holy. And for us as individuals and for us as churches right round the world that is always a massive challenge. We all live in different contexts and the challenge overlaps but is slightly different wherever we live. We are dealing with very rapid changes of culture in the Global North and the issue of sexuality is a very important one. How we respond rightly to that ”“ in a way that is holy, truthful and gracious ”“ is absolutely critical to our proclamation of the gospel.

Some churches are responding to challenges in their own context that are very very different. We have churches that are caught up in the midst of wars and violence and have to learn to proclaim the gospel in the midst of that. That’s really incredibly hard, and I’ve much experience of seeing it. There are other churches that are in countries where there are governments that are corrupt and it can be very hard to proclaim the gospel truly in those situations. Wherever we are, there’s a different context; but wherever we are, in our own context, in the right way, we have to live as a Church that is holy.

In addition, the gospel has to be proclaimed by a Church that is in unity….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

David Ould–GAFCON Day 2 ”“ A Clear Challenge to Archbishop Welby and much more

After morning tea we turned to the opening plenary session and the chairman’s address. Archbishop Wabakula of Kenya is a softly-spoken man but even his gentle voice could not disguise the power of what he had to say. We reported yesterday that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had been challenged by the Primates in their meeting and Wabukala had equally firm words to say. Here’s the key paragraph,

Five years on, the paralysis of which we spoke has intensified. And it has become clear that the Communion now needs new wineskins, a new way of ordering its affairs to fulfil the world wide scope of the Great Commission. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has now come to this conclusion and I am grateful for

His Grace’s honesty in acknowledging that the Anglican Communion’s neo- colonial leadership structures need to be replaced when he preached here at All Saints Cathedral last Sunday. However, it is difficult to see how stable and effective leadership can be developed unless the depth of the spiritual crisis we face is acknowledged. Organisational change on its own will not be enough. Even the very weak theological discipline of the Anglican Covenant has failed to win consent despite years of negotiation and the Archbishop of Canterbury is no longer able to gather the Communion.

Or, put in simpler terms, it’s not enough for Welby to visit GAFCON and tell them that he recognises that the current structures are failing. If he will not deal with the real issues (the apostasy of the American and Canadian churches) then GAFCON will continue on without him. He no longer commands any leadership amongst them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

Craige Borrett's Sermon in our series on the Church–We are a Haven in a Heartless World (Mark 5)

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ecclesiology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James of Jerusalem

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend ourselves and all who are dear to us this day. Be with us in our going out and in our coming in. Strengthen us for the work which thou hast given us to do. And grant that, filled with thy Holy Spirit, we may walk worthy of our high calling, and cheerfully accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–F. T. Woods

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

–1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Abp. Eliud Wabukala's Address to GAFCON, October 22: Global Challenge

The full transcript of Abp. Wabukala’s “Chairman’s Address” to the morning Plenary Session at GAFCON II today in Nairobi. Highly recommended.

It is quite impossible or us to experience worship and fellowship like this and ignore the global scope of the gospel. This is God’s revealed truth and saving for all people in all times an the Anglican Communion at it best demarcates this reality. Historically its origins lie in the expansion of the English speaking world, but here we are in Africa where, as elsewhere, the gospel has taken root in very different cultures. This is the Global Anglican Future conference because biblical Anglicanism is by its very nature global ”“ not merely because of our history, but because the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ is to ”˜all nations’ (Matt28:19).

The challenge we face is that the nations which were once the spiritual powerhouses of world wide mission have now become deeply secularised and even hostile to the Christian faith and the Churches of those lands have more often than not been strongly influenced by the societies in which they are set. I am aware that for some of you, the threat of violence from Islamic extremism may be uppermost your minds, and we have had a painful reminder of that reality recently here in Kenya, but that which really rots the fabric of the Communion is the much more insidious process by which weak churches are gradually taken captive by the surrounding culture.

Those of us in Africa and the Global South have no room for complacency. A few weeks ago we discussed GAFCON in our Provincial Synod and one senior layman remarked that GAFCON is for the sake of our children. There are powerful and well funded organisations working to see Kenya and other African nations adopt the same values which are causing so much havoc to faith and family and society in the West and we must confront these challenges together as a truly global Communion.

One hundred years ago, what is now Kenya teemed with wildlife which roamed freely through the land. Now our wildlife is largely limited to special game reserves and some worry about possible extinctions. I think this is a picture of what is happening in part of the Anglican Communion. There are those who would like to see orthodox Anglicans allotted a reserve in which they must stay and not challenge false teaching and it is very sad to see faithful people struggling for a place to survive in such compromised Churches. Orthodox Anglicans who feel themselves beleaguered should never settle to be thought of merely as an endangered species called ”˜traditionalists’ because our Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans links us together as what we are, a global majority.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates