(CEN) Andrew Symes–Why GAFCON II?

One result has been the visible expression of a truly global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans ”“ the name is significant, as it sets the heart of our unity in what we confess, what we believe about God, Christ, salvation and the Christian life, not in forms of worship, or administration based on geography. Its worth remembering that Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria and Pakistan are not being targeted because of the architecture of their churches or the style of liturgy, but because they testify counter-culturally that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour. We must also recognize that the majority of Anglicans worldwide to be found in Africa, where most Anglicans live in poverty compared to us, but have learned to trust daily in God for their daily bread, who share their faith as evangelical Christians with their neighbours, and who care for the poor and oppressed around them. Through the global FCA and the GAFCON conferences the voices of these ordinary Anglicans, particularly women, can now be heard.

So GAFCON 2 in Nairobi is nearly upon us. It starts on 21st October and runs for 5 days. More than 100 delegates will be coming from the UK and Ireland, to join over 1000 others meeting in All Saints Cathedral for daily worship, inspiring messages and seminars wrestling with missional challenges in cross-cultural groups. Nairobi is of course in the spotlight as recent terrifying events have highlighted the problem of Islamic extremism, and the presence of the Westgate shopping centre and the Kibera slum in the same city are a reminder of the challenge of economic inequality. But the Church of Kenya is rooted in the East Africa Revival of the 1930’s, where hundreds of thousands turned to Christ and tribal divisions were healed. These divisions resurface of course, but more recently the Anglican Church was at the forefront of the peaceful settlement after post election violence of a few years ago. In Kenya we will be reminded that the world is dangerous, the challenges are huge, but God loves the world and its people, and the testimonies of Christians prove it . He has provided the way of salvation through his Son, and he has established his church as a supernatural gathering across racial barriers (Ephesians 2:14-16) through the Gospel (3:6), and as a means of displaying his wisdom to the hostile powers against whom we struggle (6:12), and who one day will be subdued in the new creation (1:10).

So the focus at GAFCON 2 will be on world mission….

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