South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence–Jottings from GAFCON II

[Sunday] evening’s gath­er­ing at All Saint’s Cathe­dral after tea on the grounds was an Open­ing wor­ship freely flow­ing with hymns brought by West­ern mis­sion­ar­ies yet touched by an African vigor and sway. It also brought var­i­ous speak­ers to the podium to focus our atten­tion on the East African Revival of the 1920s and 30s and which had a sec­ond or renewed out pour­ing of the Holy Spirit in the 1970s. Indeed as the Chan­cel­lor of Uganda Chris­t­ian Uni­ver­sity reminded us in a stir­ring address””“We speak of the East Africa Revival as if it is a relic of his­tory. It is not just a relic”¦not just a move­ment in his­tory; it is a liv­ing move­ment today.” (Para­phrased from my jot­ted notes from his address) This move­ment which has as its cen­ter the Death and Res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus Christ, the call of the Holy Spirit for believ­ers to “Walk in the Light” and the neces­sity of repen­tance, pub­lic con­fes­sion of sins and putting of wrongs right in the believer’s life, as well as a cor­re­spond­ing call for humil­ity and bro­ken­ness, was and remains a mighty pres­ence in the Church in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tan­za­nia. This revival like so many great revivals in his­tory was pre­dom­i­nately a lay move­ment. It calls every man to be a Bible stu­dent, respon­sive to the lead­ing of the Holy Spirit, tran­scend­ing denom­i­na­tional bound­aries yet seek­ing to keep (in the phrase I remem­ber from sev­eral decades ago in the Renewal Move­ment of the 1970s and 80s) “the fire in the fire­place.” Indeed as the Chan­cel­lor noted, from the heart of this liv­ing move­ment today’s Church is pre­sented with some prob­ing questions:

What is the cause of cold­ness and dead­ness in our churches?
Why are peo­ple allowed to come to the Lord’s Table who are liv­ing in known sin?
What can be done to bring revival to the Church?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Parish Ministry, Theology