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