Category : — Reports & Communiques

Communiqué of the Anglican”“Lutheran International Coordinating Committee

During this meeting the Committee substantially completed a daily devotional resource called Grace upon Grace: Voices around the World. This book will be available late in 2016, in both hardcopy and online as a PDF-file. It is intended to assist Lutherans and Anglicans to commemorate together the
500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. This material illustrates the constant need for all churches be open to reform and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This is a six-week daily devotional resource, with contributions by Anglicans and Lutherans; men and women; lay and ordained from
around the world.
The themes are:

”¢ God’s mission in the world (Mission Dei)
”¢ Liberated by God’s Grace
”¢ Salvation ”“ not for sale
”¢ Human beings ”“ not for sale
”¢ Creation ”“ not for sale
Ӣ Freed to serve (Diakonia)

Each day has its own theme, a Scripture passage and a reflection. In addition, there is a Eucharistic liturgy, inviting Anglicans and Lutherans to worship together. It is the Committee’s hope that this resource will be used by Anglicans and Lutherans in joint groups as well as by individuals. Above all, it is an encouragement for us to pray for and with one another.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Ecumenical Relations, Lutheran, Other Churches, Theology

Communiqué from the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order

In the context of the contemporary crises of displacement and uprooting of people, of refugees and of human trafficking, the Commission paid a deeply moving visit to the Cape Coast Castle (see photograph). This was a major centre of the transatlantic slave trade, with the terrible incongruity of an Anglican church directly over the dungeons that held those who, through the ”˜Door of No Return’, were to be shipped into chattel slavery.

For part of the meeting, the Commission was joined by Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, who offered a deep and wide-ranging reflection on the present challenges within and future hopes for the Communion. The Commission warmly welcomed the opportunity to engage with him on ways of strengthening its capacity to fulfil its mandate in the service of the Communion.

The Commission was also greatly heartened by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s timely decision to invite his fellow Primates of the Anglican Communion to meet together in January, and held this gathering in its daily prayers. Recalling that all of the Primates gathered at the Enthronement Eucharist of the Archbishop in March 2013, IASCUFO believes that the forthcoming meeting could be an opportunity for a new, redeemed conversation within the Communion to begin, and stands ready to assist in any way consistent with its remit.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques

Communiqué of the International Reformed-Anglican Dialogue

The theme of this first meeting has been ”˜The Nature of Communion’ drawing on the New Testament word koinonia, being invoked today to describe the nature of the interrelationships between churches.

As part of its preliminary reflection on the nature of communion, there were presentations and discussion on the topic from the perspectives of the Old and New Testaments, and Church history. Seventeenth century English Reformed theology was put in dialogue with contemporary Orthodox theology. The African concept of Ubuntu was placed in dialogue with New Testament understandings of communion. The perspectives on communion from recent WCC document The Church: Towards A Common Vision played an important role in the conversation. Communion in relation to understandings of the nature of community and of Holy Communion proved a helpful part of the discussion.

The dialogue began with a celebration of Holy Communion using a liturgy of the United Reformed Church at which the Anglican Co-Chair preached, and closed with a celebration of Holy Communion according to the Scottish Episcopal liturgy, at which the Reformed Co-Chair preached. The members of the dialogue prayed together each morning and evening.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Reformed, Theology, Theology: Scripture

International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue Communiqué 2015

Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit formally welcomed the Commission to its meeting in his diocese. He offered praise and encouragement for the work of the dialogue. He stressed the urgent need for expressions of Christian unity in light of the deep challenges and crises before the global community, mindful of events unfolding even as the Commission undertook its deliberations.

The Commission brought to completion the first section of its work on the theological understanding of the human person, with the adoption of its agreed statement, In the Image and Likeness of God: A Hope-Filled Anthropology. The report, shortly to be published, is the culmination of six years of study on what Anglicans and Orthodox can say together about the meaning of human personhood in the divine image.

This agreement lays the foundation for continuing dialogue on ethical decision-making in the light of this vision. At its future meetings the Commission will consider the practical consequences of this theological approach to personhood. The Commission anticipates ongoing study in areas such as bioethics and the sanctity of life, as well as human rights and ecological justice.

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Communiqué from the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation 2015

11. Considerable time was given to reviewing and strengthening the role of the Consultation as a network of the Anglican Communion. Revised guidelines for governance were adopted articulating the purpose of the Consultation:

to promote the deepening of communion between the Churches of the Anglican Communion by renewing its life of liturgy and prayer as integral to the mission of the Church;
to advise the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion on questions of liturgy and common prayer and to encourage and support conversation between the Provinces on questions touching on Anglican liturgical theology and practice;
to review developments in liturgical formation and practice in the Anglican Communion and among ecumenical partners, and to give advice upon them to the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion, with the intention to promote common understanding, consistency and coherence, both within the Anglican Communion and in ecumenical engagement;
to assist any Province with new proposals in the areas of liturgical formation, development and practice; and
to report the scope and results of its work to the Anglican Consultative Council.
This process was much assisted by the presence and contribution of the Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion, the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Anglican Indigenous Network issues communiqué from triennial meeting

The AIN met at Stony Point Center in New York from April 14th -17th, 2015. We began by being welcomed by Janine Tinsley-Roe and her uncle, LeRoy Carle, a tribal elder, on behalf of the Shinnecock-Sewanaka tribe of this area. Our meeting began in earnest on the 15th, as we heard reports from each delegation on the work being done in their areas, responding to the concerns of their people. In our discussions that followed we saw the larger overarching trends present in each of our areas of struggle ”“ that we are not engaging as individual Indigenous groups but rather as a global people.

From the United States, we heard the resolutions that went into the Blue Book report to be acted on at General Convention this June, 2015. The first of these resolutions was about at-risk teens, with specific examples of high teen pregnancy and suicides.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques

Anglican-Lutheran International Co-ordinating Committee Communique

The Anglican-Lutheran International Co-ordinating Committee (ALICC) held its second meeting at the Mariners’ Club, Hong Kong, 19 to 25 November 2014, under the leadership of the Rt Revd Dr Tim Harris of the Anglican Church of Australia (acting co-chair as Archbishop Mauricio was unable to attend), and of Bishop Michael Pryse of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

The meeting was hosted by the Anglican Communion and the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui. The Committee warmly appreciated the generosity and the hospitality received from the Mission to Seafarers.

The Committee continued its work of mapping Anglican and Lutheran relationships around the world. In order to fulfill its role to be a catalyst for such relationships, it drew up a template of the differing patterns of relationships and the contexts in which they are lived out. For example, some are national churches meeting with other national churches, while others share the same geography. Some have relatively the same demographics, while in other places one church is much larger than the other. The Committee hopes to provide examples of the kinds of joint initiatives which might be appropriate for some rather than others.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Lutheran, Other Churches, Theology

Anglican Standing Committe Meeting Report, Days 2 to 4

Mr Lyon then shared the preliminary plans for ACC-16. He stressed that there had been some thinking around how to ensure every participant, regardless of their background, to had a common understanding of what the Anglican Consultative Council meeting is and is for.

This prompted a discussion among the Standing Committee about the future of the Instruments of Communion in relation to other Anglican Communion gatherings that might be more relational, conversational and perhaps missional in nature.

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori mentioned that at a recent meeting between the Episcopal Church and several senior bishops from across Africa [read more], there had been “significant energy” behind the idea of an Anglican ”˜gathering’ of some kind, above and beyond the Instruments of Communion.

Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi said, “The Toronto Congress created the language of mutual responsibility and interdependence. Now there’s a feeling that again we need that [another chance to meet in this kind of way]. A wider gathering of Christians””Anglicans and Episcopalians, lay and ordained””coming together to see and discuss and share and build relationships.

“The Instruments of Communion, they have a 10-year schedule or three-year schedule. In the present world of instant communications, that’s becoming a long time. What happens between those meetings? If communion is really communion then we want something new [over and above the Instruments].”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Instruments of Unity, Presiding Bishop, Theology

Anglican Standing Committe Meeting Report, Day 1

The Standing Committee’s annual meeting, originally scheduled for April 2015, was moved forward to this weekend because of the need for members to consider the question of a successor to the current Secretary General.

The short notice of the meeting meant that neither all Committee members, nor all the requisite alternates were able to attend. Attendance on Day 1 included:

The Rt Revd James Tengatenga (Chair)
Canon Elizabeth Paver (Vice Chair)
The Most Revd David Chillingworth
The Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Rt Revd Eraste Bigirimana
Mrs Helen Biggin
Mr Samuel N Mukunya
Ms Louisa Mojela

The following members will be in attendance on subsequent days:

The Most Revd Justin Welby (President)
The Rt Revd Ian Douglas
The Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi (Alternate for The Most Revd Daniel Deng Bul Yak)

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques

Communiqué of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue

The Commission discussed at length the draft of an agreed statement on the theological presuppositions of the Christian understanding of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God. At its next meeting it intends to consider the practical implications and the ethical questions, of pressing concern in today’s world, that follow from these presuppositions.

As in previous meetings, daily prayer and worship strengthened and grounded the work of the Commission, both in the Anglican Cathedral of St George, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

An ecumenical reception hosted by Bishop Suheil provided an opportunity for fellowship with local Christian leaders. The Commission visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and met members of the Christian community, with whom it prayed for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land and in the whole world.

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Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue Statement on Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment

The Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States (ARC-USA) has concluded a six-year round of dialogue with the release of “Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment: Seeking a Unified Moral Witness,” approved at the most recent meeting February 24-25, 2014, at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. The meeting was chaired by Bishop John Bauerschmidt of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee; the Roman Catholic co-chairman, Bishop Ronald Herzog of Alexandria, Louisiana, was unable to attend for health reasons.

In 2008 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, asked the ARC-USA to address questions of ethics and the Christian life in the context of ecclesiology, in an effort to achieve greater clarity regarding areas of agreement and disagreement. They were aware that dialogue on these issues was also taking place between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion at the international level, and also in other bilateral dialogues between churches of various traditions.

The statement reflects on the way the two churches pursue the work of teaching and learning within the Christian moral life. It examines the extent to which their respective church structures influence the way they teach and what they teach on moral questions. Inquiries and discussions about moral formation and the teaching charism of the churches guided them in addressing this topic.

Read it all and please note the link to the full text pdf provided.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Ecumenical Relations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

Communique from the Anglican Communion's UFO [ Unity, Faith and Order] Commission

Meeting in the context of daily prayer and the Eucharist, we have valued the shaping of our discussions by our Bible studies on the Epistle to the Ephesians. We have been emboldened by Christ’s breaking down of the dividing wall (2.14) and the Church’s calling to make known ”˜the wisdom of God in its rich variety’ (3.10). We have been challenged to steadfastness and maturity and to pursuing our calling to build up the body of Christ in love (4.14”“16).

To this end we commend engagement with the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Faith and Order Paper The Church: Towards a Common Vision. The fruit of twenty years of consultation among Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, Evangelical, Pentecostal and Roman Catholic churches, it offers a high degree of common understanding of the theology of the Church. We welcome this publication overseen by the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, Director of Faith and Order for the WCC and himself a member of IASCUFO, and believe it offers a rich resource for the understanding of our common mission as Christians.

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GAFCON II: Nairobi Communique and Commitment

This post used to be sticky – look below for new entries.

Here is the FINAL Nairobi Communique and Commitment from the GAFCON website. You can download the PDF file here.

GAFCON 2013: THE NAIROBI COMMUNIQUE

You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:19-20)

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we, the participants in the second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) ”“ 1358 delegates, including 331 bishops, 482 other clergy and 545 laity from 38 countries representing tens of millions of faithful Anglicans worldwide ”“ send you greetings from East Africa, a place of revival in the last century and of growth in the Anglican Church today.
Introduction

We met with great joy in Nairobi from 21st to 26th October 2013. We gathered each day for prayer and praise, studied Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and shared in the Holy Communion at the beginning and end of our conference.

It was very poignant that our meeting took place only a month after the violent terrorist attack in Nairobi at the Westgate Shopping Mall in which so many innocent men, women and children lost their lives. Our hearts go out to those families who have lost loved ones and to all of those who still suffer. We continue to remember them in prayer. In meeting here we have been able to express publicly the hope that Jesus Christ brings to a world in which brokenness and suffering find frequent expression.

In our gathering, we reaffirmed our view that we are a global fellowship of confessing Anglicans, engaged in a movement of the Holy Spirit which is both personal and ecclesial. We appreciated that the Archbishop of Canterbury sent personal greetings via video and gave us the assurance of his prayers, and we likewise pray for him. We believe we have acted as an important and effective instrument of Communion during a period in which other instruments of Communion have failed both to uphold gospel priorities in the Church, and to heal the divisions among us.

The Formation of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

In 2008, the first GAFCON was convened in order to counter a false gospel which was spreading throughout the Communion. This false gospel questioned the uniqueness of Christ and his substitutionary death, despite the Bible’s clear revelation that he is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). It undermined the authority of God’s Word written. It sought to mask sinful behaviour with the language of human rights. It promoted homosexual practice as consistent with holiness, despite the fact that the Bible clearly identifies it as sinful. A crisis point was reached in 2003 when a man in an active same-sex relationship was consecrated bishop in the USA. In the years that followed, there were repeated attempts to resolve the crisis within the Communion, none of which succeeded. To the contrary, the situation worsened with further defiance. As a response to the crisis, we adopted The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which commits us to biblical faithfulness, and has since provided the framework for renewed Anglican orthodoxy to which we, in all our different traditions ”“ Evangelicals, Anglo-Catholics and Charismatics ”“ are committed. We also formed the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA).

Since then, we have become a movement for unity among faithful Anglicans. Where, in taking a stand for biblical faithfulness, Anglicans have been marginalised or excluded from provincial or diocesan structures, the Primates’ Council has recognised and authenticated them as faithful Anglicans. The GFCA has been instrumental in the emergence of the new Province of the Anglican Church in North America, giving formal recognition to its orders and welcoming it as a full partner province, with its Archbishop having a seat on the Primates’ Council. The GFCA has also prevented the original Diocese of Recife from being isolated from the Anglican Communion. At the same time, local fellowships have been set up across many provinces. These have been a vital support to ministers and congregations alike, as the pressures on faithful gospel witness have increased.

The GFCA and the Future of the Anglican Communion

The fellowship we enjoy as Christians is distinguished from all other associations by the fact that it is at its heart a common ”˜fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ’ (1 John 1:3). For this reason it has a particular character. It involves repentance and ”˜walking in the light, as he is in the light’ (1 John 1:7”“9). The character and boundaries of our fellowship are not determined by institutions but by the Word of God. The church is a place where the truth matters, where it is guarded and promoted and where alternatives are exposed for what they are ”” an exchange of the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). Our willingness to submit to the written Word of God and our unwillingness to be in Christian fellowship with those who will not, is clearly expressed in The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration. This means that the divisions in the Anglican Communion will not be healed without a change of heart from those promoting the false gospel, and to that end we pray.

There is much we can learn from the East African Revival about having a change of heart. Beginning in the last century, the Revival has touched millions of lives across many countries as the Holy Spirit has moved lay men and women, as well as clergy, to share the gospel with others. Two significant features of great relevance to our situation are ””

  • Real repentance for sin demonstrated both in confession of guilt and a desire to make amends
  • A confidence that the gospel has the power both to save the lost in all the world and to transform the church, rather than seeing the church conformed to the world.

We urge those who have promoted the false gospel to repent of their unfaithfulness and have a renewed confidence in the gospel. We repent of indifference, prayerlessness and inactivity in the face of false teaching. We remind them ”“ as we remind ourselves ”“ that the sins from which we must repent are not simply those which the world also believes are wrong; they are those that God himself abhors and which are made clear in his Word.

The 1998 Lambeth Resolution I.10 on Human Sexuality states that sexual activity is to be exclusive to marriage and that abstinence is right for those who are single. We still hold to that authoritative statement. Sexual temptation affects us all, and we pray therefore for faithfulness to God’s Word in marriage and singleness.

We grieve that several national governments, aided by some church leaders, have claimed to redefine marriage and have turned same-sex marriage into a human rights issue. Human rights, we believe, are founded on a true understanding of human nature, which is that we are created in God’s image, male and female such that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife (Matthew 19:6; Ephesians 5:31). We want to make clear that any civil partnership of a sexual nature does not receive the blessing of God. We continue to pray for and offer pastoral support to Christians struggling with same-sex temptation who remain celibate in obedience to Christ and affirm them in their faithfulness.

The gospel alone has the power to transform lives. As the gospel is heard, the Holy Spirit challenges and convicts of sin, and points to the love of God expressed in his Son, Jesus Christ. The sheer grace of God in setting us free from sin through the cross of Christ leads us into the enjoyment of our forgiveness and the desire to lead a holy life. This enables the relationship with God that Jesus makes possible to flourish. Moreover, just as individual lives can be transformed, so can the life of churches. We therefore commit ourselves and call on our brothers and sisters throughout the Communion to join in rediscovering the power of the gospel and seeking boldness from the Holy Spirit to proclaim it with renewed vigour.

Strengthening the GFCA

We are committed to the future of the GFCA and to that end have decided to take steps to strengthen our fellowship.

First, we have resolved to be more than a network. We are an effective expression of faithful Anglicanism and therefore, recognising our responsibilities, we must organise ourselves in a way that demonstrates the seriousness of our objectives. These are threefold.

  • Proclaiming and contending for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Examples of work we wish to resource are the preparation of convincing theological rebuttals of any false gospel; supporting a network of theological colleges whose students are better oriented to ministry, whose faculties are well-trained, and whose curricula are built on the faithful reading of Scripture.
  • Building the fellowship. We need to find new ways of supporting each other in mission and discipleship.
  • Authorising and affirming faithful Anglicans who have been excluded by their diocese or province. The main thrust of work here would be devoted to discerning the need for new provinces, dioceses and churches ”” and then authenticating their ministries and orders as Anglican.

Second, pursuing these objectives will require GFCA to operate on a more systematic basis and to that end we shall organise around a Primates’ Council, a Board of Trustees, an Executive Committee and regional liaison officers, who will be involved in fostering communication among FCAs.

Third, we recognise that moving the GFCA on to a new footing will involve making substantial new resources available. We must, therefore, invite provinces, dioceses, mission agencies, local congregations and individuals formally to become contributing members of the GFCA. In particular, we ask provinces to reconsider their support for those Anglican structures that are used to undermine biblical faithfulness and contribute instead, or additionally, to the financing of the GFCA’s on-going needs.

Our Priorities

Our Lord’s command is ”˜to go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19”“20). We believe therefore that our first priority must be to make disciples. This means that our movement must be committed to –

  • Evangelising areas of our world where clear gospel witness has become obscured or lost and bringing the gospel to unreached peoples. Much of our energy must be devoted to bringing the gospel to children and young people and developing the leaders of the future. We also recognise the need to pray for, love and witness to Muslims with the gospel of Jesus. We call upon churches to train their members in such outreach.
  • Supporting genuine gospel initiatives, recognising that there are times when the maintenance of structures can constrain the proclamation of the gospel. In line with The Jerusalem Statement’s expectation that the Primates’ Council would intervene to provide ”˜orthodox oversight to churches under false leadership’, the Primates’ Council will carefully consider working beyond existing structures as an obedient response to Jesus’ commission to take the gospel to all nations.
  • Guarding the gospel. We shall continue publicly to expose any false gospel that is not consistent with apostolic teaching and clearly to articulate the gospel in the church and in the world.

Our second priority must be to deepen discipleship. We must keep stressing that our identity is primarily found in Christ rather than in national, ethnic or tribal attachments. In addition, there are many pressures on Christians today which require a degree of maturity in order to withstand them. These include aggressive secularism, where increasingly Christians are being told that their faith must only find expression in private, and not in public life, and where the contribution of Christianity to the public good is denied; militant Islamism which continues to threaten the existence and ministry of the church in some places; and seductive syncretism which introduces supposedly alternative approaches to God and thereby denies the uniqueness of Christ.

Countering these pressures and promoting the gospel in difficult circumstances requires Christians to accept that their witness involves suffering for Christ (2 Timothy 3:12); to stand with those who are suffering for Christ; to be alert to the ways in which the Scriptures are being falsely undermined by opponents; to engage graciously in the public square; and to refuse to be intimidated when subjected to persecution.

As a third priority, we must witness to the transforming effect of the gospel in working for the transformation of society, so that the values of the eternal Kingdom can be seen here and now. We therefore believe that it is right to engage in the public arena with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15”“16), but without allowing our priorities to be shaped by the world’s agenda; that our churches should work for the protection of the environment and the economic empowerment of those who are deprived of resources; and that we should not ignore the cries of the marginalized and oppressed who need immediate aid.

We affirm the ministries of women and their vital contribution to the life of the church: their call to the task of evangelism, discipling, and building strong marriages, families, churches and communities. GAFCON 2013 upholds the Bible’s teaching that men and women are equally made in the image of God, called to be his people in the body of Christ, exercising different gifts. We recognize that we have differing views over the roles of men and women in church leadership.

It grieves us that in many communities women and children are marginalized through poverty, lack of education, HIV/AIDS, the mistreatment of widows and orphans, and polygamy. Furthermore, they suffer domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking and abortion. We repudiate all such violence against women and children and call on the church to demonstrate respect for women, care for marginalized women and children around the world, and uphold the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.

We are conscious of the growing number of attacks on Christians in Nigeria and Pakistan, Syria and Egypt, Sudan and many other countries. Where our brothers and sisters are experiencing persecution, we must all call on governments and leaders of other religions to respect human rights, protect Christians from violent attack and take effective action to provide for freedom of religious expression for all.

Conclusion

We are conscious of many pressures on faithful gospel witness within the church, but equally conscious of the great need the world has to hear the gospel. The need for the GFCA is greater now than when we first met in Jerusalem in 2008. We believe the Holy Spirit is challenging us and the rest of the Anglican Communion to remain faithful to our biblical heritage; to support those who suffer as a result of obedience to Christ; to deepen the spiritual life of our churches; and to respond to anti-Christian pressures with a renewed determination to spread the gospel. The seriousness with which we take our mission and our fellowship will be reflected in the way individual churches make the GAFCON vision their own, and in how we resource the work the GFCA seeks to initiate. We invite all faithful Anglicans to join the GFCA.

Finally, we make the following commitment to strengthen our fellowship and promote the gospel.

The Nairobi Commitment

We are committed to Jesus Christ as the head of the Church, the authority of his Word and the power of his gospel. The Son perfectly reveals God to us, he is the sole ground of our salvation, and he is our hope for the future. We seek to honour him, walk in faith and obedience to his teaching, and glorify him through our proclamation of his name.

Therefore, in the power of the Holy Spirit ””

  1. We commit ourselves anew to The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration.
  2. We commit ourselves to supporting mission, both locally and globally, including outreach to Muslims. We also commit to encouraging lay training in obedience to the Great Commission to make and mature disciples, with particular attention to recruiting and mobilizing young people for ministry and leadership.
  3. We commit ourselves to give greater priority to theological education and to helping each other find the necessary resources. The purposes of theological education need clarifying so that students are better oriented to ministry, faculty are well-trained, and curricula are built on the faithful reading of Scripture.
  4. We commit ourselves to defend essential truths of the biblical faith even when this defence threatens existing structures of human authority (Acts 5:29). For this reason, the bishops at GAFCON 2013 resolved ”˜to affirm and endorse the position of the Primates’ Council in providing oversight in cases where provinces and dioceses compromise biblical faith, including the affirmation of a duly discerned call to ministry. This may involve ordination and consecration if the situation requires.’
  5. We commit ourselves to the support and defence of those who in standing for apostolic truth are marginalized or excluded from formal communion with other Anglicans in their dioceses. We have therefore recognized the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) as an expression of authentic Anglicanism both for those within and outside the Church of England, and welcomed their intention to appoint a General Secretary of AMiE.
  6. We commit ourselves to teach about God’s good purposes in marriage and in singleness. Marriage is a life-long exclusive union between a man and a woman. We exhort all people to work and pray for the building and strengthening of healthy marriages and families. For this reason, we oppose the secular tide running in favour of cohabitation and same-sex marriage.
  7. We commit ourselves to work for the transformation of society though the gospel. We repudiate all violence, especially against women and children; we shall work for the economic empowerment of those who are deprived; and we shall be a voice for persecuted Christians.
  8. We commit ourselves to the continuation of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, putting membership, staffing and financing onto a new basis. We shall continue to work within the Anglican Communion for its renewal and reform.
  9. We commit ourselves to meet again at the next GAFCON.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

26 October 2013

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(ACNS) Communiqué of the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee

The Co-ordinating Committee studied the mandate given by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Anglican Communion. The focus of this work is to monitor and encourage existing Anglican-Lutheran relations, as well as to advance co-operation between the two Churches in areas where there are not yet any formal agreements. To enable the Committee to function as an encourager as well as a catalyst, the Committee has begun a process of mapping agreements, initiatives and projects in different regions. This mapping project is an ongoing task for the Committee and we urge Churches, in both communions, to provide information to further this task.

The Committee has also initiated a process promoting Anglican-Lutheran collaboration in the observance of the 2017 Reformation anniversary. As part of this the Committee intends to provide study material based around the official LWF theme Liberated by God’s Grace. This material would be designed to be used in joint Anglican-Lutheran study groups where both denominations are present as well as by separated groups. It is hoped that this material will relate to different ages and contexts. The purpose is to highlight that reformation is ongoing and that 16th century Reformation thoughts are relevant for Christians today. The Committee is locating this and all its work within the theological theme of communion in the mission of God.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Lutheran, Other Churches, Theology

Anglican Leaders in Toronto–to the Faithful of the Anglian Communion and all our Friends in Christ

Our final talk inspired us to a revival of the missionary spirit of the Toronto Congress.

In this spirit, we lay before you the following:

Communion is a missionary movement: as Stephen Bayne said at the time, our common goal is to plant the Gospel “in every place of the world”.
Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence (MRI) remains a compelling calling for today.
We need renewal of the structures of the Communion so as to reflect the tremendous growth of the Church in last 50 years in Global South. As the Congress noted regarding the fact of mission: “the form of the Church must reflect this”.
We must reclaim and strengthen Anglicanism’s conciliar character in these structures and in our decision-making, as MRI assumed.
We are open to a fresh articulation of an Anglican Covenant and commend the role it can have in the renewal of our Communion, and we believe that we ourselves can have a constructive role to play in leading in this.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Ecclesiology, Global South Churches & Primates, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process