GAFCON starts today

It's been a while since I wrote much on the goings on in world-wide Anglicanism. The once-a-decade Lambeth Conference is next month (July). Many conservative bishops, however, feel that their concerns will not be adequately addressed. For this reason, a number of key leaders decided to have their own conference in Jerusalem called the "Global Anglican Future Conference" (GAFCON), which starts today. The weblink is http://www.gafcon.org/, where you can watch streaming video starting at 2pm today (Central Time).

Now I must admit I am a bit fuzy about just what GAFCON represents (as are many others, I suspect), and for that reason I am not especially enthusiastic about it. Some of the participants, included the primary organizers, are boycotting Lambeth so that this looks like a schismatic event - an alternate Lambeth Conference. Others are attending both so that it also looks like a "prepare for Lambeth" conference (something quite different). While GAFCON is a gathering of many of the most traditionalist, conservative, evangelical, and charismatic bishops, it is also true that many prominent evangelical bishops refused to attend GAFCON, perhaps because they too were concerned about its being a force for further disunity.

As the conference has begun, the leaders have emphasized that they have no intention of breaking with world-wide Anglicanism (even though some may be boycotting this particular Lambeth Conference).

I for my part will pray for the bishops (present among them is my own local Anglican bishop, the Rt Rev Bruce MacPherson, along with several priests from this diocese), that their meeting will indeed be a force for renewal and unity-in-orthodoxy and love within the larger communion. I will pray that those planning to boycott Lambeth will reconsider and decide rather to come. It seems to me far better that they come to discuss and to pray about the difficult issues along with the bishops of the world-wide Church, since their absence or boycott will surely not strengthen the Lambeth Conference or the cause of traditional Anglicanism in any way.



Blogger Andrew C. Thompson said...

I didn't know anything about GAFCON until last weekend, when a an Anglican deacon/friend told me about it at a wedding reception. I'll be curious to read your thoughts after it has been going on for a few days. I share your concern about its possible schismatic overtones (depending on the intentions of the different bishops involved regarding Lambeth).

5:59 PM, June 25, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home