ArchbishopEliud Wabukala chaired the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) Primates Council, 22-25 October, in Dar es Salaam.The delegates were welcomed by the Primate of Tanzania, the Most Revd Valentino Mokiwa, who is also a member of the Council.
In June 2008, 1,200 delegates representing the majority of practising Anglicans around the world came together in response to a spiritual crisis and held the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem. It formed a fellowship, the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA), and committed to supporting the Anglicans who had been forced out of their spiritual homes by church leaders who had denied the orthodox faith, either in word or deed. “We believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism which defines our core identity is expressed in the words that the doctrine of the church is grounded in the Holy scriptures, and in particular such doctrine is to be found in the thirty nine articles of religion, the book of common prayer and the ordinal,’ notes GAFCON Statement 2008.
Sadly, the response to GAFCON by the Western leadership of the Communion has been to systematically use its ample financial resources to focus on dialogue – the so called ‘listening process’ or ‘continuing indaba’ – and issues of aid and economic empowerment without any clear biblical framework.
This means that the work of the GFCA and its Primates Council continues to be vital for the future. At Dar es Salaam, it was agreed that ‘GAFCON 2’ in 2013 would take as its theme the declaration of the gospel ‘In the midst of much conflict’ (1 Thessalonians 2:2).This is a global reality for many, where the church and her leadership seeks to promote biblical values amidst a secular culture.
The conflict we are in is not of course a struggle against flesh and blood. It is a spiritual battle for which the church needs to be equipped by faithful teaching which nourishes the soul and fortifies the mind, so it was therefore very encouraging that the Primates reaffirmed their commitment to resource the GFCA through a Theological Commission.
At Dar es Salaam, the Most Reverend Henri Isingoma, Primate of the Anglican Church of the Congo, was welcomed as a member of the Primates Council and a new regional Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is being formed in Australia. The Council meeting closed with a service of Holy Communion in St. Alban’s Cathedral and it was very encouraging to see how strongly the congregation expressed their desire to stand with the GAFCON movement.
Many commentators have noted that the centre of gravity of global Christianity is now to be found in Africa. The Anglican Church of Kenya supports the quality of discipleship and witness matters as never before.
Story by: Revd Charles Raven, Archbishops Officer for Anglican Communion