News

ASF Presentation to ANiC Council, Nov. 2013

In November 2013, our Convenor, Mark Larratt-Smith, made a presentation to the ANiC Council describing the current progress and future plans of the ASF.  Click on the link to view the presentation: ASF Presentation to ANiC Council Nov 2013

News: Archbishop Wabukala’s August Letter

More about GAFCON 2013 – Archbishop Wabukala’s August Letter:

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My dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

As I write, we are now only two months away from GAFCON 2013. There is much still to do, but over the past month great strides have been made and I am confident that this will be another wonderful and historic occasion.  Many of those who shared in the fellowship of our first gathering in Jerusalem remarked that it had been a once in a lifetime experience, but I believe that GAFCON 2013 will be equally memorable, yet in a different way. We remember the mighty acts of God in order to build faith for the present and, with thankful hearts for the foundation laid in Jerusalem, we look to the Lord to do a new thing as we gather in Nairobi.

Last week, my brother Archbishop Stanley of Uganda reminded us of why GAFCON 2013 is so necessary. It is now ten years since the Episcopal Church of the United States consecrated Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, despite the fact that he had left his wife and family and then later entered into a sexual relationship with a man. This action opened the door to the fragmentation of an already fragile Communion. It was in deliberate defiance of the collegial mind of the bishops worldwide expressed at the 1998 Lambeth Conference and became a serious hindrance to those of us committed to biblical evangelism and discipleship.

Archbishop Stanley rightly speaks of a spiritual cancer in the Communion, but we need to see that the overthrow by some Churches of the creation order of male and female is just one symptom of the disease. The cause is spiritual, the overthrow of God’s Word as revealed and authoritative truth. So it is very appropriate that Archbishop Stanley also speaks of the need for confessing Anglicans to see themselves as a movement of revival, taking inspiration from the East African Revival. We need to learn from our history. Divisions about the Bible had spread to  some missionary organisations in East Africa after the First World War, but the leaders of the East African Revival knew that there could be no true evangelism and no true revival unless the Scriptures are allowed to speak as what they really are, the inspired Word of God.

So we can see why our affirmation in 2008 of the Jerusalem Declaration was so very important. We described it as ‘a contemporary rule… to guide the movement for the future’. Anything less would have ‘healed the wound of my people lightly’ (Jeremiah 8:11) given the widespread confusion about the gospel and Christian discipleship which we sought to address. Let me remind you of the commitment we made in the Jerusalem Statement to restore Scripture to its rightful place in the life of the Communion:

‘We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal.’

On this foundation we can address the challenges of the twenty-first century with faith and confidence. Work is well advanced on the programme  for our time together and will include ‘mini-conferences’ on topics such as gospel proclamation and culture, theological education,  economic empowerment and the church, marriage, family and sexuality, and engaging with Islam. It is intended that plans for action will be prepared on each theme and that we shall develop the necessary organisational structures to carry them out. Our work on these challenges will be a response to hearing God’s Word taught and preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, trusting that the word of the Lord will not return to him empty, but will indeed accomplish that which he purposes.

To conclude, let me ask you to do two things as members of our global fellowship. Firstly, please be in earnest prayer for GAFCON 2013 and use the prayer bulletins which are posted weekly on the GAFCON website. Many are working very hard, but we need the Lord’s overruling hand of blessing and protection, knowing that without his presence and mercy we can achieve nothing of lasting value. Secondly, please prayerfully consider your financial support. We have a number of brothers and sisters who would love to be with us from parts of the world where there is persecution and hardship and we do not want them to be excluded for lack of funding.

May the Lord who has called us to this gospel fellowship grant you fullness of joy and peace in his service.

The Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala
Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

Ontario: The Circle Prepares For Action

D’Arcy and Zena are laying plans for the opening of their circle, The Circle (in the Fergus-Elora area of Ontario).  Here’s the text of the news item they ran in their local paper on July 17:

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“Something Different” proposed by Elora duo

Two Elora residents are hoping residents want “to turn over a new leaf” when it comes to their Christian faith.

“The buds have arrived, leaves have sprouted and spring cleaning and gardening and summer plans are in the works.  Many of us hope that things might be different this year – we will see new places, meet new people, get out of our same old rut”, says Zena Attwood.  “I think that I need to get our of my same old rut by making some changes inside my head and how I act and what I believe – believe about other people, about how the world functions, and how God fits into all of this.  Do I really have to act this year the same way I did last year?”

Originally from England, over 40 years ago, she moved to Elora five years ago.  She, along with D’Arcy Luxton who retired to Elora from Hamilton, “are going to make a start on that by starting a new church group.  Not a new church, exactly, as there will be no church building  and the formal structures of church worship and parish life will be absent.”

Centre Wellington is already well supplied with these – all of which are working hard to serve their communities and bear witness to the Christian faith, the duo says.  Their group has much more modest ambitions.

“We will meet on Sundays, in rented premises, with the intention of serving those in our community who have no church home and are adrift”, Attwood says.  “We are members of the Anglican Network in Canada (www.anglicannetwork.ca), which means that we strive to present the Christian faith in its fullness.”

In the present culture, many people experience difficulty.  Many suffer from thwarted happiness or spiritual anguish.

“This is where we hope to be of service.  While we have many active churches in  Central Wellington, the Christian presence in the highways and bi-ways and along the hedges and at the edges of things is less evident.  This is also where we hope to serve,”  Attwood says.  “Our Canadian economy is not buoyant and we may face years of economic challenge and relentless austerity.  In such circumstances, we believe the need for small Christian groups meeting regularly, but of no fixed address, will increase.”

Attwood and Luxton are inviting everyone “to come and see.  We invite you to come with your queries about Christianity.  We would like to be of service.  The Christian religion is 2000 years old.  Our group is new.  You may like the idea of being part of something old that is brand new.  We do.”

Details of where and when will be published in the Fergus Elora News Express.  In the meantime, further info can be obtained by sending an email to cw.circle4u@gmail.com.
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News: Circles in the News!

The first ASF circle-in-process got a mention in the ANiC August 13 Newsletter!  Here it is:

“Planting in southern Ontario – Elora-Fergus area
Together D’Arcy Luxton and the Rev Zena Attwood wrote an article that was published in their local paper inviting people in the Fergus-Elora area of southern Ontario to join them on Sunday’s as they meet together. The article targeted those who have no church home, are feeling adrift, and are looking for a supportive fellowship. In the article they say, “We invite you to come with your queries about Christianity. We would like to be of service. The Christian religion is 2000 years old. Our group is new. You may like the idea of being part of something old that is brand new. We do.”

Way to go, D’Arcy and Zena!  We will be posting more about The Circle in Fergus-Elora as we get the info!

News: July Message from Archbishop Wabukala

[from an email from the Global Fellowship Of Confessing Anglicans]

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends
from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council
July 2013
My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Here in Nairobi we are preparing with great anticipation for our second Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON 2013, and this is the first of what I intend to be monthly pastoral messages as we move forward together in the unfolding purposes of God.

I am confident that this great gathering of over 1,300 delegates will touch the lives of you all, whether or not you are able to be present, and will be a decisive moment in a movement which will shape the future of the Anglican Communion for generations to come.

The reason I have such confidence is not simply because of the commitment and energy that is going into the planning of this great occasion, but above all because God is faithful. At the heart of our gathering will be the Lord Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) and as we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to that purpose, we can trust in the promise that comes with the command, the promise of his presence ‘to the end of the age’ (v20).

Here in Kenya, we know the reality of this promise because we are a nation which has benefited profoundly from the East African Revival.  The fires of revival spread spontaneously through East Africa in the 1930’s at a time when many of the churches were cold and formal, deeply shaping what it means to be a Christian and an Anglican here today.

Out of this revival came a huge upsurge in spontaneous mission by ordinary church members throughout East Africa, some of whom were tested by violent persecution in subsequent decades. Despite the challenges of nominalism and tribalism, its legacy of evangelistic drive and resilient discipleship continues. At a meeting of Church Army Africa here in Nairobi last month, the GAFCON vision was strongly affirmed by its leaders as they rededicated themselves to reaching this continent for Christ. Indeed, revival has been described as ‘a reforming of the Church’s battle line’ in its work of claiming the world for Christ and so we have experienced it in Africa.  But sadly, in some parts of the Anglican Communion we are seeing the process in reverse – the Church of Christ is being claimed by the world through compromise and false teaching.

The need to take action to establish a clear and undiluted biblical witness to Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit is very great. We will gather to proclaim the gospel with clarity and confidence and set in place structures that will facilitate rather than frustrate that great aim. The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008 gave us our biblical basis and in the Jerusalem Statement we spoke prophetically of three ‘undeniable facts’:

1. ‘The acceptance and promotion within the provinces of the Anglican Communion of a different ‘gospel’.’
2. ‘The declaration by provincial bodies in the Global South that they are out of communion with bishops and churches that promote this false gospel.’
3. ‘The manifest failure of the Communion Instruments (its international institutions) to exercise discipline in the face of overt heterodoxy.’

While we give thanks for much that has been achieved, especially in the emergence of the Anglican Church of North America and our Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, we are painfully aware that the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada continue to promote a false gospel and yet both are still received as in good standing by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Furthermore, the Church of England itself, the historic mother church of the Communion, seems to be advancing along the same path. While defending marriage, both the Archbishops of York and Canterbury appeared at the same time to approve of same-sex Civil Partnerships during parliamentary debates on the UK’s ‘gay marriage’ legislation, in contradiction to the historic biblical teaching on human sexuality reaffirmed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

In these circumstances, attempts to achieve unity based merely on common humanitarianism and dialogue, without repentance, sacrifice the transforming power of the gospel. The seeds of the East African revival were planted through years of faithful bible teaching and were brought to life by the Spirit of God, with deep conviction of sin and the irrepressible joy of sins forgiven. This is the core of the transforming power of the gospel and in this we delight. Let me conclude by quoting Clause 9 of the Jerusalem Declaration:

“We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.”

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
The Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala
Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

Archbishop Duncan: The State Of The Church 2013

On June 18, 2013 Archbishop Duncan delivered his State of the Church address to the Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North America at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, WI.  The Provincial Council is the governing body of the ACNA comprised of delegates from member dioceses and ministry partners

.ADDRESS TO PROVINCIAL COUNCIL
On the State of the Church

“Freely you have received.  Freely give.”  [Matthew 10:8]

The opening of this 2013 Provincial Council marks the fourth anniversary of the constitution of the Anglican Church in North America.  Following the Inaugural Assembly of 2009 which met at Bedford, Texas, Provincial Council first met at Toronto, Canada.  Then we met at Amesbury, Massachusetts.  Then we travelled to Long Beach, California. Next we gathered at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, in connection with Assembly 2012.  Now we find ourselves at Nashotah, Wisconsin.  What a journey it has been!

It is my responsibility to make some comments on the journey and to help to focus us on the work we are called to do in the two days of this 5th Provincial Council.  Because we understand so clearly that we are synodically governed and that we are episcopally led, I will also share some of the challenges – and the joys – before the College of Bishops in the work they will do in the two days that follow-on from this Provincial Council.  There is a tremendous amount before us in these four days.

The volume of work is a sign of the immense favor God has granted us in these four short years.  We must not forget that agreement in the Word of God (“biblical”), agreement about the mission to North America (“missionary”), and the will to be one despite our differences (“united”) are a huge part of the reason there has been such favor.  It is also this fundamental agreement about Scripture and the mission, and this will to be one, that have enabled us to accomplish so much in such a short time.  My prayer for this Church is that its founding vision – “a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America” – will always remain its vision and its commitment.

Read the whole address here

ASF News: Proposed Next Steps For The ASF

The Interim Steering Committee is prayerfully considering the direction the Anglican Sojourner Fellowship should be headed.  The “Proposed Next Steps (April 13 2013)” document has been uploaded to the website.  Members, please read this and give us your feedback!  (You can send an email using the “Contact Us” box at the bottom of any page of the website.)

News: ASF Members’ Meeting Invitations Sent!

ASF members, you should now have in your email inbox an invitation to the ASF Members’ Meeting (subject line “Starbucks On Us!”).  The online meeting is scheduled for April 28 at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (equivalent local times are included in the email).

Please reply to the email to let us know if you’re going to be joining the meeting, or if you have any questions.

thanks!

Jeri Woods, ASF Webmaster and member of the Interim Steering Committee

News: ASF General Members’ Meeting coming up!

Come one, come all!  There will be an online meeting for all members of the Anglican Sojourners Fellowship on April 28 at 5 p.m. EDT, via GoToMeeting.  Watch for a personal email invitation, coming soon!

News: Article on ANiC on The Anglican Planet

There’s a great – and very informative – article on the Anglican Network in Canada on The Anglican Planet.

One paragraph of the article notes:
“At its first synod in 2007, ANiC had only 2 bishops, two priests, two deacons and two congregations but that has changed considerably. The new denomination now has 6 bishops, 128 priests, 28 deacons and 69 parishes, church plants and projects with more than 4,000 parishioners in church on an average Sunday.”

There’s also a mention of the Anglican Sojourners Fellowship in the article:  “Mark Larratt-Smith told of his web-based group Sojourners, an online fellowship offering support for Anglican “orphans,” “isolated Christians who live where there are no biblically faithful Anglican churches” nearby.   See www.anglicansojourners.ca.”

Read the rest of the article:  Former National Director of Essentials to lead ANiC: New Denomination Grows Steadily

(Of course, we know that the ANiC/ACNA Anglican churches are not a “new denomination” but a returning to the roots of the Anglican denomination – but why quibble!)