GAFCON ends with commitment in Nairobi

More than 1300 Anglican Bishops, clergy and laity have committed themselves to outreach, witness and building networks of orthodox Anglicans around the world.

The delegates at the Global Anglican Future Conference finished a week-long meeting by vowing to expand the activities of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, established after the first GAFCON in 2008.

The conference communique and commitment was worked on by the delegates throughout the week, with input from a meeting of Bishops and Archbishops and mini-conferences on subjects such as marriage and family, Islam, theological education, children and youth, women and Gospel and culture.

"We met with great joy in Nairobi" the statement said and "...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 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 communique outlined the history of the movement and said since 2008 " ....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."

One of the themes of the conference was an exploration of the East Africa revival which began in Rwanda in the 1930's. 
"There is much we can learn from the East African Revival about having a change of heart."  the communique said.

It said two distinguishing features were "real repentance for sin demonstrated both in confession of guilt and a desire to make amends" as well as "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."

Another theme was the command of Jesus to 'make disciples of all nations' (Matthew 28:19–20).

The Conference agreed the movement should 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."

The four page document ended with a nine point 'Nairobi Commitment'.

This included a reaffirmation of the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration, agreed to in 2008. The points included a statement on marriage "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.

GAFCON also said "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."

Around the world, the delegates committed 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.

Finally, the statement said "We commit ourselves to meet again at the next GAFCON."

Read the full communique and commitment here

View pictures at the GAFCON album

 

 


    

Posted October 26, 2013