Sunday, June 29, 2008

GAFCON Watch: Timeline of Upcoming Events

GAFCON Primates Council meets in a few weeks - TBA
July 1 - Global Anglicanism Briefing Conference, All Souls Langham Place, London

July 4-8 - General Synod of the Church of England, York
July 21-August 3- Lambeth Conference, Canterbury
August 21-23 - CANA Convocation, Akron, Ohio
Sept. 17-19 - TEC House of Bishops, Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct. 4 - Diocese of Pittsburgh Annual Convention, Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Oct. 22-24 - REC General Council, Victoria, BC
Nov. 17-19 - General Synod of the Church of England, London
Jan. 28-31, 2009 - AMiA Winter Conference, Greensboro, NC

Paul Hanley from the Church Times writes:
AS the GAFCON decisions sink in, the Jerusalem Declaration is emerging as the most significant step forward.

The formation of the Primates' Council is the most innovative development structurally, its relationship with the existing Primates' Meeting – whether its members attend or not – is still to be worked out. It is unlikely that relations will be warm, given the declared support in Jerusalem for continuing action in "churces under false leadership".

The implications of the Jerusalem Declaration are more far-reaching, however. Whereas most commentators were expecting a justification from GAFCON for their meeting, and possibly a restatement of their commitment to the gospel.

This, though, has been framed to be more widely used (and framed literally: the Declaration sits inside its own box in the middle of the final communiqué). One indication of this is the tempered language, such as the absence of a specific reference to homosexuality or to recent events. Another is the unexpectedly broad sweep of its contents: references to the four ecumenical councils and the three historic creeds, the Thirty-Nine Articles, and the historic Episcopal succession.

Although giving the impression of having been prepared in advance, the Declaration was worked on at the conference. For example, African participants asked for the inclusion of hell in the passage referring to Christ as "humanity's only saviour from sin, judgement and hell".

The GAFCON leadership has not yet given any indication of how the Jerusalem Declaration might be used, beyond describing it as the basis for their fellowship of confessing Anglicans. It might thus be described as the gateway to acceptance by the conservative Anglicans, and the test of faith for provinces, dioceses, and congregations alike.

In the past, references to documents such as the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10, and the C of E House of Bishops' statement Issues in Human Sexuality, have served as a form of shorthand when discerning where a church or an individual stands on the ethical scale.

The Jerusalem Declaration introduces a firm doctrinal element to this. It is conceivable, then, that the Declaration will become a new test of faith, beginning with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the bishops attending the Lambeth Conference. If they fail to take it seriously, the GAFCON participants will be confirmed in their plan to progress along the path towards a more independent branch of Anglicanism.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Mary, you wanted Pittsburgh convention dates, right? Here you go:

Saturday, October 4
(noved up from original date of Nov 7 - 8)

See here:

or here: