Commencing today in Jerusalem is the third Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). Over 1500 laity, bishops and other clergy will gather to give encouragement and build networks for the advance of the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
The GAFCON movement began over ten years ago (its first conference was in Jerusalem in 2008) to fill needs which were not being adequately met by the traditional structures of the worldwide Anglican communion. It is always a difficult challenge to speak the saving news of the Lord Jesus Christ into a culture which is foreign to the gospel, and biblically orthodox Anglicans, wishing to do this, were in need of support.
As Peter Jensen writes on the GAFCON website: “Whereas the role of the bishop has diminished somewhat in the Global North, the Global South bishops tend to be like the bishops of the ancient church: missionaries, evangelists, pastors, carers, administrators, educators, builders.” As a result, many from Global South, such as Africa where most of the world’s Anglicans live, place great value on gathering with those bearing similar responsibilities around the world.
GAFCON also embraces Anglicans, mostly in the developed world, who have been marginalised by local bishops, and seek like-minded support for a biblically orthodox ministry. Please pray for the work of the conference this weekend, and that its fruit will be felt as delegates return to their diverse homes and ministries.