GAFCON REPORT: Monday, June 30, 2008
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing you on the last day of the GAFCON, or Global Anglican Future Conference, in Jerusalem. It has been a long 10 days since the Bishop and I arrived, with the bulk of my time spent in our hotel, working with the other delegates on a statement that will provide the groundwork for a new, biblically orthodox, mission-focused, global Anglican movement.
The Final GAFCON Statement, which has been bathed in much prayer, was received with joy this Sunday morning by the 1148 delegates representing perhaps 70% of the world’s Anglican Christians. It lays out in relatively simple language what we stand for, in terms of historic Anglican theology, with the Holy Scripture as the ultimate authority. The Statement contains a segment called the Jerusalem Declaration. In addition, it calls for a Primates Council (of archbishops) that will lead a new global Anglican structure. For North America this will include a new orthodox Anglican province to be formed by these Primates, initially made up of the Common Cause Partnership of which we are members. The GAFCON statement with the Jerusalem Declaration may be found at www.GAFCON.org and you may watch keynote speakers’ addresses and sermons at ANGLICANTV.org I would particularly recommend the address by Os Guiness, and the closing sermon by our own Archbishop of the Southern Cone, Greg Venables.
Personally I am delighted and encouraged by both the conference and its results. There is no question that the Holy Spirit has been here, guiding our deliberations in a miraculous way. I am sure that there will be questions about the content of the statement, and its intentions and subsequent actions and reactions, and the Bishop and I look forward to going through it with our clergy prior to his departure for Lambeth. Dates for such a gathering, probably at the Cathedral, are now being considered.
Although I did not go on any tours, I was able on Saturday to wander, visit and pray at various sites in Jerusalem, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Calvary), the Church of St. Peter of Galicantu (cock-crow), the Upper Room, and the Western (Wailing) Wall. I had almost an hour to pray at the Wall for the Diocese of San Joaquin, our congregations, clergy and numerous individuals, placing numerous prayers on paper into the Wall itself. It was a sweet time with the Lord, who protected me from too much of a sunburn. I was able to explore the recently uncovered City of David and Pool of Siloam (see John 9) and my conference friend and I entered the first 50 feet of the Hezekiah Tunnel that is knee deep with clear rushing water. As it was Shabbat it was formally closed, but the Arab gatekeeper opened the various gates to let us in for about 10 minutes. (This may be on the tour that I help lead next April 29-May 8th.)
The Bishop is relaxing today prior to our pick up for the airport this afternoon. We are scheduled to take off at 11:30 PM, so please pray there are no delays, that our connections are made, and that the flights are uneventful.
Thank you for your fervent prayers. God has answered, and continues to answer, them in very powerful ways! May Jesus be praised!
Yours Faithfully in Our Risen Lord,
Note: They have returned to Fresno safe and sound! VM+