Thursday, 26 June 2008

Rapid Notes Thursday Afternoon

I diverted from other activities when GAFCON suddenly sounded interesting. It was not quite so interesting. Here are my slightly edited into sense rapid notes. I found the speakers very difficult to follow, in their expressions and not a little because the Internet transmission was faltering.

The notes are incomplete and involve live "catching up" and immediate summarising.

It is clear from this that GAFCON is going to provide a mission fellowship, whatever it may be called and how it might precisely work. It must be self-financing. The journalists should surely realise now that the 'doubt' they thought was present was not. It is like a class taken by a teacher. It is the teacher who sets the objectives, does the lesson and carries out the assessment as well as evaluation of him or herself. That the teacher, who gets good results from an enthusiastic class, says he or she is "waiting for the class to produce the work and the wording" is, on one sense, neither here nor there as the work that is expected is pretty much understood.

Themes regarding Statement Committee and feedback. Archbishop Nzimbi.

A final statement is to continue work of mission.

There is a profound sadness of current state of Anglican Communion. There is a sense of betrayal of existing leadership of structures.

GAFCON will come into a movement - this movement to develop needs a theological framework and appropriate structures.

There is a genuine desire to reach out to other Anglicans who share common faith.

Question - Betrayal specific with the Archbishop of Canterbury? [See later]

Is there a name of new structure? We are waiting to hear regarding a name - it will come from meetings, participatory, asking people all kinds of questions. At end, what it will be.

Possible names? GAFCON! Global Anglican Fellowship.

The four instruments of unity (are about betrayal). The process we see now did not begin by GAFCON - it's been going on more than a decade. All the arguments have been put forward in the past as well known.

GAFCON meet again in 2 years time?
It is not regular and not set.

New or replacement structures than the four Instruments of Communion already - for example, having a primate structure instead? This is being worked on. Whatever the structures, they are to make sure that the process continues and these are made accordingly. There is planning and more than needs to be done. We are still listening presently.

The Queen is still head of the Church of England and therefore the Anglican Communion by extension. Has any approach been made to her? A nice question. We respect [her?] (how she has gone on for ages?) - it is not structures as such but those that make us depart from tradition. When the structures betray us this is when we say let us look at them to reclaim the Anglican. We are not fighting the Queen - no.

Statement for small groups to evaluate tomorrow: when's the final draft? We are working on it right now. We are putting it together. Tomorrow we would like the plenary to hear how far we have gone and read what we have at the moment but that is not final. Let the plenary come up with more comments. It will go into provincial teams again and they will comment and they will be put in together. We'll then meet again to move towards a final statement.

Minority statement? There is a right to say a minority.

These permanent structures - who will pay? It is a very important question. It is included in our discussion, and finances are very important. Members need to be self-supporting. [my emphasis] Common financing [?]. Budgets to be long term? These are under discussion.

Can GAFCON work with A of C ? Don't want to say much; mission we look at and we are defining that: he is claiming something which is lost. We are not excommunicating.

Bishops to Lambeth. Can anyone join your movement and be in the rest of the Anglican Communion? A movement's first duty is to claim what is lost - a revival, and this is needed. Not just in the north but the south too. 10 years plus on issues we did not agree on, so this time by communion we mean common faith. Outward sign there comes from the inward faith.

Church and Authority:

Facilitators "saddled" with responsibility of authority and status within a Church. 3 people lectured. This workshop looking at this.

Scriptures a very important role. Interpretation was the orignal tension (as between the Lord, pharisees, scribes). What is heresy and sound is based on interpretation.

Luther - he acted on the basis of Scripture; Anglican crisis is now based on interpretation of Scripture. This issue arises again as it does at every point of revivial. The Church's relationship with the Bible is not commonplace - rather, a living community reflects on gospels and what God is saying. The Christ event produced the New Testament church; the Old Testament is the platform to it They are symbiotic. Scriptures do different jobs (eg poetry, prophetic).

The Christ event runs from Genesis to Revelation - it's the big umbrella of Christology. The unity of the Scriptures is a given: the NT cannot contradict the OT or vice versa. All can be traced to the author [s and?] - God. When there is a problem with the Scriptures then the Church is divided. Scripture can rebuke the Church, they are the guide of the Church.

We go back to our roots and the authority of Scripture. Luther went back. We need to get Scripture back its authority and status in the Anglican Church. The overarching principle is Scripture, NOT Scripture AND.

We look at the Bible in music, in liturgy - a responsible reading of Scripture. There will be a lecture tomorrow. A week here but scripture and its place could take 50 years. This activity will continue after this conference.

Scriptures are not like Shakespeare. They meet the needs of personal salvation.

What is it that men do that upsets you so much? The (homosexual) practice is repugnant in both New and Old Testament. It is unambiguous in OT and forbidden in NT. So by engaging in practices they do not believe in the Scriptures!

What of those who ordain or advance homosexuals? When they practice, support or encourage, they will face the wrath of the Lord. You (don't) encourage people to steal. It is a form of participation.

1000 plus delegates: they are singing from same hymnsheet so is it an effective use of time to discuss Scripture when they all agree here? You are preaching to the converted, no need to convince them. But if Katherine Jefferts Schori was here you might have a debate? It's about what should not happen in the Church. So we (who agree) are meeting one another. Likeminded, we need to find one another and know the line to go forward.

Does GAFCON envisgage a Common Book of Prayer? One for GAFCON? Approach to that is this: BCP edited seems to satisfy all, but geographical settings led to changes [and potential heresy?]. The catechisis will be revisited, the intepretation will be revisited. We need to meet the needs of each worshipping community.

Who will be best to rule on interpretation of Scripture? An international body? Outside Anglicanism [varies [?] but Anglicanism is] based on Scripture, tradition of Fathers, and reason. Which is true Anglicanism? Scripture first, tradition second and reason first - nothing is ever to be over Scripture. Any other order is heresy. Scripture, not councils, is the final arbiter - not the final voice to our Fathers. If someting is repugnant to any section of Scriptures then it is heresy.

Individual Christians can work out own interpretation? Of course not. Archbishops can meet and can say something is not fundamental and basic. Church cannot override Scriptures.

Mrs Kwashi (Nigeria)

Bishops' wives' fellowship. Meet and come together. To encourage one another, share joys and sorrows and pray with one another. Hellos were said, and one presentation was man and woman showed how Jews dress and the importance of the man in the family. Testimonies were shared - eg joy in suffering. We prayed and cried together: God answers when we cry to God. Family: very interesting that in creation the first time God said it was not good was the presence of the woman [???] Place of wives and women: flesh of the man was used so to have company. The bishops wives' group was opened to other participants. Sometimes wives should have wonderful children, but they get into temptation. We show them every love (not throw them away - metaphorically). What is happening in America - talking sex: these things are happening. Women must talk about sex to their children. Sharing together is wonderful.

What are you doing to fight homophobia in Nigeria? We did not discuss this. Kenya Bishop says HIV AIDS - the only solution is be strong and fight (chastity). In Kenya we create awareness - testing of bishop's wife but the results belong to bishop and her. Apologies for stigmatisation. The Church is creating awareness.

She says when it is said, "Nigeria is homophobic" - it is not right. It is where we stand. The Church has stood its ground.

[Interference of music]

Picture does not match.

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