April to June 2019: What happened...
1. USA TEC elect openly gay bishop of Michigan
The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan (TEC, USA) has announced the election of the Rev. Bonnie A. Perry, rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Chicago as its 11th bishop diocesan. She is expected to be the fourth bishop in a same-sex relationship to attend the Lambeth 2020 conference.
2. ACNA USA Assembly 'Disciple' and Archbishop Foley Beach is re-elected for another 5 years
One decade ago, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) was inaugurated in Plano, Texas. In mid-June the ACNA Conference returned to its birthplace and much like the original Assembly, bishops from the Global South who proclaim Christ faithfully were very much in evidence. The Gafcon Chairman, Archbishop Foley Beach was re-elected to serve a second term as ACNA’s archbishop and primate, and called the Assembly to, “…go and make disciples.” The theme of the conference was “Disciple,” and the newly released and revised Book of Common Prayer (BCP) was presented as a tool in the fulfilment of Christ’s Commission to make disciples of all nations.
3. Brazil, South Africa & ACNA decline to go to Lambeth as ‘observers’
In April, the Archbishop of Canterbury sent out invitations to ecumenical observers for the Lambeth 2020 conference. The list of churches included those who had “left the Anglican Communion” including the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Anglican Church in Brazil and the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH SA). Archbishop Foley Beach said in a statement:
“I have never left the Anglican Communion and have no intention of doing so. I did transfer out of a revisionist body that had left the teaching of the Scriptures…”
All three have declined the invitation to attend.
4. Caminemos Juntos MULTIPLY Conference in Chile
From 3rd – 6th April Caminemos Juntos held a conference: "Multiply: New Models and Testimonies of Planting and Revitalization”, with the Anglican Church in North America, the Anglican Church of Brazil, the Anglican Church of Chile, and Gafcon’s Church Planting Network. The conference took place in Santiago de Chile, for around 100 leaders from more than 10 countries. The new album by United Adoration, was also released during the conference. It includes songs in English, Spanish and Portuguese written by Latino Anglican worship leaders and songwriters from throughout the Americas at previous Caminemos Juntos conferences.
5. Uganda Martyrs Day
On June 3, the 23 Anglican and 22 Roman Catholic converts to Christianity who were executed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887 were remembered at the Namugongo Martyrs shrines. At the Anglican shrine the service was presided over by Archbishop Stanley Ntagali and Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit of Kenya was the main preacher. The theme for this year’s celebrations was “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mathew 10:28). In his sermon, Archbishop Jackson appealed to the faithful to always remember the martyrs who walked in faith and keep the same determination.
6. Fourth church votes to leave SEC, Scotland
In June St Silas church in the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) voted 86% in favour of leaving after SEC has set aside the authority of Scripture. The church’s statement says:
“We feel that the Scottish Episcopal Church has moved away from the message of the Bible, and that we cannot follow them… We have taken the decision to leave because of our commitment to Jesus Christ and his word… We are a community of ordinary people who believe in an extraordinary God, and we are seeking by our words and actions to make known in Glasgow the life-transforming news of His love, revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
7. Iftars and Muslim prayers in UK Cathedral & Churches
In May there were reports of Islamic celebrations and prayers taking place in Church of England churches and a cathedral. At St Paul’s Cathedral, London, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the bishop of London Sarah Mullally hosted an Iftar with other religious leaders. A parish church in the Diocese of Durham was criticised for “being ashamed of the gospel” after saying it would cover crosses and other sacred images in the church in order to host Islamic prayers, followed by an Itfar meal in the church hall. The diocesan authorities intervened to make it clear that only Christian acts of worship could be conducted in the church building.
8. Gafcon minister resigns as Church of ENGLAND embraces Transgender agenda
The Revd John Parker, who attended GAFCON in Jerusalem 2018, has resigned from the Church of England, and as a governor at a CofE primary school, after school leadership granted permission for a child under the age of twelve to announce to his class his transition from a boy to a girl, without any agreed procedures or policies, and without informing parents until it was too late. Trans lobby group ‘Mermaids’ were also invited into the school to provide training to staff and governors and the disturbing audio from the session has been revealed, in which John Parker, an Oxford educated biologist, is not allowed to challenge the presentation. In his resignation letter to the Bishop, who supported the school, he wrote that he feared that children were being 'sacrificed on the altar of trans ideology'.
9. Sri Lanka Easter Day attacks
On Easter Sunday six suicide bombers attacked three churches and three hotels in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, killing at least 259 and injuring over 500. Archbishop Ben Kwashi, Gafcon’s General Secretary who has been attacked in his own home issued a statement:
“The resurrection of Jesus is a total defeat of death and of those who would want to use death to scare people off from faith in Jesus. His resurrection has made death powerless against all who believe in Jesus Christ.”
10. Sydney bishops, Australia, decline Lambeth 2020 invitations
In the diocese of Sydney, Australia, all six of the bishops have declined their invitations to the Lambeth 2020 conference. They stand in solidarity with the Primates of Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda and Kenya.
11. Kenya Primate says NO to Lambeth
The Archbishop of Kenya became the fourth Primate to announce that he will not be attending the Lambeth 2020 conference. The first was the Archbishop of Uganda in June 2018, followed by Nigeria in September, and then Rwanda in December.
Also in this issue:
- Primates announce Bishops' 2020 Conference
- Gafcon Sunday – 11 years
- New Diocese & Bishop in New Zealand
- Fuel for Prayer
- Bishops' Training Institute 5
- Richard Bewes
- New 10th Network: The Suffering Church