He Set His Face to Go to Jerusalem
Delegates are arriving in Jerusalem for the third Global Anglican Futures Conference, which is something of a mouthful, so it is known to all as “GAFCON”. It is a conference of 2,000 Anglicans from around the world. Everything you might need to know can be found at www.gafcon.org.
Heading to Jerusalem it is difficult not to think of the Lord Jesus doing the same: “As the days drew near for him to be taken-up, [Jesus] set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). The destination, however is pretty much the only thing delegates share with the Lord’s journey, not least because Jesus was heading towards a lonely death and an even lonelier tomb.
The contrast for the GAFCON delegates - precisely because of Christ’s death and resurrection - could not be more different. GAFCON is not lonely- it is the coming together of the international Anglican family, created by, united in and loyal to the biblical gospel. It may not quite be a gathering “from every tribe and language and people and nation” because much of the world has still to acknowledge the Lord Jesus, but there are around 50 nations… and who knows how many tribes, languages and people… perhaps someone will try and work it out.
Some here are literal family - spouses, children, in-laws. Some are here from the same local church family and a major emphasis of this conference is for whole church families around the globe to be able to share in the experience, wherever they are, as fully as possible.
There are loads of ways to join in:
- Much of each day’s programme will be livestreamed along with other great content
- At the end of each day there will be highlights packages of differing length
- For those who tweet: follow #gafcon2018
- For those who use Facebook: follow Gafcon
- Instagram: follow @gafconference
- You can also pray along with the delegates, with items for prayer listed on the prayer support page of the website.
GAFCON is also an Anglican family experience, expressing the reality of communion and partnership in the gospel. It is lovely to see from the moment delegates arrive friendships between Anglicans from around the world being renewed: People who’ve met through mission partnerships, who share theological interests, older generations who have helped so much in the always necessary work of teaching the next generation of the contend for the faith of the Gospel; faithful Anglicans who have worked alongside each other at past international gatherings; and simply brothers and sisters, be they archbishops, bishops, clergy and lay people, from six continents who share our historic, orthodox, biblical, Anglican profession of the Christian faith.
All healthy families need to get together from time to time - to celebrate all that is good, to strengthen family ties, to speak frankly, to reflect on the past and think about the future…and that is why GAFCON III is taking place…with the hope that you will “join in” with those in Jerusalem in whatever way you can.