Just for those who do not know, Global Anglican Future Conference #2 is happening in Nairobi October 21st – 26th 2013. Would be good to pray that God give them wisdom and courage.
Interestingly enough, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who wasn’t going to attend, now is, to meet the leaders before the conference proper starts.
Around 1,200 conservative bishops, archbishops and senior clergy from around the world are gathering in Nairobi later this month to discuss the “fragmentation” of the 77 million-strong church because of what they see as the liberal drift of some branches.
Lambeth Palace said last week that, although he had been invited, the Most Rev Justin Welby, could not attend the meeting, organised by the powerful Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), who claim to represent around 40 million churchgoers around the world, in person but would address them by video link.
He is due to be in Iceland for an international church leaders’ gathering which had long been planned.
But, in a move seen as an olive branch to the traditionalists, it has now emerged that he is to make a detour to Kenya on his way to Iceland to meet the group’s leaders before the summit begins – adding more than 8,400 miles to his journey.
Five years on, the group is staging a second Gafcon gathering where leaders from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australasia hope to establish new, more permanent organisational structures.
Also at the top of the agenda will be drawing up an “action plan” on marriage and sexuality, which will be an uncompromising reassertion of a traditionalist interpretation of the Bible.
That is likely to set them on a collision course with Archbishop Welby, who has openly spoken of reassessing his own views on the subject.
Although Archbishop Welby comes from the born-again evangelical wing of the Church and voted against David Cameron’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill, he has recently spoken about wanting to get his “mind clear” on the issue.
His comments caused concern among traditionalists who had already accused the Archbishop of ignoring the Church’s “historic biblical teaching” by supporting civil partnerships.
But his decision to attend a gathering of primates ahead of the Gafcon event could help neutralise developing tensions.
Or exacerbate them? We shall see.