More than 1300 delegates have gathered this week at All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) from 36 nations and 27 provinces of the global Anglican Communion.
This is the second of its kind bringing together Anglicans who want to return the church to what they describe as Biblical faithfulness. The first GAFCON was the 2008 Bishops meeting in Jerusalem, five years after the controversial consecration of openly gay New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson in the Episcopal Church. Robinson is now retired.
Archbishop Eluid Wabukhala of the Church of Kenya who is the current chairperson of GAFCON primates Council said that the meeting would shape the future of the Anglican Communion for generations.
He said that although the crisis that split the Anglican Church had passed, the factors that caused it were still there. He said African bishops will always oppose homosexuality.
Meeting the Ugandan delegation on Monday night, the Archbishop of the province of the Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali said that leadership of the Global Anglican communion had undermined the authority of the Bible in the lives of the Christians leading to division.
He said that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates council which together lead the Global Anglican Communion had lost touch with evangelical Christianity.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Webly is not participating in the conference although he was in Kenya a day before the opening of GAFCON preaching at All Saints Cathedral. He delivered his personal greetings to the GAFCON2013 conference by video recording on Wednesday morning.
“I pray for you this week that you will meet Jesus afresh with elation and joy and celebration; that you will hear his voice; and that you will find the determination, together with all other Christians, in passionate unity and love for another, expressing disagreement graciously yet with powerful truth, to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and there is no other,” said Welby in his video message.
He said the issue of sexuality is a very important one. “How we respond rightly to that – in a way that is holy, truthful and gracious – is absolutely critical to our proclamation of the Gospel, ” he said.