Dear Partners in the Gospel,
What a privilege it is to be here at GAFCON 2018, gathered with almost 2,000 Anglican believers from around the world! As I share some of my impressions and highlights, you can follow what’s happening in Jerusalem though the GAFCON website (www.gafcon.org/events/jerusalem-2018).
- Those of us at GAFCON 2018 are experiencing a foretaste of John’s vision in Revelation; of people from every tribe, language, tongue and nation gathered around the throne of Jesus (Rev. 5:9; 7:9). African, Asian, American (North and South), Australian, European, and Oceanic believers have gathered to worship together and to commit ourselves to proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations.
- The former mission fields (Africa, Asia, South America) have become mission forces while the former mission forces (Europe, North America) have become mission fields. The majority of GAFCON delegates are from Africa. Our worship on the first day was led by a Nigerian choir, the Bible exposition was done by a Ugandan bishop, and the keynote address was given by a Nigerian archbishop. Through them the Lord brought us joy, insight, and challenge.
- The Word of God and the Gospel of Christ are the center of our unity. While we all walk and worship in the Anglican way, we see the heart of that way to be faithfulness to the teaching of Scripture and to the preaching of the Good News. What holds us together is not a style of worship or an ethos (though we share both). What holds us together is a personal experience of the power of the Gospel.
- While we are still trying to figure out our relationship with Canterbury and the traditional structures of Anglicanism, we see ourselves as Anglicans on fire and on mission.
I have no doubt that we will experience relational turbulence as we move forward together. It isn’t possible to mix this many cultures without it. But, from everything I’m seeing, the future is bright for a faithful Anglicanism rooted in the Scriptures, empowered by the Holy Spirit, fueled by inspiring worship, and devoted to proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations.
Humbled and grateful, your brother in Christ,
Bishop Jim Hobby