Dear fellow clergy from Virginia, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and SAN ANTONIO.
I am emailing all of you to give you some hope regarding the recent meeting of GAFCON in Jerusalem.
1) I prayed for each of you at the Holy Sites - Holy Sepulcher, Western Wall, Christ Church, Temple Steps, Mount of Olives and Gethsemane, Bethlehem, Galilee. "You done bin prayed fer!"
2) The meeting, set last week in Jerusalem, was a great outpouring of Anglican love and traditional teaching. Check out the "Jerusalem Document" on the CANA website or the ADV website. It is a concise document which spells out what you and I have always believed but was yanked away from us by radical professors and church leaders: Primacy of Scripture; Jesus as Incarnate and the only way to salvation; the Creeds said without crossing our fingers at certain phrases; regular use of the BCP & Ordinal (Apostolic Succession); holy living including financial and earth stewardship, reaching out with the Gospel message, and sexual behavior that honors God.
3) There were actually over 1,200 participants, including just over 300 bishops. Interestingly enough, the bishops from North America included CANA, Uganda, Kenya, Southern Cone, Rwanda, Reformed Episcopal Church, Anglican Province in America, some bishops of Continuing Anglican groups from USA and Canada, and sitting bishops of TEC (Love, McPherson, Beckwith, Ackerman, Iker, Jim Adams, Schofield, Lawrence, Scriven.) All were excited to be there and supportive of the Document.
4) Speaking of North America, part of our Statement stated, "WE BELIEVE THE TIME IS RIPE FOR THE FORMATION OF A PROVINCE IN NORTH AMERICAN FOR THE FEDERATION CURRENTLY KNOWN AS COMMON CAUSE PARTNERSHIP TO BE RECOGNIZED BY THE PRIMATES' COUNCIL." This is BIG. We continue to work and pray for the eventuality of this Province. It will be messy for a while, but all good things tend to start out messy. Let's be in prayer about it.
5) To dispel some rumors: the Bishop of Jerusalem was hesitant about us going there, not only because he was pressured by TEC bishops but because he was not sure how his own clergy would take our being there. Let me tell you: we did great; we did not divide his diocese one iota; we were kind to him as he greeted GAFCON leaders at St. George's Cathedral; we assisted the effort of Christ Church, Jerusalem. Some of the media sounded the alarm that the Gay Pride parade would turn violent as they protested our being there. That turned out to be hopeful palaver by the radicals. If there WAS a Gay Pride parade, I certainly didn't see one. Nor were there any protestors opposing our being in Jerusalem. The Deputy Director of Tourism for Israel greeted us and told us how important Israel felt our presence was to them.
6) Will the Jerusalem Document make it to the Lambeth Conference? Absolutely. Several of our participants intend to get it on the agenda in Kent.
7) BOTTOM LINE: We did not vote to leave the Anglican Communion; we voted to reform, heal and revitalize the Anglican Communion. GAFCON is not a separatist movement. It is a reform movement. Whatever the Archbishop of Canterbury and other liberal leaders wish to do with the future, WE'RE just going to go on and evangelize the world with classical Anglicanism. I know you are excited about all this.
So now I am home trying to get rid of jet lag. My prayers are again for you as you move into the summer. TAKE A BREAK!
Your Brother in Christ
(via email July 2, 2008)