The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) held its first conference for Anglican leaders April 23-27 in London, the theme of which was “Jesus the Christ, Unique and Supreme.” The event included over 200 bishops, clergy and laity from 30 countries and 25 provinces.
“The diversity of the gathering was very telling of where the FCA movement and the Anglican Communion at large are headed,” said The Ven. Canon Dr. Jack Lumanog, Canon for Provincial and Global Mission within the Anglican Church in North America. Lumanog, one of 15 delegates from North America, noted that a key part of the meeting was to draw like-minded Anglicans together to encourage one another.
“While the Anglican Church in North America is not without trials, we feel immensely blessed that we are unifying people in a way that is visible and tangible on this continent. During the meeting, it became very clear that many of our Anglican brothers and sisters around the globe are risking everything to stand for the Gospel – sometimes all alone – in the face of incomprehensible persecution,” Lumanog stated.
The FCA is a society born out of the 2008 meeting of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem. GAFCON addressed the crisis in the Anglican Communion and affirmed the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Christ. The FCA continues that work and is led by a Council of Primates.
The stated goals of the FCA are “to proclaim and defend the Gospel throughout the world, and to strengthen the church worldwide by supporting and authenticating faithful Anglicans who have been disenfranchised from their spiritual homes.”
In reflecting on the meeting, Lumanog said, “It was encouraging to see the Anglican Church in North America treated as a Province among Provinces. We’re no longer a fledgling Province in the eyes of the other Primates. FCA is the future of what’s happening in the Anglican Communion – in Africa, Asia, North America and South America. We’re seeing a revival take place. We have to go where God is leading and this is the future.”
The chairman of the FCA, The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and participant in the upcoming Anglican Church in North America Assembly, opened the FCA conference with a keynote address on the identity of confessing Anglicans in the light of the current crisis within the Anglican Communion. “The heart of the crisis we face is not only institutional, but spiritual,” Wabukala stated.
Echoing Micah 6:8, Wabukala continued, “So what does the Lord require? He has called us to a great prophetic purpose at this critical point in the life of our Communion. After some 450 years, it is becoming clear that what some have called the ‘Anglican experiment’ is not ending in failure, but is on the verge of a new and truly global future in which the original vision of the Reformers can be realized as never before. We do not need to repudiate or belittle our history, but learn from it and set ourselves now to walk humbly with our God into the future and the hope that he has planned for us.”
The Conference also made a bold statement for the Gospel, affirming it as “the life-transforming message of salvation from sin and all its consequences, through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is both a declaration and a summons: announcing what has been done for us in Christ and calling us to repentance, faith and submission to His lordship. Any compromise of the Gospel is a compromise of the authority of Christ as King.”
Comments at the meeting from Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali sum up an important part of the society’s mission: “The FCA is called to model a biblical way for the churches of the Anglican Communion to gather and relate to one another so as to carry out the Great Commission in the coming decades.” In light of that call, GAFCON 2 is being planned for May 2013.
To read the full statement and commitment from the London meeting, visit: http://gafcon.org/images/uploads/Statement_and_Comittment.pdf.
Photo captions and credits (top to bottom): FCA gathering, Credit: FCA; Rev. John Ganapathy (Malaysia), Canon Jack Lumanog (Anglican Church in North America) and Rev. Lin Yoke Min (Malaysia), Credit: Canon Lumanog; Canon Jack Lumanog and Bishop Nathan Gasatura of Rwanda, Credit: Canon Lumanog