The iconic Temple Steps photo from Gafcon Jerusalem 2018 represents far more than a giant selfie. It records the gathering of a diverse group of Anglicans who share a common love of the Lord Jesus and a passion to joyfully embrace the orthodox teachings of his Bible.
It also captures the unity of a fellowship that offers love and support to those who have been shunned by their diocesan colleagues because they have chosen to stand firm upon the unchanging foundation of the Scriptures. The recent faltering of fidelity to the Scriptures in some quarters of Anglicanism in New Zealand and Australia underscores the importance of such vital fellowship.
As we prepare next July to bring together faithful Anglicans from Australia, New Zealand and our neighbouring Pacific Islands, we are planning a week-long conference that aims to help us enjoy and celebrate our common faith, so that we might be equipped and energised to faithfully proclaim Christ in our region.
Yet, as was the case at the Jerusalem gathering, next year’s Australasian event will provide much-needed love and support for our Anglican brothers and sisters who have become increasingly disenfranchised due to decisions that have initiated a conscious drift from orthodoxy towards impaired communion.
So, as we come together to be strengthened to faithfully proclaim Christ to the nations, we will also gather to offer support and resources to those whose conscience leads them to seek the fellowship of Anglican brothers and sisters outside their local context.
Our keynote speaker is Dr Ashley Null, who will be presenting to us an Anglican approach to unity, diversity and charity. As he reminded us earlier this year at the online Gafcon Australasian Celebration, “unity is a theological unity”, and that where the Scriptures are clear, they are compelling, since “salvation is both faith and morals”.
Furthermore, he highlighted that Cranmer’s principle was that, “where oppression is rightly being opposed, we must love those who disagree with us, and we must love into repentance those who are oppressing, as well as loving into freedom those who are oppressed.”
We look forward to Canon Null teaching us at this event, as he offers a vital framework for the Anglican church in our region as we seek to navigate a ‘new normal’ existence in the increasingly impaired fellowship.
Gafcon Australasia 2021 Conference will be held at Stanwell Tops Conference Centre, Sydney, from 19-23 July 2021, and details can be found at www.gafconaustralasia.org.
Whilst it will be hard to beat the Temple Steps as a photo location, we’re praying that those who gather for the 2021 Australasian selfie will share in a powerful expression of the unity, diversity and charity that will underpin our passion to proclaim Christ faithfully to our region.
Pre-register your place here: http://www.gafconaustralia.org/conference/