Preserving the Faith, Engaging the Mission

2019-06-30 – Year C – Proper 8 – GAFCON Sunday – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

1 Kings 19:15-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62

Why GAFCON?

  • 2003, Gene Robinson had just been consecrated, God called me and a seminarian friend of mine named Esau McCaulley to plant a church in New Hampshire.
    • As we were trying to decide what to name this new church, my friend Esau suggested “The 7000.”
      • 1 Kings 19:18 – “I have left 7000.”
      • Romans 11:2-5
    • Ultimately we named the church “Seacoast Missionary Fellowship” and later “Anglican Church of the Resurrection” but “The 7000” stuck with me as a symbol of what we were trying to do.
  • What was, and is, at stake?
    • Biblical Human Sexuality, symptomatic of a larger issue
    • Scriptural Authority
    • The Gospel itself was and is at stake
      • If there is no such thing as sin, there is nothing to be saved from.
      • Jesus is the only way

Formation of GAFCON and the ACNA (2008-2009)

  • GAFCON – June 22-29, 2008 – This conference in Jerusalem provided a place for orthodox Anglicans from around the world to come together, fellowship together, learn together, stand together, and have their voices heard.
  • The Jerusalem Statement which contained the Jerusalem Declaration.
  • “Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion. We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. We intend to remain faithful to this standard, and we call on others in the Communion to reaffirm and return to it. While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
    • The question of whether someone is Anglican or not is no longer limited to those who are in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • A Church for our Children – October 4, 2008 Special Convention in Pittsburgh
  • In 2009 the ACNA was formed and with it a renewed Good Samaritan Anglican Church was formed on this property in Middleburg.
    • This fall we will be celebrating our tenth anniversary with two celebrations.
      • September 8, 2019 – Homecoming
      • December 8, 2019 – Anniversary of the Consecration of our building.
  • The continuing, united stand of GAFCON for the renewal of the Anglican Communion remains important today:
    • Letter to the Churches, 2018 – “We are not leaving the Anglican Communion; we are the majority of the Anglican Communion seeking to remain faithful to our Anglican heritage.” – Not just a remnant, a majority!
      • Kenya – 5 Million; Uganda – nearly 9 Million; Nigeria – over 18 Million
        • African Story Time at the Library – “In Nigeria Anglicans are everywhere”
    • It preserves orthodox Anglicanism for future generations
    • It continues to offer assistance to churches who are now where we were 10 years ago, stuck in Anglican provinces that are drifting away from the moorings of the Bible.
    • We continue to pray for the repentance of those parts of the Anglican Communion which have abandoned the “faith once delivered to the saints” and hope for an eventual reunion. Not a superficial oneness that masks underlying division, but a reunion that is united in the truth of the Scriptures.
      • Galatians 6:1 – the restoration of those who have fallen into transgression
    • Launching ministry networks to share ideas and move forward in mission: Suffering Church, Church Planting, Theological Education, Bishops Training Institute, Women’s Ministry, Youth and Children’s Ministry, Global Mission Partnerships, Prayer, Lawyers Task Force, Sustainable Development.

Don’t Look Back – Move Forward in Mission

  • It can be tempting to look back and lament the things we have lost.
    • What we have gained is so much greater than anything we left behind.
  • The same is true in our Christian lives. There is a cost to discipleship. Saying “yes” to Jesus means saying “no” to the world, the flesh, and the devil.
    • Jesus – Luke 9:62
    • Elisha – 1 Kings 19:21
  • “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back”
  • Galatians 5:1 “Do not submit again to a yoke of slavery…”
    • Works of the Flesh – Galatians 5:19-21
    • Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-24
  • May we, both as individuals, as a congregation, and as a global movement turn away from the works of the flesh and be defined by the fruit of the spirit.
    • May we crucify the flesh with its passions and desires and give ourselves wholly to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and to his mission of expanding the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth.

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