Primates’ gathering

October 31, 2015

The Archbishops and Primates of the Anglican Communion will gather in January 2016.

From Rev. Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council:

It is good to hope for a positive outcome from the Primates gathering in January. But it is even better to pray. Hope is good. Prayer is essential.

This is a time to pray for extraordinary courage on the part of all the Archbishops and Primates of the Anglican Communion who will be at Canterbury in January – to pray that they will do the right thing together. To pray that they will honor both truth and love by doing what Jesus would do, and saying what he would say. To pray that they will have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5-11) in the mind of the Church, and that they may finally take order of the Church.

But above all it is a time for us to set our hope in the right place, as the Psalmist reminds us:

“Find rest. O my soul, in God alone: my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people: pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:5-8)

Amen.


Pray for Kenya – Good Friday statement from Abp. Wabukala

April 3, 2015

Somehow the suffering of Christians in Kenya today following yesterday’s killing of 147 students by Al Shabbab terrorists, as well as the memory of the recent martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christians in Egypt brings Good Friday into focus much more sharply this year for me.  Below is the statement and the request for prayer from the Anglican Archbishop of Kenya Eliud Wabukala.  May the Lord who suffered at the hands of evil men be near to those families who have suffered at the hands of terrorists.

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Good Friday statement from the Primate of Kenya

‘Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother’
John 19:25

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Good Friday we gather in our churches across Kenya in the shadow of a great and terrible evil. People who deal in death have slaughtered 147 people in Garissa, most of them students, and brought wrenching anguish to their families and a deep sadness to our nation.

These young people died because they were Kenyans and they were Christians. This attack was a calculated manifestation of evil designed to destroy our nation and our faith, but on this Good Friday we are reminded that the very worst evil can do is not the last word.

Through spite and blatant miscarriage of justice, Jesus dies the agonising death of the cross, but his last words are ‘it is finished’. The cross was not a tragic accident, but the fulfilment of God’s purpose to reconcile men and women to himself through the atoning death of his Son, a reality gloriously confirmed by his resurrection from the dead.

But we must not rush on to Easter Day too quickly.  Today we stand at the cross with Mary and the other women, heartbroken by loss and suffering and despite the horror before their eyes, not running away.

Horror is fresh in our minds too and let us not run away or deny it, but stay by the cross. We stay with Jesus, the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, we share in the grief of Mary and we share in the grief of those who have been so shockingly bereaved, but as Mary was to discover, we know that this is not the end of the story.

Jesus death upon the cross was not in vain. By his death, death has been destroyed. The stone rolled away and the empty tomb of Jesus assures us that death does not have the last word. As we think of those dear ones who died at Garissa because they were Christians, let us remember the promise of the Lord Jesus that nothing can separate them and us from his love.

Above all, let us resolve today that these deaths, and those of other Kenyans who have died previously at the hands of Al Shabaab, will not be in vain. We call on the government to do all in its power to protect the lives of its citizens and we call on the world community to recognise that this latest outrage is not just an attack on Kenya, but part of an assault on world peace. The time has come for the world to unite as never before in defeating this growing menace.

While governments have a vital role, even more important are the hearts and minds of ordinary people. Let us covenant together before God that we will never ever surrender our nation or our faith in Christ to those who glory in death and destruction. We will not be intimidated because we know and trust in the power of the cross, God’s power to forgive our sins, to turn death into the gate of glory and to make us his children for ever.

Amen
Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya

via the GAFCON website


#PraytoendEbola – Praying for Church leaders in West Africa by name

September 30, 2014

(This is a follow up to our post on Praying for various key leaders in the fight against Ebola)

Thanks to US (formerly USPG) for passing along the names of several church leaders in Liberia and Sierra Leone and a suggetion of how we can pray for them.  I’m hoping I can update this post with more names over the course of the next few days.

US has a very helpful Ebola update page.  Check it regularly, along with their daily prayer post for prayer requests from those on the ground in West Africa.

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  • The Most Revd Jonathan Hart, Archbishop of Liberia
  • Ade Renner-Thomas, Chancellor for the Diocese of Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • The Most Revd Daniel Sarfo, The Archbishop of Ghana and Primate of the Anglican Province of West Africa (newly elected in March 2014, following the January 2014 death of his predecessor, Abp. the Most. Rev. Tilewa Johnson)

My contact at US suggested we pray for these men especially to have wisdom in how to help the church in these countries know how to continue show love and respond to the needs, yet  minimize risk. 

In researching this post, I came across an article from George Conger’s blog about a May 2014 clergy conference in Ghana, in which Arcbishop Sarfo exhorted the clergy “to identify more closely with their people, by joining in their sorrows and joys” – that was well before the Ebola outbreak had exploded in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  The Church in West Africa faces a tremendous challenge to show the love of Christ and bring His comfort to those who are suffering and dying because of this outbreak.   Let’s remember and pray for the Church leaders throughout West Africa today using the words of 2 Corinthians 1:3-11

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

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Here are some links for information about the Anglican Province of West Africa and it’s leadership:

Anglican Communion Office Provincial overview page

Wikipedia page

 

We invite all our readers and contacts to share the names of those working in West Africa or directly involved in the Ebola response so that we can uphold them before the Lord by name.  Thanks!


Nigeria – Call to Prayer

May 11, 2014

Archbishop Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria has issued a call to prayer.  Please continue in prayer for the kidnapped girls and their families, and for effective action against Boko Haram.  May the Lord give Christian leaders in Nigeria much boldness and wisdom.

call to prayer


Praying for the GAFCON Conference – praying for the Primates who are attending

October 21, 2013

According to the press release from the GAFCON conference yesterday, these Primates are attending this week’s GAFCON conference in Nairobi:

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and chairman of GAFCON

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, Primate of Sudan

Archbishop Robert Duncan, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America*

Archbishop Henri Isingoma, Primate of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of Nigeria

Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone

[UPDATEthis article from a Ugandan paper states that Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda will be attending.  ]

It is possible that other Primates are attending, but not named in the article, we will update the list as we become aware of any other Primates who are present in Nairobi.

In reviewing the list of the Anglican Communion Primates last night, it struck me that only two of the 38 Primates were serving as Primates in 2003 when the Communion was torn apart by the actions of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the United States.  Ten of the Primates have been serving two years or less, including many of the Primates from the strongest Global South provinces.   So there has been a sea change in leadership since the events of 2003, and even since the first GAFCON conference in Jerusalem in 2008.

I think this fact may be hugely significant – virtually none of the Primates can even conceive of what the Communion was like (especially in regards to the Instruments of Unity) before the Communion was torn apart.  All they know is the “new normal,” which is actually the “new broken!”

These facts suggest two prayer topics.  I encourage us to pray:

1) For God to help orthodox Primates and leaders to forge truly deep bonds of trust and understanding and partnership during the GAFCON conference. This is a pretty new cast of characters without a lot of history of working together.

2) For God to give fresh vision of what a fruitful and healthy Anglican Communion (or at least a healthy and strong “sub-communion grouping” of the Global South and orthodox Provinces) could look like.  When all you know and see is brokenness, it can be very hard to imagine that good health and wholeness is really possible.

The Scripture passage I find coming to mind this morning as I think about and pray for GAFCON is this wonderful passage from Ephesians 3:6-12 – especially verse 10:

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

It’s sometimes hard to wonder what good can come from a conference.  Lots of talk, more “words” …, more documents or statements.  But I’m reminded this morning of how God reveals His power and wisdom through the Church – even as weak and broken and divided as we are on this side of heaven.  May God cause the unsearchable riches of Christ and His glorious light to shine forth more brightly and be known more widely because of this gathering, and may the Lord strengthen orthodox Primates and leaders in attendance by His authority.  May God’s wisdom triumph over all the forces and powers of hell this week as Christ’s name is lifted up!

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*of course Apb. Duncan is not officially recognized as an Anglican Primate by the Anglican Communion Office, but he is treated equally as a Primate by the Global South leaders, and I believe he serves on the GAFCON Primates Council.


Praying for the election of a new bishop in the Diocese of Singapore

May 8, 2012

Thanks to David Ould at Stand Firm for posting this news about the upcoming election in Singapore as a reminder for prayer:

The 2012 synod of the Diocese of Singapore meets later this week on Friday and Saturday 11&12 May. While there’s obviously lots to do, the main item of interest will be the election of a new bishop, replacing John Chew [wiki] who has served in that capacity (and, more recently, as Primate of SE Asia). It’s a key appointment, not only as leader of a wonderfully missionary diocese (Singapore diocese is active in Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Nepal) but also in terms of current global Anglicanism.

There’s more at Stand Firm.

Update:  in a revision to the original post at Stand Firm, David O. states that there may not be an election, merely the announcement of the new appointment as bishop.  But still be praying!


Keep praying for the FCA/GAFCON leaders meeting in London

April 26, 2012

Just a reminder to please continue to pray for the 200+ Anglican leaders gathered in London for the FCA/GAFCON leaders conference.

You can follow news from the conference here:

News

Resource page (audio, video, photos)

I highly recommend reading or watching Apb. Wabukala of Kenya’s opening address.  It is EXCELLENT and deeply refreshing to hear his vision for the future of the Anglican Communion and his call to heed and obey what God is requiring of us, individually and corporately – “living not for ourselves but for Him who died and rose again.”

Here is a section of his address:

What does the Lord require of you?

This is the greatest question facing us this week.  It demands that we have a clear headed understanding of the situation we face and are willing to let go of comfortable illusions. It also, and most crucially, calls us back to what God has said. Micah affirms that “he has showed you, O man, what is good”. Discovering the will of God, what God requires, is not dependent upon our ingenuity or imagination. He does not play games with us. He speaks through the scriptures. The question is whether or not we will allow the Holy Spirit to apply that word to our hearts and then obey it.

What does the Lord require? First we need to bring a biblical mind to the situation we face. None of us looked for this crisis and we may be tempted to think we can get back to a time when the life of our communion ran along more predictable and familiar lines. But that is an illusion. Faith is not escapism, but facing things as they are in the confidence that God will act. The crisis we face is also an opportunity. Its origin can be traced back many years. The unprecedented challenges to Anglican identity forced upon us by the revisionist scriptural interpretation have in the mercy of God, given us an historic opportunity to rediscover the distinctive reformed catholicity of our Communion as shaped so profoundly by the witness of the sixteenth century Anglican Reformers.

Trusting God’s providence, we can be confident that in God’s own time He is putting right what has been going wrong, but He takes us up into His purposes and if we are to understand the implications of this crisis for the recovery and renewal of Anglican identity, we must first be clear on what sort of crisis it is.

We cannot treat this as simply an institutional crisis….  […]

What does the Lord require? He requires, says Micah: that we act, that we act justly and with mercy, not just write and think about things. We must act out of our God given identity, we must be true to ourselves as we are in Christ crucified, redeemed through the cross where God’s Justice and Mercy meet. This is what it means to act with authenticity. It is not a matter of following our subjective dreams and feelings, but being true to the one who has risen from the dead, so that we might live not for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose again for us.


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