The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in South Africa has been concluded its second annual conference in Port Elizabeth from October 27-29. This was a time of felowship for members of FCA – SA from six of the costal dioceses in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), as well the Church of England in South Africa (CESA) and international visitors from four continents.
The Diocesan Bishop of Port Elizabeth, Bethlehem Nopece welcomed participants from the Dioceses of Cape Town, False Bay, Durban, Natal, and George, along with Bishop P.J.Lawrence, Bishop of Nandyal in the Church of South India, Bishop Glenn Davies, Bishop of North Sydney, Australia, Bishop Desmond Inglesby, Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa, and bishops of the Anglican Church in North America, officiating for the first time in Southern Africa – Bishop John Guernsey of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit and Bishop Bill Murdoch of the Anglican Diocese of New England.
We were truly blessed by the teaching and preaching of Bishops John Guernsey and Bill Murdoch from ACNA. They had a timely word for the Church in this region which is widely believed to be the beachhead for the risionism of TEC and the Canadian provinces on the African Continet.
A panel discussion in including Bishop Nopece, Bishops Guernsey and Murdoch (ACNA), Bishop Glen Davis (Sydney) and canons Samuel and Sugden clearly charted the Crisis in the Communion and helped the meeting form a clear
understanding of what Orthodox Anglicanism is called to do in the coming years to defend and SPREAD the faith “once handed down”
Perhaps the one message that needs to be heard by all who hold our faith dear in this region are these words that stick in my mind from one of our discussions:
“Fear not little flock; it is the father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom. We are faithful. But be open, network, create these products. Anglicans speak beyond themselves. Say yes we will make a difference. Often the emporer has no clothes. We have a lot of the clothes that the righteous Lord gives us.”
The final sessions of the conference included the commitment to following resolution crafted by the entire gathering to declare our position in these changing times and our commitment to make an effective contribution to the Church in this region.
They produced the following resolution:
Friday, 29 October 2010
The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Southern Africa, meeting for the second annual conference in Port Elizabeth resolved:
1. To constitute a Steering Committee representing parishes and regions.
2. To request Bishop Bethlehem Nopece to be Episcopal Adviser to FCA (SA).
3. To request members of the Committee to meet with the leadership of ACSA and CESA and to update them about the FCA (SA).
4. To affirm our commitment to our Churches and the renewal of the Anglican Communion.
5. To charge parish representatives to share with those around them:
- The Jerusalem Declaration - as the central shared truths of Anglicanism we can use as the minimum expression of the truth.
- Being Faithful – as a good instrument for beginning the education of ordinary Anglicans to know what they believe.
- To encourage individuals and parish councils to sign up to the Statement and join FCA (SA).
6. Respectfully request the GAFCON Primates to commission further contemporary teaching materials based on the Jerusalem Statement for teaching the essentials of the orthodox faith to the faithful – accessible especially for young people.
7. To express gratitude and appreciation to the CAPA conference in Entebbe for the clear and definite leadership in the midst of the global Anglican crisis given in the following areas:
- The welcome and affirmation of the Anglican Church of North America.
- The courageous stand against the liberalizing influence of TEC in the Global South.
8. To express our gratitude to Bishops Guernsey and Murdoch of ACNA for their supportive presence at our conference.