Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Finally I get to sit and share with you all the developments since our Launch in Port Elizabeth in September.
Call to Prayer: Bishop Bethlehem was led to make a call to all the orthodox throughout the Orthodox Anglican world for a day of prayer on November 1, All Saints Day. This call was spread across all the networks and we hope that it will become a regular event in the calendars of all who hold “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) dear.
Plans to grow: Shortly after the September launch, David Macgregor shared a plan for the prayerful growth and spreading of FCA throughout the Region. This would be to establish small groups of key leaders, clergy and lay, who would meet regularly in a particular area. These meetings would focus on sharing of information and earnest prayer for the growth of the fellowship. It is very important for the leaders in the fellowship to keep abreast of the latest developments and moves within the Communion and to pray intentionally into the growth of FCA.
The members of these groups would extend personal invitation to other leaders in their areas, with a view to holding wider meetings of information for the laity around the Province.
Developments so far: There are already groups of leaders who have met in The Western Cape, Natal, and Port Elizabeth. An open meeting has been held in Natal and a regional branch of FCA established there – local enquiries to Nigel Juckes, St Agnes Kloof. Contact has been made with a priest in Kokstad, and plans are underway to develop into that area too.
The first Parish Signs Up!! Even before the meeting in Natal took place, the parish council of Margate took the decision to join the FCA as a parish. THE FIRST PARISH to do so in Southern Africa. There will in due course be a page on the website for congregations and parishes to indicate their membership of FCA.
Theological Groups Meeting: This group which develops the materials in most FCA publications has met including Dr Malek and Fr Mbaya from Southern Africa. The publication of the long awaited commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration has finally come and as soon as we can find the investment (R7500), we will print 500 copies for local distribution.
Reality of the Crisis: While the Bishops of this province seem to continue to say “what crisis?” and even the Archbishop of Canterbury seems unwilling to admit a crisis, the recent moves by Pope Benedict indicate the seriousness of this situation. While the details of this are still sketchy – it is not going to be the solution to the ripped Anglican Communion.
What lies ahead: I hope to have raised enough money for Bishop Bethlehem to represent us at the Amia Winter Conference in the USA. This annual conference is a meeting place for a large portion of the international leadership of the orthodox Anglicans. This is an important occasion for Bishop Bethlehem to meet and share with these leaders. These costs will run to R15000. If you are able to help in any way please contact email@example.com.
2010: We will be planning an FCA gathering later next year; this will include time of teaching, prayer and fellowship. Please plan to attend, the tentative dates are in late October 2010. As I have discovered attending similar conferences, the time spent learning to know each other and in worship and sound teaching is invaluable.
In an attempt to create an income for FCA we have become agents for the T-shirts advertised below. Please encourage your parish to advertise them for youth groups and Sunday schools. They make a very good impression in public – often leading to a conversation about the faith.
FCA will also gratefully accept financial contributions to the work. Banking details are: Anglican Mainstream SA, First National Bank, Account number: 62183673998 , Branch Code: 250057.
Please continue to pray for the work of all faithful ministers in our Province.
Fr Gavin Mitchell