15.10.08

We look to the signatories of the Covenant to carry this forward.

REFORM CONFERENCE SPEECH
Reform look to the signatories of the Covenant, born out of FOCA (GAFCON) to show the wider denomination what it ought to be concentrating on. What ought it to be concentrating on? According to Reform, it ought to be concentrating on the Gafcon agenda. There are 25 church congregations looking to GAFCON to help them secure alternative oversight, unhappy as they are with their present bishops.

What do these churches aim to do? Well, Rod Thomas sees churches falling into two distinctions: those based on the Word and those based on the World. 'One is based on the Word, the other on the World,' he said yesterday in conference. He makes it quite clear that in his estimation, those pursuing 'a liberal agenda on women bishops,' as he puts it, are followers of the world.

No Rod Thomas - we are followers of the WORD.

REFORM strategy - get as many like-minded, preferably REFORM networked clergy into synod 2010 as they can: 'How many of us here have either considered standing for General Synod in 2010 or have asked a member of the congregation whether they would do so? General Synod has enormous power to muck things up. We must encourage people who are capable of standing firm to stand for election. And don’t worry that you may be taking votes from someone else; the voting system we have operates by transferable vote, so you can never take votes away from anyone that way.'

Despite this bold move, tread gently because 'we want to insist that we are not setting up a separate ecclesial organisation. Rather, we are a fellowship operating within a wider federation. And as a fellowship we seek to reach out to whoever wants to be a partner in the gospel. We must win friends to the cause.'

The problem at the moment as he sees it: 'Groups of likeminded people formulate voting tactics so that synodical processes can be used to subvert what is clearly the will of synod. And once underway, the House of Bishop’s declares itself powerless to reverse the synodical process.'

Hasn't he just asserted that Reform is to get as many like-minded people as it can into Synod?

So who are the signatories?

Signatories to GAFCON that I know of in the UK so far
St Mary the Virgin Elsenham, Essex
Christ Church Chadderton, Manchester who link to Anglican Mainstream and Reform
Loxbeare Church Tiverton, N Devon
St John's Church Polegate, Sussex who link to Anglican Mainstream, Reform and Good Book Co
St Nicholas Tooting, London who link to Cornhill, Reform and Good Book Co
St Laurence Church Eastwood, Essex
St John's Lindow PCC, Cheshire but contains positive stuff on gender
All Saints Little Shelford PCC, Cambridgeshire
St George's Becontree PCC, Essex
Elswick Parish Church, Newcastle Upon Tyne

How do you feel about your church leaders and PCCs signing the declaration, joining Reform, looking for transferred oversight overseas, not ordaining women and pursuing their own agenda outside of the church of England? Are you really all in agreement?

If Reform bring people to love Jesus and live for him then that's fantastic but I do find some of the views that these Reform people hold really difficult. For instance their keynote speaker today (it was a two day conference) is David Short, St John’s Shaughnessy,Vancouver. This church is the same church that might just marry a couple with a sermon stating: Wives, submit to the husband as the head - he is in charge.

I can't separate Reform out in my mind from agendas that involve the eternal subordination of Jesus and the subordination of women. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. I also associate them with Richard Turnbull and his time at Wycliffe with all those resignations of female staff and those things he said about the theological colleges.

Read the Thinking Anglicans thread for thoughts I dare not express
Has your church signed up to the Jerusalem Declaration (Gafcon)? See here.
Individuals worldwide are signing up here
Consider reading this too which is reasons why you shouldn't sign



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for citing my post. The sermon was about marriage but was not given at marriage ceremony.

David Short is a more moderate speaker but holds to the belief of male headship.

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.