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Delegates affirm 'faith once for all'; recognized Windsor Report ecclesial deficit, and said orthodoxy, not geography, defines Anglicanism

David W. Virtue, DD
October 21, 2021

More than 90 delegates from 16 provinces including primates, archbishops, bishops and clergy sent a resounding message to the Anglican world -- they would not tolerate any departure from 'the faith once for all delivered to the saints.'

In a Communique to the Anglican Communion, they said this:

"The Global South Fellowship will continue to be a 'voice' (Isa. 40:3) calling the Anglican Communion to be faithful to the authority of Scripture and the historic faith handed down to us by our Anglican heritage. In the power of the Spirit, we will remain steadfast against compromise and pressures from the surrounding culture. In God's grace, the Global South Fellowship will support and nurture Anglican provinces, dioceses and networks of churches that hold on to the orthodox teaching of holy Scripture across our worldwide Communion."

"At last, the possibility exists for a communion that is fully confessional and fully conciliar led by those who are determined to be a voice for biblical faithfulness within the larger Anglican Communion! For biblically faithful congregations and dioceses in heterodox Provinces, this is another beacon of hope," wrote Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council.

VOL was invited as an observer and the only reporter to this unique 4-day Zoom conference call of Anglican leaders. It was an honor and privilege.

The leaders were absolutely clear about the definition of Anglican "belonging". In terms of geography GSFA refers to the location of traditional Global South Provinces that hold to orthodoxy; whilst “keeping our historical roots”. [10] of the Communique refers to the geographical location of traditional Global South Provinces across the globe, and not the link to Canterbury.

The Most Rev. Dr Justin Badi Arama, Chairperson of the Global South Primates Steering emphasized the four-fold purpose of the Global South Fellowship:
a. To guard the faith once delivered;
b. To unite in mission and ministry;
c. To work for the well-being of the Anglican Communion; and
d. To promote good leadership and accountability across member provinces.

He said the Global South, as an orthodox ecclesial grouping within the Anglican Communion respected all the four Instruments of Communion.

On the thorny issue of whether these leaders would attend the next Lambeth Conference, especially after Archbishop Justin Welby made a cameo appearance and pleaded for the bishops to attend, South Sudan Archbishop Badi affirmed that each member province will make its own decision about attending Lambeth Conference 2022. (GAFCON provincial leaders have uniformly and unequivocally said they would not attend, including Nigeria, Rwanda and Kenya, among the largest attended provinces in the Anglican Communion.) It was not a slam dunk for the ABC.

There is a certain amount or irony in this invitation by Welby as ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach was present, and he has not been officially invited to Lambeth. Beach may attend only as an observer.

In his address, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, Primate of Nigeria, repudiated homosexuality and reminded delegates that following Christ includes suffering with Him and for Him. "Suffering avails to us God's grace. It deepens our faith and proves God's faithfulness."

The leaders recognized The Windsor Continuation Group Report (2008) and identified the "ecclesial deficit" in the life of the Anglican Communion following the consecration of an avowed homosexual to the episcopacy in the person of Gene Robinson, and the enormous damage it had caused the communion. The Global South Fellowship, called for an "enhanced ecclesial responsibility" among its Churches to address the unchecked spread of revisionism in the Anglican Communion. It also endorsed the GSFA Covenantal Structure at its Seventh (Trumpet) Conference in Cairo (2019). It mandated the Global South Primates Steering Committee and the Follow-up Committee to work towards its implementation.

Resounding speeches were given by several archbishops on the primacy of gospel proclamation, most notably Archbishop Tito Zavala (Chile); and the need for social programs to fight poverty. Social justice figured strongly into their thinking as inequality exists across the communion and delegates called on those richer provinces to reach out to their poorer brothers and sisters.

An Economic Empowerment Track was launched at the Conference to assist churches and economic projects facing financial constraints by providing catalytic support, appropriate funding and strategic networking.

The communique addressed the effects of climate change causing much suffering due to drought, lack of safe drinking water, flooding, etc., issues raised by Archbishop Welby in his address to the delegates. They also spoke of the spread of secularism, liberalism, revisionist theology and the prosperity gospel.

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, reminded the Conference that the Church has faced serious crises of many kinds throughout her history--famines, wars, pandemics, persecution, immorality, heresy, schisms, etc. "Through it all, the Church can be confident because it is God's Church, it will not be overcome, it is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Christ Himself as the Cornerstone, and God is faithful to accomplish His purpose of calling sinners to repentance and eternal life.

When the next Conference is convened in 2023 or 2024, membership in the Global South Fellowship will be based on assent to the Fundamental Declarations of the Covenantal Structure (not geography) and agreement with the conciliar structures that bind them together as an ecclesial body.

The Eighth Global South Conference 2021 concluded with a clear trumpet call to hold fast to the faith (Jude 3) and for the Gospel of "repentance for the forgiveness of sins (to) be proclaimed in His name to all nations" (Luke 24:44-49).

The communique was overwhelmingly approved by 95% of the delegates, 5% abstained.

The full Communique can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/communique-eighth-trumpet-global-south-fellowship-anglican-churches


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