There is no advance text of a final statement of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), nor prepared plans for future organization and action. And there won’t be one until the 1,200 bishops, priests and laity meeting in Jerusalem June 22 – 29 has had a chance to seek God’s guidance and contribute their thoughts to the Statement Committee.
“The final statement is going to emerge as the work of all the participants of GAFCON,” said Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of the Anglican Church of Kenya and chair of the Statement Committee.
To make that intent a concrete reality, the Statement Committee’s first step is to ask pilgrims to return a short feedback form on Tuesday, June 24. The form asks pilgrims:
* what their hopes and expectations are for GAFCON,
* how GAFCON should be developed as a movement,
* what potential dangers are there for GAFCON as a movement, and
* how the work of GAFCON could help pilgrims in their own country or province.
Archbishop Nzimbi said that the committee is especially interested in hearing what peoples’ concerns and fears are about GAFCON. “We are looking for the weaknesses so that we can deal with them at the very beginning…unless we give people a chance to evaluate us…we have a problem,” he added.
The participant feedback form is just one way that information will be collected to be used by the drafting committee. The committee also will be paying attention to what conference small groups discern in prayer and discussion throughout the week. All this information will be passed onto the drafting committee every day through Thursday, June 25.
Archbishop Nzimbi expects the statement committee to then begin creating the first draft of the statement. That first draft will come before GAFCON’s plenary session on Friday and continue to be open to prayer, discussion and discernment until a final version comes before the conference, on Saturday or Sunday.
“This way is the best way to have proper listening. This way we can be assured of hearing everyone,” said Archbishop Nzimbi.