By the Rev’d Fr Samuel L. Edwards SSM
On June 30th, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) ended in Jerusalem with the release of a “Statement on the Global Anglican Future.” Within this Statement is embedded “The Jerusalem Declaration,” described as constituting the “basis of fellowship” of the GAFCON movement.
What follows are my initial thoughts on this pair of documents. These may be useful, since I write as a priest who served for over two decades (1979-2002) as a member of the clergy of The Episcopal Church (TEC) before transitioning into the mainstream Anglican Continuum where I now serve in the Anglican Church in America – our national iteration of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). Because I identified myself with the traditional and conservative resistance to TEC’s decay almost from my entry into it as a college sophomore and particularly because I spent seven years (1993-2000) as the Executive Director of Forward in Faith North America (FIFNA), I have personal acquaintance with many people still in TEC and the Anglican Communion, in the mainstream Anglican Continuum, and in what for lack of a better term I have described as the “new traditionalist” or “neo-trad” Anglicans (some of whom lately have taken to describing themselves as “reasserters” and who made up the vast majority of GAFCON attendees). As a result, I have become conversant with the assumptions and perspectives that form their various responses to the Anglican crisis.
Introduction to Analysis
To begin with a positive, I found the initial paragraph in the section on “the Global Anglican Context” to present an acutely accurate assessment of its topic. Probably unintentionally (and therefore the more powerfully) its evaluation Continue reading