Orthodox Anglican Provinces Invited to Covenant Members of the Fellowship
Global South May Provide Alternative Episcopal Oversight
By Paul Eddy
The GSFA has recently invited orthodox provinces across the Communion to formally sign up as full Covenant Members of the Fellowship. It is also in the process of offering Associate Membership to Anglican Churches and organisations within revisionist provinces who are seeking to be a ‘holy remnant’, and who may require support from the global body of Anglicans, including alternative episcopal oversight at some point.
To orthodox clergy and laity in the Church of England, Archbishop Badi was keen to send a clear message of encouragement and support. He said: “The GSFA is committed to care for those who abide by the ‘faith once delivered’, and who want to be true to the Communion, and its foundational roots, while responding to a changing world. In a word, we seek to continue to ‘shepherd’ those who want to be faithful to the covenant-keeping God revealed in Christ and the Scriptures. This includes Orthodox Anglicans in England, bishops, clergy and laity. We will do this as best as possible in a non-schismatic way.
“We will also be especially mindful to care for, and encourage those who are same sex attracted, but whose love of the Lord, and His teaching, mean they abstain from same sex unions. Our mission of ‘truth and grace’ in a broken world will also include welcoming and relating to those in some form of same sex relationship. We will welcome them as persons into our church communities, relate to them as they present themselves, and seek to introduce them to the transforming love of Christ that heals our brokenness, and helps all of us sinners to be continually transformed more and more into His likeness.”
The GSFA leader says he believes that particularly over the last decade, the debate on marriage and sexuality has distracted, if not diverted, the life in many parts of the Communion, and certainly the Church of England, from the main task of the Church: proclaiming Christ and making disciples of all who live in the nation, including those who increasingly, in a confused and morally ambivalent society, struggle with issues of identity. He concluded: “The mission Christ entrusted to His Church must cause us to take the Gospel out to those who have yet to know and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ, and to live out the kingdom in a holistic way. We will, in the grace of God, both defend and propagate this death-defeating, life-transforming Gospel.”