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EFAC Australia

Anglican Communion

The EFAC Commitment
July 2008
EFAC International Conference, Trinity College Bristol

The Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) is a fellowship of evangelical Christians in Anglican Churches around the world, who are passionate for biblical faith and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and who support one another's concerns and ministries. EFAC is active in different regions of the world, and currently holds an international conference every five years, before each Lambeth Conference, and at the halfway point between.

We are thankful to God for the Gospel, which is eternally unchanging and yet ever new, and for all those with whom we share the work of proclaiming Christ. We are encouraged by the work of mission and evangelism wherever it is taking place around the world, particularly for developments in missional theological education, for extensive church planting, and for great openness to the Gospel. We give thanks for our brothers and sisters in the Churches of the Global South, for their leadership, sacrifice and example in the work of the Gospel, and for their work on the Anglican Covenant. We are especially grateful for growing relationships among all Anglicans of orthodox persuasion.

Episcopal Leadership Today - Helping or Hindering Church Renewal?

Paper presented at the 2006 National EFAC Conference

The Anglican church is an Episcopal church. One way or another Bishops have a lot of potential for good or ill. Given the need for significant parish renewal, how can Bishops help to foster this?

Nurture a sense of the need for a deep dependence on God

It is a struggle to go forward in many places.
To go forward will only happen with God's help and blessings.
Bishops can foster and model deep dependence in God through prayer.

Bishopdale College, Diocese of Nelson, New Zealand

Tim Harris was Adelaide's Archdeacon for Mission, Evangelism & Church Growth and Senior Minister of the Kensington-Norwood Anglican Team Ministry. But he's now the newly appointed Dean of Bishopdale College. The editor, Wei-Han Kuan, interviewed him about this move.

WH: Tim, I read on their website that you've just been appointed to Bishopdale College. What can you tell us about the College?

TH: Bishopdale Theological College emerged from a vision shared by the Diocese of Nelson, NZ for a clearly Anglican and evangelical theological college addressing the needs for ministry formation in that diocese, but also available more broadly to Anglicans and those of other denominations throughout NZ (and beyond!). The College was authorised by the diocese in 2006, and is now up and running.

WH: OK, so what will your new job involve?

Paper presented at the 2006 National EFAC Conference

The 'tyranny of distance' is a well recognised feature of Australian experience, and it is an area of pastoral need EFAC is well placed to both recognise and address. One of the goals of the recent National EFAC conference was to assist in connecting evangelicals across Australia, and this was prominent in the discussions as part of the workshop on this topic.

Isolation is experienced in a variety of ways: geographically, culturally, socially and even emotionally. There is also an ecclesiastical version of isolation, where those with differing theological or ecclesiological perspectives can be left out in the cold. While this can be the experience of any who are a minority presence, this article will focus primarily on evangelicals experiencing isolation in Australian contexts, but many of the observations are applicable more broadly.

It is quite possible to feel isolated in a crowd – in some cases, especially in a crowd. One significant aspect relates to a sense of identity. A sense of being a nobody, of being invisible or of minimal significance can be a painful part of feeling isolated. It is important to feel as though you haven't been forgotten. The following suggestions (arising from the workshop discussions) are not in any priority order, but collectively can be packaged as our 'top ten' suggestions.

Is 'Conservative Evangelicalism' a contradiction in terms?

Tom Frame

When Anglicans talk about the theological parties, factions, tribes and movements that inhabit the global Communion, there is frequent mention of 'conservative evangelicalism' as though conservatism and evangelicalism belong naturally together. After all, it is widely thought, Evangelicals are usually conservative while Evangelicalism usually attracts conservatives. In parts of the Anglican Communion (and I am thinking here predominantly of affluent First World nations with large liberal constituencies like the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) the fact that someone owns up to being an Evangelical is bad enough; that most apparently exhibit the attitudes and actions of social and political conservatism makes them doubly reprehensible. Am I exaggerating? No, I don't think so.

There are senior Anglican leaders in Australia who fear that the rise of the Religious Right in America might be replicated in this country if all forms of religiously inspired or expressed forms of conservatism are not denounced. This leads them into outright opposition to all complexions of Evangelicalism because, they would contend, it leads to an ideological and ecclesiological agenda that is anti-democratic, anti-intellectual, anti-libertarian and anti-modern. This is a very serious allegation. But what of the evidence cited in support of the charge? In my view it is very thin and inadequate to sustain a conviction.

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