Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby sent a video greeting to the Second Global Anglican Future (GAFCON) Conference, which is taking place in Nairobi.
The transcript of his video message, along with the You Tube link to the video is found on the Archbishop’s home page.
The first part of the message sends his regrets, and expresses gratitude for Archbishop Eliud and the people of the Anglican Church of Kenya for not only for putting on the meeting, but for caring for the people of Kenya in the wake of the Nairobi terrorist attack:
“…the main purpose of my visit was to come simply to offer my condolences and to say that we grieve with them in the losses that they have suffered. The bravery and determination of the people of Kenya is evident in the way they’re responding to this attack, and we weep with them and pray for them that they will find afresh the grace and strength of Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Welby then addresses Archbishop Eliud’s call to “proclaim the Gospel confidently”:
“To carry out the task of telling people about Jesus Christ, we need to be a Church that is holy. And for us as individuals and for us as churches right round the world that is always a massive challenge. We all live in different contexts and the challenge overlaps but is slightly different wherever we live. We are dealing with very rapid changes of culture in the Global North and the issue of sexuality is a very important one. How we respond rightly to that – in a way that is holy, truthful and gracious – is absolutely critical to our proclamation of the gospel.
Some churches are responding to challenges in their own context that are very very different. We have churches that are caught up in the midst of wars and violence and have to learn to proclaim the gospel in the midst of that. That’s really incredibly hard, and I’ve much experience of seeing it. There are other churches that are in countries where there are governments that are corrupt and it can be very hard to proclaim the gospel truly in those situations. Wherever we are, there’s a different context; but wherever we are, in our own context, in the right way, we have to live as a Church that is holy.
In addition, the gospel has to be proclaimed by a Church that is in unity. That’s really tough – I don’t underestimate the difficulty of that. It doesn’t mean being unanimous, all saying exactly the same thing in exactly the same way. It means that, as Jesus prays in John 17, that we demonstrate by our love for one another that Jesus is the Son of God and therefore people are drawn to believe in him. We’ve got to find ways of doing that and I don’t underestimate the challenge that is to all of us. And I’m so pleased, as I’ve said already several times, that you are meeting to be clear about where you stand.”