Nashotah House middler students, Philip Berghuis ’15 and Zachary Braddock ’15 are currently in Kenya with a group of representatives from their respective dioceses for the GAFCON Council, October 20-26, 2013.
The following is has been sent from Mr. Berghuis’ as he covers the Council events for his diocese and Nashotah House.
Leaders of the conference include Primate of Kenya and chairman of GAFCON, Eliud Wabukala, along with members of the GAFCON Primates Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Archbishop Justin Welby joined Archbishop Robert Duncan, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of Sudan, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria and Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Archbishops Duncan and Bishop Zavala joined in celebrating communion while Archbishop Welby preached, in a truly international event.
Before arriving in Kenya, Zach Braddock and I had a layover Qatar. It was very surreal. The area we stayed offered free wine and Scotch and “Arabs Got Talent” was on the television — a contrast found in the same area where women wore burkhas and men held prayer beads.
Nairobi is a beautiful city. We didn’t know before we arrived, but we arrived on Heroes’ Day in Kenya. There were banners everywhere and men and women in uniform. The Cathedral in Nairobi looks as if someone brought it directly from England. The involvement of so many internationals, the chanting which blended Anglican chant with local music, all combined in services that lasted throughout Sunday. Like the hotel, security at the cathedral checks all people coming in. It’s sad that it has to be done in a church, but I think it really says something about the courage of the Church here in Kenya and what it stands against.
Archbishop Welby gave a homily that referred to the recent bombing but also addressed the future of the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop acknowledged the structure and organization of the Anglican Communion needs improvement, that all those involved must refer to Scripture for direction.
The following is a link to Archbishop Welby’s Address at Gafcon:
photo: All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi