This is the first full day of GAFCON. I’m currently sitting off to the side in All Saints Cathedral, watching the delegates, volunteers, and Bishops gather for the opening Mass. I’m told that about three-fourths of the Anglican Communion is present . It certainly sounded so yesterday when they read off the countries with delegates present. If all goes to plan, all the bishops present will process in at the beginning of the Eucharist, which will be a very visual reminder of this. There are a number of North American Bishops present; I have personally seen Mark Lawrence, William Murdoch, Donald Harvey, Charlie Masters, John Guernsey, David Hicks, Jack Iker, Eric Menees, Ray Sutton, Robert Duncan (though the archbishop had to return to the states for emergency dental surgery, and will miss the conference) and others whom I recognize, but don’t know. At Mass on Sunday, Phil and I had a bishop sit next to us; he introduced himself as Archbishop Peter Jenson, Sydney, ret.
As we came onto the cathedral grounds this morning, we were informed of the various seminars which we have been placed into. I was happy to be placed into a seminar entitled, “The Challenge of Islam: The Gospel, Islam, and Freedom,” which will be taught by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.