Volume 11 | March, 2019 View as Webpage
Monthly News & Updates
Dear Friend in Christ,

After last month's mega-newsletter, you might hope that this one would be slightly more modest. But, it's not. There's SO MUCH good stuff that we knew you wouldn't want to miss.

We, at EFAC, are overwhelmed with the goodness of our Lord. He continues to encourage us that we are walking in the center of His will. We trust that He will provide all that is needed for all of you!

Below you will see an interview that Michael Green granted Peter Walker within a few weeks of Michael's death. What a treasure! We are hoping to upload an audio of it soon.

At the end of February, Richard Crocker and Henry Okeke spent a week in Dubai, meeting with Anglican leaders from Muslim majority nations. Richard writes more about that below. Another amazing blessing.

For your interest, you will also find a shorter interview with Bp Michael Nazir Ali, done in Dubai, at the bottom of this newsletter.

We are reminded, " ...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." -  Romans 8:37-39

Now, enjoy the March EFAC newsletter. If you do, consider sharing the blessing and forwarding it to a friend.
Newsletter Plans

The Lord has richly blessed EFAC with both people and projects. Over the next few months, we thought it would be of interest to highlight the various people involved with EFAC, as well as the projects in which they are involved. Dr Peter Walker will be going first (April)--watch this space!
Interview with Cn. Dr. Michael Green (1930-2019) 

by Peter Walker on Jan 21, 2019
Lightly edited for readability
 
P          So, Michael, good morning. How are you keeping and how’s Rosemary? 

M         Not bad, we’re both stumbling along into old age, but surviving.  

P          Still have a twinkle in your eye?

M         We still have a twinkle.

P          Please send my love to Rosemary.

M         I will. I’ll pass that on.

Looking Back
 
Michael, I’ve enjoyed dipping into your autobiography a few years ago,  Adventure of Faith . Can you highlight one or two episodes in your life which were really turning points or were memories which were formative in your thinking and ministry? 

M         Well, I think of two immediately. One is when I came to put my faith in Christ. I discovered that He was alive and real and, because of that, it began to change my outlook on all sorts of other things. The second one was when I was towards the end of my degree and was wondering what direction to go—maybe to apply to the Foreign office or something—and I had a series of events that pointed me clearly towards ordination and they are fun, but we are pushed for time so I won’t go into them.

P          Did you want to be a diplomat? Apparently, you said you would have been a disaster in the Foreign Office?! 

M         I would have been a disaster in the Foreign Office. Tact is not my middle name! 

P          Well, the Lord knew better, but you had some very strong senses of Him speaking to you in a personal way.

M         Oh yes, and if I had my time over again, I would do exactly the same thing.

P          That’s great to hear. 

Three Convictions: Jesus, the Resurrection & the Spirit
 
From being on the receiving end of your preaching and teaching for nearly 40 years, I sense that you have captured a strong vision of three key things. There may be more. In the New Testament, there’s the attractiveness of Jesus (a very attractive, likable, person); the truth and the power of his Resurrection; and also the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. Is that a fair assessment of things that are important to you and can you tell us how or why these became key convictions in your thinking?

M         Well, I think you have a clearer mind on this than I have. I would not have said those were necessarily the three things, but I think now that they are, when you point it out to me. The person of Jesus grabbed me enormously—it always has done since my conversion, but, particularly doing academic study and concentrating on the New Testament and Gospels. Here is a wonderful human being that people dropped their jobs to go and listen to. His teaching has echoed down the centuries and nothing has eclipsed it. And so, yes, Jesus, the winsomeness of Jesus grabbed me and others.

P          Do you think He made people laugh? 

M         Oh yes, of course he made people laugh. I mean when you’re talking about a camel going through the eye of a needle…

P          With things like that, everybody would be in uproar.
Dubai Conference:
The Resurrection and the Persecuted Church
By Rev Richard Crocker
 
On the first day of the G19 Dubai gathering, a delegate from Pakistan shared with me an experience from September, 2013. Following the appalling Taliban attack on All Saints Church, in Peshawar, in which at least 85 worshippers were killed and more than 100 injured, he had accompanied his bishop to minister to the survivors. The rumor was spread that, the next time Christians gathered, they would also be attacked, and they considered what to do. “Of course we will have church,” they agreed, but wondered who would join them. Expecting very few, they were amazed when a congregation of more than double the usual attendance turned up. He asked one man, “Why are you here?” and received the reply, “I’m ready to die for Christ!”  He might have added, “I’m not going to let a little opposition stop me from identifying with Jesus!”

That was the spirit very much in evidence in this gathering for Anglican Christians who live, in the words of the conference organizers, in “restricted circumstances.” Whether those restrictions arise from religious ferment and opposition, instability from civil war, or terrorist atrocity, it was soon apparent that their witness of faithfulness, resilience and ingenuity has brought a peculiar strength of character to their corporate experience of the Church. Another Pakistani attendee told me of the plight of Christians, who can never progress very far in traditional professions or trades since they cannot be seen to lead those of the majority. But there is a great demand for IT related computer-based skills, which are developed on line, and thus can be provided comparatively anonymously. Christians can thrive in this arena, and he explained the vision of his company, which combines technical training with personal discipleship for young people. 

I talked with a bishop from the Sudan, who cannot visit half of his diocese because of restrictions operated by one side of the civil conflict. I met bishops from South Sudan, where a fragile peace arrangement is finally enabling thoughts of development in church and nation, but where travel within the country is in such a state, not only the soldiers, but also the roads, hinder growth. 

I met Anglicans from Turkey, Bangladesh, and Egypt, all keen to meet and connect with brothers and sisters from around the region and the world. After the disappointment felt by so many because they were unable to get to the large global gathering last year, real gratitude was expressed to the organisers for the opportunity to meet in Dubai with 4 Primates, 31 bishops and archbishops, 44 clergy and 59 lay people from 12 countries. Read more.
EFAC Then and Now

Interview with Bp Michael Nazir Ali (M) and Richard Crocker (R)

R: Bishop Michael, you were involved with EFAC in its early days: What are your memories?

M: The EFAC Bursary scheme was a support that encouraged many emerging leaders.  Young scholars and clergy from around the world gained experience of other churches, and access to experienced pastors and evangelists at the beginning of their ministries. I remember the Pre-Lambeth EFAC Conferences which helped attending bishops to get to know one another in the context of Bible teaching, prayer and fellowship, and prepare for work at the conference. EFAC was also involved in the formation of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. 

R: What are your hopes for today’s renewing of EFAC?

M: The exchange programmes of the earlier time still have value today. Of course, today scholarships and the wider experience of the church and leading clergy can be gained in more countries. Nigeria and Uganda, among others, can offer the educational and church-based resources in a regional and more affordable manner, but I still think it is important to maintain some exchanges with the West – we need that connection as much as any visitor might!

I think conferences that reach local parish clergy and members, for teaching the Bible, should be a regular occurrence.  This is the key purpose of EFAC, to promote and proclaim the truth of the Bible at every level of the church. Theological resourcing, providing means for encouraging the exposition and application of the Bible, is at the heart of the EFAC vision . EFAC should be cooperating widely with GAFCON and other biblical movements to achieve this.

R: You are also involved with GAFCON, and have just finished leading a GAFCON conference in Dubai. Why did GAFCON put on another international conference so soon after the verylarge gathering last year?

M: A good number of faithful Anglicans were not able to attend the conference last year, so we arranged a conference at a place accessible to them. It was good to bring together this group of more than 100 leaders from 12 nations. Many of them brought a current witness of ministry among war, suffering and persecution. They came from the Middle East, South Asia, and East and West Africa. These are fellow Christians that we must not isolate. I was glad that some churches, who did attend GAFCON last year, sent leaders this time, to encourage them but also to learn from them. They bring the dimension of suffering to GAFCON – a corrective to any temptation to triumphalism that might emerge. I was encouraged that these participants said that the conference exceeded their expectations – for fellowship, teaching, and engagement together. Many expressed their thanks for the way all the delegates were involved in prayer groups, discussion groups, and the development of the conference statement. This was a gathering of the suffering and restricted church, but I noticed their hunger for Bible teaching, and their exuberance in worship. I believe their witness should be central to the life and work of the Anglican Communion.

R: Bishop Michael, thank you for your witness and your support.
EFAC News

Articles: To stay up to date with EFAC articles, be sure to follow us on our website and Facebook.

EFAC Intercessors : These faithful people are willing and able to pray for us and for all EFAC chapters. So, if your chapter has a prayer need, please email us . We will add your need to the monthly prayer request email. If you want to be an intercessor, email us!

EFAC Website : What's new at our website? Check it out! We always have new posts (found on the homepage ), new entries to the calendar , and new papers (found on the Reading page).

Incidentally, if you missed previous newsletters, they are available on the EFAC website under Resources, Reading, Newsletters. Or you could just click here .

While you're on our website anyway, check out the whole thing and let us know what you think! Input is welcome.
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Do remember to pray for all EFACters around the world, that they will be faithful to the mission of Jesus Christ and powerful in His service. Especially pray for the many who are having to stand for the Gospel in the face of opposition from those inside or outside the Church.

Also, we have BIG plans for 2019; pray that we find partners who can help make it possible to accomplish all that the Lord has instructed us to do.
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