Starting with a children's song and an Anglican confession in a large Baptist auditorium in Brisbane before an audience of people from across Australia, guests from the Pacific and South East Asia and including sixty under 18s, signals the comprehensiveness of GAFCON Australasia's second conference.

The inclusion of the young people was deliberate for a conference titled 'Building the Future'. To underline the point, conference hosts Kate Hamer and Jodie McNeill quipped “If you can’t hear crying, the church is dying” as they asked for tolerance of children's chatter during the sessions.

The large contingent of children and families lent a joyful air to the opening session but the hosts also acknowledged the sadness of some of the delegates who have had difficult church backgrounds which brought them under the umbrella of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON).


Video greetings from the international GAFCON organisation came from Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church of North America and the Primate of the Indian Ocean, Archbishop James Wong.

"What is our foundation for the future? Our foundation is God's grace," declared keynote speaker Mike Dicker, Principal of Youthworks College. "Grace humbles us to depend on the Lord."

Moore College’s Dr Mark Earngey, speaking on ministry from Ephesians 4 reminded delegates that the opening day, July 1st, was also the anniversary of the 'Coming of the Light', the coming of the gospel to the Torres Strait community.

"We remember that in July 1871, Samuel MacFarlane waded ashore and dropped to his knees before the local Erubians. He held out a Bible, the warrior clan elder Dabab put his spear away, and then he accepted the dynamite of God’s Word,” Dr Earngey said. "And so, of course, this gospel dynamite for ministry and mission continues to help us Anglicans reach the men, women, and children of Australia in the 21st century."

Drawing on the works of the English reformers, Dr Earngey said “The future of our Australasian Anglican churches absolutely depends upon the ministry which teaches God’s Word. Archbishop Cranmer believed that the “rule of the sacred writings” would be the dynamite of the English Reformation. Do we believe that too? For the ministry dynamite of God’s Word is building up our churches today."


In the final session of the opening day, the Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, cast a vision for the future from Paul’s letter to the Romans.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if the faith of Australian Anglicans, like the faith of the Romans, was reported all over the world?” the Archbishop said. "If you think that's highly unlikely, we should probably repent, shouldn't we, for such prayerlessness?"

"Do you know any greater treasure in the world than the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? We want to preach it to the world."

Sessions are being livestreamed here.