The latest International Anglican Family Network’s (IAFN) newsletter continues exploration of the theological basis for the concept of ‘family’ and celebrates the potential of Christ’s reconciling love lived out in family settings.
Sharing personal experience and good practice stories gathered from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East, the newsletter The Family – A Reconciling Community shows how practical, Gospel-centred approaches can help to overcome strained and broken relationships and strengthen family life.
In West Africa, for example, new models of gender roles are improving relationships in the home and increasing household income and stability. The reality of family divisions and the possibilities of reconciliation are powerfully expressed in a response to female genital mutilation in Tanzania. A story from a mother of a runaway daughter in England reveals an approach to working through the pressures on teenagers and their families, and initiatives in Hong Kong and Burundi show how the family can be the place for reconciliation when members are affected by the impacts of substance abuse or the stigma of disease.
“Family in Christ is knowing that you have a community of people there to love, encourage and support you,” said Bishop James Tengatenga, Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council and President of the IAFN, quoting a local parish sermon in his editorial for the newsletter.
“It is knowing that no matter what is happening in your life, you are not alone because God is in everyone and everything around you. This doesn't mean that happiness and comfort are always guaranteed. There will be uncertainty, doubt, sadness, angst, anger and anxiety. But the family that God provides allows you to face those difficulties with a community of people committed to loving and supporting you.”
Feature series on support for families
IAFN is committed to sharing information about a variety of initiatives implemented by Anglicans around the world in order to encourage mutual learning and replication of good practice in different parts of the Communion.
A new IAFN feature series in ACNS will highlight Anglican work to support families facing difficulties around the Communion.
Gender Model Family scheme promotes equity between husband and wife in West Africa
The International Anglican Family Network is a forum for the exchange of information about the challenges facing families in different countries and cultures and the practical work undertaken by churches and individual Christians. To learn more, like the IAFN Facebook page, subscribe to IAFN News and find useful resources on the IAFN website.