The International Anglican Family Network (IAFN) is one of the Networks of the worldwide Anglican Communion. IAFN networks across the Anglican Communion to celebrate the God-given potential of the family as a source of thriving relationships, identity, belonging, discipleship and reconciliation. Out of this celebration IAFN is an advocate for the family in the face of behaviours which diminish this potential, sharing stories of hope, promoting family care and sustaining the family as the cradle for human dignity.
IAFN is currently exploring the theological concept of family as the primary place of belonging and how the churches of the Anglican Communion and Christian-based organisations are working to sustain that sense of belonging as part of their mission and outreach. ‘Family’ does not fit with any single understanding or description but, at its best, is a group of people in relationship within which each one is given status, identity and dignity - because ‘we belong’.
There are many forces and pressures, personal actions and inactions, which can put us outside of the family because status, identity and even safety are lost. The parable of the Lost Son in Luke’s Gospel gives us a model of the family as a reconciling community, where reconciliation is possible because forgiveness, love, and inner grace are present. IAFN’s latest newsletters gather stories from around the Communion that show how the Church can support families wherever there is estrangement and the need to belong once more.
The theme of this newsletter draws from the central focus of the Lambeth Conference 2022. IAFN promotes the family, in all its shapes and sizes, as a place where we can share the kind of mutual love to which we are called by our Christian faith—honouring one another, respecting each other’s gifts, supporting each other through suffering and encouraging each other in living a good life. We also promote families as practitioners of mission as they seek to live out their baptismal vocation in their communities and beyond. A family may share in evangelism or run a project to help grow new disciples. A family may undertake some form of shared service in their community, campaign together against injustice, or enter deeply into practical creation care. In all such activities they are contributing to the mission of the church, which is the mission of Christ. The stories in this newsletter show how families are places of mission within and beyond themselves, and how the church can support and strengthen them in this ministry.READ NEWSLETTER
A name and nationality is every child’s right, enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international treaties. Nevertheless, the births of nearly 230 million children under the age of five have never been registered. IAFN considers that birth registration is a Gospel issue since under-registration marginalises millions of children and adults, excluding them from the benefits and protection of citizenship. IAFN is therefore promoting the role of churches in raising awareness and helping families to overcome obstacles to birth registration.READ MORE