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.
Our March 2021 newsletter has stories from around the Anglican Communion of compassion, mercy, love and hospitality shown among asylum-seekers, refugees and internally displaced people. There are many examples too of how those who, having had to leave behind their homes, livelihoods and often their families, are giving back and bringing blessing to their new communities.
The stories have come from North and South. With 29.6 million refugees, 4.2 million asylum-seekers, as well as 45.7 million internally displaced people across the globe (UNHCR 2020), the need to treat the stranger in our community as we would like to be treated, and to challenge intolerance, has never been greater.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