Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I join my fellow bishops of the Province of South East Asia to warmly welcome each of you to Singapore and the 4th Anglican Global South to South Encounter.
We count it a great privilege and joy to be able to host this historic Encounter. Your presence here is a great blessing to us and reminds us of the warm fellowship and partnership we share within Global South and the Communion family. But on a more sobering note, in difficult economic times like these, to gather some 20 key Global South Provinces, close orthodox associates from the West and senior ecumenical partners is only possible by the grace and will of our Risen Saviour and Lord!
It was almost five years ago when we last came together to build on the ecclesiological theme “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: Being a Faithful Church for Such a Time As This” at the 3rd “Red Sea” Encounter at El-ein-Suknah, Egypt in 2005.
We continue that work in this Encounter with its theme of “The Gospel of Jesus Christ—Covenant for the People; Light for the Nations.”
In our time together, we will begin each day by gathering in communion with the Lord and one another around the Lord’s Table and His Word before the business of the day. Then there will be the daily Thematic Addresses expounding on the Gospel, the Covenant, the Light for the Nations and explicated by the Plenary Presentations on Global South Structures, Missions and Ministry, and Economic Empowerment through Capacity Building.
Even as we do so, we are keenly aware of the current issues and deepening crisis and challenges facing our Communion. There is no denying that these issues will inevitably be of great concerns in our minds, prayers and conversations. We have the challenge of how we will respond to the Anglican Covenant. It is important that we can share our respective views, even if we differ.
Whatever the responses, it is imperative that the Global South stays on course in what the Lord has called us to since the mid 80s. This movement has evolved by the grace of God in many amazing ways. In recent years, our orthodox Western associates have also grown closer in fellowship and partnership with us. We need to see clearly all that the Lord is seeking to do through this movement. We need to be discerning, staying focused on the key tasks before us. We need to faithfully and collegially grow our unity on the basis of mutual trust and respect. From that position, we will be able to exercise our God-given stewardship of the historic faith and order, and other related issues in and for our Communion and His Church.
The Global South Primates and other conversation groups will also dialogue with our invited associates at side meetings. Your support and prayers will be appreciated as various works are ongoing simultaneously.
There will be ample time given to group discussions and conversations and networking across meals and especially after dinner as we listen to one another and discern the mind of the Lord together. This is a very special gathering of family and friends, albeit at a very critical time. This city is a “green” and relationally “warm” city, a personal opinion which I hope you will also come to experience. Savour every moment!
Last but not least, on behalf of all participants, I like to express my deep appreciation to the GSE4 Organizing Team and those who have contributed and worked hard to make this Encounter a possibility. Special thanks to the Cathedral, fellow clergy and parishes for playing host.
Hon General Secretary
Global South Primates’ Steering Committee