|This book available at Leader Resources|
Note: I am honored to be part of this wee bookee, "Water, Bread and Wine" which considers the question of whether or not The Episcopal Church ought to offer Holy Eucharist to those who have not been baptized.
It should be noted that The Episcopal Church already practices "Open Communion" in that we believe what we say that "There is one faith, one hope, one baptism". If you have been baptized in any Christian tradition - Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox - you are welcome at The Lord's Table in The Episcopal Church.
That's what our canons - the laws of the church - presently dictate. That's being challenged by the practice in a growing number of churches who actively welcome those who have not been baptized. And, it's being challenged by a resolution pending before General Convention that seeks to change the canonical requirement of baptism before Eucharist.
Linda L. Grenz of Leader Resources asked a group of bishops, clergy and laity to present their perspectives on this issue as a way to invite the whole church into the conversation.
They include L. Zoe Cole, an attorney and deputy to General Convention from Colorado, Joe Morris Doss, former bishop of NJ, Richard Fabian and Donald Schell, former rectors of St. Gregory of Nissa in San Francisco which has practiced communion before baptism for more than twenty years, Tobias Stanislas Haller, a parish priest in Brooklyn and deputy from New York, Daniel Martins, bishop of Springfield (IL), Linda Grenz and moi.
Each essay has a list of questions which are designed to invite conversation.
I hope you will order this book for yourself and, perhaps, for a group discussion at your church. It may not change anyone's mind, but I suspect you'll learn more about Eucharist and Baptism than you thought you knew.
And, if you don't know about Leader Resources, you are in for a real treat!
Here's my essay. Enjoy!