The Diocese of Eastern Oregon will present a resolution to the next General Convention to change the Constitution and Canons and the Prayer Book to ” invite all to Holy Communion, ‘regardless of age, denomination or baptism.’ :
The resolution reads:
The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon is forwarding an Open Table resolution to General Convention that would change the rubrics and practice of The Book of Common Prayer to invite all to Holy Communion, “regardless of age, denomination or baptism.”
Adopted unanimously by delegates to the 2010 Diocesan Convention, the resolution recently was ratified by Diocesan Councl for submission to General Convention. It would delete from the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church Canon 1.17.7, which says “No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this church.”
However, the explanation attached to the resolution says that “We know from our strivings within ecumenism and mission that the communion Christ intended for all is perilous and difficult, and that boldness in offering radical hospitality is our calling, rather than canonically driven caution.”
Delegates from St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Ontario, OR proposed the Open Table resolution. “It would not have happened without a unanimous vote at Convention that this was the direction we wanted to go. This was the work of many people,” said The Rev. Anna R. Carmichael, rector of St. Mark’s, Hood River, OR , who prepared the document that will go to General Convention.
The Diocese of Eastern Oregon, which includes all of Oregon east of the Cascade Mountains as well as Klickitat County in Washington state, includes 22 parishes and about 2,600 Episcopalians,
”In recent decades the Episcopal Church, with prayerful consideration and deliberation, has consistently moved to being a more inclusive, open and welcoming member of Christ’s Body,” says the Explanation attached to the resolution. “Such grace is riveted on the teachings and actions of Jesus and the compassionate embrace he had for all…no matter their creed or race. We believe it essential our Liturgy reflect the unconditional hospitality our Lord employed for his mission.
“We believe such an open invitation for all to fully participate in the Eucharist is in keeping with our catechism’s teaching of grace: Grace is God’s favor toward us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills.” (Catechism, p. 858)
“We believe appropriate preparation and readiness to receive the spiritual body and blood of Christ is experienced within the unfolding of the Divine Liturgy, providing whatever an individual needs for examination, repentance and forgiveness amid the call to be in love and charity with all people. (Catechism, p. 860)
“We know from our strivings within ecumenism and mission that the communion Christ intended for all is perilous and difficult, and that boldness in offering radical hospitality is our calling, rather than canonically-driven caution.”