Legislation – Baptism and Communion

Canon Logue speaks in favor of an amendment to remove a sentence on “pastoral sensitivity” from a resolution. Below, the Very Rev. Ted Clarkson calls for a vote by orders.

Convention considered two resolutions (C029 and C040) related to allowing the unbaptized to receive communion. Canon Logue spoke in the hearing on the resolutions against the resolutions and in favor of keeping to the historic practice of baptism preceeding receiving communion.

The Evangelism Committee decided to handle the two resolutions by adopting a substitute for C029 Access to Holy Baptism and Communion which initially called for a study on the underlying theology. The substitute was a two sentence resolution, the first of which affirmed baptism as the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion. The second sentence acknowledged “that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.” Your deputation considered this a significant step toward regularizing the practice of communing the unbaptized and so took action. Working with the deputations from Southwest Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, whose support of our effort was largely gathered by the Rev. Lonnie Lacy’s efforts, the Rev. Ted Clarkson moved for a vote by orders. This more conservative measure moves a simple majority decision to a system that usually takes a two-thirds majority to prevail. In addition, Canon Logue stood to offer an amendment striking the second sentence. When a deputy from Dallas made this amendment first, he spoke in favor of the amendment which subsequently failed. The vote by orders on the resolution then passed the House of Deputies with 77% of lay deputies and 64% of the clergy in favor of the resolution.

View the resolutions here: C029 and C040

This resolution must be approved by the House of Bishops to become an act of Convention. They will take it up on Friday, July 12.


1 Response » to “Legislation – Baptism and Communion”

  1. Frederick Buechner says:

    Dear Friends,
    Your efforts with these resolutions remain very much appreciated. Perhaps the bishops will have a better mind on this than the majority of the Deputies. I still find it fascinating that the centerpiece of liturgical revision of the last fifty years (’79 Baptism Rite) seems about to be thrust aside in favor of a terribly misguided appreciation of Christian charity. Wishing y’all a safe and comfortable journey back home.