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SACRAMENTO: Bishop calls for Open Communion Survey for ECUSA

Letter to all Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States

From: The Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb
Diocese of Northern California
P.O. Box 161268
Sacramento, California 95816
(916) 442-6918; fax (916) 442-6927


July 7, 2004

Re: Open Communion

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

More and more of the churches in the Diocese of Northern California are adopting the custom of Open Communion or as our Task Force describes it, “Administering the Sacrament of the Eucharist to Those Who Have Not Been Baptized”. I have been issuing a carefully worded open invitation at Confirmations and other major events in the Diocese. At our last Diocesan Convention in November of 2003, a Resolution was put forth to prohibit this custom.

The motion was ultimately defeated after a number of supplemental resolutions were introduced. I agreed at that Convention to appoint a Task Force to review this practice and make a report to the Diocesan Convention in 2006.

If you will recall this issue did come up before the House of Bishops while we were in Minneapolis, and I believe it was tabled or sent on to the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops for further reflection.

There is a very short survey attached to this letter, and I ask that you or one of your staff fill it out and mail it back in the envelope that is provided. Your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated, and the Task Force of this Diocese will be sending on its findings to any group looking at this question on the National Church level.

I pray that you have a wonderful summer and that you may find these months to be a time of rest and renewal.

In Peace,
+Jerry A. Lamb


From The Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb
Diocese of Northern California
P.O. Box 161268
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 442-6918; fax (916) 442-6927

Are any of your congregations regularly practicing the custom of Open Communion?
Yes † No † Unknown †

Have you issued any statements regarding this practice of Open Communion?
Yes † No†

(If yes, would you please attach the statement that you have made.)

Do you have a Task Force to review this practice in your Diocese?
Yes † No †

(If yes, please give names, address, e-mail of the Chair of the Task Force)

Have you taken any disciplinary action against any clergy who have violated Canon 1.17.8 that states , “No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church”.
Yes † No †

Is there any further information you would like to share with the Task Force regarding Open Communion in the Diocese of Northern California.

Again, thank you for filling out this survey.


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