A historical and theological defense of the practice of open communion in The United Methodist Church and elsewhere.
This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion, adopted by the 2004 General Conference, made two commitments: first, to the historic norm of reserving Communion to the baptized and, second, to the insistence that United Methodists will turn no one away from the Table. The church made a wise choice, claims Mark Stamm, but one that raises questions and requires further reflection. Stamm engages in that reflection around the category of liturgical exception: a decision to affirm the ancient practice of the church while also choosing to set it aside for prophetic and pastoral reasons. The result is a book that will help United Methodists and others fulfill their calling to practice Holy Communion both as an expression of costly discipleship and as an invitation to relationship with the Risen One.