Holy Week culminates with the arrival of Easter, a time when Christians gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus – the triumph of life over death. While Holy Week provides a time for prayer, worship, and community, the power of faith language to draw people together continues to be misused – most recently to feed the rise of Christian nationalism. Joining host Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush on this week’s State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio program and podcast, is Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, who leads the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C. – the first woman to do so. The two discuss the message of Easter, and how it applies to the challenges we all face today – Christians and non-Christians alike.
Bishop Budde is a faith leader in the nation’s capital who rarely wades into political conflicts – but felt compelled to do so when, in June of 2020, then-President Trump used force to clear peaceful protesters to facilitate a photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church, bible in hand. She and Paul spend some time reviewing that seminal moment, and what led the bishop to make the strong statement she did condemning the events of that day.
As religion continues to be subjugated to political agendas, Bishop Budde recalls her journey from activist to parish priest to becoming the first woman Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC – and how that background prepared her for the unique challenges of her ministry. And she shares what gives her hope in this difficult time.
Bishop Mariann Budde is the chair and president of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, and author of several books including Receiving Jesus: The Way of Love and, coming this May, How We Learn To Be Brave: Decisive Moments in Life and Faith.