The Rev. Dr. Mariann Budde will be consecrated the Bishop of Washington DC at the newly reopened National Cathedral this morning at 11 AM. You can watch the service online at the National Cathedral’s website.
The Washington Post has two articles about the new bishop and her journey to her new office. In one, it describes the new bishop and her agenda thusly:
“Budde is among a growing group of Christian leaders who call themselves progressive and think their approach is a better match for an increasingly diverse America. They define progressive Christianity as accepting a range of theological ideas. They work to fix local problems such as poverty and affordable housing, and they look skeptically at powerful institutions, such as Wall Street and major political parties. Among the best-known leaders are Brian McLaren, founder of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Md., and Tennessee author Phyllis Tickle.
“I want to build up the liberal church again so we can be a legitimate conversation partner in the public arena, because right now it’s dominated by .?.?. what many would call the Christian right,” Budde said this week at the diocese’s offices. “It’s legitimate for them to be there, but they’re drowning us out. They’re better at organizing churches than we are, and I’m going to change that!””
The second article is in the form of a series of questions and answers. She talks about the work of renewal, making decisions about what to keep and what to discard, about the need for more and better Children’s programs and her own experience of conversion:
Q: You have said your “first conscious experience of Christ” was as a teen in a fundamentalist community. Can you describe that experience?
A: They had a clear, ‘This is how you accept Jesus, this is how you become baptized, this is how you invite him to be your Lord and savior’ thing. I didn’t know what all that meant, but I wanted that. .?.?.
My heart was a lonely place. And the idea that Jesus would want to come into my heart — that was life-changing for me. .?.?. At the same time, I could not make sense of what they were saying: that there was one narrow path to salvation, and if you didn’t take it, you’d be denied.
And a reminder that people who are “tweeting” the consecration service will be using “BishopBudde” as their hashtag if you’d like follow along that way this morning, or read eyewitness descriptions later on.