The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell Called to Serve as Missioner for Faith Formation and Development

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell Called to Serve as Missioner for Faith Formation and Development

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell, newly called missioner for faith formation and development

I am delighted to announce that the Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell will join the diocesan staff as Missioner for Faith Formation and Development beginning February 1.

A key objective in our diocesan strategic plan calls on us to focus on the needs of rising generations so that we become a spiritual home for our children and grandchildren. In 2022, we will begin this effort in earnest and with Amanda’s arrival on staff, we will be well placed to move forward.

With diocesan leaders, Amanda will be developing a vision for children, youth and young adult faith formation initiatives that will strengthen both their relationship with God and their sense of belonging to our Episcopal community. Through these initiatives, they will be invited to follow Jesus’ way of love through personal and collective action.

Amanda also will develop diocesan formation events, work to identify and recruit youth, parents and young adults in planning and leading formation events, and serve as the Diocese’s liaison with Claggett Center camp ministry.

Amanda comes to us well prepared. She served at Grace Church, Silver Spring for eight and a half years where her ministry primarily focused on children, youth and families. She also anchored the Young Adult Ministry program. Last year, she underwent training to serve as a coach for the Tending Our Soil thriving congregations initiative.

“I am eager and ready to engage in formation ministry and leadership development at a wider level,” Amanda shares. “I look forward to working collaboratively with leaders from across the diocese, helping equip us to meet the needs of our rising generations.”

Please join me in welcoming Amanda.

Faithfully,

Bishop Mariann

Obispa Mariann y El Muy Reverendo Hollerith apoyan la Serie de Humildad y Competencia LGBTQIA+

Obispa Mariann y El Muy Reverendo Hollerith apoyan la Serie de Humildad y Competencia LGBTQIA+

Amigos,

Como muchos de ustedes saben, la Diócesis Episopal de Washington ha estado respondiendo al importante llamado a aumentar nuestra capacidad, lenguaje y prácticas para vivir mejor en nuestro valor de inclusión para la comunidad LGBTQIA.

Nos complace compartir que ofreceremos una Serie de Humildad y Competencia LGBTQIA+ a través de la Escuela de Fe Cristiana y Liderazgo. La serie sera ofrecidad en inglés con interpretación al español.

La serie tendrá lugar 6 miércoles consecutivos de 6:30-8pm EST a partir del 12 de enero de 2022 y termina el 16 de febrero de 2022.

Como su obispa, me complace participar en este curso, ya que todos crecemos en conciencia y solidaridad. Animo a todas las congregaciones de EDOW a aprovechar esta oportunidad, para que verdaderamente podamos ser una diócesis que ama como Jesús ama y da la bienvenida a todas las comunidades que llevan Su nombre.

Como deán de la catedral, estoy muy agradecido a EDOW y a la Escuela de Fe Cristiana y Liderazgo por crear esta serie. Como aliados de la comunidad LGBTQIA, tenemos que asegurarnos de que estamos haciendo todo lo posible para profundizar nuestra comprensión de la experiencia de las personas LGBTQIA con el fin de aumentar nuestro apoyo y ayudar a crear comunidades de bienvenida y plena inclusión. Espero que tantas personas como sea posible se registren para esta importante serie de seis clases.

Regístrese aquí y comparta en su comunidad.

Fielmente,

La Reverendísima Mariann Edgar Budde, Obispa de Washington
El Muy Reverendo Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Deán de la Catedral Nacional de Washington

Obispa Mariann y El Muy Reverendo Hollerith apoyan la Serie de Humildad y Competencia LGBTQIA+

Bishop Mariann and Dean Hollerith support of LGBTQIA+ Humility & Competency Series

Friends,

As many of you know, The Episcopal Diocese of Washington has been responding to the important call to grow our capacity, language and practices to better live into our value of inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community.

We are happy to share that we will be offering a LGBTQIA+ Humility & Competency Series through the School for Christian Faith & Leadership.

The series will take place on 6 consecutive Wednesdays from 6:30-8pm EST starting on January 12, 2022 and ending on February 16, 2022.

As your bishop, I am pleased to participate in this course, as we all grow in awareness and solidarity. I encourage all EDOW congregations to take advantage of this opportunity, so that we might truly be a diocese that loves as Jesus loves and welcomes all into the communities that bear His name.

As the cathedral dean, I am so grateful to EDOW and the School for Christian Faith and Leadership for creating this series. As allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, we need to make sure we are doing all we can to deepen our understanding of the experience of LGBTQIA+ persons in order to increase our support and help create communities of welcome and full inclusion. I hope as many people as possible will register for this important series of six classes.

Please register here and share in your community.

Faithfully,

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of Washington
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral

COVID-19 Precautions and Guidelines for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington

COVID-19 Precautions and Guidelines for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington

This letter was emailed to diocesan leaders on August 25, 2021

We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayer, remembering before God your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Dear EDOW Colleagues and Friends,

As all in the diocese finalize preparations for the season of ministry before us, I write to thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of those in our congregations, schools, places of ministry, and the communities we serve in Christ’s name. Given rising infections and hospitalizations in our region, and concerns for highly contagious variants of the virus, it is imperative that we pay close attention to the instructions and mandates from local public health and civic leaders. In speaking with leaders across the diocese, I am once again inspired by your creativity and resilience. 

Several clergy and lay leaders have asked me if diocesan policies will change this fall. The short answer is no. We are all required to follow the guidelines and mandates of our local communities. When those policies change in your region, you are free to relax your own practice as you deem best. 

At the moment, there is near uniformity in policy across the four Maryland counties and the District of Columbia, with mandated masks in indoor settings and renewed emphasis on physical distance and encouragement to gather outdoors whenever possible. Churches are no exception. There is particular concern for unvaccinated children, and yet schools are reopening with safety measures in place. I would encourage all who are able to gather children safely in church to do the same. 

Regarding in-person worship, I am impressed with the creativity of Eucharistc practice across the diocese. Several have asked me when we might resume sharing Eucharistic wine by common cup, which I raised with epidemiologists in our diocese and at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The unanimous consensus among them was that now is not the time, and thus that restriction remains. The simplest alternative is to distribute wafers only. Some congregations offer individual paper cups; others purchase portable individual communion sets. 

I am delighted that singing in church, provided that all are masked, is no longer restricted by health officials. I have enjoyed singing once again in my visitations, and hearing the beauty of choral music! 

If you haven’t yet opened for in-person worship, I encourage you to consider it in the coming months. While maintaining an online presence going forwards is a high priority, so is being together, safely, in Christian community. Please reach out to your colleagues or to those of us on diocsesan staff for support and suggestions.  

Finally, let me say a word about vaccinations. This week the FDA fully authorized the Pfizer vaccine, and other vaccines may soon receive that same encouraging endorsement. As you well know, an increasing number of businesses and governmental bodies, including the military and school districts, are now mandating vaccinations for their employees and personnel. After speaking with the diocesan chancellor, Mr. John Van De Weert, I am persuaded that as bishop, I do not have authority to mandate vaccinations for employees of our congregations or schools. But vestries, boards of directors, and rectors do have that authority, and I encourage you to consider exercising it if you haven’t already done so. I recognize the concerns some feel regarding vaccinations, but the risk of not being vaccinated, and the cost to the wider community, makes vaccination, in my estimation, both a civic responsibility and act of Christian discipleship.

If you have specific questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us in the diocesan office. While you may speak to any of us, Canon to the Ordinary Andrew Walter leads our COVID response efforts.

Again, thank you for your leadership, faithfulness, and prayers for all those adversely affected by COVID-19. May God bless and protect those working tirelessly on behalf of us all.

Faithfully,

The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde
Bishop of Washington

Bishop Mariann’s Response to Department of Justice Request to Dismiss Civil Lawsuits Against from President and Attorney General

I am deeply disappointed that the United States Department of Justice has asked a federal court to dismiss the actions brought against the government by protestors who suffered physical injuries and violations of their First Amendment rights on June 1, 2020. It would be a sad day for justice in this country if a doctrine designed to protect officials against personal liability for good faith exercise of their duties could be used to avoid accountability for an abuse of office in carrying out an unprecedented violation of First Amendment rights, particularly against individuals protesting the murder of an unarmed man by a police officer and the exessive use of violence against people of color throughout our nation.

The teargas, flash grenades and other tactics employed that day injured innocent people and led to the forcible eviction of clergy and others gathered on the grounds of one of the churches of my diocese solely to allow the former President to use images of our church and its Holy Scriptures to convey a message antithetical to the church’s teaching. The Rule of Law means little if those injured by these egregious actions are denied the opportunity to challenge their constitutionality fully and fairly. Even a President is not above the Constitution.

The Rt. Reverend Mariann Budde
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington  

Parish Regathering Updated Guidelines

Dear Friends in Ministry,

As we approach the Day of Pentecost, I give thanks for your leadership and the ways in which the Holy Spirit is blowing through our congregations, guiding all of us as we adapt in creative, new ways to the reality in which we find ourselves. Thank you for your faithfulness and courage in persevering throughout this past year.

At long last, we can all give thanks that COVID-19 cases continue to decline, and in response, local authorities are lifting restrictions. Mayor Bowser, for example, has recently announced that capacity limits on places of worship in the District will be lifted as of May 21, and I am sure other jurisdictions will soon do the same, if they haven’t already. Suddenly, it feels like reopening is happening faster than we anticipated.

At the start of the pandemic, I needed to place restrictions on our ability to worship and gather together, and I greatly appreciate your faithfulness in abiding by those guidelines.  Now, as the pace of reopening picks up, I feel it is important to release you from that expectation.

Going forward, I trust you to monitor the guidance from civic authorities and adjust your practices accordingly. Where civic authorities do not provide guidance related to our life of faith — serving food and drinks at coffee hour comes to mind — I trust your best judgment as to what is right for your community and the health and well-being of your people.

Let me be more specific in some areas:

WORSHIP

Parishes no longer need to submit a plan for regathering, though we are happy to talk through plans with you. Please email Canon Andrew Walter with your questions. Parishioners no longer need to sign the Covenant for Regathering prior to attending worship, unless you wish to ask that of them.

There is one restriction that remains in place for now in our sacramental practice. Until we have more information, please refrain from using the common cup and common loaf of bread in the sharing of Communion. Communion wafers for the bread is best for the time being, as is Communion in one kind or offering wine through individual cups or some other way you feel is safe. When we learn more from health officials, we will advise you further.

MUSIC/SINGING

We have all missed singing, and recent CDC guidelines tell us that singing indoors by fully vaccinated people wearing masks is a safe activity. Therefore, singing is once again permitted by choirs and congregations, as you feel comfortable. This is an opportunity to encourage choir members and parishioners to receive the vaccine before returning, as the more people who are vaccinated, the safer all of us are in church. It is also within your authority, or that of your music minister, to insist that all choir members be vaccinated. I recommend that you do so, but leave it to your discretion.

COFFEE HOUR/ FOOD AND DRINKS

In addition to singing, we have missed gathering after church for informal conversation and social gatherings. Coffee hour and other  activities with food and drinks may resume; I simply encourage you to think carefully about how food and drinks are served, avoiding potlucks and sheet cakes, where many people touch the same food and utensils. The safest alternatives are individually served items.

PASTORAL CARE

Please continue using your best judgement when it comes to making in-person pastoral care visits. You are the best person to decide when a visit can be safely made in-person and when a visit is best by telephone or Zoom. Trained Lay Eucharistic Ministers may resume making visits, bringing much comfort to those who need it.

Undoubtedly, this letter will not cover every nuance or circumstance of your ministry, but as I stated earlier, I trust you to use your best judgment to follow civic guidelines and do what is best for your people. As civic guidelines continue to relax, please feel empowered to regather as you feel is right.

Again, thank you for your careful, courageous ministry through this long and challenging time. You are an inspiration to me and to many.

May we continue to experience greater freedom and health for all people.

Faithfully,

Bishop Mariann