Though the Episcopal Diocese of Washington includes the most famous church in the area—Washington National Cathedral—its membership, like those of main-line Protestant churches in general, has shrunk in recent years. Moreover, the denomination’s inclusion of women in leadership roles and its acceptance of homo-sexuality have alienated some members.
Enter Mariann Edgar Budde, who became the diocese’s first female diocesan bishop in 2011. Budde came from Minneapolis, where she more than doubled her church’s membership. She’s working to spur similar growth in the 89-congregation Washington diocese. Already she has increased resources for building congregations and created a social-media presence to engage younger members. The diocese’s Facebook page so far has 870 “likes.”
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