On May 23, 2023, Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde will publish “How We Learn to be Brave: Decisive Moments in Life and Faith” (Avery Books, an imprint with Penguin Random House).

Headshot of Bishop Mariann Budde

Bishop Budde is no stranger to taking a courageous stand. In the wake of the George Floyd protests in 2020, she earned international attention and acclaim when she spoke out against President Trump for using St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC—the most historic and famed within the diocese—as a backdrop for a crass and cruel press conference. When she recounts this decision to speak out on a public stage, she says she felt “summoned to take [her] place alongside others who were being brave.”

In her new book, “How We Learn to be Brave,” Bishop Budde explores how key decisions in our lives, if navigated with faith and discernment, pave the way for us to become our most courageous selves. Budde weaves stories from her own life, religious texts, the Civil Rights movement, literature, pop culture, and current events to illustrate what goes into “being brave.”

The decisive moments—some flashy, some subtle—that make up the arc of a lifetime include deciding to stay, deciding to go, deciding to start, accepting what we cannot change, and more.

“We all have the capacity to live within a narrative of great adventure, no matter our life circumstances,” says Bishop Budde. “The courage to be brave when it matters most requires  a lifetime of small decisions that set us on a path of self-awareness, attentiveness, and a willingness to risk failure for what we believe is right. It is also a profoundly spiritual experience, one in which we feel a part of something larger than ourselves and guided by a larger Spirit at work. Decisive moments make believers out of everyone.”

Budde’s lyrical prose and sage insights spark conversation and connection; her stories remind us that others have walked the path before, and that bravery is part grace and perseverance and part doubt and humility. Nina Shield, Executive Editor at Avery Books, says, “`How We Learn to be Brave’ teaches us to respond with clarity and grace even in the toughest times. It is a profound book with special resonance in this divisive, often dark, moment.”

Bishop Budde will join Canon Historian Jon Meacham in conversation about her book at the Cathedral on Tuesday, May 23, at 7 pm. Admission is free and open to the public; reservations are required.

Media Contact:
Anne Kosmoski, [email protected]