Today I am remembering MARJORIE JANTZ who died Friday September 12. Marjorie will be remembered for her calm, wise, confident, and thoughtful nature.
Marjorie loved Rainbow and regularly prayed for this church. Marjorie was also committed to the church defined more broadly. For example, she was the first lay representative to serve on what was called the Ministerial Committee of Western District Conference from 1988-1994. My father Keith Harder actually served with Marjorie on this committee. Many lay people, he said, would have felt intimidated by this committee because up until that point, the committee had consisted of mostly ordained, male pastors who were responsible for reviewing, affirming, and sometimes disciplining other male pastors. My dad said if she was intimidated, it didn’t show. Former WDC Conference Minster Marvin Zehr put it this way: “Marjorie was a very devoted and gifted member of the committee and a strong advocate of women in ministry.” Marjorie led by example and many people at Rainbow remember her as the first female moderator of this congregation.
There is no doubt that Marjorie will be remembered as a champion for women, especially women pastors. She was aware of the many glass ceilings, including stained glass ceilings, that were preventing women from exercising their full leadership potential in the church. Of course, Marjorie was a champion of many causes including improving the quality of life for seniors. Still, my remembering of Marjorie this week will include celebrating her advocacy for women in ministry. And what better to do that than share this slideshow:
This post wouldn’t be complete without giving a shout-out to Joshua Smith who is also a MDiv student at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Working for gender equality after all is not about devaluing men! When I took these photos, it appeared as though Joshua was locked in a library?!