A friend in Virginia, died yesterday. She was in her 90s and had been sick for a while so it was not really a surprise. Nonetheless, she will definitely be missed. She was a delight, “forever young”, and one classy lady. She was also intelligent and deeply spiritual. Of all the things I remember and will miss about her, one story is standing out in my mind this morning.
She may have been the first woman elder at First Christian Church in Lynchburg. And I followed close behind. So one Sunday we were both serving at the communion table and we both had on black suits with white blouses. After the service, as was the custom in that church, we were standing at the back with the pastor to greet people, welcome new folks, and in general be elders. One person came to us and said, “Did you two plan your matching outfits for this morning?” She and I were stunned, looked at each other and burst out laughing. How many years had men stood at that Table in dark suits and ties, at First Christian in Lynchburg the ties were often the red of Lynchburg College, and no one, No One, in the history of this church or any other had Ever asked that question of the two male elders!!! We bonded over that question and remembered it long after women elders ceased to be a novelty.