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“She was so many things to so many people: friend, mentor, educator, mystic, author, Christian Feminist, advocate for LGBTQ people, Milton Scholar, college professor, Democrat… But above all, she was Love and Joy and Hope and Support. She was wise and offered her knowledge when asked. She was generous and kind and, though moments of her life were not easy, she looked at life with Love.”
(Deb Reale via Facebook, 9/26/2020)

We hope you’ll take a minute to share who Virginia Ramey Mollenkott was “to you” in the comments below. Maybe you have a special memory of her to share. Maybe she changed your life. Maybe you just want to say how important she was to you. Your thoughts are welcome.

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

Sharing our stories seems particularly important as we continue Virginia’s work in our own lives. Social media posts get lost in the clutter over time.  Things slip off our timelines and from then on remain unseen.  Some people don’t utilize social media at all.  But we’ll keep your stories visible here, where they can continue to move and inspire others.

Links to memorial pages and posts on other websites are here.  If you’ve seen one we’ve missed, please contact us.

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10 Comments
  • Gail Ricciuti
    Posted at 17:36h, 28 September Reply

    This morning I sat quietly on our back steps, watching a crew take down our neighbor’s enormous old tree of well over a hundred years– too damaged by a recent storm to live on. More and more over some three hours’ time, it spoke to me of our beloved Virginia’s core identity as one of those biblical “oaks of righteousness” (see Isaiah 60:20-61:3 sum it up!)

    She was such an extraordinary mind and lifesaving spirit in this world, loving and noble-hearted, full of zest… adequate words fail, really. But beneath it all, there was one foundational thing: the thing I heard loud and clear through her public presentations, that originally motivated me, decades ago, to write to her for spiritual guidance before we had ever formally met each other. What hounded my heart to seek her out was one inescapable conviction: “This woman knows God.” As painfully as we are missing her physical presence, nevertheless thanks be to the Holy One who reached out to every one of us through her– that Virginia is now fully, completely embraced by the Light she has always known, and always embodied. May we be so faithful!

  • Jann Aldredge-Clanton
    Posted at 12:40h, 29 September Reply

    Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott influenced and empowered countless people, and I’m honored to be among them. I have profound gratitude for her life and work, which will continue to bring healing and liberation.

    I am especially indebted to her groundbreaking work on the Divine Feminine. From her book “The Divine Feminine: The Biblical Imagery of God as Female,” I learned that female names and images of God are in the Bible. She gave kind and gracious support to my work on inclusion of divine female names and images in worship.
    Here is an article I wrote about her inspiring, transforming work.

    And I love it that she was determined to vote before she left us! She received CFT’s first “Mother Eagle Award,” and now she is soaring with Mother Eagle.

  • Claire Beutler-Cruise
    Posted at 13:34h, 29 September Reply

    Virginia’s embodiment of Godde’s Gracious, Life-giving liberation saved many lives, includung mine. I pray that Virginia is now at peace in the Light of the Eternal One; and that I may live into the example of Christ-Sophia Virginia modeled for us all. You’re missed, Virginia!

  • Mary Elizabeth Hunt
    Posted at 14:00h, 29 September Reply

    In Memory of Her: Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

    The Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER), joins family and friends, the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus/Christian Feminism Today, and the Sisterly Conversations group at Kirkridge in mourning the death of our beloved friend and colleague Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott.

    Her long and unique life of committed scholarship, activism, and faithful witness made her a cherished member of many circles. She leaves a multitude of survivors. We at WATER appreciate her many contributions to the Alliance and we reverence her name.

    Dissertations will be written about Virginia’s influential books, including her extensive consideration of the female nature of the divine, same-sex love, and transgender life. She was a scholar of John Milton and brought her considerable skills at textual analysis to Hebrew and Christian scriptures. She worked to make the language of Christianity more inclusive, the spirituality more palatable, and the whole enterprise more welcoming. As a pioneer on LGBTQI+ issues, and especially coming from an evangelical starting point, Virginia opened many doors and minds.

    One of her many contributions to the field of feminist studies in religion was Virginia’s bridgebuilding between evangelical women and others who take a more philosophical approach to faith. She was a fearless critic of small-minded church officials, a stalwart advocate for justice on many fronts. She led the way when the way was not clear to many others.

    She was also a wonderfully supportive mentor and friend to countless people. Stories abound of how her care and friendship saved people from the throes of despair, the brink of self-destruction. Such a learned companion in the struggle is a great blessing.

    WATER will miss our dear friend and colleague. Her books line our shelves; her life gladdens our hearts. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Presente!

    Mary E. Hunt

    For the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)
    8121 Georgia Ave. #310
    Silver Spring, MD 20910-4933 USA
    301 589-2509 | 301 589-3150 fax
    mhunt@hers.com

  • Anne Linstatter
    Posted at 17:55h, 29 September Reply

    For 45 years I felt Virginia’s presence as an anchor of connection to Godde, a radiating force in New Jersey that reached me in California. Now I miss that earthly presence.

  • Debbie Burnham-Kidwell
    Posted at 14:06h, 01 October Reply

    I never had the pleasure of meeting Virginia, but I remember reading her book when it first came out, and how affirming it was to know I was not alone. My heart is with her family and with all her sisters at CFT. Debbie BK

  • Howie Beutler-Cruise
    Posted at 20:42h, 01 October Reply

    I remember Virginia presenting at CFT Gatherings and being so impressed with her depth of scholarship and theological integrity as she led us in examining the Scriptures.
    I only wish I could remember everything she said! The other recollection was at a meeting we had in the course of a Gathering where the discussion was whether to
    change or ‘complete’ the name of our organization. As one of the founding Mothers, I found it so impressive that Virginia spoke in favor of adopting the CFT – Christian Feminists Today – designation in our identification. Virginia wasn’t caught up in the past but was a progenitor of the future. I am grateful for her life and her incredible ministry among
    the followers of Christ-Sophia. Rest in peace, faithful servant.

  • Reta Halteman Finger
    Posted at 12:56h, 02 October Reply

    I would concur with what everyone said above, but this memory is a bit more earthy.
    I had never heard of Virginia Mollenkott in 1975 when a friend suggested we attend
    the very first conference of the Evangelical Women’s Caucus in Washington, DC. My
    friend in PA had read ALL WE’RE MEANT TO BE and urged me to come with her to
    this conference.

    Virginia was one of the main speakers. I don’t recall the title or content, just that she
    was a powerful presenter. At that point, there was no LGBTQ movement, and nothing
    about it was on the schedule, as I recall. However, there was underground discussion about
    Virginia being supportive of gay people (were they called “gay” then?)

    All this was brought up in light of one of the attenders–Elizabeth Elliott, who was
    apparently taking careful notes to report to whatever very conservative publication she
    was writing for. It looked like a socio-theological fight was brewing in the evangelical/
    conservative/fundamentalist world!

    It was at this conference that I met Lucile Sider Dayton, who was editing the new
    newsletter Daughters of Sarah in Chicago. Our family was in the process of probably
    moving to the Chicago area for my husband’s job, so I asked Lucile about DOS (which I
    had begun subscribing to around that time. She invited me to come to their monthly
    meetings when we moved–which I did!

    Through that publication, I learned much more about Virginia, who often wrote articles
    for us. One stands out in my memory: “the Woman of Revelation 13.” A totally new topic
    to me and many others!

  • Linda Williams
    Posted at 12:51h, 06 October Reply

    The phrase that keeps coming to mind for me is “She was the mother of us all.”

  • Pat McKillop Pursley
    Posted at 16:05h, 18 October Reply

    Dr. Mollenkott was my favorite professor at William Paterson College in the mid 1970’s. I enjoyed her lectures, her style of teaching and her sense of humor. She taught me the greatest lesson of my college career, a lesson I have tried to live by my entire life. Instead of that big long Golden Rule, Dr. Mollenkott boiled it down to 4 beautiful words: Offer what you seek. Powerful words to live by. They have done me well. Godspeed Dr. M. And thanks for those wonderful 4 words.

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