The first of CCS’s 2013 Companions of the Centre was honoured last weekend in Cambridge, Ontario. Principal Maylanne Maybee and CCS staff Ted Dodd were on hand to present Marion Logan with the Companion of the Centre award. Close to a hundred people attended the event Elizabeth MacDonald offering a reflection, June Anderson reading scripture, and Elizabeth Eberhart-Moffat leading prayers.
As part of the event, Ted Dodd read the following citation:
Throughout her life, Marion Logan has responded to social justice concerns and sought feminist consciousness in church and society. She has held appointments as staff member in the YWCA, Conestoga College and the Women’s desk at the United Church of Canada. Marion was involved as part of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women as an Executive member for 8 years, and also the Women’s Committee of the Methodist Church in Southern Africa’ during and after the apartheid. Two World Council of Churches conferences, one in 1979 in Venice, and the 1998 End of the Decade of Churches in Solidarity conference in Zimbabwe were significant mental, spiritual and emotional events in Marion’s life.
At home she initiated the gatherings of the Ontario Women’s Conference upholding the many gifts of women and many other projects focusing on feminism. For years, Marion has mentored women in ministry and lay women, and also helped many men come “to grips” with issues of gender and religion. In the mid 1970s, Marion and half a dozen others were asked to establish a shelter for abused women in Cambridge. Also in that period when women were beginning to raise second wave feminist questions, Marion played an instrumental role in the founding of 2 local spirituality groups for women. Marion also was involved in the beginnings of The Women to Women choir; a group that is still singing!! During Marion’s 5 years at Church House, she began a small mimeographed newsletter called Women’s Concerns. Her successors maintained it, and in later years ,Marion joined, and hosted the meetings of, the Editorial committee.
Locally, she volunteered as a driver for the VON, transporting Seniors to necessary appointments. She now sports a 10 year pin for that work.
During these many years, Marion’s primary commitment was to the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. She was on the Executive for 8 years editing their newsletter (with a feminist perspective), and “South Africa”. An American Methodist member wished to write a history book on the “Federation” and Marion agreed to help her. This took them to Norway, South Africa, Korea, Ireland, England, Switzerland and into Berlin and the recently freed East Germany for interviews. She also visited a Methodist clergy woman in the Russia- controlled Hungary to provide support.
She also facilitated some reconciliation work with the Methodist women (the 3 racially divided organizations) in her 5 trips to South Africa. This began in 1988 when the country was ready to explode due to the crisis caused by apartheid. Her relationships continue with these friends to this day.
For all her many achievements she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from the Victoria University, the University of Toronto. Her papers are now housed in the archives of The United Church of Canada and attest to her lifelong work.
Despite this busy absorbing life on the wider stage, Marion remained loyal to her local congregation taking leadership roles, assisting groups in discussing cutting edge theological issues and engaging people of a variety of faiths. At Wesley United Church Marion served as a Board member as well as on the Personnel Committee, chaired at various times the Mission & Outreach as well as the Worship Committees. Having avoided The Kitchen for years, she eventually spent the past few years working with the Apple Corps – making & selling Apple dumplings and pies at the near-by market. She was also instrumental in establishing Wesley’s close connections with South Africa.
Marion has continually epitomized the values of the Centre for Christian Studies by practicing experiential, action/ reflection learning, by working for social justice, and by supporting the praxis of feminism. Marion has encouraged others in their path to and through CCS and other places of learning, and she still acts with a lively questioning mind exhibiting an open willingness to challenge herself and others.
Marion is a woman of strongly held values that she has shared with others, encouraging them, inspiring and motivating them, and enlivening them on the way. We honour these very great gifts with this award.