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Examiner
  • Frank Haight: Church women honor a valiant woman

  • When Marge Troeh arrived at the Good Shepherd Community of Christ congregation on May 6, she came prepared to lead the meeting she had helped organize. It was the annual May Friendship Day observance of the Independence Unit of Church Women United.

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  • When Marge Troeh arrived at the Good Shepherd Community of Christ congregation on May 6, she came prepared to lead the meeting she had helped organize. It was the annual May Friendship Day observance of the Independence Unit of Church Women United.
    Little did she know that as part of the program, she was going to be presented the Valiant Woman Award – the highest honor Church Women United can bestow on a member.
    “I presided over the meeting and I did not have a clue. They totally, totally surprised me,” Marge says of the award.
    “Everyone knew about the award except me,” says Marge, the third Independence award recipient. The late Gerrie Corley and Beryl Sellars have received the award, which Barbara O’Dell, former unit president, says is “not given out lightly.”
    Barbara, who secretly worked to keep Marge clueless about the honor, says the Valiant Woman Award isn’t about what members do in CWU. It’s what they do in every area of their life.
    “That makes them a valiant person,” she says, because they are an “attribute, a contribution and a joy to the community and the people they serve.
    “And for Marge and our other recipients, you want to be around them because they are servants for Christ – the bottom line.”
    Reflecting on possibly the biggest surprise of her life, Marge says she took responsibility of planning the May Friendship Day since her church – Good Shepherd – was hosting the event, whose theme was “Swinging Wide the Doors of Hospitality.”
    Says Marge: “I had to organize the arrangements and to actually lead the meeting, so I had gotten people to do all the different parts, like decorating the tables and washing dishes afterwards.”
    While presiding at the worship celebration, which included a salad potluck luncheon, Marge noticed visitors entering the dining room who had no ties to CWU and wondered why they were there.
    “I was still able in my mind to come up with a reason why they would come to our May Friendship luncheon, and I was thrilled they were there,” she says, recalling she was still clueless about what was happening.
    However, it wasn’t until the worship celebration had concluded and lunch was about to be served that Marge was thrust into the limelight. Barbara pinned a corsage on her dress, Nancy Remmert, Missouri CWU president, pinned the Valiant Woman pin on her dress and Independence Unit President Alice Sims presented her with a framed certificate.
    For Marge, receiving the award was humbling.
    “I could feel love in the room ... and I was surrounded by people who are so capable and who do so much. And to feel like they had chosen me was very, very special.”
    Page 2 of 2 - As for Marge’s legacy, Barbara believes it will be that of a trailblazer for human rights, particularly rights of women whose rights, qualities and compassions have been underrated and not recognized.
    “Marge has spent her whole life enlightening the world to how important women are in our society and how snuffed out (their) personalities can be at times because of society’s view of women, but I think until her dying days, she will be that champion for women’s rights and equality for all people – not just women.”
    And it was Marge – who in 1979 – finally succeeded on her trailblazing effort to get the RLDS Church – now Community of Christ – into Church Women United as a supporting denomination.
    Marge says she has championed ecumenism because she believes each denomination is unique and has a special calling and a special place.
    “I honor the calling and place and work of all the other faiths and I just feel like the problems of the world are so much bigger than we are that it takes all of us (working together),” she says.
    Calling Marge a person who “exudes confidence and strives to bring out the best in other people,” Barbara says the former Independence unit president is also is a “compassing Christian” who cares for the feelings of those around her and is always available to offer assistance to those in need.
    Barbara says Marge loves the possibilities of such organizations as Church Women United that bring people from all kind of life experiences together to work for the betterment of the community.
    “I’ve found my life spiritually led,” Marge says. “I try to make my choices in ways that allow God’s spirit to work in and through me to empower all people to be able to share their gifts, celebrate what they have been given and to help others.
    Congratulations, Marge! Keep on doing those things God has called you to do. Your Christian and ecumenical endeavors have made this world a better place in which to live. Thanks for your outstanding efforts.
    Retired community news reporter Frank Haight Jr. writes this column for The Examiner. You can leave a message for him at 816-350-6363.
     
     
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