Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

Single until age forty-eight, she served the remote Colorado parishes, "where men with families couldn't afford to go." She lived in a trailer provided by the church. She married Shirley Greene in 1964 and the two ministers moved to St Louis. Shirley was born in 1911 in Hill, New Hampshire, to Arthur and Gertrude Greene. His parents wanted him to become minister of a fundamentalist congregation, but Shirley received his doctor of divinity from the "liberal Chicago Theological Seminary," where he majored in social ethics. "Most of my career has been as what I have frequently referred to as an ecclesiastical bureaucrat," he said. Ordained in 1936, he served most of his career with the national and world ministries of the United Church of Christ. He also worked for the National Council of Churches for several years, as well as the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries' National Division, focusing on issues of rural economic development.

The Greenes moved to Santa Fe in 1981 and helped to establish the United Church of Santa Fe. Shirley got involved in legislative advocacy. "I was a lobbyist for the New Mexico Conference of Churches, organizing a series of issues and statements to advocate views and issues on human welfare," he said. He was instrumental in getting the Hunger Walk, an ecumenical, church-sponsored effort to raise funds to alleviate world hunger, started in Santa Fe. He also helped bring Habitat for Humanity to New Mexico and said, "Whereas Mary was the perennial pastor, I was the perennial bureaucrat! organizer."

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes