We have learned of the death of Rev. Ruby J. Schroeder on October 20th. Ruby was one of AUCE’s “founding mothers,” who was present at AUCE’s birth in New Orleans in 1971. Ruby was Professor of Christian Education Emerita at Eden Theological Seminary and served as AUCE’s Chair from 1976 to 1978, as well as AUCE’s Archivist for many years. In 2009, Ruby received AUCE’s Founders Award for lifelong ministry in the advocacy of Christian education and faith formation.
Rev. Patricia Goldberg, former education staff member at the national offices of the United Church of Christ, recalls that Ruby began her ministry as a layperson, directing Christian education programs in a local church. She was hired by Eden Theological Seminary to teach Christian education even before she was ordained. They graciously gave her two years off from teaching in order to complete her ordination process.
Rev. Jan Davis, longtime friend and Great Lakes colleague of Ruby shares these words:
Not only was Ruby the founder/foremother of Great Lakes AUCE, having planned and executed the first Great Lakes AUCE event by herself, she also provided leadership, expertise, and support as the organization developed and grew. Up until she moved to St. Louis to teach at Eden Theological Seminary, she was an ex-officio member of the Great Lakes AUCE Planning Team.
After we brainstormed ideas for the theme of our next event, Ruby had the ability to distill all of our ideas and ramblings, and brought clarity to the key issues so that we could move forward. She was a very organized and meticulous person. She was also a very warm, welcoming, and supportive person.
She encouraged us to grow, and was willing to share her knowledge and expertise and to encourage us. She modeled and advocated for the importance of the teaching ministry both for educators and for the Church. After she left Eden Theological Seminary and moved back to Indiana, she continued to attend our GLAUCE events until her eyesight prevented her from driving.
Ruby was truly a gift to all of us, and a legacy to celebrate.