Grandmother Galaxy cover photo slice

Rev. Dr. Ranck with Elizabeth Carefoot’s artwork “Gaia”

In memoriam:  It is with great sadness that I pass along this information. The Rev. Shirley Ann Ranck, the godmother of the UU women’s spirituality movement and author of the curriculum, “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” joined the Heavenly Sisters yesterday, appropriately on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2023. She was 92. Shirley was a woman who dared, a great friend to those who knew her, and an inspiration to generations who followed. Quite literally, she changed my life. -- Melinda Morris Perrin

Notes of condolence will be forwarded to the family. Mail to: Family of Shirley Ranck, c/o UUWR, PO Box 1021, Benton Harbor, MI 49023-1021.

Links to some of Shirley's sermons

Online obituary

Memorial poster (22MB file, PDF)

Past UUW&R Co-Convener Rev. Shirley Ranck was a Crone of wisdom and power who has touched the lives of many women through her writing and teaching. The Reverend Dr. Shirley Ann Ranck brought both personal and professional insight to her work. Trained in education, psychology and ministry, she drew upon all these disciplines as well as her various personal lives as wife, mother, and single parent to create the female spiritual journey contained in the feminist thealogy curriculum and book, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven.

While working full time and birthing and raising two daughters and two sons, Shirley managed to earn her Master’s degree in religious education from Drew University, an M.A. in clinical psychology from City College of New York, a Ph.D. in urban school psychology from Fordham University, and her Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. She has been an educator and a licensed psychologist in California as well as an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association. She has worked in hospitals, clinics and a county jail for women as well as in private practice.

She has served as minister in several Unitarian Universalist congregations including Cincinnati Ohio, Mobile Alabama, San Rafael California, Kennebunk Maine, Olympia Washington, Vancouver BC, and Reno Nevada. Lastly the Interim Minister at the UU Congregation of Flint Michigan, she finally retired and lived in California for a while before joining family back in Michigan, where she passed on in 2023.

Shirley was the featured Keynote Speaker at Central Midwest District W&R’s WomanSpirit Feb. 2008 and gave the sermon that preceded the book, also titled The Grandmother Galaxy.

UU Women and Religion carries her books in our STORE!

At right: Rev. Dr. Ranck with Elizabeth Carefoot’s artwork “Gaia”


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