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Georgiana Sibley

Georgiana Sibley was known throughout the world for her leadership in the ecumenical movement and, on behalf of civil and human rights, spending more than 50 years of her life attempting to bridge the world’s gaps in trust and understanding through faith.

Sibley lived the life of a wealthy debutante but took her religious beliefs seriously and was always active in her local church. She began to participate in the activities of the worldwide church and attended her first ecumenical meeting — the International Missionary Conference in Japan — in 1928. She was the first woman invited to speak at a triennial gathering of the Church’s General Convention and went as a delegate to many conferences, arguing on behalf of interracial marriage, recreation for the armed forces, and public housing.

Sibley was a member of the National Executive Board of the Women’s Auxiliary and chair of its board from 1930-31. From 1942-50, she served as president of the United Council of Church Women and, from 1946 to 1952, was a member of the National Council of the Protestant Episcopal Church. While she was a member of the Laymen’s Missionary Inquiry, she and her husband devoted nearly a year to studying the missions of India, China and Japan, out of which grew the book “Rethinking Missions,” published in 1932.

Sibley also maintained a great interest in the YMCA and the YWCA and served for many years on the national board of the YWCA. A mother of six, Sibley was named American Mother of the Year in 1945.

She died in 1980.