In memoriam Murri Selle (1936-2017)
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In memoriam Murri Selle (1936-2017)


Murri Selle. Photo: epd-bild/Andreas Schölzel.

Murri Selle, WACC Secretary from 1990 to 1993, has died at her home in Munich, Germany.

Paying tribute, WACC General Secretary Rev. Dr Karin Achtelstetter said, “Murri stood by her belief that Christian principles underlie all aspects of communication for social justice. Throughout her long life, she worked tirelessly to build alliances and networks both in Europe and North America. WACC owes her a considerable debt of gratitude.”

Murri Selle was born and educated in Bavaria, Southern Germany, and studied languages in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (1958-61). Further training included journalism and political science studies in Munich (1962-67).

Upon completing her studies, Murri became Director and Editor of the International Information Service “Vereinigung für christliche Publizistik” (Association for Christian Communication) and her career in Christian communication was launched.

During this time, Murri (L in photo) became Assistant to Robert Geisendörfer (R in photo), Commissioner for Radio and Television of the Protestant Churches of the Federal Republic of Germany, and WACC Treasurer.

Murri’s long-standing association with WACC continued, during which she travelled worldwide as a member of WACC’s board of directors, advocating Christian broadcasting and greater equality for women.

Murri was Secretary of the WACC Europe Region for nearly three decades. Dr Stephen Brown, current President of WACC Europe, paid tribute to Murri Selle as “an indefatigable supporter of WACC’s mission.”

“As an assistant to WACC co-founder Robert Geisendörfer, she helped to organize the first European Christian Television Week in Monte Carlo in 1969 as well as later European television festivals. Even after her retirement, Murri still felt very much part of WACC and looked back on her involvement with great affection,” said Brown.

She worked closely with the Lutheran World Federation, the European Group for Television Programmes, and many other secular and religious media institutions.

Gianna Urizio, former president of WACC Europe, said, “For me Murri was WACC Europe and WACC Europe was Murri! I met her for the first time in Turku, Finland, 1988, and I was instantly impressed by her ability to organise things in an authoritative but fair-minded way.”

Recalling a later encounter during WACC’s 1995 Congress in Mexico, sharing breakfast on the balcony of a hotel overlooking a city square, Urizio wrote, “She was as happy as a young girl-scout on her first excursion to the forest. But immediately afterwards, she was the one pressing me to write reports, to meet my responsibilities and to work to strengthen WACC’s visibility and intervention in media. I loved her for those two sides: the hidden young girl and the really trustful professional woman. Farewell, Murri!”

For 19 years, until her retirement in 2002, Murri Selle helped organize the prestigious “Robert Geisendörfer Prize” for radio and television given by the Protestant Churches in Germany.

In 2003 she was made an Honorary Life Member of WACC.

WACC offers its deepest sympathy and condolences to family and friends, while celebrating a life distinguished by immense steadfastness of purpose and dedication to WACC’s values.

  • Bernard van Baalen, former WACC-EA treasurer and EXCOM member
    Posted at 09:41h, 17 April

    J’ai rencontré Murri la première fois au Festival de télévisin de Salzbourg. Elle était les deux bras de Robert Geisendorfer, rappelant à bon escient ce qui devait être fait dans le bon ordre. En 1977, j’ai été élu trésorier de WACC-Europe, et membre de “L’EXCOM”. Nous nous sommes donc retrouvés années après années dans des endroits étranges, à Paris, Rome, Budapest, Moscou, Pragues, Lyon, Malaga, souvent Genève pour faire des économies pour les membres qui devaient rendre visite au COE. A Lisbonne, nous avions été accueillis par les services du “patriarche” (Archevêque) Romain, les protestants portugais ne sachant pas trop comment nous reçevoir avec notre orientation oecuménique. J’ai vu Murri pleurer à la suite de remarques désobligeantes sur les activités de notre comité, s’épanouir devant un bouquet de fleurs offert pour lui rendre hommage pour ses qualités d’organisation. Elle pouvait prendre une bière en fin de soirée, et évoquer sa solitude avec quelque fidèles, et nous étreindre avec effusion à l’aéroport au moment de la séparation. Elle pouvait être chaleureuse ou glaciale selon les mouvements des groupes de pressions dans les rencontres internationales, mais toujours fidèle à son interprêtations de l’Evangile, qui se transmet de diverses manières selon les cultures et les talents.
    Elle n’avait pas d’à-prioris, et considérait chacun avec respect, si nous lui accordions la réciproque. Nous savions qu’elle aimait la vie, même si la vie avait été dure avec sa santé et les douleurs permanentes que sa canne n’exprimait pas toujours, surtout quand c’était un solide parapluie.
    Salut Murri, nous t’aimions, même quand les PV arrivaient tardivement, mais ils arrivaient toujours.
    Sacrée BONNE FEMME !

  • Tatiana Volgina
    Posted at 06:41h, 13 January

    I knew her for many years. I worked with Metropolitan Pitirim, he wa a member of WACC Europe. I met her first time in Amsterdam for TV Week. She was a wonderful Person, you could trust her with your life.
    Even at that time It was difficult for her to move, to walk. A lot of pain but she was so courageous!
    I was there at the time of H W Hessler, the Rev. H W Florin, Michael de Vries……. We have met in our Publishing Department in Mosow, had meetings in Volokolamsk.
    There was the special word for it – the Spirit of Volokolamsk!!! When Vladyka died in 2003 we had some letters from our friends.
    Later I tried to find them but could not! I am So Sorry.
    I should do it better. I am old and now can only pray AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS AND FEEL SOORY.