Whether serving the people of Utah through government or church, service to fellow human beings has always been an important element in the life of Marthe Dyner.
The former state tax commissioner and one-time director of state planning will be ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church on Sunday."I see myself now as called to another aspect of ministry in serving the people of God through the church," she said.
Graduating in May with a master of divinity degree after three years at the Episcopal Divinity School at Cambridge, Mass., Dyner will be ordained at 4 p.m. in the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, 231 E. First South.
Dyner enjoyed her years of public service. But about 1982 Dyner "began to look at what I'll do in the last 20 years of my professional and vocational career."
"I wanted to be as excited by the kind of service I was engaged in in the last 20 years of my career as I had been in the prior 20 years," she said, adding that she decided to combine her very active church life with her career.
So, in September of 1985, Dyner enrolled in seminary school to begin the three-year preparation for her diaconate. Her ultimate goal is to obtain the priesthood, and she plans to be ordained in about one year.
Following her ordination Dyner will make her home in Nashua, N.H., where she will serve her diaconate at the Church of the Good Shepherd. She will be the third clergy member at the growing church, she said.
The parish is engaged in active "social and pastoral ministry," Dyner said, adding that the church has an extensive outreach program for the poor in relatively affluent Nashua, in southern New Hampshire.
"I'll be engaging in the whole spectrum of what is going on."
In the Episcopal Church, the deacon ranks above the laity but below the priesthood, a distinction Dyner holds in disdain.
"I'm very strict about that. I would never say something is above something else. I will simply say it is an expansion of the ministry in a certain direction. I see my primary ministry as the ministry I'm called to in baptism."
"I anticipate that I will also be called to serve as a priest. That's what I've been trained for," she said.
On being a woman in the priesthood, Dyner said "how rich our tradition will become when we admit to those areas of service, all people of God and not just one class of people."
The Right Rev. George E. Bates, bishop of Utah, will ordain her and the Very Rev. William F. Maxwell, dean of the cathedral, will preach. Members of Dyner's family will also take part in the service. A reception will follow.