I was born on a farm in Prince Edward Island and grew up as an only child. I moved to Hamilton, Ontario as a teenager. We married at eighteen and while raising a family my husband and I went back to school to further our education. I graduated from McMaster School of Business and family moved to Ottawa where I worked my way up in Finance in the Federal Government. The personal loss of our twenty-two year old son to a rare form of cancer brought us back to Hamilton and my journey into ministry. Thirteen years serving in the northeast end of Hamilton with Fairfield-St. David’s congregation culminated in retirement when the church was sold and passed on to Wesley Urban Ministries. Thirteen years of working in Financial Management with family trucking business followed, and the joy of training and working with three of my grandchildren. Then an unanticipated “recall” into active church ministry arose out of my daughter’s decision to study for the ministry. My work with her for preparation and study reawakened my passion for ministry and I became aware that my journey was not finished and God had more for me to do. Could my twilight years be productive? I certainly have the energy and enthusiasm. When God nudges, amazing things can happen! At the precise moment of my search, Melrose, too began their own search. Not just any church - this was “The” church I was married in, raised my children in, and from which I was a candidate to ministry. At this point in our evolution, we were delighted to find one another. I have been warmly welcomed home! Together in ministry we seek to listen to God’s word, to make Melrose presence know and relevant in our community. It is a joy to work with our dedicated and professional staff and Board. If you are curious or seeking deeper meaning in your life, come join us as we explore what it means to be in the ministry of Jesus Christ together in this challenging world.
Grace and Peace..
Rev. Sonia Ireson
June 27, 2022
TO: Friends of Melrose
FROM: Rev. Sonia Ireson
Greetings in the name of the One who loves us and holds us dear
June seems to have evaporated. Our congregation is winding down and preparing for summer services in the chapel. I’m expecting the services will be a bit more casual with the exception of July 17thwhen we are having a Baptism. Recording and live-streaming will not occur. Parishioners are off to cottages and planned summer holidays. I will be taking mine in August. On Thursday evening, we were treated to a wonderful recital by Chris Palmer and Alex Caan. About 20 people came out to hear his rich, deep voice. On Sunday, following the service we had sandwiches and cake to mark the end of the church year.
Life has a rhythm to it. It ebbs and flows much like a winding river. I think how, in my own family, as I have told you previously, there are weeks when they feel like they have come from hell. But then, give it a little time, and it bounces back and falls into place. Emi and Mike have found a beautiful newly renovated apartment that fits all their needs for July 1 in plenty of time to get them settled before their wedding. Sarah and Scott recovered from their inability to go on their planned cruise to go on a ten-day Mexican Resort holiday with an itinerary filled with things that they enjoy. Life has a way of taking care of itself. Nothing goes on forever, although sometimes it seems like bad fortune can seize hold and not let go.
We make plans; events intervene; it is a day-to-day struggle to remain positive in the face of disappointments. Yet, when we look back, on the whole, usually the good outweighs the bad and recovery from our down times does not remain.
We all need something to look forward to in order to keep up our spirits and make us feel like we are living a full life. Friday, Carolin finished her first summer course and has two more to go during the next four weeks. I am sure she is looking forward to completing these and being able to come home. That’s short term. She has two more years to complete her five-year course; that is longer term. Then, seeing herself ordained and in a fulfilling pastoral charge is still a further out goal. We all have them whether we acknowledge our goals or not. We have short term that affect our day-to-day activities and we have ones that we hope to realize in two years or five years or even a bucket list for before we die. It is important to always have something identified as a reason to keep moving forward. It is what keeps us motivated and engaged with life. When we lose our enthusiasm for achieving new steps, a little bit of us withers and dies.
It is a fine balancing act to keep our eyes on our present moment and live it to its fullest, at the same time, plan and look forward to the future. The Bible tells us that God looks after even the smallest creatures, cares for them and arrays them in beauty, yet we know that care does not negate our responsibility for setting up provision for ourselves. The intent is to caution us not to dwell too heavily on what tomorrow will bring, at the cost of short changing today; it is one more aspect of the balance that God has designed into nature that gives us a fullness of life.
I am looking forward to July in the Chapel; it will be my first year during my entire ministry for working in July rather than August. I hope we have comfortably warm summer days when we can have lemonade and cookies on the patio and meet with those friends who are remaining in town. I am looking forward to a few plays and musicals and special day trips during August. And I am also thinking about our return together in September and the hopes for shared meals and gatherings and new programs of Bible Study and Youth Nights and whatever else might arise – such are the makings of our lives that ebb and flow with goodness and a bit of strife, to keep us on our toes. I wish for you a beautiful summer of contentment in the form that enriches your spirit.
Be strong! Stay Safe! Be of good cheer!
Together in the Service of Jesus Christ