The Rev. Melody Duncanson Hales, Mission & Service Animator for Manitou Conference, reflects on getting to share her ministry with many congregations. “My name is Melody, and I am your minister.” This is the way I introduce myself in Manitou Conference. I serve The United Church of Canada in northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec in the area of Mission and Stewardship animation. I am a minister for 60 pastoral charges, from Hornepayne, Ontario, to Val d’Or, Quebec, from Kapuskasing to Manitoulin Island. On paper, my “job description” seems detailed and overwhelming. In any given week, I might lead worship and learn with a congregation about stewardship, meet with church leaders to plan their annual giving program, facilitate a conversation about refugee sponsorship and overseas partnership, resource a group concerned about environmental protection, share the stories of our Mission & Service, and pray with a youth group on retreat. I love this church, this place, and these people. I am the churches’ cheerleader: listening, encouraging, and telling their stories of hope and generosity wherever and whenever I can. Good Friday moments in saying goodbye to ministries, resurrection moments in celebrating new ministries—these are part of it all, and what a privilege to be a witness! We are thankful for our generous gifts for Mission & Service, allowing those in ministry to see the gospel being made real all over Manitou and across the church. Please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.
Loving God, we are called to be your colours in the world, to walk with each other, to share in love through our gifts for Mission & Service. Guide us to shine brightly in the world. Amen