Teeswater native returns as minister to local churches - Sept. 21, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Charmila Ireland is just over one month into her time at Melville Presbyterian Church in Brussels and Molesworth Presbyterian Church and she views the move as a bit of a homecoming for her.
Ireland officially started her time with the churches on Aug. 1, but with Melville not hosting any services in the month of August, she was able to focus her first four weeks on the Molesworth church.
With September came services at Melville and Ireland says that the connection between her and the congregation has been great and she has felt very welcomed by the community.
Ireland is a native of Teeswater, which is where she’s back living now. Still just 27 years old, Ireland went to Knox College, a theological college that’s part of the University of Toronto, for four years to complete her Master’s Degree.
She spent some time working in the chaplain program at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Petawawa before she became reconnected with her home area.
While Ireland spent some time in Petawawa, she says she is not yet a full military chaplain. She would have to spend two more years in the military education program before she could officially make that claim.
Ireland initially wanted to be a teacher and was accepted into teacher’s college. However, she soon realized that wasn’t the life she wanted to lead.
She left teacher’s college and continued to pray and explore other career paths and she says she kept returning to ministry and because of the persistence of the concept, she knew it was meant to be.
Ireland said she felt both components of her calling, which are “inward calling” and “outward confirmation”. So, not only was she feeling called internally to the church, but friends and family were urging her to take up this career path, which confirmed that was what she needed to be doing with her life. She then travelled to Toronto and studied at Knox before graduating recently.
Melville’s newest minister first connected with the church in the winter months, saying that she was searching for available churches and found that the charge of Brussels and Molesworth was looking and she felt an instant connection to the communities so close to her hometown of Teeswater.
She interviewed with the church’s search committee and said that the process was, at the same time, extremely challenging but reaffirming.
Unlike other job interviews (Ireland worked at Wescast Industries years ago), a ministry interview consists of questions that drive deep into the heart and soul of faith, so it was a new experience for her, but one that Ireland says she will always remember.
Those on the committee for Melville and Molesworth agreed that Ireland would be a good fit for the community and soon enough she was due to begin her time in Huron County later that year.
However, before she made her way back home, Ireland and some friends went on an extensive trip over the summer. She went to Spain and Portugal for fun, but then spent a number of weeks studying in Germany. She says the trip was incredible.
Ireland is now a full-fledged member of the community and was busy volunteering on Monday with the Brussels Agricultural Society, assisting in setting up the society’s Brussels Fall Fair, which is being held at this week’s International Plowing Match in Walton.
Molesworth Presbyterian services are scheduled for every Sunday at 9:30 a.m., followed by the weekly 11 a.m. service at Melville Presbyterian Church in Brussels.