Carolyn Ruda is the Montreal and Ottawa Conference Mission and Service Support at The United Church of Canada. She is also a Licensed Lay Worship Leader who will be leading worship at SouthWest on Sunday, November 25th. Here she is, in her own words:
“I grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick where I learned to be friendly, positive, helpful, if a little talkative some times. If you have ever been to the east coast you will understand where I get it from. I grew up in my grandparent’s house where everyone was very actively involved in all aspects of church life. “Love thy neighbour” was the thread that wove through everything we did.
My ex husband was in the Air Force so my three children, (April, Sheri and Robert,) were raised to have pride of country on military bases across Canada. Despite the constant moves, and times of separation due to military exercises we valued the opportunity to live in different locations and experience life from diverse outlooks in Canada. When my children were in their teens my ex and I divorced, this meant spending ten challenging years as a single parent with three jobs, one of them being a Church Administrator at a United Church in Ottawa. By reading the Mission and Service resources I became really impressed by the work being done here and around the world. As a strong Mission and Service believer, I jumped at the chance to be the Mission and Service Support person for the Conference. In 1999 I married Gordon, my encourager, support person, proof reader, and driver. Gordon has three children, (Howard, Stephen and Emily.) Between us we are blessed with fifteen grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. They give us such joy.
These days I keep myself and Gordon busy with my roles as Chair, Conference Stewardship, Mission and Service Support, and Licensed Lay Worship Leader. In all my roles my desire is that the lectionary readings come alive to those listening. Whether I am composing a message about Mission and Service or Stewardship I want those listening to feel God’s presence in the world they are living in right now. It is the incredibly rewarding part of my life; I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
We can’t wait to meet you, Carolyn!