Appointed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
My name is Sharon Machina and I was born and raised on a farm in Grey County, just north of the village of Clifford, ON. I am married to Rheo Machina and we continue to farm and raise beef cattle on the farm previously owned by my parents and grandparents.
I recently retired from 31 years of elementary level teaching of instrumental music as well as grade 7 and 8 homerooms. For a number of years, I was the Learning Resource Teacher and this meant working with and supporting special needs students.
My husband and I are both actively involved in our church, Trinity Lutheran Church, in the small village of Ayton. I am the music minister, organist and church choir director and I also sit as a member of our church council. During COVID shutdowns and restrictions, we were challenged to think outside the box and both our pastor and myself were able to share reflections and music selections through YouTube. Once we returned to in-person worship, we wanted to maintain our online presence. A camera was purchased, and computer tech system installed to allow us to record and then post services on Facebook.
I am also director of a local ladies’ barbershop group. The members are from a variety of ecumenical backgrounds. We pray together, share in our love of music together, and share life’s joys and sorrows together. We often get invited to sing in various churches to celebrate their special occasions. This has made me realize that we all worship Jesus in our own way and we come together as a community connected by Faith.
I enjoy traveling and gaining a renewed appreciation for all God’s wonderful works in the beauty around us. Last fall, I was fortunate to be hired as a Tour Director for a travel company in my area. I loved researching different locations and their history and then sharing with the bus passengers what makes each community special. At the heart of each community we would often tour at least one church as these were important landmarks for early settlers and the focus of their gatherings.
My heart and mind are also very aware of the politics and actions that are taking place on the world stage. With the continued war in Ukraine, it is often the women and their children that are seeking refuge in other countries and my prayers go out to them so that they may find support, lodging, employment and a new community to call home. I also pray for women and girls who fall under Taliban rule and jurisdiction and continue to be minimized and brutalized.
I have been blessed to have had an encouraging father growing up as well as a supportive husband in Rheo. My role models, though, over the years have mainly been female. I have to give credit to my mother who faced many challenges as a type 1 diabetic. She met every day with a smile and a positive attitude and she was driven to motivate and inspire those around her. Others have also inspired me and challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and embrace all that life has to offer.
I am so fortunate to be living the life I have at the moment and I feel God’s voice calling me to share my thoughts and ideas beyond my local community. I am driven to advocate for those that are challenged because of disability, race and gender. I look forward to meeting with the WICC Board members who share similar visions and am excited to see what the next few years will bring for women across the globe.