parish of St. James, Armdale, seeks to live out the Christian faith in
the Anglican tradition, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We
strive to grow as a welcoming, friendly, parish family that
has strong liturgical, pastoral and teaching ministries. We are
dedicated to fostering the values of the Christian faith in our
parish, and reaching out to the wider community."
this year, I want to reflect on the past year within the context of our
Parish Mission Statement. It is important that our mission statement be a
'living' document, and not simply something written on paper.
seek to live out the Christian faith within the Anglican tradition.
Hopefully, you will recognize a distinctive Anglican character to the
endeavors that are noted below. However, I think one of the hall marks of
the Anglican tradition is characterized by the way in which local parishes
are connected to the wider church. This past year, we welcomed Bishop Fred
Hiltz to our parish. Our parish also hosted a regional meeting at which
time bishop Fred provided leadership in a workshop on future possibilities
for the work of our church in the Chebucto Region. It was terrific that
members of St. James contributed a banner for display at the consecration
of Bishop Susan Moxley. Some of our young people had opportunity to meet
both Bishop Sue and Bishop Fred, and share in the 'councils of the church'
at synod and at the diocesan youth conference. I have been pleased to give
some of my time in support of our bishops: as a consultant to The Bishops
Advisory Council; as a member of Dean and Chapter; and helping the bishops
with their covenant in ministry. I enjoyed the educational opportunities
afforded me in both preaching at Kings' College Chapel and conducting a
set of workshops for theological students at Atlantic School of Theology.
As diocesan chaplain of Mothers Union, I celebrated the Eucharist at the
spring rally at St. Andrew's, Cole Harbour. I attended the clergy
gathering hosted by the diocesan 'Leap for Faith' Capital Campaign.
growth of our parish family can be measured, not only in numbers, but
in the richness of our program and social life. It is wonderful to see
people of so many ages participating in so many and varied ways in the
life of St. James. The reconvening of the youth group, the ongoing
development of our web page, and the production of a parish photo
directory, and the beginnings of making our church more wheel chair
accessible, will all enrich parish life. The character of ACW, Mothers
Union, Social Club, Choir, orchestra, servers guild, altar guild, readers,
and Eucharistic ministers, makes the parish distinctively "St.
is another aspect of our parish life that involves the service and talents
of so many people. As presider, I try to bridge both traditional and
contemporary liturgies with a shared ethos. Hopefully our liturgies, both
in church and in other locations, sustain and connect people at the
seasons; at times of baptism, admission to communion, confirmation,
marriage, funerals; and during visitation to the sick, anointing, and home
communions. This past year it was a great joy to welcome The Rev. Neale
Bennet back to St. James. He preached at the liturgy for St. Luke's Day as
we celebrated the many connections between St. James and the health care
the past thirteen months I have had 211 pastoral appointments. I
consider this central to the ministry of a parish priest. I remain truly
excited by the work of our parish visitors who continue to enjoy mentoring
by Canon Ed Fiander. I am also aware of the many ways in which people of
the parish express concern for, and pray for, one another.
suppose one of the things I enjoy most is the challenge and engagement of
teaching in the form of Sunday sermons, children's stories, bible study,
children and communion program, and Inquirer's Group. I appreciate the
input, questions, and suggestions I receive from people in this regard.
However, I truly enjoy the way in which others are involved in the
teaching ministries of our parish as well. This year 18 candidates will be
presented for confirmation. I know how thoroughly they have been prepared
by Carmon Stone. The work of Audrey Li and the Sunday school staff makes a
wonderful contribution to the spiritual growth of the children. The Sunday
school program is vital for those young families either in the parish, or
seeking a parish. We can also celebrate: the Lenten program led by laity;
the teaching and instruction given to our choirs and musicians by Dr.
Wilson; the musical instruction given to the Sunday School children by
Colleen Hinchey Day and Brian Field; the instruction and training given to
our servers by Alice Hadley. One of the groups who give direction to the
fostering of Christian values in the parish is the "Faith, Worship,
and Ministry Committee". Pam Williams and I co-chair this committee
of Parish Council. I'm appreciative of the committee membership as they
move projects from research and discussion to a tangible place in parish
out to the wider community brings us full circle in my reflections
upon the past year. Our outreach committee, which I try and attend
regularly, over sees that component of our budget which offers support to
a number of programs and organizations in the wider community. St. James
continues to contribute teams to St. George's soup kitchen. Our support of
Halifax West Ecumenical Food Bank is ongoing.
The work of the Primate's Fund and Anglican Appeal is kept before our
parish. This past year, I have increased my commitment to Glades Lodge by
joining the newly formed pastoral care committee. This is a very exciting
development for a community that is part of our neighborhood.
facilities here at St. James were identified as a major asset when we
developed our Mission Statement and Goals. This past year the
"Property Committee" has continued to meet the challenge of
maintaining our buildings as assets for the future. Here I wish to note as
well the work of the "Stain Glass Window Committee" of Parish
Council. A great deal of time and careful consultation has marked both the
work of "The Window Committee" and the deliberations of Parish
Council on this project. I believe the completion of this project will
enhance the distinctiveness of our church as a place of worship in our
report is written with a sense of deep appreciation for the work and
ministry of the many individuals, groups, and organizations at St. James.
Some special thank you notes must be sounded. A thank you is extended to
our parish staff both salaried and volunteer: Michael Hadley (custodian),
Hugh McGinn (envelope secretary), and Betty Rice (Parish office), Allen
Simpson (bookkeeper), and David Wilson (music director). Thank you is
extended to our wardens Ernie Clarke, Carmon Stone, and Pam Williams for
their multi-faceted involvement in the work of the parish. Thank You is
extended to Bill Li, Betty Rice (secretary), and Phil Page (Parish
treasurer) who have concluded terms on parish council that have been
marked by a great deal of work. A Thank you is extended to Canon David
Boston for both his support and his willingness to take services when I
have been away. A very special word of thanks is extended to Wendy for all
her support, encouragement, and patience. Wendy & I would like to
extend a special Thank You to the parish for the major renovation program
in the rectory this past year.
bishop has asked that annual reports include both a looking back and a
move into 2005 and beyond, there are some things, which I hope we can
explore together as a community of Christian Faith. I hope we can continue
to focus on youth as a priority within our parish goals.
Specifically, I trust we will endeavor to make our programs and facilities
reflective of our priorities in this area. I encourage us to build on our
outreach efforts by engaging in more justice education, and
learning more about the problems of our world and community, and the ways
in which we can be participants in helping to resolve them. I think we can
strive to increase and develop the role of laity in the ministry of
our parish-especially to families at times of preparation for baptism and
admission to communion. I encourage us to continue to be attentive ways in
which our church is a sacred space evocative of prayer, meditation
and worship. I call us to continue to pray and study in the service of
strengthening our understanding of our
relationships in world wide Anglican Communion, and especially with
our partners in Moosonee, Keewatin, and Manicaland. The coming year will
also challenge us as stewards of our resources, keeping before us the
needs of Primate's Fund, Anglican Appeal and the diocesan capital
campaign 'Leap For Faith'. May God continue to bless us as a
community of Christian faith.
submitted, The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis
Dec. 24th: 4:30 pm (full house); 10:30 pm (132). Dec.25th: 10:30 am (24)
Dec. 26th: 9:15 am (50)
Vigil (32); 8:30 (78); 10:00 am (325)