Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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Rector's Messages

Message Archive


Annual Report 2005


“The Parish of St. James Armdale seeks to live out The Christian faith in the Anglican tradition, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”


The Annual Report is an attempt to document the tasks, undertakings, and achievements of in a parish after year’s end. Documentation requires a referencing to funds, buildings, programs, organizations, and activities. Documentation also records something of the invaluable contribution which the faithful of the parish make as they seek to give concrete expression to their Christian faith grounded in the setting of an Anglican parish community. However, you will recognize the caption above as the first sentence in the Mission Statement of our Parish. As we review the past year, and look forward to the year now before us, we need to be mindful of the guidance that comes from The Holy Spirit at work in our midst.


Let me begin by saying “thank-you”. I have read carefully, and wish to echo here, all the expressions of gratitude extended by the parish wardens in their report. I am very grateful to our parish wardens, Ernie Clarke, Carmon Stone, and Pam Williams for all the support offered and work accomplished during the past year. A thank you and well done is also extended to the members of St. James Parish Council and the standing committees. We are blessed in our parish with a great multitude of talented and committed people. The positive feeling, which so many visitors express to me about our parish life, is the result of the dedication of our parish staff, Michael Hadley, Betty Rice, Allen Simpson, and David Wilson. A thank you is extended to all the groups and individuals who contribute to the planning, preparation and conduct of our parish liturgies. A thank you is extended to Canon David Boston for his assistance with worship, presiding at liturgies during my holidays, and for helping with pastoral matters at the hospital. Thanks go out to The Rev. Randy Townsend, of St. John’s Fairview, for taking emergency call when I was away. Once again, a very special thank you is extended to Wendy for all her patience, support, counsel, and insight.


Pastoral Care is one of the vital signs in a healthy parish life. This past year I conducted 221 pastoral consultations. These were opportunities to meet with people in the hospital, in homes, in my office, or in other settings for prayer, conversation, and the sacramental moments in the life of the church. I am grateful for the contribution made by our pastoral visitors, individual volunteers, and the team of hospital chaplains in the pastoral support to parishioners. Our connection to Glades Lodge, with the monthly Anglican Eucharist and Glades Pastoral Care Committee, bridges our parish’s pastoral work with the wider community.


Christian Education. Confirmation in January of 2005 provided us an opportunity to welcome Bishop Moxley to our parish. The class of 18 candidates was well prepared by Carmon Stone. The participation of candidates from St. Paul’s, together with clergy from our Region made it a regional event. This past fall four families participated in the Life in the Eucharist program, including one family from our neighbouring parish of St. John’s, Fairview. The weekly lectionary bible study and seasonal Inquirer’s Group continued this past year. During Lent I conducted a sermon series on the Eucharistic prayers of our church. The children’s focus in Lent explored the theme of Faith in the World. The village constructed by Colleen Day and the Sunday school students made our exploration a lot of fun as well. A team of laity presented an adapted version of the Diocesan Lenten Program. The day long Parish Council Retreat on financial and congregational development took place on September 24th. This event was a major undertaking that will bear fruit into the future. We welcomed Charles O’Neil and The Rev. Dianne Parker as facilitators. We welcomed, as well, two guests from other parishes. On October 24th the Planned Giving Committee sponsored an Estate Planning Workshop. Charles O’Neil and John Arnold proved to be excellent resource persons for persons this event. Our parish was very pleased to help sponsor Brittany Green for the Ask and Imagine leadership development program hosted by the diocese of Huron. Brittany has continued to develop her skills and interests in this area in the parish and at Diocesan Youth Conference. We are blessed with the leadership of Audrey Li and her dedicated Sunday school staff.


One of the Liturgical Highlights of the past year was the November Celebration of All Saints Sunday and the dedication of the Stain Glass Creation Mural. This liturgy allowed us to celebrate the completion of this distinctive project that has attracted attention far beyond the bounds of our parish. The service allowed us, as well, to celebrate the contributions of so many parishioners to this project with financial gifts, but also with time, and discussion and debate and reflection. It was great to welcome Sue Obata and the Sattlers on that occasion. The members of the Window Committee should take great satisfaction as a result of their labors. It seemed an appropriate time to say a heartfelt thank you to Ernie Clarke and his bride Nancy. We wish them every blessing in their new home together in New Brunswick.


Our parish is, of course, is an active contributor to diocesan life. This past year I completed over a decade of work on the Bishop’s Advisory Council. I remain a member of the Dean and Chapter of All Saints Cathedral. This past year afforded me a couple of stopgap opportunities. I had a very interesting time this fall as acting Anglican duty chaplain at Dalhousie University. I was pleased to be acting Regional Dean on behalf of The Rev. Dianne Parker for the several weeks. I continue as chaplain to the diocesan board of Mothers Union. Bev Wentzell of St. James is the current diocesan MU president. We also observed Leap for Faith Sunday. I’m grateful to Allan Conrod for speaking to the Sunday’s congregations on Leap for Faith Sunday. I appreciated the help provided in support of Leap for Faith by Pam Williams, Nancy Green and Phil Page and the Faith, Worship, Ministry Committee. Several opportunities were provided to our groups and organizations to view the Leap for Faith DVD. A number of the members of St. James may be seen wearing the Leap for Faith pin. Once gain this year, we enjoy the presence a third year theological student from Atlantic School of Theology in the person of Ms. Brieanna Hutchinson. Brieanna is also an “alumnae” of the Ask and Imagine program. The year 2006 afforded me two continuing education opportunities. In April I was able to tour the National Cathedral in Washington DC, and visit old Christchurch, Alexandria, Virginia for Sunday worship. It was interesting and compelling to discover how connected both the Cathedral and Christchurch are to their wider social contexts. Closer to home, I attended a lecture by Dr. Timothy Ashley, sponsored by the Atlantic Baptist Fellowship.


We have accomplished much under the guidance of the Spirit in 2005. The challenges of 2006 are already before us.


Financial Development. Our Finance Committee with our very capable treasurer Sarah Jane Raine have worked very hard to develop a responsible and prudent budget for the current year. The budget has been developed with attentiveness to reducing down the operating short fall. Deficit financing is prohibited by diocesan canon; but we recognize that, in addition to income, operating expenses will require the utilization of some of our unrestricted endowment funds. I hope we will view this not as a partial solution to a problem, but as a challenge for continued efforts on the area of stewardship and financial development. I trust that the creation of a Stewardship Committee, with stewardship education as part of its mandate, will help us to greet this challenge. We look forward to further work from the Planned Giving Committee ably chaired by Rob White.


Outreach. Our parish has a serious commitment, including a budget commitment, and a commitment of people to the work of outreach. I hope we can continue to work at out reach education as well. The work planned for Priamte’s Fund this lent will be an important part of increasing outreach awareness in our Parish. We might also become more deeply aware of some of the very valuable community agencies in our City—like those that contributed to the Metro agencies information evening at Regional Council this past November.


Baptismal Preparation. This is an item explored by our Faith, Worship, Ministry Committee this past year, and which I hope we will be able to advance in 2006, in our efforts to be a welcoming friendly parish family.


Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may we build on the past year and meet the days and weeks ahead with the confidence of a lively faith.


Easter Octave: attendance 511; communicants 420 

Christmas: attendance 532; communicants 474


Respectfully submitted, The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis


The 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.