Saint James Anglican Church

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


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Rector's Messages

Message Archive


Of Stewardship and keeping our house in order for the future.

The theme of my thanksgiving letter is "scarcity and abundance".  These days Anglicans in our part of the world find themselves with an abundance of church buildings. Many of our buildings, their size and construction, are built for the needs of a previous era. This situation presents the church as a whole with a number of stewardship challenges that have both financial and moral components. However, it is not a question of simply moving from too many buildings to no buildings. The buildings at St. James require some age related refitting. However, St. James' buildings are in an excellent location and are of comparatively recent construction. They have been well maintained over the years. While it is true that services may be held in just about any location, the sacred space offered by our churches provides us with a rich environment for prayer, reflection and community praise. The environment provided by churches is to a large degree unique. In some cases, the church is sought after as a location for cultural events. The loss of churches from our communities would be as unfortunate as the loss of museums, parks, libraries or concert halls. Church hall houses activities and programs for both the congregation and the wider community. They are a resource for building up the congregation. They are used for both fellowship and outreach. In this respect, there is no essential distinction between sacred and secular. Like any resource, the church buildings require good Christian stewardship to maintain and operate.


Our buildings at St. James are matched by the abundance of our endowment funds. Our endowment funds exist at their current level for two reasons (1) the generosity of folks in the past who remembered St. James in their estate planning (2) the gift of time and expertise on the part of successive generations of parishioners in the management of these funds. The parish endowment funds generate income, both interest and dividends, which are an important part of our annual parish revenue every year. The Parish is required by law to use income only from much of our endowment funds. The best management practice for the long haul is to treat all of the endowment funds this way. The more successful we are with the Capital Campaign the more success we will have preventing a draw off our endowment funds with a consequent loss of revenue in the years ahead. The church is home to weddings, funerals, major Church services, regular parish services throughout the church year, times of quiet prayer and reflection. The hall houses the parish meetings, church groups, Sunday school, scouting programs and small community groups in available space. It is a source of rental income. Our buildings serve the needs of the people who gather within them. The Wardens, and the chairs of both the Finance Committee and the Stewardship Committee, join me in encouraging members of St. James to support, according to their means, our Capital Campaign. The Campaign will ensure we have facilities for ministry into the future.


The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis