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 2011


Report of the Rector to St. James Parish for the year ended 2011.

" To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good".

-I Corinthians 12:7


The refugee partnership group needed a name when it began its work two years ago. It settled on the title "Partners for Refugees". The name was most appropriate. Members of the Sponsorship Committee from St. James, other parishes, the dioceses, community agencies and government programs worked together as partners to make sponsorship successful. In the fall of 2011 Partners went on to sponsor a second family. I was privileged, last May, to address our Diocesan Synod on the work of refugee partnership. I noted how the task of refugee sponsorship has drawn out the many gifts that God had given those who are participating in this important work. Collaboration for the common good brings out the best that God infuses in us.


Community Partnership is a major theme in the many other ministries

that characterizes our parish. We have entered into an exciting

partnership with The Society for Cultural and Recreational Inclusion, 'The Club". We share not just a building, but also a vision for service and community making. We recently published in our Sunday leaflet the list of the outreach activities supported by groups and individuals from St. James. The list catalogues the many outreach connections between St. James and organizations in our community and beyond.


Last September we welcomed Ms. Cydney Proctor as contract Youth

Worker. Cydney's position was made possible in part by an estate

donation. The development of the Youth worker position was the major

project of the Congregational Development Committee during 2011.


Throughout the church year servers, Eucharistic ministers, lay readers, readers, altar guild members, and our choirs provide a weekly ministry with great dedication. The St. James Orchestra and other musicians join them on special occasions. The Mothers' Union, ACW, Men's Group also take opportunity for corporate Communion.


The collaborative nature of our common life at St. James is highlighted at the seasons of the liturgical year. Colleen Day and I worked with the children on the Lenten project, "famous trees of the bible". We had a great Holy Week this past year with solid attendance at all the services. Our servers were given their seniority ribbons on Maundy Thursday. A large orchestra played on Good Friday. Gael Page provides consistent leadership to our servers. On All Saints Sunday we remembered all those who have left a legacy of commitment to the life and work of St. James. Our Christmas celebrations drew parishioners and visitors alike.


The Photo-Directory project provided an opportunity for parishioners to celebrate their connection with the parish. Thank You to Richard Stoodley for his help with the directory.


This past year has been a very busy one for Gene Searle and the Property Committee. I want to thank Gene, Norman Raine and the property chairs of previous years for their ongoing attention to the rectory. The house has benefited from ongoing upgrades and maintenance. It is an asset to the parish as a result. Property Committee, like our other parish committees, function as a team.


I have attempted to cluster my role and responsibilities as pastor and rector around some particular focal points i.e., liturgy, preaching/teaching, pastoral care, children's ministry, outreach, and enabling the ministry of every one of the whole people of God in this place.


This is my final report as your rector. So, I would like to name just a few of the projects we have worked on together as pastor and parish. These ventures have given me a deep appreciation of the rich diversity of gifts possessed by the people of St. James. Special projects included: The introduction of church wide initiatives such as The Book of Alternative Services, The Book of Common Praise, The Revised Common Lectionary; Life in the Eucharist; Pastoral Visitors; All Souls Columbarium; The Stained Glass Window Project; Parish Website (Bill Li); Mission Statement and Goals; Property Development; Refugee Sponsorship and our relationship with SCRI. Such are tangible evidence of "the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."


I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Canon David Boston for his support and mentorship. I'd like to thank Canon Carolyn Tomlin and The Rev. Randy Townsend for taking calls during my holidays over the past number of years. I wish to thank our parish staff: Betty Rice office volunteer extraordinaire, Allen and Karen Simpson our publishers, Music Director David Wilson, Custodian Ron Josey and our previous custodian of many years Mike Hadley. A thank you is extended to our wardens Tom Beckett, Reg Hann, and Heather Baltzer, and immediate past warden Ron Josey, and to our treasurer Sarah -Jane Raine and envelope secretary Hugh McGinn. I want to extend that thank you as well, to all those who have served in those positions over the past 14 years. Parish officers make a significant contribution of time and expertise to parish life --even in the midst of their own commitments to work and family.


As always a very special thank you is extended to my family and my wife Wendy. Throughout our entire time in parish life Wendy has been, not behind me, but along side me, as a partner in ministry. I simply could not have undertaken the kind of ministry I have without her.


I will likely complete my Sunday duties on April 29th before taking final holidays. I cannot express in words what it has meant to me to be a pastor for the past 35 years, and rector of this parish for these near fourteen years. May that same Spirit that has equipped you all for ministry in the past, equip you now, and into the future to which Christ Jesus beckons you. It has been a privilege and a blessing to be part of the St. James Community.


-The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis, rector St. James Armdale.


2011 Statistics. Pastoral appointments (182). Attendance: Christmas (423) Easter (256)