Saint James Anglican Church

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


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Rector's Message

Hello Everyone

 

My name is Rachael Parker and as of the first of September I will be your new Rector!

 

Before I introduce myself a little bit, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you.

 

Thank you to the St. James' Congregation for inviting me to join your Parish Family.

Thank you to your hardworking Parochial Committee for their faithful leadership in discerning who God is calling to join you on your journey.

Thank you as well to The Rev. Don Shipton for his care during this time of transition and to your former Rector, The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis who has faithfully shared with you God's love and compassion for the past many years.

Most of all, I would like to thank God for the call to serve you and to serve with you in the times to come. I am very excited about the ministry God is calling us to share with each other, with our community and with the world!

 

Now I will share with you a bit about me.

 

In 1995 I graduated from Brescia College in London with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and in 1999 I graduated with my Master of Divinity from Huron College, also in London. I was ordained in 1999 and began service as a Rector within the Diocese of Huron.

 

I was married in 2005 to (then) Sub-Lieutenant Robert Parker. Rob was ordained in 2006 and joined the Reg Force in 2008, becoming officially "Lieutenant (Navy) the Reverend Robert Parker." (I know that's a mouthful, so you can just call him the Rector's Spouse or Padre Rob!) I have two step-sons: Robby is almost 13 and Danny is almost 12. They live with their mom in Sarnia, Ontario but they will be with us for summers and Christmas.

 

In 2009 I moved to CFB Borden to join my husband as he was experiencing his first posting and with that move made the transition into a new Diocese and a new role as an Honorary Assistant.

 

I come to you after having been on a sort of "sabbatical" for the past three years. Since 2009 I have been serving at St. Andrew Church in Alliston, Ontario. Being an "honorary" allowed me the privilege of celebrating and preaching within a wonderful congregation, without holding any of the responsibilities that come with being the Rector. I had the gift of time to pray and read and discover how much I really did miss being the parish priest. This time spent "assisting" has been a gift to me as it has helped me to discern who God is calling me to as your priest, pastor, teacher and Rector.

 

Prior to my time in Alliston, I served for 9 years in the following ministries:

  • 2006 - 2009 Rector - St. Bartholomew's, Sarnia

  • September 2005 - January 2006 Interim Priest - St. Anne's, Byron (London)

  • Summer 2005 Chaplain - Huron Church Camp

  • 2004 - 2005 Rector - Church of the Redeemer, London

  • 1999 - 2004 Rector - St. Stephen's, Stratford and Trinity, Mitchell

I was also involved in the life of the Diocese of Huron, serving on various committees and becoming involved and trained in Fresh Start, which is a programme designed to assist clergy and congregations in times of transition. I am excited to bring what I have learned through training and experiences to our Parish Church and I really do look forward to growing with you as we discover each other and God's plans for our community.

 

Although I haven't been classified a "youth" for a few years, I do enjoy working with young people, hearing about their ideas and dreams, and walking with them as they discover God's work and call on their lives. Through my participation in Ask & Imagine, the Youth Synod of the Diocese of Huron and volunteer work with youth at risk of homelessness in Stratford, I have been so blessed to rediscover time and again the Gospel of Christ as it is lived out in the lives of those young enough to remember to ask "why not" when searching for God's plans for the future. There is much, much more I could share with you but I would rather share with you face to face. If you see me out and about the Parish grounds through the summer, please introduce yourself.

 

Once the 1st of September rolls around I will be looking forward to getting to know all of you in an intentional way. If I don't get to see you quick enough, be sure to call and let me know. I am hoping to arrange some informal get-togethers throughout September and early October where we can put names to faces and share hopes and dreams, and even fears and worries, about our Parish and what we each discern God calling us to do as individuals and as a community.

 

In the meantime, keep praying for St. James and for The Rev. Shipton as he continues his ministry with you throughout the summer. Pray for me as well, that I may come into your presence with hope and joy, energy and peace. For my part, I will continue to pray for all of you.

 

God's kingdom is filled with exciting and challenging times. We are going to do our part to face those Gospel challenges with excitement and energy and hope! Together we can, and will, seek out God's will and do it well - with God's help, of course.

 

Have a safe and blessed summer. I sincerely look forward to becoming a part of the St. James family.

 

Yours in Christ,

Rachael Parker+