Saint James Anglican Church

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


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Rector's Message

Previous messages

Learning The Liturgy - BCP

Learning The Liturgy - BAS

Question of the Week


Easter Letter



Easter .... What a miracle, what a moment, what a Saviour - For love like this, we celebrate.


My brothers and sisters in the Risen Christ, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!


As we celebrate this glorious season of Easter, we all have so very much to be thankful for: spring is coming; our Church is a wonderful place to gather and celebrate our Faith Family's presence; and we have been given, by the grace of God, the incredible gift of new life in Christ. Please join me in taking time as you read this letter to offer a prayer of sincere thanksgiving to God for the generosity of life and love shared so freely with us.


One of the most beautiful gifts of Easter and the season of Spring, is the gift of new life: fresh starts, new beginnings, the setting aside of the old and embracing the newness of the unknown, unexpected and anticipated experiences God has waiting for each of us. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, we have been given an opportunity to start anew with the knowledge that our past mistakes have been forgiven and set aside and we have been admitted to the eternal life God created for us. All we have to do is accept this gift as just that -a gift.


One of the ways that Christians have been accepting this gift through the centuries is through participation in that eternal life in this life, in the here and now. When we gather to worship, to pray, to play, to talk and learn, to share and teach, we are celebrating and living in the Kingdom of God in the here and now. It is through being an active part of the Faith Family that we come to experience the grace of God's eternity while we are still experiencing our temporal humanity.


I would like to invite you to prayerfully consider your participation within the Kingdom of God here at St. James. Do you join the family for worship? If not, why not? What might you be given if you were to join us on a more frequent or regular basis? Do you want to learn and study scripture or pray beside others, knowing that there is support and comfort found in community? Do you feel called to share your talents, gifts and interests with others who would love to stand beside you, rejoicing in the ways God has called us together -individuals to family?


This church of St. James is a building that hosts a family. It is a sanctuary that invites you to join in the sacred. It is a gathering place in which you are welcome just as you are, no matter where you are along your faith journey. Whether you are just joining us because you are keeping someone else company on a Sunday morning; regular worship is a part of your rhythm and routine; you believe that maybe there is something here for you; or if you know to the depths of your soul Christ's presence in your life, you are welcome and wanted!


During Lent and in the beginning of our Easter Season, our Parish is discerning our call to become an "affirming" parish, as was requested at the 2011 Synod of our Diocese. On May 4th, following the 10am service and coffee hour, we will have a Congregational Meeting at which we will decide whether we will offer the blessing of the union of same gendered, civilly contracted marriages. We have been having the most incredible discussion groups over the past month, which have helped me to recognize two things as your Rector: (1) the people who make up the Faith Family of St. James, Armdale are a people of discernment, wisdom, and compassion, who also carry a sincere desire to seek and serve Christ in others, while seeking to know God's will for this Church; and (2) regardless of our formal decision as to blessings, we have work ahead of us to become a truly affirming parish in the most Christian ways. 


Our discussions have led us into areas of welcome and hospitality; how we embrace those who may join us who are "different" than we may currently be; how we encourage new people to "tryout" our community and show to them the love of Christ as only our Faith Family can uniquely share. Regardless of sexual orientation, marriage or union standings, socio-economic status, etc., how do we welcome and support all of God's children?


This Easter we are reminded once again of the spectacular gift God has given every person who is willing to receive it: the gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. How do we respond to that gift? How do we say "thank you" to the One who has offered it to us?


We enter into relationship with God, receiving the gift with open arms and expressing our thanks through Community Worship and participating in the life of the Church God has invited us to join. And we learn how to offer that invitation to the world around us as well.  Together we can discover what it is to be a truly affirming parish in the true sense of the word: to express agreement with or commitment to; uphold; support. You and I can share with the world that in Christ we are committed to upholding and supporting them in prayer; in mutual comfort and teaching; in sharing with them the kingdom of God.


Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!


Together let us share that greatest of Good News with all who have ears to listen.


God bless you all. And may God bless all whom you love and care for; all whom you meet and greet; and all whom you bless without even knowing. God bless you all. God bless them all.


Rachael Parker+

Rector - St. James, Armdale