Saint James Anglican Church

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


SAINT JAMES

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Rector's Message

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Learning The Liturgy - BCP

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Question of the Week

 

Easter Letter

2016

 

Mes Amis, "Chrétiens, chantons le Dieu vainquer"!

My friends, we are called to sing Alleluia as we celebrate that Jesus Christ is risen and has vanquished death and gifted humanity with eternal life!

You are not scratching your head in vain if you are wondering why your Priest has chosen to write the name of a French Easter hymn, in French. to begin this Easter Pastoral Letter. This "bilingualism" was meant to catch your attention and share with you that life is changing; the world is being renewed; nothing is as it used to be. and this is something worth singing "alleluia" about!

Easter is a season, the season, in which we celebrate that God is making all things new and what has seemed impossible in the past is not only possible, but probable, and not only probable, but actually happening here in God's world!  When we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and the gift of eternal life he bought with his life, we are called to stop worrying that the ways things have been is something that holds us back. Quite to the contrary, with his Easter Rising Jesus proclaims the Good News that a new world has been born and we are called to participate in it fully.

Just recently I had a conversation with a colleague who has been quite familiar with this Parish and who was able to worship with us one Sunday. Our discussion was lively and invigorating as this priest shared with me the observation that "the culture of Saint James is changing!" One statement was that while always a "friendly" church, it has now become a "welcoming community" and we have a strong sense of prayerfulness mixed with the reality that the members of the congregation seem to pray for one another as well!  To this I could only say "Thanks be to God" for the culture of our church community, and indeed any church community, must always strive to be one in which new people feel honestly welcomed and in which "regulars" know they have a place in which to turn to God through their relationships with others.

Easter is a time of new life, new hope and new love.  It is that season of the Church that brings everything that God was doing from before time began into fruition. God knew, long before any of us came into existence, what struggles we would face, what challenges we would encounter and what divine help we would Crave.  In answer to all of our questions - spoken and unspoken - God gave us Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ.  In Jesus we were called to live a new way: to think in new patterns; to love as we had never loved before.

The Church is our corner of God's Kingdom that God has placed in our care and for which He has called us to exercise enlightened and "faith-full" stewardship".  The congregation of Saint James was not commissioned with keeping everything the way it was ... Nor were we called to fill our pews with people (although that would be a gift indeed)!  We were called to proclaim Jesus Christ as Risen and then to go out into the world making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that [Jesus] has commanded. (Matthew 28.19-20).  This congregation, with God's help and with one another's support, is preparing to become a community of faith-full believers who are poised to begin doing exactly what Jesus has commissioned us to do: share the Good News of Jesus Christ with all whom we meet - at home and abroad (in the community).

We have begun with prayer and our new Prayer Circle will uphold this community s Easter work, praying for every member as we stretch and grow as evangelizing Christians. We are also cognizant that to be a community whose culture is truly welcoming we need to be able to physically and actually welcome people into our entire communal life. To that end, we are in the midst of our Accessibility Project which will ''LIFT' people and enable them to join us in worship in church and in fellowship in the Parish Hall.  I invite you to pray for the Prayer Circle regularly, or join in too if you wish. and I encourage you to support our LIFT (similar to an elevator in the Parish Hall) by making a donation to our LIFT Fund.

The Easter Season is upon us and with this season of Resurrection and hope comes joy and peace and the desire and ability to look ahead with anticipation to the future that God holds out for us to grasp - as individuals and as a Church Community.

Join us as we move out of the familiar and into the unknown. exciting and invigorating life that God is sharing with us right now. I look forward to seeing you at Easter and throughout the Easter Season, as we shape and shift our culture to celebrate what God is sharing with us!

God bless you and keep you. Happy Easter!

 

Rachael Parker+

Priest, Pastor, Rector - St. James Anglican Church (Armdale)

 

God of grace and glory,

by the death and resurrection of your Beloved Child

your reign of wholeness has been unleashed

within our bent and broken world.

Open to us your empowering grace

that we may be bearers of your world-redeeming love;

through the resurrected Christ,

our dignity. our power, and our peace. Amen.

(Paul Fayter 1991)