Church in this new world

In the last two and a half years the whole world has experienced the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of our daily practices had to change, and at times we have had to question what is absolutely necessary, and what can we forgo. The church too has had to evaluate what we do and why we do it. In many ways the circumstances created by the pandemic are giving us an opportunity to pause and thoughtfully shape how to be a community of faith in today’s world.


Some religious leaders once came to Jesus and asked him why he hung out with the non-religious people who they considered to be sinful. Jesus replied, the healthy don’t need a doctor but the sick do. Jesus wasn’t calling the religious people healthy, but was indicating that he would give his attention to those who realised they needed help.

ONE VISION OF CHURCH TODAY is a group of people, giving attention to Jesus, believing that he can help us become more healthy. Sometimes the church has appeared like a club for people who have got it together, but what Jesus says indicates something more messy, a people learning a different way together.

Some religious leaders came to Jesus and asked him for a spiritual sign to prove his identity. He challenged them that they had some idea of the weather by the color of the sky, yet they had no idea how to read the signs in society that all was not well.

ONE VISION OF CHURCH TODAY is a community of people who recognise that there are worrying signs in the world today, political polarisation, racial and cultural divisions as well as signs in nature and our climate. Faith is not just about a personal peace. We ask Jesus to help us live together in a way that responds to these challenges, and to actively make peace in our relationships with people, communities and with planet as a whole.


ST JAMES-THE-LESS is sometimes referred to as the “less Anglican” church. The community that gather here is known for being informal and fairly flexible in it’s practice of the traditions handed down from our Anglican communion. As the former pastor used to say “Welcome to Saint James-the-Less where anything can happen and frequently does.” 

PLEASE CONNECT A website doesn’t really expose you to what a church is like, but what’s here can give you some insight into some of what we aspire to. You’re welcome to visit or give us a call and arrange an opportunity to meet Jon, our pastor, who can tell you a bit about us in person.

CHURCH IS COMMUNITY In the scriptures we read of a vibrant community of people trying to figure out how to follow in the way of Jesus, who they believed was the messiah pointed to through the whole history of their journey with God. They believed that Jesus had died for them, and incredibly, had been resurrected from the dead. The different communities that sprung up had all kinds of problems, that we still encounter in churches to this day. One of the reasons that scripture is still helpful for us today is that it is a record of how God spoke to that community who were learning to navigate these problems and live more in the way of Jesus.

One of the things we do as a community is regularly let the scriptures speak to us about common heart issues, and in our community support one another as we walk out our life of faith.

Church is not a gathering on a Sunday morning, although that is one expression. We have an online gathering that meets through the week to share together life, read the scriptures and pray, as well as other times that people get together. Life is busy, and we’re not trying to create an alternative as a church club. Our vision is for people to experience Gods transforming love in a way that impacts all their lives.


Our church gathering is not the focus of our faith, that would make church a place separate from the rest of our lives. However, Gods intention for the church was that in every way that it connected, it would equip and send people into each area of their lives, to partner with Jesus and to invite people to join in His way.


2020 Annual Report


This still in draft. Printed copy available from Church on Thursday 4th March

The Corporation – 2020

Rector  – Jonathan Hallewell 
Wardens- David Henderson, David Warren
Treasurer – Don Hazen
Envelope Secretary – Norman McLeod / Joanne Warren
Vestry –  Donald Hazen, Sharon and David Kierstead, Jerry Jamer, Sue Henderson, Jennifer Blackwood
Vestry Clerk – Joanne Warren
Synod Delegates – Norm McLeod, Lyn Hallewell
Alternates  to Synod – Cynthia Cudmore, Louise Gooch

Agenda – Annual Meeting 2021

  1. Welcome and Prayer
  2. Attendance
  3. Minutes of the last AGM
  4. Rector’s Report
  5. Warden’s Report
  6. Financial Report 2020 and Budget for 2021
  7. Missional Report
  8. Other Reports
  9. Election of Wardens and Vestry
  10. Election of Synod Delegates and Alternates
  11. Appointment of Safe Church person
  12. Any other Business
  13. Votes of thanks
  14. Adjournment

Minutes of the Last AGM

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
for the Year 2020, on Feb 16th 2020 at 13:05

  1. Welcome and Prayer: Rev. Jonathan Hallewell
  2. Attendance: 21
  3. Minutes of the last AGM   Moved by David Kierstead   Seconded Joan Blackwood –   no errors of omission noted. Carried.
  4. Statistical Report – 1 congregation
  5. Rector’s Report  – No questions – Moved Sharon Kierstead, Seconded David Henderson. Carried.
  6. Warden’s Report and Statistical Analysis:  Presented by David Henderson – 
  7. Highlighted Linda Pike, Chris, & Don Moved by Don Hazen, Seconded Ada Onuora. Carried.
  8. Financial Report 2018 and Budget for 2019 Presented by Don Hazen.   – Question about plans for the Rectory –  Moved by Joan Blackwood, Seconded by Susan Henderson – Carried
    1. Discussion about property tax on rectory.
    1. Thanks Don
  9. Missional Report: Presented by Rev. Jon Hallewell, with David Henderson presenting Mission Committee Report. 
    1. Commendation for those helping with outflow

Moved by David Keirstead,  Seconded David Warren. Carried

  1. Other Reports Moved by Sharon Keirstead, Seconded by Linda . Carried.
    1. Vote of thanks for Anne Ross
  1. Proposal to accept 6 ordinary positions on Parish Vestry. Moved by Jonathan Hallewell, Seconded by Don Hazen. Carried
  2. Proposal to close nominations for Vestry. Moved by Jonathan Hallewell, Seconded by Don Hazen. Carried.
  3. Nominations for Vestry: Sharon Keirstead, David Keirstead, Sue Henderson, Linda Pike, Don Hazen, Jerry Jamer. Moved by Jonathan Hallewell, Seconded Ada . Carried.
  4. Election of Wardens: Nominations for wardens presented by Jonathan Hallewell. Proposed to accept David Henderson and David Warren.  
    Moved by Lyn Hallewell, Seconded by Norm McLeod. Carried
  5. Election of Synod Delegates.  Jonathan Hallewell presented nominations for Norm McLeod and Lyn Hallewell.  Proposed David Henderson, Seconded Susan Henderson.  Carried
  6. Election of Synod Alternates – Nominations received for Jennifer Blackwood and  Louise Gooch. Moved by Linda, Seconded John Cudmore. Carried
  7. Any other Business
    1. Question about rectory rental value. Congregation appreciate knowing.
    1. Bob Hamilton shared about political pressure to ban conversion therapy.
      (i) It needs to be voluntary and desired
  8. Votes of thanks 
  9. Sharon Kierstead thanked the wardens.
  10. Jon moved thanks for David Keirstead for his role of on the building
  11. Joan moved thanks for rector for picking her up, his kindness and care
  12. Jon moved thanks for everyone stepping up in hospitality.
  13. Close in Prayer by David Henderson.
  14. Adjournment moved by Norm McLeod / Seconded by David Keirstead at 14:06

Jon’s Report 

Well that was different! I image if I had stood up at last years AGM and said that we won’t meet in our building for most of the Sundays in the coming year, that you’ll have to learn to use things called Zoom and YouTube, that when we met we’ll have to wear masks and we won’t be able to shake hands or sing … I’m smiling as I type while imagining the looks that might have been on your faces. Of course, Covid-19 has been nothing to smile about. We have experienced circumstances not of our choosing, but had we any choice in how we were to experience the Covid-19 Pandemic, we would most likely choose the outcome that our little corner of planet earth has been fortunate to experience, in contrast to much of our own nation let alone more unfortunate places. 

I’ll never forget seeing Pope Francis walking alone praying through the streets of Rome and the Vatican while Italy was the global epicenter, on lockdown, and we were all trying to come to terms with the tragic loss of life and pressure on healthcare systems. No one can remember a time when all of life seemed to come to a complete standstill, when one and all had to adjust to a different life, at least for the time being. One of the results of our new normal is not only that our church worship gatherings have been affected, but nearly all our normal activities curtailed. This makes for a shorter report this year, as we ran into what the Psalmist calls ‘Selah’ – a meaningful pause for reflection.

We, like many others, grappled with questions about what was happening, it’s meaning, and of course asking “where is God?” Global crisis have historically seen people turn to God and flock to church; we’ve seen little evidence of that this time, maybe for reasons beyond the closure of church buildings. As we have all seen, there was denial among some that this was happening at all, believing it to be a conspiracy; beliefs that nonsensically persist to this day. In spite the fact that in this life we are never too far removed from suffering, it was as if there was the thought within society that we were immune from this kind of event. Despite, or maybe, because this kind of scenario lives in books and movies, we believed it belonged in the realm of imagination. However, it is not true that no one saw it coming. Scientists have been predicting something like this for some time, and had even run simulations for exactly this scenario in the months prior. Maybe we’ve become desensitized to such warnings from the scientific world. Netflix even had a full series about Pandemic released in time for the pandemic to begin. There is a fine line between not living in fear, while taking heed of reasonable warnings about what might come your way. It is possible that if there is any overarching lesson to tbe learned from Covid-19, it is to take the warnings from scientists seriously. Warnings aside, James tells us to ‘Rejoice’ when all kind of trial come your way, for testing of your faith produces steadfastness, which completes us, so we lack nothing. (James 1:5) So this year’s trial has brought us the opportunity to grow in steadfastness and to be formed by God.

God not only forms us through trials, but also in community. We are blessed in that had this Pandemic occurred more than five years ago we wouldn’t have had the technological tools at hand to give us the opportunities for community we have had. This has been one of the major causes of rejoicing. Our zoom meetings throughout the week have not been a poor consolation prize but a major step forward for us as a church. The church is disciple-making movement which means opening up and sharing life together. Although we are used to gathering with one or two voices taking the lead and giving the input, there is not really much biblical ground to support this way of being church. Online we engage face to face, explore the scripture together and discern what the Spirit is saying to us. This is not the sum of what we are called to be, but like a little monastic community, our scripture reading and prayer rhythm has become a heart beat of our body in this season. When we have been able to meet in the building, the health restrictions led to us having a single communion administration as an intersection between our two services. This has been a blessing for many, especially with the joined opportunity to connect relationally. Although we likely wouldn’t do this all the time, there is the possibility of integrating it on some occasions as we go forward.


Under direction from the Spirit, and with conformation with Archbishop David’s message to us, this has been a season for reflection, with a need to listen, that will continue. Some mission has continued, especially our missional giving, and Jerry and Carol Jamer together with assistance from the Outflow team insured that we were able to continue to remember and provide for the poor in our city. 

The Prayer Ministry Team

Prayer is a part of our mission, and it continued at full pace, praying for many people connected to our congregation. Ministry on behalf of those we’re in relationship with, is one of the main ways we sow into a mission field. This is really the front line and testing ground of our faith. These are the places God has given us as a missional responsibility. As we see answered to prayer so our faith and testimony grows.

Prayer for Saint John (and NB)

The Thursday prayer group has continued throughout the last year, meeting mostly on zoom. Combined with prayer for the provincial government, we discovered the Lord calling us to an expanded mandate to pray wider than Saint John. We have been able to have people from throughout the province join.

Looking forward

Here are some thoughts going forward. I believe some of what we were cultivating prior to the pandemic, in terms of hospitality and shared meals will be important as we move in stages to more social freedom. There may be some restrictions which we’ll have to navigate, but there is a hunger for community in the wider community that has been deprived.

We have been praying for, and have seen increased requests to use our facility by the community. We’re exploring more options for this, as I would like our building to be seen as somewhat of a community center. Having a physical prayer center as part of this will be important. I believe God wants to move through healing, creativity and community. 

If this year caught us unawares, then we need to be on our toes. In some ways, God has primed us to be more ready for whatever comes, and shown us that we need to be flexible.

I want to close by saying I so appreciate the love and time put in by particularly the wardens, vestry team and prayer team, all of whom are very committed to being led by the Lord and not just being a church organization. We’re all blessed to be served by them so well. Thank you all too for your grace and patience through what has been a challenging time.

Jonathan Hallewell 

February 2021

2020 Wardens’ Report

From the wardens to our faithful brothers and sisters at St James the Less Church: Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

2020 was a year like no other in living memory. It began as every other year but quickly turned into something unprecedented.  We won’t talk much about our individual and collective experiences in 2020 because we can all remember that wild roller-coaster ride.

We thank our Lord for Jon’s leadership and his presence with us. His innovative use of technology has allowed us to meet remotely even though we weren’t always able to meet in the building. We understand that 2020 has been even more difficult for those among us who don’t have access to technology or who are uncomfortable in participating using Zoom or YouTube. 

Throughout the past year the rector, wardens and vestry have had a continuing sense that this is a time for us all to wait upon the Lord for our future direction. We ask that all of our brothers and sisters would actively participate in this waiting and discerning time. We believe that, together, He will lead us along correct paths into our future. 

We would like to thank Jon, Don, Joanne and our Vestry for their service. Eric has also helped us with a willing heart. We would also like to thank our custodian, Denny, for the volunteer work he does for us in addition to his paid service.

The LORD bless you and keep you;

The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

The LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.  [Numbers 6: 24-26]

David Henderson, Warden 
David Warren, Warden


Coronavirus Covid-19

Coronavirus Covid-19 is sweeping throughout the world, infecting some, taking lives, but changing the lives of all. Scenarios which barely unimaginable a few months ago are now in place in almost every nation. Churches are not immune to the virus, or the changes.

However this is a moment of rediscovery. We know that Jesus said that he was always with us, that he would never leave – He wasn’t talking about a 90 minute service on a Sunday morning and a handful of other gatherings. Leaders often talk in church about how we are the church 24-7, but our focus on our inherited patterns have often seemed to hold us back from inhabiting the full promise of the call to be the church. In this global moment of liminality, with all that we once held dear prohibited, we reach for daily moments of connection, and pray that the thoughts of our hearts would be renewed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

During this time we at St James the Less are having daily scripture meditations and prayers, and providing opportunities to connect online. We would love for you to join us, and explore how God like a potter is shaping the church as a vessel to contain His loving life and presence in the days ahead.

Monday – Friday approximately 9am
Sunday – 10:30am

The latest video of our connections are in the sidebar, or slightly larger on our online connect page.

Jon Hallewell


Family Christmas Supper

Just a reminder that we will be having a Family Christmas Supper on December the 15th, at 5:00 pm, in the church auditorium. We ask that you would consider your favourite Christmas vegetable dish or dessert. The meat and gravy will be supplied. We are going with turkey and another meat. We are looking for individuals to bring mashed potatoes, vegetables, etc. if possible.

Also, we plan to have a fun time after our lovely meal. It requires that everyone bring a small $2-$3 item wrapped, that someone could enjoy or use.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Bringing Life to the community