Bells of Peace to Ring November 11

November 2018









For centuries, church bells have been rung to mark joyous occasions – weddings, coronations and the arrival of peace after war. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the signing of the First World War armistice on November 11, 1918. To mark the occasion, the Kirk and all Charlottetown places of worship that are fitted with bells, will ring them 100 times at sunset, 4:44 pm. Similar bell ringing will take place across Canada at local sunset time.

This ringing of the “Bells of Peace” is a joint project of Veterans Affairs Canada and the Royal Canadian Legion. Says the Legion: “The Royal Canadian Legion was born from the ashes of the First World War. As Canada’s largest veterans’ organization and in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada, we have been handed this torch of remembrance by our founders to hold high and to never forget the sacrifices made in the name of Canada and for Canadians. On 11 November 2018, 100 years will have passed since the signing of the armistice that officially ended [the First World War]. As a tribute to all Canadians that served in this horrific struggle we are producing a program of remembrance for those from that era — an event that allows Canadians, if only for a moment, to stop, to remember and to feel, perhaps for a second, the joy that peace brought after so much death and destruction.… Our hope is all who hear the Bells will stop and focus on the loss and sacrifice both on the battlefield and at home.”

At the Kirk, the ringing of the “Bells of Peace” is being organized by Heritage Committee member Ian Scott. He will be joined by a number of congregation members at sunset on November 11 to toll the Kirk’s bell and remember all those who fought and served in the First World War, and especially the eight members of the Kirk family who made the ultimate sacrifice during that devastating conflict.

Ellen Burnett Teaching in Cape Dorset

October 2018

Entrance to the Sam Pudlat Elementary School.








Kirk member Ellen Burnett, daughter of Deanne and Robertson Burnett, is spending the 2018-2019 school year teaching Grade Six at the Sam Pudlat School in the hamlet of Cape Dorset, Nunavut. After graduating from St. Francis Xavier with a Bachelor of Science degree and studying Education at Acadia University this past year, Ellen decided to opt for the adventure and better pay checks of a northern Canadian assignment, instead of attempting to get local substitute teaching work. Said Ellen: “If I was to start working in the Maritimes this year, I would establish myself, I would get comfy cozy in my routine, and for the rest of my life, I would probably never leave. If I’m going to do something ‘different’, I figure this year is the year to do it. Good or bad, I know it will be a very interesting experience to look back on.”

Ellen arrived in Nunavut on September 6, “a little nervous and a lot excited.” She soon found that new surroundings were a lot different from PEI. “There are no paved roads here; everything, including the airport runway, is gravelly and dirt, which means everything is either really dusty or really muddy all the time…. Other than that the landscape is mainly either jagged rock or water. All the buildings are built up on stilts a metre or two off the ground. I suspect this is to avoid flooding in the spring but I have not had the opportunity to ask yet. There are no road names here, as there is no need; every apartment has a number and every major building has a name.”

Ellen is sharing a three bedroom apartment that is nice and spacious. It is located right across from the high school and a 4-5 minute walk from her elementary school. Her roommates, Eric, Cale and Cale, are fellow Acadia students. They are getting used to having water delivered – it has already run out on them once during a snow day – and are acclimatizing to the different food prices: a regular box of Cheerios is $14.00 and a large bag of chips for snack time will set you back $8.00.

As for the teaching, Ellen says: “It’s not easy, but I didn’t expect it to be. Education is not viewed in the same light as it is at home, but routines are starting to come together and relationships are being built. Some days are rougher than others but overall things are steadily improving as my students and I continue to understand each other better…. One thing that took some getting used to is that the kids often use faces to say yes or no instead of a nod or shake. The face for yes is eyebrows raised, kind of like a confused face to me, which was tricky at the start! The face for no is (a) scrunched up nose so it almost looks like they are angry with you. Very confusing at first — still takes me a second but I am getting the hang of it now.”

“Last night (for Thanksgiving) we had a potluck with teachers from both the elementary and high school. It was an enjoyable gathering during which we goofed off a bunch and everybody ate lots (let’s be real, way too much) of really delicious food. We scored a turkey carcass and my soup is on the stove as we speak, which I am pumped about.”

As for her experience up north so far, Ellen says: “I am enjoying it up here so far. I do miss fall at home, but as I was saying to someone earlier this week, you know, it’s windy, there’s salt water, there’s quite a bit of sand… it’s basically PEI add mountains, minus trees and minus about 15 degrees of warmth!”

Kirk to Launch Million Dollar Capital Campaign

September 2018

At a Special Congregational Meeting held on September 23, the congregation of the Kirk of St. James unanimously voted to undertake a $1.0 million major capital campaign to restore and improve the church building. The vote came following years of deliberations about the future of the Kirk building and its congregation, after a 2014 Aged Building Audit by Coles Associates identified over a million dollars in necessary repairs to the fabric of the church.

During the meeting, David Robinson, Action Clerk of Session, outlined a three-point plan devised by Session to plot the way forward for the congregation. It called for: the launch of a five-year $1.0 million capital campaign to restore and improve the Kirk building; a program of congregational renewal to also roll out over a five-year period; and a commitment to maintain regular church operations and activities during the five years of the renewal program.

“We have worked very hard in 2018,” Robinson said, “to fashion a plan of action that will honour [the] desire to keep the Kirk going, and also deal realistically with the challenges we face in terms of financial capabilities and the number of volunteers available to undertake congregational renewal initiatives.”

The plan outlined will see necessary actions taken to restore the structural integrity and water-tightness of the building, restore stained glass windows, and also incorporate new washrooms, including barrier free washrooms to complement the Kirk’s recent actions to improve the accessibility of the Sanctuary.

The capital campaign will be led by a five-person Capital Campaign Executive Committee that was introduced during the congregational meeting. It will be chaired by accomplished Charlottetown lawyer and Kirk Elder, David Hooley, with fellow lawyer and long serving civil servant Shauna Sullivan Curley, another Kirk Elder, serving as Vice Chair. The committee’s membership is rounded out by Lorne Moase, retired provincial civil servant and former Clerk of Session; David Robinson, current Action Clerk of Session and a retired naval officer; and Rev. Amanda Henderson-Bolton, Minister of the Kirk of St. James.

Planning for the capital campaign will be facilitated by Campaign Coaches, a fundraising support company which helped Summerside Presbyterian Church run the successful capital campaign for its new church building; and by Coles Associates, which will provide engineering and architectural advice and support to the project.

Said Robinson in closing the meeting: “Friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for endorsing Session’s plans for our shared future. I believe that we are embarking on an achievable, forward-looking plan that will see us grow into a hopeful future. It is a plan that should allow us to hand down the legacy that is the Kirk to a new generation of believers. I am excited to be getting to work on this project, and I am sure that the rest of the Capital Campaign Executive Committee is as well.”

Plans call for the campaign to be formally launched early in 2019, after necessary preparatory work is completed.

Rev. Amanda New Moderator of the Presbytery of PEI

September 2018







During its annual meeting, held at Summerside Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, Rev. Amanda Henderson-Bolton was inducted as the new Moderator of the Presbytery of Prince Edward Island. Rev. Amanda succeeds the Rev. Brad Blaikie, Minister of Summerside Presbyterian Church, in that role.

During the induction ceremony, Rev. Brad said: “I’ve noticed at events like this that the outgoing Moderator often gives the incoming Moderator a gift … often a beverage, and frequently alcoholic in nature. So I went out and purchased something suitable. Then I heard Rev. Amanda’s good news [that she is expecting in February 2019] and decided that what I had bought wouldn’t do. I had to drink it myself!” Instead of the unnamed libation, Rev. Brad bought Rev. Amanda a box of chocolates and a Rock and Roll Baby Names book, which were presented to general laughter.

The Moderator presides at bi-monthly meetings of the Presbytery, which is made up of Ministers and Representative Elders drawn from PEI’s 25 Presbyterian churches and charges. According to the Book of Forms, “the duty of the Moderator is to constitute the court and preside, to open and close the meetings with prayer, to preserve order, to take the vote, to announce decisions, to pronounce censures, to sign the minutes when sustained, to instruct parties to judicial process, to call meetings for emergent business and generally to direct the business of the court.”

Rev. Amanda came to the Presbytery of PEI in 2014 and most recently has been very active in the Camp and Business Committees of the Presbytery. It is a sign of the high regard in which Rev. Amanda is held that she is being called to assume the Moderator’s chair at such an early juncture in her ministry career.

A native of Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Rev. Amanda earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Stephen’s University (2005), spent time in the Iona Community in Scotland, studied for a Master of Divinity degree from Acadia Divinity College (2009) and a Master of Arts degree from Acadia University (2010). After that she studied for 18 months at McGill/Presbyterian College in Montreal. She accepted a call to the Kirk of St. James in 2014, and lives in Charlottetown with her husband Chad, who is a candidate for ministry, as well as her two dogs and cat.

Dr. Eric Green Lecturer 2018

August 2018







Living Close to Home: Local Choices for a Sustainable Future – the 2018 Dr. Eric Green Lecture, will be presented by the Rev. Dr. Peter Denton on Friday, September 28, 2018 at the University of Prince Edward Island in the Don and Marion McDougall Hall, Room 329, at 7:30 pm. The event is co-sponsored by the Kirk of St. James and the UPEI Environmental Studies program. It is a free public lecture, to which all are welcome.

Dr. Denton is the son-in-law of the Rev. Dr. Jim Farris and Jean Farris, of our congregation.

On Saturday, September 29, 2018, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm in the Kirk of St. James church hall at 35 Fitzroy Street, Charlottetown, Dr. Denton will present Living Close to Home – the Workshop – based on his books, Live Close to Home (2016); Technology and Sustainability (2014); and Gift Ecology: Reimagining a Sustainable World (2012). This interactive workshop will explore how we can live rewarding yet sustainable lives right where we are. A light lunch will be provided. This is a free public workshop to which all are welcome. Pre-registration for the workshop is appreciated, by contacting (902) 892-2839 or

On Sunday, September 30, 2018 Dr. Denton, his wife, the Rev. Mona Denton, and their two children, Daniel and Ruth, will lead the worship service at the Kirk. Everybody is welcome to join us for this special occasion.

An ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, Dr. Denton holds five degrees, culminating in a Ph.D. in Religion and the Social Sciences (McMaster). He is an instructor in Technical Communications and Ethics at Red River College, and teaches ethics by distance education for the Philosophy Department at the University of Manitoba. He is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics.

Dr. Denton is Adjunct Associate Professor of History at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he has taught since 2003 primarily as a subject matter expert in technology, warfare and society. He designed and taught the first RMC graduate course on religion and modern war, which led to editing and publishing an anthology of his work and that of his students through the Canadian Defence Academy Press (Believers in the Battlespace: Religion, Ideology and War, 2011).

He is currently one of the two Regional Representatives for Major Groups and Stakeholders in North America to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In that capacity, he attended the first United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi (June 2014) and related meetings, which led to an invitation to participate in the Global Intergovernmental Multi-Stakeholder Consultations for GEO 6, UNEP’s next planetary survey. At these meetings in Berlin in October 2014, he was elected and served as Rapporteur, responsible for the consultation outcome documents that established the parameters for GEO 6. He was subsequently appointed a Chapter Lead Author for the North American Regional Assessment in GEO 6.

Quilt Raffle

August 2018







A group of talented quilters have hand-made a beautiful 80” x 86” quilt for the purpose of raising funds for the Kirk of St. James. The eye-catching quilt (shown above) features rosy bunches, leafy green foliage and white posies, surrounded by chocolate brown borders. It would look stunning in your bedroom, or serve as a treasured Christmas gift or wedding present for loved ones.

The quilt was lovingly crafted by Christy Ashby, Helen Bartlett, Heather Henry-MacDonald, Valerie Moore, Marilyn Nicholson, Mar Thomson and Karen Murray. The first five listed are members of the Kirk, while the remaining two are our benefactors. The Kirk extends warmest thanks to all seven talented ladies for their kindness in making this fundraiser possible.

The quilt will be raffled, with the draw taking place later this fall. Tickets are $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00. They may be purchased from Christy Ashby at church, or from Amy Holloway in the Kirk office during office hours, Tuesday to Friday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Funds raised by the raffle will support a variety of Kirk programs and activities. Your support for this worthy enterprise is encouraged.

Kirk Youth a Suzanne Brenton Award winner

June 2018

The Kirk would like to congratulate Judy Yun on winning the Suzanne Brenton Award at the 2018 Kiwanis PEI Music Festival.

This award was established through an endowment from a former member of the PEI Symphony Orchestra who began to play the cello while in her sixties. The winner is selected from the outstanding soloists during the Music Festival competition, and is awarded the opportunity to perform a concerto or other solo work during a performance of the PEI Symphony Orchestra. Judy will be enjoying her opportunity to perform with the PEI Symphony Orchestra on February 24, 2019, at Zion Presbyterian Church.

Judy is a student at Colonel Gray High School, and travels to Halifax for her violin lessons. The musical selection that won Judy the Suzanne Brenton Award was Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor. This concerto was his last large orchestral work. It forms an important part of the traditional violin repertoire and is one of the most popular and beloved violin concertos in history.

Mendelssohn originally proposed the idea of the violin concerto to Ferdinand David, a close friend and then concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, in 1838, but the work took another six years to complete and was not premiered until 1845. The composition was one of the foremost violin concertos produced during the Romantic era and influenced many other composers.

Judy is keeping her career horizons open at the moment. When she is not studying or playing the violin, she enjoys all kinds of art, including painting and drawing. She is the daughter of Hyeonjung Park and Dongkoo Yun. Her sister, Connie, is also an accomplished violinist. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the pair’s special musicianship during the Kirk’s worship service on August 19, 2018.

The Kirk’s Faith in Action Weekend

June 2018

On Saturday, June 9, the Kirk of St. James held its annual Faith-in-Action slate of activities in support of local mission and outreach. This event was first held in 2008, and has continued as a Kirk tradition ever since.

One team from the Kirk held a BBQ at the Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store location, in order to raise funds for a future Habitat for Humanity building project. A second team prepared and served a spaghetti and meatballs meal at the Upper Room Soup Kitchen on Richmond Street. About 65 meals were served to very appreciative diners. A third team planted seed mats in the Adopt-a-Corner flower bed located kitty corner from the Kirk on the corner of Fitzroy and Pownal streets. The day’s fourth crew spent the morning giving our Sanctuary a good cleaning.

On Sunday, June 10, following worship, the congregation celebrated its accomplishments with a congregational luncheon and time of fellowship in the Upper Hall.

The Kirk thanks all of its very willing volunteers for an excellent display of community mindedness. Special thanks are due to the convener of the Mission and Outreach committee, Michele Coles, who did all of the organizational work that made the weekend a success.

New Accessible Pew at the Kirk

May 2018








If you have walked up the central aisle at the Kirk recently, you will have noticed that half a pew is missing on the north side. This need not be a cause of concern! The missing seating was purposefully removed as part of our ongoing efforts to make the Kirk more accessible, by providing a suitable seating area for those in wheelchairs or using walkers. Advice received from the Council for People with Disabilities had indicated that a central pew was the one best suited to this purpose.

The Management Committee arranged for this work in consultation with Josh Silver, Program Director of the Holland College Heritage Retrofit Carpentry Program. Many developers and communities are seeking to refit or re-use older structures like the Kirk, and as a result, demand for heritage retrofit carpenters is high. In this Holland College program, students learn the original construction techniques that were used centuries ago, and how to replicate them by combining traditional skills with the latest technology. The program components include timber frame carpentry, restoration and renovation, finishing, energy efficiency, and architectural history. A student of the program, Leif Hammarlund, did the work on the renovated Kirk pew, and has submitted a proposal to refit one of the front pews as well, in order to accommodate disabled access for members of wedding and funeral parties. Lief also repaired a badly cracked pew in the back south-east corner of the Sanctuary.

This improvement to Kirk accessibility follows our action in 2002 to install a wheelchair ramp at the front entrance to the Kirk. Murray Holmes was instrumental in having the ramp done at that time. Last year the lane side of the ramp’s support was damaged, and Murray Holmes again came to the rescue, arranging for a recent repair, and doing paint touch ups on the supports and rails last week.

Thank you, Murray and Leif for helping to make the Kirk more accessible to all!

Jim Macnutt wins national award for book

April 2018

Kirk Elder Jim Macnutt has won the Canadian Museums Association’s 2018 Award of Outstanding Achievement for his 2017 book, Historic Furniture of Prince Edward Island. The 352 page book contains 750 beautiful photographs and field note sketches. It describes and analyses a wide range of Island-made and imported furniture, covering 200 years of PEI history.

Said Jim Macnutt, “The bulk of the furniture that is illustrated in the book is made here on Prince Edward Island so you’ve got a range of what is called primitive … straight through to very top end, very high furniture.” The pieces covered in the book range from late 18th century furniture, to that made in the early 1900s. “The furniture tells a very, very distinct story and the story is it reflects the economic conditions of the province … the degree of wealth. It also reflects the education, knowledge and information people had of the outside world.”

According to reviewer Canadian Antiques & Vintage Magazine: “You need this book! There, I’ve said it. Yes, I know I’m supposed to be cool, calm, dispassionate. This is a book review, after all – so just the facts, please. And yet, with this book, I find that impossible. You get it all in this book: scholarly research, detailed explanation, stories behind the Island’s furniture-making traditions, including the people as well as the pieces, plus a plethora of wonderful images.”

The Kirk congratulates Jim on his most recent publishing accomplishment, and wishes him continued success.