David Robinson Nominated for Moderator of the 2024 General Assembly
On December 4, 2023 it was announced that David Robinson, the Kirk’s Action Clerk of Session, has been nominated for the position of Moderator of the 2024 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. An election will be held in March 2024 to select the next Moderator. If successful, David would assume the post on June 2, 2024 at the commencement of the General Assembly, which convenes in Waterloo, ON. He would become the first male ruling Elder to hold the post.
Said David: “I have been nominated by the Presbyteries of Waterloo-Wellington, Seaway-Glengarry and Lindsey-Peterborough. I am humbled beyond words by this generous gesture. It is a touching affirmation of the many ways in which I have strived to serve the Lord over the last couple of decades.
This is also an extraordinary honour. To be considered worthy of consideration to hold the highest office in the denomination is almost impossible to describe. I know that the Presbyterian Church in Canada is supported by hundreds of exceptional, dedicated and faithful servants, any one of whom would make excellent Moderators. To be numbered among them touches my heart deeply.”
The church is David’s passion. He has been a church volunteer since his teen years. He was first elected a ruling Elder at the Kirk of St. James in 2002. Two years later, he was appointed Clerk of Session. Leaving the appointment thereafter for health reasons, he was re-elected an Elder in 2016, and appointed Action Clerk of Session in 2018. He was re-elected to Session in 2021 and again appointed Action Clerk of Session. He works hard to put the “action” in his title, involving himself intimately in many aspects of congregational life. He strives to provide leadership that is caring, generous, energizing and visionary. He is on the leadership team for a successful $1.2 million capital campaign, which has exceeded its goal. He is currently helping to guide the Kirk through the PCC’s New Beginnings congregational renewal program.
David has been honoured to serve in all four of the Presbyterian church’s courts, joining the Presbytery of PEI in 2018, attending Atlantic Synod in 2018 and 2019, and attending General Assembly as a Commissioner in 2018, 2019 and 2021. During 2021-22 he served as Convener of the national church’s Special Committee re: Confession to LGBTQI People, whose report was adopted by the 147th General Assembly in June 2022. He served on a Presbytery committee designed to offer advice and guidance to the Richmond Bay Pastoral Charge as it considered the possibility of amalgamation. He has been the Convener of the Presbytery’s Congregational Life Committee. He was appointed an Assessor Elder to St. Columba Presbyterian Church in 2021, served as that congregation’s acting Clerk of Session and led worship there on a number of occasions subsequently. He immensely enjoys offering pulpit supply when the occasion arises. He was elected Deputy Clerk of the PEI Presbytery in September 2021 and became Presbytery Clerk a year later. David is a strong advocate of having ruling Elders take on increased responsibility within their churches and of them forging strong and productive partnerships with their ministers.
As Sunday School superintendent, David works diligently to provide meaningful and fun services to his church’s small, and happily growing, population of youngsters. He participates actively in the work of the Mission & Outreach Committee, especially on its sponsorship of three refugee families: one from Syria, one from Iraq and one from Jordan. He is currently providing extensive support to a young family that has fled repression in Iran. Many church fellowship events rely on contributions from David’s kitchen. He is the convener of the Kirk’s Inclusion Committee. He worked hard to develop the Kirk’s capacity to live-stream worship when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and was also heavily involved in helping the church address the many challenges that the pandemic brought.
David is passionate about LGBTQI rights, having spoken forcefully about the subject at past General Assemblies and produced papers on the subject for use within the church. He spoke out at the 2019 General Assembly in favour of efforts to end the physical punishment of children. A sufferer of major depression related to his military service (now under good control) he often speaks out about the stigma associated with mental illness. His experience of mental illness is especially relevant given the growing number of PCC ministers and staff who are experiencing burnout, stress and depression. While a graduate student he tutored Indigenous students through the Native Student’s Service Centre at the University of Calgary. He served for a number of years on the Board of the PEI Prison Chaplaincy. The provincial prison chapel is decorated with hangings that David designed and produced. He always uses PWS&D appeals to underpin the givings component of the Sunday School, teaching children while young about the importance of sharing with those in need around the world. An excellent researcher and writer, David brings much needed talents to many committees on which he serves.
David joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1980, and served in uniform for 19 years, rising from the rank of Ordinary Seaman to Lieutenant Commander. During most of that period he was a Personnel Administration officer and served as Executive Assistant to the Commanding Officer and then as head of the Personnel Administration department in his Naval Reserve division. He served as Honourary Aide-de-Camp to two Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governors, and has won numerous military awards for leadership excellence.
First joining the Public Service of Canada as a summer student in 1985, David went on to serve the Canadian public for 25 years in a variety of ever more responsible roles. He was the speech writer for commanders of the Royal Canadian Navy, deputy of the naval headquarters’ public affairs office, and the navy’s first Heritage Officer. Transferring from National Defence to Veterans Affairs Canada in 1998, he served in leadership capacities in commemoration, strategic planning, communications, benefits processing, and finally in project management, working to develop a new program of services and benefits for Canada’s veterans. He is a graduate of the public services’ Canadian Centre for Management Development in Ottawa and was awarded a Deputy Minister’s Commendation by Veterans Affairs Canada.
David holds a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) in Political Science from the University of King’s College, Halifax; a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Politics from the University of Calgary; and completed three years of Political Science doctoral studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, during which time he held the prestigious I.W. Killam scholarship and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada fellowship.
David is married to Constance Robinson, a lawyer and member of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. They have two married daughters and one grandchild. David enjoys reading, pen and ink drawing, flower arranging and his design credits include a number of badges for ships of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Gulf of St. Lawrence Commemorative Distinction, and the Canada Memorial, Liverpool, UK.
The other three nominees for the position of Moderator of the General Assembly are the Rev. Harry Currie of Edmonton AB, the Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls, Dean of the Vancouver School of Theology, and the Rev. In Kee Kim, of Etobicoke, ON.
Ian Scott receives Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal
Ian Scott recently was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal by Premier Denis King. He was recognized principally for his decades of work with Nature PEI. Individuals who support nature conservancy were among those that were particularly identified for recognition through this Platinum Jubilee initiative.
In presenting the award, Premier King said that anyone who was interested in “making sure we respect and protect the environment, that we understand nature, would know the name of Ian Scott.
“He’s someone who has been a passionate promoter of healthy ecosystem(s) of nature and making sure we not only respect nature but we learn to appreciate it and understand it and work within it.
“You’ve (Ian) been a strong leading voice in this for many, I think that PEI more than probably any other jurisdiction in the country has come to the understanding a lot more quickly that things like climate change are very, very real and as an Island jurisdiction we feel that and sense that a lot more than anywhere else….
“I think we’re ahead of the curve and have been for a long time, because individuals like Ian Scott have made talking about the environment and nature more “cool” and not controversial and I think that is a big reason why PEI is one of the leaders while we work towards the greening of our environment.”
Ian Scott has been for many years an Elder at the Kirk of St. James, was for a long time the Chair of its Heritage Committee and is still active with adult Christian Education initiatives at the church. He is also our unofficial “bell ringer”, and can be found most Sunday mornings ringing the Kirk bell before worship begins.
The Kirk is proud of Ian’s many accomplishments, and congratulates him heartily on this recent recognition!
Daphne Large Scott wins PEI Craft Council Award
On June 5, 2023, Daphne Large Scott, was awarded the PEI Craft Council’s Lister Trophy, given to the Outstanding Island Artisan of the year.
Daphne founded Village Pottery in New London fifty years ago. Since opening the business Daphne has married Ian Scott and they have had three children. The business has relocated down the road and expanded considerably, taking on additional staff. In July 2017, Daphne’s daughter, Suzanne Scott, bought the business and carries it on as a family affair, with Daphne and Ian still working at the potter’s wheel.
Daphne has served as an Elder at the Kirk of St. James and is a devoted member of the Kirk choir.
The Kirk congratulates Daphne on her outstanding achievement, and wishes her and her family continuing success at the Village Pottery.
Dr. Philip Champion Honoured by his Peers
Dr. Philip Champion, MD, CCFP, FRCPC, has been awarded the 2023 Distinguished Service Award by the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists.
Dr. Champion has been a medical oncologist in PEI since 1992, and currently leads the work of the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. He has long provided exemplary care to cancer patients in the province, during many years as the only medical oncologist on staff. He also has a part-time appointment with Memorial University in Newfoundland.
As a leader in oncology, he has worked with several Canadian cancer organizations, including the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies, and the Canadian Clinical Trials Group.
Dr. Champion played a central role in establishing and coordinating the Atlantic Canada Oncology Group Annual Symposium for the last 25 years. He was a member of the original planning committee and has chaired this important educational event for many years.
Dr. Champion said: “I was very surprised and honoured to get this award from our national association. I knew I was nominated, but missed the meeting in Toronto. I never expected to win …. Now I regret not being there!
“Colleagues and friends in Newfoundland nominated me. The other nominees were all well know academic teachers and researchers in big centers. It is very gratifying that CAMO chose to honour a community practitioner, and I believe it is part of a CAMO [effort] to ensure we are training young doctors to work in smaller communities, not just in the academic centers.”
Dr. Champion has for many years served with skill and dedication as the Chair of the Management Committee at the Kirk of St. James, where he oversees the Kirk’s financial wellbeing, cares for the maintenance of our heritage building, and ensures that we maintain good relations with our dedicated staff.
We are delighted to see him honoured in this outstanding fashion by his peers in the medical profession. Warmest congratulations from the Kirk family!
This spring the Kirk is trying out a new fundraising idea – an ABC (Art, Books & Cookies) Sale. The event will take place in-person in the Kirk Hall at 35 Fitzroy Street on June 11, 2022 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.
The Kirk is working with the Island Pregnancy Centre (IPC) this year on a new mission project to provide support and encouragement to new mothers who are either disadvantaged or lack robust social supports.
The Kirk’s organist and Music Director, Frances McBurnie, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) during convocation ceremonies on May 12, 2022.
During the month of June, 2021, three horrific discoveries of unmarked graves near the sites of former Residential Schools have been announced. While all of the three schools were run by the Roman Catholic Church, Residential Schools were operated by a number of Christian denominations, including the Presbyterian Church in Canada. In this context, the following Joint Statement from the Current and Former Moderator Regarding Residential Schools was issued.
On Sunday, April 25, 2021, the Kirk enjoyed its last scheduled choral selection from its Choral Scholars, a magnificent Anthem, “Hear my Prayer” by Mendelssohn. Following the selection, David Robinson, the Clerk of Session, thanked the Choral Scholars for their many contributions to Kirk life.
As Mother’s Day approaches, friends of the Kirk usually turn their thoughts to the enjoyment of our traditional Lobster Plate Take-Out. Unfortunately, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, we do not feel that we can successfully hold the Take-Out this year. Instead, this year we are holding a Lobster-less Fundraiser. UPDATED
Three years ago the Kirk joined a number of other Island churches in sponsoring the Toma family of refugees from Iraq. Last year we learned that we could also sponsor Basma’s sister, Ibtisam Toma and her 17 year old daughter Haneen Alnas. After months of planning, the pair finally arrived in Prince Edward Island on December 10, 2020.
A lovely display of salmon-orange tulips is currently enhancing the façade of the Kirk of St. James. The hundred tulips were planted last fall as part of a Royal Canadian Legion initiative to mark the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian and Allied forces on May 5, 1945.
Kirk Elder, Jocelyne Lloyd has been confirmed as the new Managing Editor of The Guardian, our Island newspaper.
On Friday, April 24, 2020 at six p.m., the Kirk’s bell will toll in remembrance of the victims of the deadly shooting rampage that took place in Nova Scotia’s Colchester County this past weekend.
the Liberation 75 tulip is being planted across Canada this autumn, to bloom in the spring of 2020, to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands by Canadian and Allied troops in 1945.
During worship on August 18, David Hooley, Chair of the Kirk’s Renewing HOPE Capital Campaign, was able to announce a significant milestone in the fundraising effort.
On July 13, 2019 one of the large soccer pitches at the Winsloe Soccer Complex was formally named the Tom Wallis Field. Tom was a valued member of the Kirk congregation, before he passed away in December 2017.
Kirk Elder Daphne Dumont has been named the 2019 recipient of the Law Society of PEI Distinguished Community Service Award for her many good works over the years.
On May 25, Island rap singer Greg MacDonald, aka “Problematic,” shot a music video for his new single “O Lord” in the Sanctuary of the Kirk of St. James.
On Sunday, May 12, 2019, Mother’s Day, the Kirk of St. James will again be hosting it’s annual Lobster Plate Take-Out fundraiser.
Rainbow Communion is mandated by the 2017 General Assembly to host safe and respectful Listening Spaces across the country. All who wish to share stories of harm done to them within and by the church because of homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism &/or hypocrisy, as well as experiences of God’s grace in ministry amidst those challenges are invited to share.
The Nakhleh family of Syrian refugees are finally safely settled into their new home in Charlottetown, PE. They arrived after a two day journey from Beirut, Lebanon, landing on Friday morning, March 1, 2019.
The Rev. Dr. Kay Diviney will be temporarily leading the congregation of the Kirk of St. James, between February 1 and August 31, 2019. She is providing maternity leave coverage for Rev. Amanda Henderson-Bolton.
On January 22, her firstborn son was born! He arrived almost three weeks early, taking Rev. Amanda and the Kirk family by surprise.
On January 6, 2019, the Kirk of St. James launched its “Renewing Hope” capital campaign. The campaign will raise the funds needed to update and repair the Kirk’s facilities.
Don MacKenzie, a Kirk Elder, has received the highly prestigious appointment as a Queen’s Counsel.
The Advent season commenced in joyous fashion at the Kirk, with the lighting of the first candle on our Advent wreath, a baptism, the reception of five new members, and our Advent communion service.
To mark the hundredth anniversary of the signing of the First World War armistice on November 11, 1918, the Kirk and all Charlottetown places of worship that are fitted with bells, will ring them 100 times at sunset, 4:44 pm.
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.
During its annual meeting Rev. Amanda Henderson-Bolton was inducted as the new Moderator of the Presbytery of Prince Edward Island.
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.
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 Kirk would like to congratulate Judy Yun on winning the Suzanne Brenton Award at the 2018 Kiwanis PEI Music Festival.
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.
As part of our ongoing efforts to make the Kirk more accessible, suitable seating area for those in wheelchairs or using walkers has been provided.
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 Kirk’s four Choral scholars, Tara Llewellyn, Melissa Lewis, Ian Soloman and Gaige Waugh, have all been selected to join the National Youth Choir for 2018.
Kirk member Katherine Burnett has moved the back-room part of her successful tea business, Lady Baker’s Tea Trolley, into facilities in the Kirk’s basement.
On Monday, March 12, 2018 the PEI Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society held its Commonwealth Day observance at the Kirk of St. James, celebrating the theme “Towards a Common Future.”
During the Kirk’s Annual General Meeting on March 4, 2018, Kirk Elder Pamela Stewart completed six years as an active Elder and better than four years as the Action Clerk of Session.
Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, issued an historic letter of repentance to members of the LGBTQI community.
Long time Kirk choir member and Elder Raymond Moore has been named to the initial class of inductees into the PEI Rugby Union’s Hall of Fame.
Kirk Elder Jim Macnutt has published a new book, his first novel, Entitled On Five Dollars a Day: An Innocent Abroad in Europe 1965.
Two members of the Kirk family have been honoured by the Senate of Canada for their volunteer work in the community.