I would like to express our appreciation for the      ongoing work of our ACW. In 2014, I was able to fulfil a promise I made to Holly Bockus. The Lord Bishop of Montréal has awarded the ACW 2014 Bishop’s Award for our Arch-deanery. Our Bishop will be at St. James to present the award on April 26th. I believe that this is the first time a group has been recognized with this award.

Our Vacation Bible School titled “Weird Animals: Where Jesus’ Love is one-of-a-Kind” was held from August 11th to 15th. 29 children attended this event that was led by the volunteers. We held a VBS Christmas reunion on December 16th with 14 attending. Plans are in the works for another VBS in August 2015.

My involvement on the deanery level is with the deanery chapter and biweekly Clericus meetings. On the diocesan level, I chair the Stewardship of the Environment Committee; am involved with The Partnership Committee; EFM mentor training and a member of the Diocesan Council for our Deanery.

I continue to do visits at the BMP hospital, the hospital in St. Jean sur Richelieu, as well as a number of local residences. These include Knowlton House, Lambert Residence, Manoir Lac Brome, Cowansville Maison, CLSC-CHLSD La Pommeraire, Palliative Care home at St. Luc, Dutchman Residence and Manoir Philipsburg. If you know of someone who was either in hospital or lives in a residence that I should visit, please speak to me or leave a message with the parish office.

This parish has 6 volunteers, along with 3 members of St. Andrews and St. Mark’s that visit Cowansville Institute. If you're curious about what worship is like in prison, I would encourage you to come see for yourself.

I remain the chaplain of the Royal Canadian Legion branch 82 in Philipsburg. I continue to work ecumenically with the Roman Catholic Church, and the local pastoral charge of the United Church of Canada.

During 2014 the wardens and treasurers from Bedford, Farnham, Philipsburg, Stanbridge East, Frelighsburgh, and Pigeon Hill have had a series of meetings first with the Diocesan Congregational Development Officer, Janet Marshall, and with the Ven. Bill Gray. At the January 18th meeting of two unanimous motions were adopted that will lead a discussion to explore options for stainable ministry in our area. These will be discussed and hopefully accepted at the 7 vestry meetings of the involved churches.

Lynn and I continue to lead a successful multi-parish Bible study on Friday mornings at 9:30. Eleven- twelve people are attending these Bible studies on a regular basis. This multi- parish Bible study is the classic Alpha course. All are welcome to join.

On the first Sunday of each month we still hold the Fellowship breakfast. We gather at 8:30 AM at Bedford Pizza. We normally have between 8 and 16 people around the table, Bedford, Philipsburg, Stanbridge East, Dunham, Frelighsburgh, and Pigeon Hill. I really enjoy this event.

Once again, I would like to expressed just how blessed my family and I are to be here in this parish and how much I appreciate all the members of this church who invest their time, talents and money. I look forward to what God has in store for St. James in 2015.


God Bless,

The Rev. Andy O’Donnell

   Anglican Bishop of Montreal