The ‘dog days of summer’... A time of renewal
From Fr. Israel's pen ....
Fr. Israel's Biography
The Reverend Carver W. Israel began serving as Rector of St. Philip’s on Palm Sunday, April 1st, 2007. Prior to coming to New York, he served parishes in Philadelphia, PA., Memphis, TN., Camden, N.J., and parishes in the Caribbean.
Reverend Israel was ordained a Deacon in May, 1983, and to the priesthood in December, 1984. He married his wife Suzette Munroe in July, 1987, and together they have three children.
Reverend Israel embraces his call by God to be a “parish priest”, and sees the pastoral care of all parishioners as of paramount importance. He maintains that God’s mission for the Church lies beyond its four walls of worship space; extending out to the irreligious and the destitute.
"Father C.", as he is fondly called by some parishioners, seeks to draw every parishioner into a profound and discerning relationship with God. At the center of his teaching is earnest Bible Study, Christian Education through Sunday School, and programs which emphasize youth ministries in the Church.
Reverend Israel is always approachable, and makes time for everyone at anytime.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mine is stayed on thee"
It was one such “dog” day that the Evangelist John described in his Gospel (4:5-42). Jesus was exhausted after his journey in the burning heat of the day. He sat by the Well of Jacob to rest for a while, and longed for some wayfarer to come by to draw water that he may ask then for a drink. Along came this “Nobody”, by the then racist cultural standards, who Jesus begged for a drink of water to quench his thirst. Her voiced apprehension was quick and curt, but Jesus refused to relent. Even in the abyss of his exhaustion he remained engaged and engaging; performing a ministry that elicited the acclamation, “…Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ”? In other words, “… come and meet a man who took the time to get to know me, understand my lowly estate, and has treated me with much dignity. Isn’t that what living into God’s kingdom is all about”? Upon meeting him, and experiencing his profound love for all of humanity, this woman’s compatriots concluded, ‘….surely, he IS the manifestation of what God is all about’.
As we embark upon these “dog days of summer”, and are tempted to disengage ourselves from God, the Church, and the world, if only but for the season, let us remember that our ministries to God and God’s people must go on. As a people of faith, called to action, we do not have the luxury of slouching in the shade of inactivity. There are still those who would turn to us to see the face of God, and experience God’s hand working in and through us. Let us not be overcome by the intemperance of our exhaustion or the heat of the day, but instead remain vigilant in God’s worship and works, and the support of the ministries of God’s Church.
May the ‘dog days of summer’ be a time of renewal and refreshment for all of us who seek to serve God in each other and the world.
+ Fr. C.
I never fathomed the meaning of the idiom “the dog days of summer”; and while I understand them as alluding to be the sultry part of the summer, which is reckoned to be from July 3 to August 11, I still question the ‘dog’ terminology. One explanation given is that it is the time of year when Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun; but then why the association with lethargy, inactivity, and/or indolence? I think that I came up with the answer this July 4th as I watched my daughter’s “pocket dog” protesting being taken outside of the house to run around and exercise in the yard. He found every shade and stretched out, panting and wanting to be left alone. He was not going to do anything!!! I mused at his actions as I felt every bit the way that he was feeling. Don’t we all desire to laze a bit during those sultry days?
St. Philip's Episcopal/Anglican Church
(The Diocese of Long Island)
The Venerable Carver W. Israel, Rector
The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano, Diocesan Bishop
© Copyright 2014: St. Philips Episcopal /Anglican Church
334 MacDonough Street
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Church Telephone: 718.778.8700
Rectory Telephone: 718.467.5250