l Our Rector
Christmas Message - 2015
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"
Isaiah 26:3
Over the last few weeks, for whatever reason, I find myself pausing to turn up the volume on the radio each time I hear the George Michael Christmas song, ‘Last Christmas’. …. “Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special”. Perhaps it is the cynic in me that makes me muse about the ‘regifting’ of love. The words of this song makes me wonder, “Has anyone ever ‘regifted’ a ‘regift’? And what does ‘regifted’ love look like? A news article on television this week seemed to suggest that ‘regifting’ is acceptable once the rules of the game are followed.

I know that George Michaels is singing of a requited erotic love; and while I am not in any way suggesting or advocating an ‘open door’ policy for romantic love, I must ask the question, ‘Is it the design of our human designation that we be imprisoned by love, whether it be erotic or platonic’? Too often we hear stories of abuse done in the name of love. Is such the character of love that the season of Christmas calls us to cultivate in our hearts and exemplify in our hearts?

The Evangelist John in his gospel sums up the purpose of our Christmas celebration in one sentence, lodged on the lips of Jesus – “I came that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly”. – Jn. 10: 10. It is this generosity of life, not limited by love, but rather propagated through love, that we especially commemorate and celebrate at this time of year. It is the passing on of the love that we received from our God and our neighbors that we are asked to repackage in our hearts and ‘regift’ to our neighbors. So this year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to all God’s ‘specials’.

May this season of love and peace reign in our hearts for ever.

  Fr. C.

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

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St. Philips Episcopal /Anglican Church | 334 MacDonough Street | Brooklyn, NY 11233
Martin Hall/Church Office | 265 Decatur Street | Brooklyn, NY 11233
Church Telephone: 718.778.8700 | Rectory Telephone:  718.467.5250 | Email: stphilipschurch@optonline.net
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