Thoughts of my summer - 2016
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"
I must confess that I am feeling a deep sense of joyful anticipation as I sit to pen this article. Please know that I am under no illusion of divine inspiration as I write, but simply the excitement of going on my annual vacation, and spending a prolong period of time with my family. My only apprehension here however, is that my children have already determined how that time would be spent; and believe me, it is mostly to their benefit. Please pray for me.
Over the years my son has owned the responsibility of informing the family where we would be worshipping on those Sundays, and has been directing us to a small congregation in a next door county for the past two years. I eventually asked him why this choice, and he answered, “…they do church”. When I pushed him for clarification, he said, “Worship is finished. They are now going over there……..” (pointing to the parish hall), “…to talk about what they will be doing in the neighborhood in the next few weeks. I said nothing more, but pondered his words. His comment had stirred a multiplicity of thoughts in my mind. He had noticed what they were doing. He was impressed. He told me that he had told his mom that is where he wanted to worship when they did not come up to New York. He was sixteen years old!!! He had made it clear that it was not the size of the congregation, but rather the scope and effects of their ministry to others. Ummmm!!!
I came across a webinar by the Episcopal Church Foundation entitled “Learning from the small Church way” about a month ago. Dr. Kay Collier McLaughlin, the presenter, is the Bishop’s Deputy for Communications and Leadership in the Diocese of Lexington, and successfully argued the point that it is not the size of the congregation that determines the quality of its ministry, but rather that congregation’s commitment and faithfulness of those to whom they minister. Too often we have callously underappreciate the substance of the ministries that small congregations offer to their communities, and in so doing have fostered a sense of worthlessness amongst those congregants. We have heard their self-flagellations:- “We are too old”, “we are too small”, “We have no money”, “We have no young people”, and the cries go up. The parishioners of St. Michael’s and All Angels are not claiming any of those negatives, nor should they or any community of faith in God. I will not.
I am excited about spending my vacation with my family, and I look forward to worshipping with another congregation that also “do Church”.
May the joy and peace of our Lord keep your hearts warm this summer.
St. Philip's Episcopal/Anglican Church
(The Diocese of Long Island)
Reverend Carver W. Israel, Rector
The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano, Diocesan Bishop
St. Philips Episcopal /Anglican Church | 334 MacDonough Street | Brooklyn, NY 11233
Martin Hall/Church Office | 265 Decatur Street | Brooklyn, NY 11233
From Fr. Israel 's pen.....