l Our Rector
The Season of Christmas
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

​The writers of St. John’s Gospel, in a bid to make evident the revelatory presence of God in the world, coined the now famous gospel quotation, “…and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Jn. 1: 14. This, to the Christian Church, is defined as the “Incarnation”; the enfleshment of what it means to behold the real presence of God in the world. For us Christians, the person of Jesus captures the essence of what this incarnation means.

At the risk of sounding heretical, I will speak aloud the obvious. John’s Gospel was not here alluding to the earthly incubation of a Creator God, or even the infantiling of a God into a world adrift in sin; but rather an invitation to us humans to live into the consciousness that the world in which we live is inherently good. The writers of the Book of Genesis captured this observation in the Creation Stories when they placed the words “…and he saw that it was good” on the lips of a Creator God who was assessing his handiwork – Gen., chapters 1&2.

The story of Christmas therefore, is not about a self-flagellating God whose guilt-ridden conscience caused him to send to earth his only son to be sacrificed in order to save the flawed world that he had created; but rather about a God whose unswerving love for what was created, has caused that God to seek to make known in every heart the goodness and the love with which we were created, and for which we were intended. Thank God for Jesus whose life enfleshed this goodness of God, which has in turn turned our hearts to this Creator God and towards each other. Come again Lord Jesus!!!!!

May God’s gift of the Christ, which we celebrate this Christmas, reign in or hearts forever.

A joy-filled Christmas to all.

  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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