Vaction months: A time of reflection and introspection
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"
One of the fascinating things that I have come to accept and appreciate in the parishes where I have served as rector over the years is the summer lull that slows our activities during the months of July and August. I oftentimes muse at the idea of us speaking of ‘vacation months’ when the majority of us attend worship during these months anyway. I have also wondered about God, and feared to fathom what would happen if God took some time off also. However, these days I have come to appreciate the short respite that provides me the opportunity for reflection and some introspection.
I think such was our Lord’s intention, as is documented in the Gospel of Mark, when he said to his apostles, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” – Mark 6:31a. After all, they had borne the burden of a missionary journey and now were tired, famished, and mentally exhausted. It was with profound insight and care that our Lord called them away to a quiet place so that they could recuperate mentally, physically, and spiritually.
As Christian pilgrims, we have labored on over the past year in God’s vineyard, serving both parish and community. Our labor of love must now be assessed, our energy resources replenished, and our determination to do the work that God has set before us as a parish be seasoned with an unbowed faith. Our summer respite therefore, though a well-deserved time of regeneration, is God’s gift of opportunity to us to sharpen our focus in ministry, and determine ways in which we could more fully and effectively offer ourselves in the service of God and God’s church.
May I remind us that our lives are God’s gift to us. Living our lives in service to others is our gift to God.
Do have a restful, rejuvenating, and enjoyable summer.
© Copyright 2014: St. Philips Episcopal /Anglican Church
334 MacDonough Street
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Church Telephone: 718.778.8700
Rectory Telephone: 718.467.5250
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