The Reverend Elizabeth G. Maxwell began as St. Michael’s Interim Pastor on All Saints’ Day, 2011. She says, “St. Michael’s has a wonderful history of serving God on the corner of Amsterdam Ave. and 99th St., and has lived through many transitions in its more than 200 years of ministry. I have discovered how lively and fertile the ‘time in between’ can be for a parish, an am delighted to help lead St. Michael’s through this one. I am a pastor at heart, and enjoy helping a congregation explore some fresh ways of being church while also coming to terms with the past, building on strengths, and listening for God’s call as they prepare to welcome a new Rector. I have long admired St. Michael’s diversity, musical tradition and programs for families, and look forward to getting to know you better, and journeying with you during this next phase of your life and ministry, and my own.”
Before coming to St. Michael’s, Liz (as she likes to be called) served more than twenty-one years at the Church of the Holy Apostles in the Chelsea section of New York City. During most of that time she was Associate Rector, sharing in every aspect of the liturgical, pastoral and program life of a diverse, progressive, lively urban parish, with special responsibility for pastoral care and spiritual formation. Her position also made her Program Director of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, the largest emergency feeding program in the Episcopal Church. She is the editor of a collection of writings from the soup kitchen entitled Food for the Soul, and is fascinated by the relationship between creativity, soul work, and social change. More recently, Liz served Holy Apostles as Interim Rector, leading the congregation through the transition from the retirement of a longtime pastor to the call and beginning of new clergy leadership. She then took some sabbatical time for a personal transition as a new adoptive parent.
Liz grew up in a small college town in the piney woods of east Texas. She is a graduate of Duke University and Princeton Theological Seminary, and served for five years in the Diocese of Newark before coming across the river to New York. She also completed training in depth psychology and spirituality at the Blanton Peale Graduate Institute, and is licensed as a psychoanalyst in New York State- experience that has served her well in working with people and congregations in transition. She loves the great energy, diversity, art, and food of New York City, and also loves to escape to the wide open spaces. She dances, hikes, kayaks and reads voraciously. Liz, her daughter Mihret, and their dog Scout live in St. Michael’s rectory.