In Honor of the Life of Reverend Elizabeth Carpenterby Representative Chris Van Hollen
Posted on 2014-01-16
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of
Reverend Elizabeth Carpenter, who ministered to hundreds of families as
rector of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Damascus for more than
thirteen years. Sadly, Reverend Carpenter passed away on January 3,
Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Reverend Carpenter graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University in 1963. Her first job was as a parish secretary for St. Peter's Episcopal Church in New York City. She later worked as a computer software designer for John Hancock Mutual and Humble Oil (now Exxon Mobil). At that time, the term ``software designer'' didn't even exist--she was a pioneer in that field.
At the age of 47, Reverend Carpenter heard her call to ministry. She enrolled in Harvard Divinity School, where she received her Master of Divinity degree in 1991. She was ordained a deacon by the Episcopal Church of Dallas that June. On July 22, 1992, Reverend Carpenter was ordained into the priesthood by the Diocese of Massachusetts. She served several parishes in Massachusetts until she was called to be rector of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Damascus, Maryland in August 1997.
St. Anne's longest-tenured rector, Reverend Carpenter served from 1997 until her retirement in January 2011. During that time, she touched the lives of hundreds of families. She preached some 1,200 times to the people of St. Anne's, performed hundreds of weddings and baptisms, and comforted hundreds of families at funerals and memorial services. Without a doubt, Reverend Carpenter was part of the heart and soul of the St. Anne's community.
Reverend Carpenter brought wisdom and a steady hand to St. Anne's. Under her leadership, a beautiful new sanctuary was constructed and the church's 50th anniversary was celebrated. Her dedication inspired many new families to join the St. Anne's community. Moreover, Reverend Carpenter was well-respected by her colleagues in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. She preached love and compassion and was an inspiration to her parishioners.
Places of worship play an indispensable role in our communities. Reverend Carpenter helped strengthen Damascus and the surrounding communities through her years of service and dedication to St. Anne's.
[[Page E95]] I ask my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to the life and deeds of this very special woman and in offering condolences to Reverend Carpenter's family, friends and the entire St. Anne's community. She will be sorely missed.