The Rev. Philip N. LaBelle (he/him) serves as rector of St. Mark’s Church in Southborough, Massachusetts, arriving there in January 2011. During his time in the Diocese of Massachusetts, Phil has co-led the Mission Strategy Committee, served on Executive Committee and Diocesan Council, and directed the Fresh Start program. He co-founded Southborough Neighbors for Peace with Dr. Safdar Medina in their small town. The organization has hosted peace vigils, began a community-wide Iftar dinner during Ramadan, established an interfaith Thanksgiving service, and sponsored other bridge-building events. Additionally, Phil served on the core team of Central Mass. Connections in Faith, an organization centered on fostering relationships and learning about other religious faiths through quarterly gatherings.

In June, Phil will receive his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Seminary focused on Christian Spirituality. His thesis work explores the theology and practice of zimzum and how to make space in our overly busy lives for God, others, and the natural world. He received his MDiv from Yale University in 2004, along with a diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He holds a Master’s degree in composition and rhetoric from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s degree in English with an additional concentration in theological studies from Gordon College. He has also received certificates in congregational development and religious fundraising.

Additionally, Phil has served in the Diocese of Colorado—where he was on the Commission on Ministry—and in the Diocese of Connecticut. Over his nearly 20 years of ordained ministry, he has co-led more than a dozen mission trips for youth and adults. Before seminary, he worked in marketing communications and web development at multiple internet startups.

Phil is married to Dr. Melissa Tobey LaBelle, an Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at Bridgewater State University focused on language and literacy development. Together, they have two young adult children: Noah, a recent high school graduate currently on a bridge year program in Senegal, and Olivia, a high school senior who has been recruited to run track at college. Both Noah and Olivia will begin their university studies in the fall.

With St. Mark’s, Phil received a Clergy Renewal Grant from the Lily Endowment in 2017. He explored wilderness spirituality, the beauty of the natural world, and the need for climate justice. Additionally, he and his family walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and he and Noah have summited Mt. Kilimanjaro.