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Pastor Michaele R.J. Wood

From The Pastor:

Pastor Michaele Wood


A New Year - A gift of God
We have just walked through the season of preparation called Advent and celebrated the Holy Day of Christmas.  We have seen the child born, Emmanuel, the Son of God, the Holy One now lives among us. We have heard the singing of the heavenly choir and the testimony of the shepherds. We traveled to the temple on the eighth day after his birth as the child was circumcised and given the name of Jesus, a name bestowed on him by God the Eternal Father as he lay in the arms of Joseph, his earthly father and guardian. We have heard the tragic prophecies of Anna and Simeon and watched as Mary “hid all these things in her heart.”

Just when it seems like nothing else could happen it is as if God says, “Now we can begin.” It is the time that the church has come to be known as the Epiphany - the manifestation or showing forth of God’s Son, God’s gift to the world introduced to creation. Having
celebrated the coming of the Son of God and the intervention of heaven on the earth we must now do something with all we have seen and heard. We can continue to sing the glory of God but we cannot simply go home and say nothing more about the miracle we have seen.


In the Eastern Church Epiphany was celebrated long before Christmas became a holiday. Epiphany had a wider all-embracing quality to the celebration of the day.  Epiphany celebrates the introduction of the Son of God to the world, not only as a helpless baby now acknowledged

by the Three Wise Men but also as the Son baptized by John into the human condition, the penalty of human sin. This son is named and claimed as belonging to the eternal Father of us all.

God is born to us; Jesus the Saviour demonstrates God is revealed, made visible, made clear. This is a manifestation, a showing forth. It’s fitting therefore for us to think on Christ manifested to us. But how did we come to see Jesus? How do we see him now? How do we manifest Jesus? Many of us come to Jesus through the concern of others: parents and grandparents who care for our physical needs but also instill faith in us. I see Jesus in the worship of his church and Christians who live faith before my eyes.

Living hopefully and expectantly, doing and being what they can do and be in his likeness. Strangely they may not claim to be Christ-like. It is we who look on who see it... and then there’s my part, your part, in showing Jesus to others.

Our conviction must be that as Jesus has been manifested to us, he will be manifested to others. If our own stories of seeing him involve people one way or another showing us, then we must realize that we ourselves are called to manifest his presence in this world.
Show Christ as you are able not frustrated by your occasional failures- not overbearing in your conviction. Live as one in whom Christ may reach out to the world, an ordinary person caring as
Christ cares.
Our part is to speak, to care, to pray, as one who
has seen Christ and recognised him. That is our calling. That is the work of Christmas: Christ seen, recognized, and again manifested to the world.


Pastor Michaele

Rev. Michaele RJ Wood was born the eldest of four children in Harrisburg PA. Her father was a Marine and Korean Veteran and her mother was a caterer. Michaele says, “Dad maintained order and discipline and mom added the spice.” She attended Catholic school through her junior year before graduating from a public school closer to home. It was during a school assembly about teen suicides that the message “God is love” became real and the Bible became a favorite read.


The years following high school were a hodgepodge of military service as an EMT / Practical Nurse and a liaison to the Military Police Units working narcotics, often accompanying them on the execution of search warrants and arrests. She met and married her husband during that tour and one year later put military service behind to be a mom to a new daughter. The following year she gave birth to twins.

In 1990, she was ordained as a minister in Kingdom Fellowship Ministries, a Charismatic fellowship, and assigned to Fountain Gate Ministries, an inner-city Harrisburg Church. There she served for 15 years as an elder, ordained minister associate and part-time instructor in Biblical & Church History for the ETS School of Ministry. She also held the position of Chief Financial Officer for a Harrisburg non-profit organization, while maintaining employment as a medical claims adjuster and raising a family.

The church grew quickly but the authoritarian form of government did not support the growth which led to problems of discipline and doctrine within the fellowship. This led her to a time of discernment. Seeking the help of a more experienced female pastor, who just happened to be Presbyterian, she was introduced to the Book of Order and Reformed Theology. Michaele states, “I had found the missing piece of my faith journey but the church I served was not ready

to change its style of government.”  In 2005, she became a member of Capital Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg. She was soon asked to serve on session and was ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Church. Michaele completed the Dubuque CRE training in January 2006 and was then accepted to Lancaster Theological Seminary receiving her Master of Divinity in 2009.  In 2010, she was ordained by Carlisle Presbytery as  Minister of Word & Sacrament. Subsequently, she was  accepted as a member of the initial class of the “For Such A Time As This Program” leading to her installation as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Pontotoc, Mississippi,  where she served until December 2017. 

She now comes to Gainesville as the called pastor of Kanapaha Presbyterian Church and will be installed as the way is made clear.

Pastor Michaele holds an Associate in Human Services from Harrisburg Area Community College; a Bachelor of Christian Ministry from Chesapeake Bible College; a Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary; a diploma from the CRE program at Dubuque Seminary, and Certificates of Completion in Spiritual Direction; Clergy Tax Management & Law (Chitwood); and Stewardship (Kirby-Smith).

She is the widowed mother to three adult children, grandmother to (10) ten grandchildren, great-grandmother to two boys, ages 2 years and an infant of 3 months, with another due in October. Saying of her journey thus far, “Life has not always been easy, but then, God didn’t say it would be. God did promise to give us strength to continue the journey even when it seems impossible, even when we are afraid, even when we aren’t sure where God is leading us.  And so, I look forward to our journey together.”


Capital Campaign!

Dear KPC Members and Friends,

We need your help! We’re kicking off a Capital Campaign to raise $30,000

for our historic buildings and grounds. This year has been a challenging one, to say the least. Likely no one expected what God had in store for us, Kanapaha Presbyterian Church, our country and the world. In spite of a global pandemic, raging politics and natural disasters, we, as a KPC family, managed to stay connected, worship virtually and now in-person, and continue spreading God’s love through various mission projects. We give thanks to God for his many blessings, in spite of the challenges we’ve faced this year.

While the KPC family has been very generous and faithful in tithing and contributions, and the Session has reduced expenditures, we have had to defer some needed capital projects or use cash reserves when there was a critical need. We are blessed to worship in a historic sanctuary, sitting on a beautiful piece of property. However, our buildings are aging and require(d) some much needed work such as:

1. Reroofing of McCormick Hall: $10,300 (replenish cash reserves). The roof was leaking and shingles coming off. Work was done on an emergency basis.

2. Ductwork under the sanctuary: $5,325 (replenish cash reserves).
Ductwork had fallen down, impacting air conditioning, and needed immediate replacing.


3. Western portico of the sanctuary: repair, remodel and fix sinking stairs. $12,338 (yet to be raised)

The portico, held up by unsightly metal poles, is rotten in many places. The first stair on the southern stairs has sunk ~4 inches creating a fall hazard.

4. Replace and repair lattice/animal barrier around Sanctuary and McCormick Hall: $2,037 (yet to be raised)

Help make a difference! Please prayerfully consider making a contribution or pledge to help us reach our goal! While the Capital Campaign will be going on for some time, this is the time of year to make a contribution that could lighten your tax burden for 2020. Maybe you received a stimulus check and were looking for a good cause to support?

Kanapaha Presbyterian Church is a 501c3 non-profit organization and donations are typically tax deductible, however KPC does not give tax advice. If you want to make a pledge and spread the contribution out over time, that’s wonderful too! Please put “Capital Campaign” on the memo line of your check. You can also use the yellow Donate button at the very bottom of this KPC webpage to donate safely and securely right here on www.kanapaha.net.

With thanks and praise to God,
The Session

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Kanapaha Presbyterian Church is a 501c3 Non-Profit.  Charitable Donations are tax deductible