Pastor Michaele R.J. Wood

From The Pastor:

Conversations with God             

Conversations with God [Prayer]. I'm sure we have all, at times,usually when we are in crisis, thrown some words toward heaven and hoped God [or at least someone powerful enough to help] heard those words. Others acknowledge God is present with us and concerned about us individually.  Look at Luke's version of the Lords Prayer. (Luke 11:1-16). Here we have direction about asking for the things we need: for forgiveness, for our daily food, for protection from evil, for God's will in earth. But it all begins with relationship. Jesus
doesn't say ask “my father” but ask “our father, ” the family.  Then Jesus then promises that if we ask, seek, and knock we shall receive our answer, find what we are looking for and if we are persistent the way will be
opened.

First: Ask (build such a relationship you can ask for you and for others in need. Ask
specifically.

Second: Seek. Look for Gods will and purpose. Knock: (be persistent). Keep praying till you get an answer.


Maybe you don't pray because you don't expect God to answer. Maybe you are afraid of what the answer might be. Maybe you don't pray because God's answer to you before was “No.” We've already said relationship is the essence of prayer. So let me reference an authority on prayer from recent years. His name was Fred Rogers. Once, when a little girl asked him about prayer he explained it this way: “Now you know prayer is asking for something, and sometimes you get a yes answer and sometimes you get a no answer, “ he carefully explained. “And just like anything else you might get angry when you get a no answer. But God
respects your feelings, and God can take your anger as well as your happiness. So whatever you have to offer God through prayer – it seems to me – is a great gift. Because the thing God wants most of all is a relationship with you.”

The only way to build a relationship is to spend time getting to know God and letting ourselves be known through scripture and through the exchange of words and ideas. Only then do you know what to ask and how. And, if you've established a relationship based on love then the response of the other is made in your best
interest and you can accept that answer.  One thing that helps our prayer is 'practicing the presence of God.' We know God is always with us but we need to practice seeing God in others and in the world around you. This will make you sensitive to recognizing God in others and your world. You will find yourself having conversation more often. You will learn to hear Gods voice leading you. Pray as often as you can. Ask. Seek. Knock. God will be
faithful to answer.

Pastor Michaele Wood

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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.”

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