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Pastor Michaele R.J. Wood

From The Pastor:

Pastor Michaele Wood

A Word On Stewardship

When I was a child one of my favorite stories was “The Little Red Hen” by Mary Mapes Dodge, an American fable first published in 1874. My Aunt Ella, a saintly woman herself, first read it to me when I was four.

The story was designed to teach children the value and reward of hard work and planning. The story has four characters: a pig, a cow, a dog, and our hero the little red hen.

The story begins with the hen finding a grain of wheat and, deciding to plant it in her garden, she asks the other animals to help. “Who will help me plant the wheat?” “Not I,” responds each animal in turn as they go back to lounging in the warm summer sun. This continues through each step of tending the garden, harvesting the wheat, taking it to the mill to be ground into flour, and eventually, baking the bread. With each step the little red hen asks the other animals for help only to hear the same chorus over and over. “Who will help me?” “Not I,” said the cow, the pig, and the dog.

Finally, when the bread is done baking and the smell fills the air, the little red hen asks, “Who will help me eat this fine bread? This time the chorus is quick to respond, “I will,” said the pig. “ “I will,” said the dog.” “I will,” said the cow.” “No, you will not!” said Little Red Hen. At first, I thought my sainted aunt had fallen from grace. The Little Red Hen did not share? What kind of story is this? At four years old I was seeing things a little differently. It wasn’t till a little later that I began to understand that people were created to be about some kind of work. Work itself is an extension of the creation process which began with God’s creative nature and continues in our own.

The lessons in the story are hard to forget. It seems to be more than just a children’s story to be tucked away and forgotten. There is work to be done even if you do not see the successful product immediately. You are faced with the choice of working according to your ability or taking your leisure in the warm sunshine, wasting your time and ability for your own comfort.

Time and again, The Little Red Hen asked the animals to participate in the work and they refused. Time and again, God asks us to be about furthering God’s kingdom in the world. Time and again we are given the opportunity to demonstrate God’s concern for each other. Time and again we are reminded that God will see the work through to the end and share the finished product (eternal life) with those who are faithful. However, if you do not help with the work, how can you expect to share in the victorious result of the mission? What is that work, that mission? Will you give your best to the mission of Christ?

Matthew 28:19-20 tells us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


Who will help me bring in the kingdom?

And all God’s people said, “I will.”

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.”


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