Have You Ever Needed to be Rescued?

Bishop Steve Wood, Diocesan Bishop

Have you ever needed to be rescued?  Ever need someone to come to your defense?  Ever needed someone to be your advocate?

When I was growing up our neighborhood, like any other, had a bully – he was about four years older than me.  And for whatever reason the summer when I was nine he decided to make my life miserable.  It was really miserable.  Nothing worked.  My dad talked to his dad and it just got worse.  One day I was walking down to my friend Mike’s house – just three houses away – and the bully caught me.  By the time I made it to Mike’s I had a bloody nose and was pretty roughed up.  Mike’s older brother Louie came to the door.  Louie would become one of the best athletes our neighborhood had seen – a two sport star – football and wrestling – but this particular summer he was thirteen just like the bully.  “Stevie, what the heck happened to you?”  I told him the story – I told him about the whole summer of suffering.  Next thing I know Louie’s running out the door.  He comes back a little bit later and tells me the bully will never bother me again.  He told me if anyone ever bothered me to come tell him.  My first experience of a saviour was a kid named Louie Matteo.  He was the big brother I never had.  No one ever bothered me again.

The Bible tells us we have a Big Brother.  The Bible also tells us we have a powerful enemy.  But he is not all-powerful.  In fact, the Bible reveals to us that Satan is a defeated enemy.  The Apostle John says: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”  Paul writes of Christ, “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in him.”

Jesus disarmed and destroyed Satan, taking away from him the power and fear of death by triumphing over him by His cross and resurrection and opening to you (and me) the gateway to eternal life.  Our stronger, older Brother is both deliverer and Saviour. So, the Apostle John will write, “But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1.12-13)

Friends, may your Lenten observation and Easter celebration lead you back to the One who has loved you and fought for you and saved you for Himself.

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Getting to Know Jacqui Wood…

In what ways do you support your husband in his MINISTRY, and in what ways, if any, are you involved in the life of the church?  Supporting Steve in ministry has many different dimensions for me. It begins with the fact that I believe God brought us together to minister to a specific community as a couple. Keeping our relationship strong is the foundation that enables each of us to do our part. Clearly we each have different roles, so my support of Steve in his role involves
•    Being present – attend Sunday service, participate in a small group together, visiting diocesan parishes together.
•    Being involved in areas where I feel called – I currently volunteer at the Christian medical clinic held within the church.
•    Praying and listening with him to discern direction for the church/Diocese – commitment to praying for the church and it’s ministries on a regular basis, being a safe place for him to talk through ideas or concerns.
•    Available to help – a willingness to step in when needed.
•    Encourage him in his work – giving him the time and space to accomplish tasks, while trusting him to respect family/’Us Time’ boundaries.

What are TWO OR THREE OF your primary passions, callings or gifts… whether or not they overlap with the ministry of the diocese?  Passion, calling or gifts, hmmm…..I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, registered nurse. I enjoy serving the Lord in and through these different rolls.

What is ONE rewarding part of ministry life for you?  What ONE OR TWO PARTS do you find challenging?   I really enjoy going on parish visits with Steve, It’s fun seeing the different ministries that are taking place around the diocese and witnessing the passion and calling these churches have for their community.   Time is always a challenge to doing the things we love to do. Having help and the friendship of three other Bishop’s and their wives has been a real blessing!

What ONE OR TWO causes THAT ESPECIALLY have your heart, (AND PERHAPS your pocketbook)? PUT ANOTHER WAY, what ministries do you wish we all knew about? I could tell you about thousands of different and equally important ministries that are out there. Some ministries at St. Andrew’s that we have come to love are ‘One World Health’ for those needing help with medical care, an outreach ministry to active military members, we also support an elementary and junior school in Liberia – J. Dawlu Kimber, and Water Missions International to name a few. I think what is most important is finding a ministry that you feel passionate about and then supporting it with your time, talent and money. It is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

IS THERE ANY BOOK OR OTHER RESOURCE THAT HAVE HELPED YOU KEEP AFLOAT?   We all have to take care of ourselves and nurture our spiritual journey. We can get so caught up in ‘doing’ that we forget the ‘being’ in the presence of God. Right now I am reading a book called ‘Sacred Rhythm’s – Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation’ by Ruth Haley Barton. Deepening your relationship with God is the most important thing you can do for yourself and for those around you. This is not a book that will make you feel guilty or bog you down with a list of things you have to do to feel worthy. I highly recommend!

Jacqui is married to Bishop Steve Wood, who is also the Rector of St. Andrews, Mt. Pleasant, SC. Jacqui and Steve raised four boys and they have two grandchildren.

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