Rev. Marcia Smith-Wood (1979) Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Ordination


First Presbyterian Church in Rensselaer, Indiana, hosts the celebration.

First Presbyterian Church (USA), Rensselaer, invites the community to an Ordination Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, September 21, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow the service in the church’s Fellowship Hall. This Service for the Lord’s Day will celebrate the ordination of God’s servant Rev. Marcia Smith-Wood to be a Minister of Word and Sacrament in 1979.

Participating in the ecumenical service will be Pastors Phil and Virginia Leichty (Burr Oak Mennonite Church), Pastors Kenin and Cherie Smith (Hope Community Church) and Pastor Jim Dougans (First Presbyterian Church), along with others. The service will include a singing of hymns, meditative chants, liturgical dance and celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

For more information call Office Administrator Roberta Hewit-Keesey at 219.866.7005 or

Rev. Smith-Wood graduated from Lawrence University as a theatre major in 1970, hoping to teach creative dramatics. To her amazement, God had other plans. She graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1979.

She was first called as solo pastor to the welcoming and nurturing United Christian-Presbyterian Church in Bedford, Iowa, at a time when there were very few women ministers.

In 1993, she accepted a call to First Presbyterian Church in Rensselaer, where she served for 10 years as solo pastor and was touched by love and challenges and new life in the Rensselaer community as well as in the Presbytery of Wabash Valley.

In Rensselaer she has been involved in the Rensselaer Area Ministerial Association; helped to start the Carnegie Players (the community theatre) and directed a few plays; involved in the Presbytery's Committee on Ministry, and Committee on Preparation for Ministry, as well as Synod School where for many years she taught liturgical dance and spirituality workshops.

In 2003, God changed her call to serve Christ from being a parish pastor to the ministry of Spiritual Direction, helping people pay attention to what God is doing in their lives. She entered a three-year course studying the Art of Spiritual Direction through San Francisco Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian seminary, and graduated in 2006.

In the ensuing years, she has expanded her Spiritual Direction practice to include: giving retreats for churches; having a practice of Healing Touch energy work, including as a volunteer of Palliative Care for Hospice patients with Jasper County Hospital's Home Health and Hospice; becoming a certified Dream Group Facilitator after a two-year intensive study of Jungian psychology with the Haden Dream Institute; has become a certified InterPlay teacher, combining her love of liturgical dance and story-telling; teaching Drawing One at St. Joseph's College for 3 years; experiencing Indiana Voices of Women both as a founding board member as well as a graduate of their first intensive in Lafayette; and working with Teen Mission Rensselaer.