Join us when you can and as you are
The Rev. Michael E. Snider II
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 1:3)
As the newest priest blessed to serve the body of Christ at St. Joseph’s Newberry, it is my joy to introduce myself. I am the Rev. Michael E. Snider II. I like to be called Fr. Mike. I grew up in a large Irish-Catholic family in Canton, Ohio. As a youngster, my time was pretty evenly divided between family activities, church youth group, Boy Scouts where I earned the rank of Eagle Scout with three Eagle Palms, and school where I competed on the Cross Country and Track teams, as well as sang bass in the High School Choir. After High School, I studied Psychology and Philosophy at Mount Union College. While at Mount Union, I met Penny who a few short years later became my wife. Penny and I have four amazing teenage sons at home. Their names are Robby, Eli, Chris, and Matthew.
After Penny graduated from Mount Union, God move us to North Carolina so that I, a former Roman Catholic, could study at a Southern Baptist seminary. In His providence, God provided a job for Penny as a youth minister in two Episcopal churches. In what seemed like no time at all, Penny and I were received into the Episcopal Church, and I began the ordination process. After two years of study at the Baptist seminary, we moved to Sewanee, Tennessee to finish seminary. In two quick years, I finished my M.Div. as well as earned a Masters in Sacred Theology in Anglican Studies.
Over the years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve a truly diverse collection of ministries. I have served Episcopal Missions with as few as six worshipers on a Sunday all the way up to Parishes with four hundred worshipers on a Sunday. I have served in locations as varied as downtown urban to suburban to farm country to West Virginia coal camps.
My greatest passion in ministry flows out of my personal mission to equip, encourage, and empower all people to follow Jesus Christ. I believe in engaging people where they are in their life’s journey. Accepting people as they are rather than measuring them against some preconception of holiness leads to environments of spiritual growth that draws on what people love most about their lives and their church. By working from a place of what people love most, we are in a position to share God’s unchanging, eternal love in new and creative ways.
My gratitude for the atoning work that Jesus did on the Cross and the forgiveness He made available for me, drives me to invite others to join me in structuring all aspects of our lives in a manner pleasing to God. For me personally, that structure is built around a call to PRAY daily, WORSHIP weekly, READ my Bible regularly, SERVE at and beyond my parish, be in RELATIONSHIPS that encourages spiritual growth in myself and others, and GIVE sacrificially of my time, talent, and treasures.
I believe that the one true purpose of the church of Jesus Christ is to make, nurture, and send disciples of Jesus Christ into the mission field. I want every person to know that Jesus Christ’s atoning work on the cross and His forgiveness of sin is available for every single man, woman, and child. As a priest intent on making disciples of Jesus Christ, I want to help provide sacred space that provides opportunities and resources for everyone to grow in their personal faith and to share that faith with others. In addition to sharing my personal discipleship disciplines, I am a huge supporter of the many faith renewal opportunities offered in the Episcopal Church. The combination of attending my Cursillo weekend and living out my Fourth Day rule of life has been one of the greatest blessings in my adult life.
In the Snider household, ministry is a total family affair. My wife, Penny, is a very talented minister in her own right. While working as an Episcopal youth minister she was trained in Journey to Adulthood. She is a certified Godly Play teacher with experience in building a Godly Play classroom from scratch. Penny has successfully created multiple Christian education curriculums and ministry opportunities for children, youth, adult, and intergenerational groups. All four of my sons regularly serve as ushers, lectors, acolytes, coffee hour hosts, have joined me on many pastoral care visits, and participate in multiple diocesan leadership positions.
The entire Snider family looks forward to working for and with the people of St. Joseph’s as we build up the Kingdom of God.
In Christ’s Name,
The Rev. Michael E. Snider II