Rev. Michael Poole Jr
Michael serves as the co-founder and developer of the intentional missional not-for-profit organization, Earth And Cup, Inc. Earth And Cup is a holistic, transformational approach to life that utilizes movement, meditation and life-long learning. Earth And Cup also provides classes, workshops and retreats on a variety of topics, as well as providing customized mission trips.
Michael holds a third degree black belt rank in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu karate, a first degree black belt in Okinawan Kobudo (ancient weapons), as well as studying Tai Chi, Qigong, Iaido and Hung Gar. He holds an assistant instructor certification in Beisho karate. Michael is a Senior Trainer with the Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) and also holds tai chi instructor certifications through TCHI in Tai Chi for Heart Conditions, Seated Tai Chi, Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi for Fall Prevention, Tai Chi for Diabetes, Tai Chi for Energy, Tai Chi for Rehabilitation, Qigong for Health, and Tai Chi at Work. Michael is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, and has the YogaFit for Warriors 140 Hour Trauma Sensitive Yoga Specialty Teacher Training Certificate. Michael taught for two (2) years at a YMCA, instructing classes in tai chi, karate and self-defense.
Michael holds a Basic Police Chaplain certification through the International Conference of Police Chaplains. He completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as a police chaplain with the New Orleans (LA) Police Department. Michael is an Adult Mental Health First Aid instructor through the National Council on Behavioral Health. He has a Certificate of Specialized Training for Spiritual Care in Crisis Intervention, as well as one for Critical Incident Stress Management for Emergency Services through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. Michael received his Disaster Chaplaincy Training through the National Disaster Interfaiths Network. He has a Level 2 Disaster Response Volunteer certification through Lutheran Disaster Response - Ohio. He served as a Ready NY Emergency Preparedness Trainer for NYC Emergency Management. And, Michael is a trained Intentional Interim/Transitional Pastor through the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors. Michael led six trips to New Orleans, LA for recovery efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Michael is the co-founder of “Potlucks to End World Hunger”, a grassroots hunger initiative. Michael is also the founder of “Kilts 4 Kause”, a program for testicular, prostate, and colo-rectal cancer awareness. He spent a “Kilted 50 For Charity” year, wearing a kilt every day for a year, raising awareness, advocacy, action and funds for ELCA World Hunger and the American Cancer Society. He has since turned Kilted 50 For Charity into a charitable foundation.
Michael was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 2004. He recently completed two years as the Interim Pastor at First Lutheran Church in Montclair, NJ. Previously, he served as the interim pastor at Battle Hill Community Moravian Church in Union, NJ; and as the intentional interim pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Islip Terrace (Long Island), NY. Michael has served as the stated supply pastor for Zion Lutheran, Eltingville Lutheran, and Immanuel Lutheran Churches (all on Staten Island, NY); and St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, West Hempstead (Long Island), NY. Prior to moving to Staten Island, Michael served as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironton, OH. While serving in Ironton, he received the Donald Roth Award (Outstanding Congregational Ministry) from Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Mission to Appalachia (ELCMA). Michael also served as pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Urbana, OH; and as pastor of the Pleasant City Lutheran Parish (St. Paul Lutheran Church – Pleasant City OH, Harmony Lutheran Church – Buffalo OH and Mt. Zion Lutheran Church – Pleasant City OH). Michael was an adjunct faculty member of Urbana University (Urbana, Ohio), teaching in the areas of philosophy, ethics and religion. Michael is a retired police officer and served ten years in the Ohio Army National Guard as a Military Police Officer and a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare Specialist. He authored a book, Gospel for the Law: A Daily Devotional for Law Enforcement (2005).
Michael graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbus State Community College in Columbus, OH; receiving an Associate in Applied Science degree in Law Enforcement. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Criminology from Capital University in Bexley, OH. His Master of Divinity degree is from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley, OH. Michael received the Karl A. Trost (Graduating senior with outstanding potential for parish ministry) Award while completing his M.Div. Michael completed his Master of Sacred Theology degree at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, with a focus on preaching and worship. His thesis was “A Proposed Four Year Thematic Lectionary the Contains the Entire Canon.” He is currently working towards a Doctor of Ministry degree at United Lutheran Seminary (Philadelphia/Gettysburg PA). He also attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH for two years, majoring in Theatre, as well as taking Moravian Studies at Moravian Theological Seminary (Bethlehem PA).
Michael is married to the Rev. Dr. Tracy A. Pryor, a Moravian pastor who currently serves as pastor of Church of the Redeemer Moravian Church in Dublin, OH. Michael has two grown sons, Christopher and Sean, and Michael and Tracy have a daughter, Rain Siobhan. Michael plays the bagpipes with the Richmond County Pipes & Drums in his spare time.