Symposium Photos

Psalm 65.5 You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior.
You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.

We look forward to seeing you on April 29th for this one day, fellowship, outreach, learning and faith formation event.

  • Lunch
    • Turkey, Ham or Veggie Wrap, tossed salad or fruit salad, chips, cookie & drink
  • Daycare at no additional cost
  • 5 Dynamic Speakers addressing Hope in our communities
  • Benevolence: The Women’s Center
    • Donate to the Women’s Center
    • Amazon Wish List for the Center’s new shelter on New Bern Ave. (please note when checking out to select “c/o Jerri Carter’s Gift Registry Address” as the shipping address)

Location: Abiding Presence Lutheran Church (7300 Sunset Lake Rd. Fuquay-Varina, NC)

Registration: $15 (now closed)

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Dr. Mary Hinkle Shore

Featured Speakers: Rev. Dr. Katherine Shaner, Rev. Pam Northup and Rev. Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr.

Closing Worship: Rev. Joseph Casteel Rev. Joseph Casteel


Speaker Bios

Rev. Dr. Katherine Shaner

In classrooms, in faith communities, in the public square, Katherine A. Shaner challenges leaders to listen for the voices of people who are usually left out of the stories in our biblical texts and in our histories of justice. As a pastor in the ELCA and the Associate Professor of New Testament at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, she teaches courses across the New Testament that explore the theologies, social practices, and political implications of biblical interpretation. Working with church communities as well as faith leaders, Dr. Shaner helps Bible readers understand the full context of the first Jesus-following communities. Her teaching and preaching on the lives of enslaved people, women, and other marginalized people in these early Christian communities helps contemporary Christians understand how race, class, and gender shaped these ancestors in the faith. Dr. Shaner’s book, Enslaved Leadership in Early Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2018), challenges readers to re-think common perceptions about how enslaved persons participated in early Christian communities. She and her students have also published a book of lenten meditations entitled Shouts and Whispers: Radical Meditations for Lent (Library Partners Press: 2017). Originally a pastor’s kid from Nebraska, she has studied, lived, and worked in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, and New York City. She now lives in Winston-Salem where her dog, Karl Bark, allows her to live with him—as long as she keeps feeding him treats.

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Rev. Pam Northup

Pam Northrup was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2006. She is recognized as a compassionate pastor, outstanding preacher, insightful teacher, and faithful spiritual director. She has served as an ELCA pastor in Southern Pines, NC; Palm Coast, FL; Raleigh, NC; and Hamlet, NC. She also served as a Hospice Chaplain where she cared for patients and their loved ones at the end of life. Pam is the author of On the Way: Short Stories and Biblical Reflections on Caring for a Loved One in Hospice and Untangling the Mess: Challenging the Hurtful Messages about God’s Love. Newly retired from full-time parish ministry, Pam serves as the Chair of the Advanced Lay Ministries program in the NC Synod. She is also launching her practice of Spiritual Direction and writing her third book. Pam and her husband Bob live in Fuquay Varina, NC with their beloved dog, Harley. They have two adult daughters and three grandchildren. They are members of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cary, NC.

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Rev. Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr.

Reverend Doctor Marvin Connelly, Jr. is the son of the late Reverend Marvin Connelly, Sr. and Mrs. Doris Connelly. He is married to the former Joyce Ann Byrd. They have one daughter, Tiana; three sons, Marvin III, Michael and Phillip, nine grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.
Dr. Connelly faithfully serves in the capacity as Pastor of St. Augusta Missionary Baptist Church, Fuquay-Varina, NC. He also is a former Moderator of the Wake Missionary Baptist Association. He currently serves on the Board of Advisory for the East Carolina University School of Education, the UNC Pembroke School of Education Board of Advisors, the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County, the Cumberland County Homeless Liaison Committee, and the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is a member of the National Superintendents’ Association, the NC Superintendents’ Association and multiple other educational boards and committees. Among other highly esteemed accolades, Dr. Connelly served as the founding president of the NC Alliance of Black Educators, member of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity, board member of the Wake County Steering Committee on Affordable Housing, member of the Advisory Board of the NC State Employees Credit Union and the Advisory Board of the Alexander Branch of the YMCA. He is a longtime member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Dr. Connelly has received the following degrees: Doctor of Education from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; Doctor of Divinity (Honorary) from Saint Thomas Christian College, Jacksonville, Fl.; Master of School Administration, Master of Education, and Bachelor of Arts/Political Science and Foreign Policy from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. He is employed as the Superintendent of Cumberland County Schools serving over 6500 employees and serving over 50,000 students. He manages a budget in excess of $1.6 billion in the school district.
Dr. Connelly inspires the people of God by example, as he exemplifies a close relationship with Christ that is evident in his personal walk with God. He has implemented numerous ministries thus allowing St. Augusta Church the opportunity to not only fellowship in the household of faith, but also minister to the surrounding community.
Dr. Connelly is a Christian man of visions and dreams. He envisions a world in which the church and the community work hand in hand for the betterment of mankind. Through God’s grace and mercy, he is steadfastly working to fulfill those visions and dreams.

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Rev. Dr. Mary Hinkle Shore

Most recently, Dr. Shore was the Rector and Dean of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University. She was a professor of New Testament for sixteen years at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, and has served pastorates in North Dakota and North Carolina. She is the author of Signs of Belonging: Luther’s Marks of the Church and the Christian Life and numerous articles and essays. She lives in Brevard, North Carolina, with her husband, Hank, a joyful corgi, and an old but spry tabby cat.

Hope Symposium at a Glance

Date: April 29, 2023

Time: 8:30am-3:00pm

Location: Abiding Presence Lutheran Church (7300 Sunset Lake Rd. Fuquay-Varina, NC)

Registration: $15

Parking: Free on-site

Daycare: Free on-site if indicated when you register

Lunch: Turkey, Ham or Veggie Wrap, tossed salad or fruit salad, chips, cookie & drink

Welcome bag, booklet and information packet provided on at check-in

Presentation / Speaker Talk Summaries

Pam Northrup : Living in God’s Gift of Hope

Hope is a gift that God gives to us, yet in our often chaotic and stressful lives hope may seem far away. The many stressors, challenges, expectations, and responsibilities that we deal with every day can diminish our sense of hope. In this session we’ll explore a three-fold mindset for living in God’s gift of hope that can have a positive impact on our lives and relationships. This mindset strengthens our capacity to embrace paradox, mystery, acceptance, and spiritual practices that can nourish our sense of hope.

Katherine Shaner : Finding Everyone’s Hope in Ancient Women’s Voices

We will “meet” several marginalized women from the communities to which Paul wrote (Euodia and Syntyche, Phil 4:2–3; Lois and Eunice, 2Tim 1:5) and from gospel stories (Samaritan woman, John 4:1–42; women at the temple, Mark 11:15–18). Their lives and witness are nearly lost to us because we rarely contemplate how their work was transformative for the mission of our ancestors in faith. We will begin to see how marginalized, forgotten, and over-looked people in the biblical world and in our world are not just necessary but utterly transform the hope-filled work of the Gospel among us.

Mary Shore : Igniting a Biblical Imagination for Hope

The Bible shows us how God is pulling God’s future into our present time. Uplift your spirit by learning how the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23-35) and the raising of Lazarus (John, chapter 11) along with other biblical stories ignite hope today!

Marvin Connelly : “Saving the Church By Reengaging the Disengaged” – Generations Lost!

coming soon