The annual Tom York Lecture Series, named for a much-loved former pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church, brings to Knox noted theologians and scholars to speak at various venues over the course of a weekend.
This year, the Tom York Lecture Series presents Gail Henderson-Belsito. Rev. Henderson-Belsito serves as the associate minister at Caldwell Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Gail graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with a degree in Political Science. She earned a master’s degree in liberal studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She and her husband, Steve, and their two children moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, from Connecticut in 2002. After more than twenty years of raising and homeschooling two children, Gail went back to school and earned a Master of Divinity degree at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte in 2020.
In a world torn apart by war, poverty, racism, political ridiculousness, refugee crises, the climate crisis, institutional and structural injustice, the ravages of Covid, and so much more, it can be tempting to give in to despair for our collective future.
But oddly and almost inexplicably, there is this inextinguishable thing called hope. It lingers. It persists. It grows. It is contagious.
Some say that hope is not a strategy, and they are mostly right. But hope is part of every strategy and every plan for change – otherwise, why bother to plan, organize, and strategize for change?
Hope has a history. Its history has lessons for us in our lives and in our world today. At a time when many use history to offer proof that nothing can be different in the future, come learn a little bit of hope’s history. Come and hear stories that look back at hope’s legacy. At a time when so much that we see and hear in our world is determined to starve us of all hope, come and allow yourself to be fed a healthy helping of hope.
How dare we – and ultimately, how can we – look around at the rampant chaos, ravaging pain, and relentless injustice in our world and still say, “Nevertheless, Hope”?