The Rev. Shannon E. Karafanda, a resident of Peachtree City and youth pastor at Hopewell United Methodist Church (UMC) in Tyrone, has just released her first book, The Synergy Shift. The book is a reflection of the events surrounding the first year of Lighthouse UMC which opened in 2006.
Karafanda will sell and sign books at Hopewell UMC, 351 Jenkins Rd., Tyrone, Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. Copies are also available in paperback or Kindle formats at amazon.com or in Nook format at barnesandnoble.com.
Karafanda was the associate pastor for Lighthouse when the lead pastor, Allan Todd, passed away suddenly one week before the grand opening. While Karafanda and the rest of the launch team were devastated, they still moved forward and opened the church. The first year was difficult as they learned to grieve together yet still managed to pursue the vision set out before them.
The book highlights many of the life lessons Karafanda says she learned from Todd such as life is a roller coaster and never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. But the journey does not end there. Lighthouse continued on with a new pastor, Mark Jordan, who has his own unique style that helped the congregation to heal.
The Synergy Shift is a touching and humorous look at Karafanda’s perspective on the craziness of clergy life, the fragility of every life, and the hope of new life.
She is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church with a focus on family ministries. She grew up in Morrow, went to school at Georgia Tech, and worked as a computer programmer before pursuing her call to ministry in 1999.
She graduated from Emory’s Candler School of Theology in 2005 and has worked in Family Ministries at Brooks UMC, Turin UMC, Lighthouse UMC, Sacred Tapestry and The Church at the Well. The last three are new church starts in the North Georgia Conference.
She is currently serving at Hopewell UMC in Tyrone.
She lives with her husband, her three children and their black lab in Peachtree City. She is currently working part-time. Visit her website, www.UntilEveryoneHears.com, to read her blog or more about her ministry. She is also on Facebook and Twitter.