Navigating Unique Conceptions within Religious Norms


If you have a misattributed parentage experience, this often leads to big life questions. Let’s explore how different religions view our unique conceptions.


Senior Pastor Kate Penny Howard has been with North Christian since June 2012. She was born in Alaska and is proud to have grown up a Michigander; however, she is glad to be serving God as a Hoosier since 2008. Kate’s passion in ministry includes anti-racism/pro-reconciliation work, integrating music and scripture into worship, and pastoral care for families in crisis. She strives to create a safe space for people to explore their joys and sore spots, especially conversations about ethics and the problem of evil.

She grew up in the American Baptist Church and joined the Disciples of Christ in 2004 at Park Manor Christian Church in Chicago. She earned her Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. In March of 2012, she became an ordained minister while at Saint Paul Christian Church, where she was a pastor for two years.

Kate also volunteers to do Search Angel work with DNAngels out of love for others, and a desire to bring healing and wholeness to them.  She loves learning about different places and cultures, and she feels that through this process, she becomes a part of each person’s family who blesses her with the opportunity to become part of their story.

Pastor Kate lives in Columbia City with her wonderful husband Preston and their slightly naughty Weimaraner, Lucy. Preston and Kate have three children who are all grown up, exploring the world, and having adventures. Kate enjoys singing, gardening, and collecting power tools.

Senior Rabbi Sydney Danziger became Senior Rabbi at Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue, Washington in 2019. Before joining TBT, Rabbi Sydney was a Rabbinic Fellow with the Jewish Emergent Network at The Kavana Cooperative. Kavana is an independent, innovative Jewish community in Seattle.  Raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rabbi Sydney attended New York University and the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in Political Science and Journalism.

After graduating from college, she had the opportunity to participate in a Birthright Israel trip and visit the Jewish homeland for the very first time. After her ten-day trip, she remained in Israel and studied modern Hebrew at an ulpan in Haifa for four months. After returning to the US, she became a labor union organizer for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. In 2006, she became the Director of National Initiatives for The Birthright Israel Foundation, where she worked with Jewish young adults who were looking to strengthen their ties to their local Jewish communities. This experience eventually inspired her to apply to rabbinical school in 2008.

During her time at HUC-JIR, she interned at a variety of synagogues and Jewish organizations, from Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York, to Congregation Albert in New Mexico and Hillel at UCLA. As a student, Rabbi Sydney was the recipient of the coveted Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship. Following her ordination in May of 2013 from the HUC-JIR Los Angeles campus, she served as an Assistant Rabbi at Temple Isaac M. Wise in Cincinnati for three years.

Rabbi Sydney loves living in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by trees, waters and mountains. Having been raised in a desert, she loves listening to the rain while snuggling on the couch with her husband Ben, toddler son, Jacob, and two beautiful Golden retrievers, Mel and Izzy. When she is not teaching Torah, she is an interior design and renovation enthusiast and is often engrossed in a new construction project at her home in Kenmore.