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Unexpected Adventures

The Good News: it wasn’t a stroke.

The Bad News: Whatever it was has exhausted me, and I am still at home.

For those of you who weren’t at church on Sunday, May 20, you may not have heard that I had an incident on May 17 at the gym. I have no memory of the event, but apparently I was having a conversation with Sharon Greenbeck, our Junior Warden, who was also at the gym, and I said something that didn’t make sense. Not sure what else happened, but before I knew it, I was having my second ambulance ride, this time to St. Joe’s in Towson. I have to say St. Joseph – University of Maryland Hospital is extremely thorough in its investigation – and tests regarding a stroke were negative. I came home Friday evening and have been resting ever since. There are still things to investigate, and I will do so with my doctors. In the meantime, I am thankful for Sharon’s quick reaction, and the concern I have felt from the congregation.

There is a lot going on in June on my personal calendar that I need to tell you about. Next week, May 30, Steve and I will leave for vacation, returning June 11. On June 12, Jill, Steve and I will attend a conference in Sewanee, TN. Invite, Welcome, Connect is a training about how better to invite people to our church, welcome them appropriately, and then connect them into the congregation by getting them involved. We are a friendly lot – we welcome people well. But we are not so strong on the other two. It is the responsibility of all of us – not just the Rector – to invite people to our many events, and to church on Sunday. It is also our responsibility to help them connect to ways of serving and thriving in our church. We hope to learn more strategies about how to make that happen in those three days.

On June 19, I will have surgery to repair the ligaments in my right ankle. After falling again a few weeks ago, I went to my orthopedist. My ligaments in that ankle are either torn or so stretched they are of no use, and I will continue to fall, as my ankle rolls under me, until it is repaired. The surgery is outpatient, but I will be in a cast for six weeks. This means we may need to make some accommodations in worship, but I plan to miss only the first two Sundays after the surgery. You will be in good hands during that time.

Life is filled with “unexpected adventures” – with adversity, sickness, laughter and joy that surprises us. In all these things, our Lord has promised to be with us. We are not alone in our struggles; we share together as the Body of Christ in the goodness and love of our God, who knows us each by name, and who has been our refuge from generation to generation.

Rev. Loree Penner