hey, y’all!

The past few weeks have been interesting in the Todd household – to say the least. We haven’t meant to ignore and of your friends and readers, we’ve just plain been swamped!

Katie started her new job from home on Monday the 22nd, and had her first day in the office on the 23rd. There’s nothing like working from home, but it’s even better when it’s your first day on the job. It was actually a great day full of exercise, learning and yardwork. It really helped relieve a bit of anxiety – until the alarm went off on Tuesday morning. These past few weeks of getting to know everyone have been exciting, overwhelming, exhausting and just plain fun, too. Katie actually enjoys going to the office now. Although she’d still prefer not to have to work, she feels blessed to be in an environment where people truly love their jobs and are overly helpful in training and encouraging the new kid on the block. There’s a big learning curve, but Katie feels pretty confident that she’s right where she needs and wants to be right now.

On Wednesday morning the 24 we both got a disturbing phone call. One of our youth, 14 year old Christian Charles, had suffered a stroke and was on his way to the hospital. Christian had to undergo an emergency craniotomy that afternoon due to a ruptured aneurysm. They were able to remove a large clot, but Christian would be in PICU for a while. He improved greatly in a short period of time but developed a lung infection which left him in PICU for a bit longer. He had recently moved into a normal room in the Children’s hospital and as of Wednesday has now been moved to HealthSouth to begin his therapy. He has a swallowtherapist, a speech therapist and a physical therapist due to paralysis on the left side of his body. Christian seems to be depressed from the lack of interaction with family and friends, and depression is also considered normal following brain surgery. Please continue to keep Christian and his family in your prayers, especially down this long road of recovery.

To add a bit more excitement to our lives, on September 28th Katie and Mason left class as we normally do on Saturdays during the football season and drove straight into the fairgrounds and ran into the stadium in time for the football game. We stopped and grabbed a few bites to eat at Katie’s parents’ tailgate on our way in, andsupplemented those sandwiches with some yummy football stadium food. With about 3 minutes to go in the 1st quarter, Katie began to feel very faint and had trouble breathing deeply. We left the seats and somehow made our way to First Aid, only having to stop to rest once. It turns out that Katie was very dehydrated and needed to go to the hospital to receive fluids andseveral tests. We both got to ride in an ambulance from Williams Brice to Baptist Hospital, Mason up front and Katie in the back with the EMT and an overly drunk, puking companion. (Not too good for a sympathetic puker!) Katie was in the hospital until about 2:30 AM on Sunday receiving fluids and resting as much as possible in an emergency room. She received 2 liters of fluids and drank an additional bottle of Powerade, so we’re thinking she was a bit dehydrated. It was an exciting (not really!) night, and also a wake up call to Katie to stay hydrated and get lots of rest!! Oh, and yes Mama, to slow down a bit, too!

We’ve been taking it easy a lot lately and have moved on to midterms in the semester. Hard to believe that we’re already 1/2 way through with the semester! We’re currently taking Pastoral Care, Ethics and part one of the Supervised Ministry which we’ll be in until April/May 2009. Next Sunday we will meet with the Session at Shandon Presbyterian and apply for approval to move forward in the Candidacy process. We meet on the 22nd with the COPM and hopefully will be approved as Candidates that night. Later this month we’ll receive our grades from our August Ordination Exams, and we’re crossing our fingers that we both passed!

Also happening next Sunday is New Kirk Presbyterian’s chartering service. Mason and I have been involved via Shandon with New Kirk since April 2004. It’s been an incredible ride to see the church grow from 14 people to nearly 200 people who are about to break ground on their first building. God has blessed us with this unique opportunity in serving the members at New Kirk, and we are so thankful for the opportunity. We hope to continue our role on the “staff” at New Kirk when our time is up as seminary interns so that we can continue to see New Kirk grow and blossom. We are both enjoying our work as Youth Ministers and Children’s ministers, and we feel so blessed that Shandon is allowing us to serve the church while members at Shandon. Our involvement and ministry at New Kirk has really caused both of us to consider a calling into new church development in the future. Who knows…but I don’t think either of us would object too much should we be called to that ministry!

If you are available, we’d like to encourage you to join us on Sunday, October 19th to witness history. New Kirk’s chartering service will be on Sunday the 19th at 4:00 PM at Sandlapper Elementary School in Blythewood. Want more information? We invite you to read this announcement email from Trinity Presbytery…it’s getting each of us quite excited!

Hope to see you on the 19th at New Kirk’s chartering!

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