Join Steph and Tiffany, along with father-daughter duo, Pastor Kevin Loughran and Penny Loughran, as they talk about what it means for the church to care for all people, regardless of their range of abilities. Penny was born 10 weeks premature and suffered a brain bleed in early infancy, which led to the development of cerebral palsy. In this episode, she candidly shares about her life, what brings her joy, and the ways she serves her church. Pastor Loughran offers his fatherly perspective, along with discussing how the church can embrace and better serve families and peoples with disabilities.
Resources mentioned in this episode include: lcms.org/social-issues/disability, voiceofcare.org/index.html, and ablelight.org/events-and-resources/faith-resources.
Not all the views expressed are necessarily those of the LCMS; please discuss any questions with your pastor.
Penelope (Penny) Loughran was born and baptized into Christ at Memorial Hospital in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on August 11, 2001. She weighed in at 3 lbs., large actually for a 29 and a half week premie. She spent the next two months in a NICU in Milwaukee where she had the first of six brain surgeries due to a brain bleed immediately after her birth. The bleed caused moderate to severe cerebral palsy.
Penny has never walked and was not supposed to talk. However, she was able to communicate and it soon became clear that she was extremely bright. Around the age of 4 she began to speak, in complete sentences. She graduated magna cum laude from an honors program at Hollins High School in 2020. The COVID pandemic has caused a disruption to her academic plans due to a compromised immune system. Her current plan is to become a child psychologist.
She is an active member of Grace Lutheran Church and School, helping with VBS, serving as a greeter and in choir as she is able. Penelope loves sports particularly everything baseball, regularly attending Rays games with her Mom, Dad and friends as well as the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team and of course, the Green Bay Packers.
Rev. Kevin Loughran was born on October 7, 1956 in New Haven, Ct. and baptized into Christ on October 21, 1956 at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in North Haven. As a child Pastor Loughran loved music and sports and ultimately majored in trumpet for his undergrad. He worked in sales for ten years prior to going to seminary. During that time, he converted to Lutheranism being catechized in the faith at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Norwalk, CT.
Rev. Loughran attended Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN, graduating in 1993. He was the Grad Assistant for the Pastoral Theology department in 93-94. While at Seminary Pastor Loughran sang in Kantorei, vicared at St. Luke’s in Oviedo, FL and served as the Sacristan at Kramer Chapel for an academic year. He has served parishes in Wolcottville, IN and Sheboygan, WI. He has served his current parish, Grace Lutheran Church and School since 2006. During his time as a Parish Pastor, he has served as an LWML zone counselor, on a working group for the LSB hymnal project and as the Spiritual Advisor to the Concordia Deaconess Conference.
Pastor and Kersti Loughran (nee Hasler) were married in 1984 and have four children, Justine, Matthew, John and Penelope plus a number of former foster children who call them Mom and Dad. They have far too many grandchildren to number.
We believe that God is the author and sustainer of all life. We also know it can be hard to speak about the intrinsic value of that life when it feels like the world is trying to drown us out.
We’re right here beside you. In this podcast of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Life Ministry, we’re coming alongside one another as a community of Christ’s redeemed people, ones who are speaking up for and living out the sanctity of human life. Together we’ll explore life issues in a way that honors our heavenly Father’s value of human life, serves our neighbor, and connects us to others who are doing the same. Join us, so that together we can be friends for life.