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Dear friends,

How quickly my three months of Sabbatical have gone by!

I am most grateful to the Methodist Church for such a generous gift- it has enabled me to rest and sleep, to spend precious time with loved ones and in

the last month to be with my Mum in her recent very serious illness. God has restored my soul and I am now ready again to respond to his Love as he calls me to 'Feed My Lambs, Tend My Flock, Feed My Sheep.'

May I express my heartfelt gratitude to those who have carried those extra responsibilities, thank you all, so much.

Of course, in those three months, though routine changed for me, life went on and for many of you significant things happened. Some of you had really happy things to celebrate, some of you are grieving, some have spent time in hospital, some have celebrated new birth.

It's sobering to reflect that during my three months away, there has been a General election, terrible terrorist attacks and the heartbreaking news from Grenfell Tower with all the aftermath.

On the world stage, drought and famine. Pictures of suffering men women and children caught up in the violence of war and civil unrest and the threat to world security by people 'playing' with power.

And as all this has been going on, I have been soaking myself in the words of Psalm 23, probably the best known and loved of all the Psalms. 'How can you possibly spend three months reading six verses?' Someone asked. Well, it's been wonderful to allow the words to lead me off in different directions and to have time and space to go where they led. . .

Ezekiel's bad Shepherds of Israel and how God offers to Shepherd his people himself.

The provision and protection of good Shepherds.

John's gospel telling of Jesus, the ultimate 'Good Shepherd' who lays down his life for the sheep.

Peter being challenged through forgiving love to change jobs from being a Fisherman to becoming a Shepherd.

Exploring how modern day shepherds in Britain contrast with the Shepherds Jesus knew - Very different!

The way the Psalmist changes metaphors from the Shepherd to the Host of a great Banquet.

'You prepare a table before me,

You anoint my head with oil - my cup overflows.'

I have been excited again about Bible Study!! And, If you would like to join me over the winter months, I would love to lead a series when we can explore this Psalm together- so - look out for details and I pray these six verses might become as much a blessing for you as they are for me.

With sincere Love,

The Superintendent’s Letter

Rev. Sue Greenwood