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Thought for the Month -  August

“50 ways to say Goodbye” was a song recorded in 2012 by an American rock group, and it feels as though over the last few weeks Geoff and I (and perhaps Revd Tanya too), have been finding at least 50 ways to say goodbye to so many precious people here in the Ryedale Circuit. My mind also goes to the Sound of Music, and the Farewell Song: So long, farewell, Au revoir, auf Wiedersehen, Adieu – are all words used to say good bye. Ciao can be used for hello and goodbye – a dual greeting – as is Shalom for the Jewish people.

According to the dictionary Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquillity and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye.
When we share “The Peace” in a service of Holy Communion it can, of necessity, be hurried and perfunctory. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our greetings were instead a heartfelt prayer for the peace, harmony, wholeness etc (as described above) of the other?
So Shalom, farewell, from those of us who are leaving the circuit, and Shalom, hello – to Revd Peter and his wife Christine as they arrive –  and may Shalom/Christ’s peace rule in your hearts and minds – now and always.

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