Hello, Goodbye

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"You say yes, I say no, you say stop and I say go, go, go oh, no. You say goodbye and I say hello, Hello, hello. I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello. Hello, hello I don't know why you say goodbye I say hello."

So sang the Beatles back in November 1967.

The Wantage and Abingdon Circuit has been involved in its own version of this Lennon-McCartney composition saying both goodbye and hello these past few weeks.

At the end of July, the Circuit said goodbye, thank you and God speed to Martin and Jude Smithson as they left for pastures new. A few days later it was a case of saying hello to me, Liz, Becca, Amy and Dan as we have arrived and moved into the Wantage Manse heralding a new chapter in the life of this Circuit.

As I write this, I am hoping that I will get the opportunity of saying hello to as many of you as possible at our welcome service on 3rd September and I look forward to getting to know you all over the coming weeks and months.

We say hello and goodbye in many more ways as well, for September sees us welcoming a new Methodist year with all the opportunities and possibilities which it brings, as well as saying farewell to the year that has passed us. Hello and goodbye.

Life and faith are marked by these two greetings, as we move and journey from one stage to another. Birth, childhood, school, university, friendships, relationships, marriage, employment, redundancy, retirement, ill health and death to name but a few, all bring with them that sense of hello and goodbye. Goodbye to what has been and hello to what is to come. Hello and goodbye bring new challenges and opportunities in equal measure.

Each day, of course, is a new beginning and a fresh opportunity. Hello to a new dawn and goodbye to the one that has gone. It is said that the past is yesterday, the future is tomorrow and today is a gift, which is why it is called the 'present'.

My prayer at the beginning of this new Methodist year (as we come to share in ministry, witness and service with you) is that together we embrace all that is new and make the most of all the opportunities that come our way as we seek to continue to be God's people in this Circuit, its churches and our communities.

To those to whom we say 'goodbye', we will not forget you and to those to whom we say 'hello' we offer you our hands and our love.

With love and God Bless,

Keith

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