Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Having been in ministry for ten years, the Methodist Church generously gift their ministers with a three-month long Sabbatical. This is meant to be a time of spiritual, physical and mental renewal. My Sabbatical took place during January, February and March of this year and so I returned to ministry at the beginning of April, in time for Easter.
I began my Sabbatical with a week-long silent retreat. Now for those who know me - I can hear you exclaiming Sue?! Silent???? IMPOSSIBLE!!!! But actually, I did manage to remain silent and I did manage it for the whole week! And it did me the power of good.
Without the chatter and noise of everyday life I found it easier to achieve a peace where there was not just an absence of noise but a deeper more profound sense of peace and stillness of soul. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on my ministry and my life. It also gave me the space to read, knit and walk ~ not all at once you understand!
The Retreat House was set in the beautiful Devon countryside and I took every opportunity to explore God’s creation in that place. The views and wildlife - even in the cold chill of winter - were breathtaking.
Of course, when I said I was silent for a week…that wasn’t quite accurate. I did speak to this cheeky little fellow who used to come, as bold as brass, to pinch the bird food outside my room. Although I have to say he wasn’t very much of a conversationalist!
Of course, the real test, my friends, may be a little more difficult - and that is maintaining God’s peace in the day to day hustle bustle of our busy lives. I hope to share more of my Sabbatical with you another time.
May God bless you and bring you peace of mind, heart and soul.
With love and prayers